In the age of IKEA, not all furniture is built to last (or it seems meant to be assembled in the first place). For those looking for something that lasts a little longer (aka a lifetime) CAUV Designs is springing onto the Columbus furniture scene. Craftsman Jospeh Cauvel’s pieces strike a balance that’s hard to find.
“It’s a modern industrial furniture, but it’s still very timeless,” he says. Steel frames and wood pieces mesh to become coffee and end tables, benches, desks, chairs and dining room tables.
“What popped in my head as far as the way I wanted to put my own personal pieces out is to always keep it as multiuse,” Cauvel says. It’s a fight against the expendability that has recently overtaken the furniture industry.
“You’re buying a new desk not because you want to, but because you have to,” he says. “The person’s going to buy [a CAUV Designs piece] and they are never going to have to buy that same piece again if they don’t want to.”
He speaks to the structural nature that pieces used to be designed with, saying just go look at any antique store and the fact those designs are still around.
“There won’t be antique pieces from a certain range of years because nothing from that time will last that long,” he adds.
Nothing speaks to the structural quality of his pieces better than the photo he has of himself standing on one of his end tables. He wants end tables that could double as stools or a coffee table that could be transformed into a bench when company’s over without being worried guests will “hurt” it.
Cauvel tries to source everything as local as possible, getting the steel for his designs from Hilliard and black walnut wood from Bucyrus. While he prefers black walnut for his own designs, Cauvel has worked with cedar, pine and oak for custom designs. Unique pieces like edge slabs and reclaimed wood also find their way into his functional furniture.
CAUV Design lines have a style all their own, but Cauvel can adapt his skills to a variety of styles for custom pieces. He’s made custom furniture like a reception desk and bench for Mat Happy Yoga in Hilliard, a number of instillations for downtown retailer Flying Gent, and even shipped out some pieces across the U.S.
Cauvel is finding much success for moving from Chicago and launching in Columbus less than a year ago. His background is full of some interesting twists and turns. He built skateboards right out of high school, worked in machine shop, then a paint shop, before a stint into the world of phlebotomy, then it was on to a grip/electrician for movies and TV shows. All these jobs did have something in common – they were hands-on and required much attention to detail.
“I have a very keen sense of the detail that it takes to do something,” Cauvel says.
He’s not totally sure where details switched to furniture, but while he was a freelance grip, he just started making some pieces during his time off. First for himself, then family and friends, before he realized “It’s not something I only have to do as a hobby,” Cauvel says.
He made the move to Columubs because he found he could afford the space he would need to get his business going. For Cauvel, it’s been all bootstrapping since the start.
Columbus has welcomed his with open arms.
“It’s so supportive of local goings on,” Cauvel says. “Most people have a very strong sense of support for whatever it is that people are doing.”
For more information, visit cauvdesign.com.