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Magazine    October 2001





MoMo as ottoman




Nightcap table



MoMo as coffee table
Double Duty

If the great pioneers of 20th century furniture design presided over a meeting to discuss the future of their craft in the new millennium, they might have mentioned a fellow by the name of Tony Cooper, founder of San Francisco's Splinter Furniture Design. Cooper, who credits 1940s industrial designer Raymond Loewy and 19th-century Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for inspiration, creates contemporary handmade furniture that is well thought-out and engineered, is functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, and is great for compact living spaces.

“When I think of furniture, I remember my childhood kitchen table, where my brothers and I had birthdays and counted Halloween candy,” says Cooper, a Cornell-educated mechanical engineer and product designer. “My purpose in designing furniture is to explore the role it plays in our spaces, our lives and our relationships—and to provide a great level of comfort.”

The MoMo ottoman/coffee table/storage unit is a byproduct of Cooper’s philosophy. “It’s a lifestyle piece,” says Cooper. “For people who live in small quarters it adds softness to a room and provides additional seating. The cushion can be removed instantly, making it a coffee table, and the two levels of storage below are great for books, papers and remote controls.”

Splinter's line encompasses more than 30 high-end contemporary furniture items, including handcrafted beds, tables, seating and case goods, each constructed from rich woods like maple, cherry, mahogany and walnut. The ChaRM series (an acronym for Charles Rennie Mackintosh) has become near impossible to keep on hand because of its flexible design. "Designers use the squares like building blocks, creating these large wall units for presidential suites in hotels," says Tamee Cooper, the firm’s art director. The collection also includes a dresser, credenza, media cabinet and table appropriately scaled for home use.

The Nightcap bedside table also is a top seller. "The piece has a really great balance between masculine and feminine,” she says. “It’s stable, solid and sits directly on the floor (it has no feet), yet the sides have sweeping curves that lead your eye up through the design. We’re working on a desk that will have an inlaid leather top with a figured Eucalyptus body."

Splinter's quality craftsmanship and no-frills approach to contemporary design has caught the eye of notable interior designers like fellow San Franciscan Barbara Scavullo and Geoffrey Bradfield in New York. Both have requested the MoMo ottoman/coffee table several times, an indication that the
7-year-old company has a steadily growing bicoastal appeal.

ChaRM wall unit in a weaver's studio ChaRM's building-block concept



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Splinter Furniture Design
1268 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-252-1540
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