Frame work: the making of KBH and Dedar's sofa
Kheim Dolva and Søren Bech Jespersen set up Københavns Møbelsnedkeri, otherwise known as KBH, in 2006 in the old industrial neighbourhood of Islands Brygge in Copenhagen. In the past decade, they have seen the area transform from a neglected dockland area to a hip district, awash with galleries and cutting-edge design offices.
Dolva, a trained guitar maker with a background in graphic and web design, and Bech Jespersen met at a cabinet-making course and decided to go into business together on their graduation day. Driven by a common passion for craftsmanship, perfection and design, the duo have worked tirelessly and the company now employs 20 skilled workers producing everything from bespoke commissions to furniture, kitchens and interior fittings.
Family-owned Italian fabric firm Dedar was founded in 1976 by Nicola Fabrizio and his wife Elda and is now run by their children, Raffaele and Caterina, who say it was the KBH sensibility about craftsmanship and its shared community ethos that first appealed to them. ‘We were seduced by the atmosphere of a group of people sharing, creating, making and growing a company.’
The Fabrizios are keen collaborators, with work ranging from a long-term partnership with Hermès to standalone projects with designers such as Stephen Burks and Pierre Le-Tan. ‘Collaborations are a means of widening perspectives,’ they say. ‘They are a necessary part of our creative life.’
In this spirit, they met with KBH, which praises Dedar not only for its friendliness and warm approach, but also for being ‘the best fabric company around’. The result of their collaboration is a modern sofa design that brings together a perfect blend of Nordic, Italian and Japanese joinery and aesthetics. The frame is formed from smooth, fumed oak using local timber, which KBH treated with oil by hand. Creating the perfect joints was a welcome challenge, and the designers were keen to show them off, as opposed to trying to hide them, which is often the norm. The sofa is upholstered in Dedar’s ‘Adamo & Eva 169’ fabric, a water-repellent cotton velvet with a high yarn count that ensures a soft, tactile feel.
The piece is now part of KBH’s New Classics range of furniture and accessories. This is the company’s debut own collection and includes mirrors, a lamp and chairs, as well as a table that is also featured in Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant. The team has confirmed retail partners in London, Oslo and Toronto, but is now looking to expand to reach a global audience.
As originally featured in the August 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*209)