This New Zealand Workshop Crafts Handsomely Useful ‘Life Tools’

George & Willy: Elevating your home one piece at a time

September 25, 2018 9:00 am

Simple materials. Functional design. Solving problems.

That’s an ethos everyone can embrace.

Abiding it: George & Willy, New Zealand-based crafters of extremely useful and handsome “life tools,” available now.

The hell’s a life tool, you ask? Think handbuilt furniture that offers both aesthetic appeal and unexpected practical use … or, as G&W puts it, “things which help people every day, more.”

Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, G&W is the brainchild of two school friends who wanted to make things for themselves they couldn’t find anywhere else. Like this metal note roller, an industrial-looking piece that’s angled just right so you can take notes and rip ‘em off with the perfect tear (the powder-coated aluminum day roller is a larger wall-mounted version perfect for daily reminders). Or the modular Bang Bang Pegboard, a wall-mounted birch plywood shelving system that displays and organizes your tools and clothing however you see fit. There’s even a section of their site where you can submit ideas for new products.

If you visit New Zealand, their workshop seems like a nice place to stop by. They describe it as “like an indoor treehouse.” As well, they eat wild game that they hunted every Friday, which is also mandatory Hawaiian shirt day in the office. And visitors get a pair of merino socks.

“Most of the products we make are things that we originally needed for ourselves and then by extension, other people might need as well,” explains G&W’s marketing guru Phoebe, who answered a few of our queries by email. “They’re tools for the everyday. We’re not chefs, but we appreciate a well-designed space, whether that be your home, studio or eatery.”

Sadly, not everything is available in the U.S. — like this one-off motorcycle or trestle desk — but the brand does say a lot of what they do ends up in the States, so they may start making more things over here. And they have some cool stuff already in the works, including a wooden clothes horse.

Like many of their wares, you probably never knew you need one of those. But once you see it, you’ll understand.

Photos: Courtesy of George & Willy

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