Furniture Fit for a "Communist?": The Commune/Environment Collection

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“Years from now, when we look back on California design in the 2010s, Commune will be a defining reference,” says Mallery Roberts Morgan, reporting here from the recent launch of a furniture collection created by Commune and Environment Furniture.

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In the nine years since this Los Angeles-based design collective of four partners began, they have garnered a devoted international audience for their trademark style of eclectic assemblages, rooted in sophisticated historical references, with a uniquely California feel. The ingenuity of their work comes from their collaborative spirit; with each other as well as other members of the local artistic community. Their collaborations with artists and craftsmen include ceramicist Stan Bitters, sculptor Alma Allen, textile artist Tanya Aguiñiga (interviewed on this DnA)  and graphic artist and director Mike Mills.

This past Wednesday evening Commune launched their first furniture collection in partnership with Environment Furniture, a company known for an eco-friendly yet modern design aesthetic.

The Commune collection, now on view at the Environment showroom at 8126 Beverly Blvd, is comprised of a chair, dining table, coffee table, mirrors, sofa and daybed, along with Cleatboxes from “The Cleat Series,” based on various configurations of cubes to create larger components (pictured below).


Solid, smart, and handsome, the collection is primarily made with black walnut and white oak, and bronze, brass or copper detailing.  “They come from ideas we’ve created for ourselves in our own homes, simple things that at this point we can’t live without and we are finally ready to share”, says Roman Alonso, one of the four Commune partners.  A daybed upholstered in linen with a shearling and leather bolster, also serves as a guest bed, and is based on the original in Alonso’s Echo Park Craftsman home.

At the opening on Wednesday two ‘Communists for the day’ (pictured above), as Roman Alonso jokingly described them, were dressed in jumpsuits with Commune logos printed on the back, and spent the evening stacking, turning, placing the Cleatboxes to demonstrate the myriad configurations of these pieces in a real home.

Photo_Leslie Rockitter3At one point, as we watched the cubes being moved about, Roman Alonso said, ‘Hey, I never thought about standing that particular piece on its side.  It makes an excellent small end table.’

Exactly.  For people who care about design these are highly functional as well as true investment pieces – the work of influential California designers worth collecting.

Cleatboxes from ‘The Cleat Series’ range in price from $1095 to $3095.

Listen to Commune talk about their work and collaborations on this DnA.

Photo Credit: Leslie Rockitter