THE PEDERSEN + LENNARD STORY
Pedersen + Lennard is a proudly South African design-focused business based in Cape Town, skilled in both residential and commercial products and designer furniture. Founded in 2008 by Luke Pedersen and James Lennard, the company has grown tremendously since their humble beginnings and has made some major waves in the local design industry as ‘The ones to watch’! Their attention to detail, personalised approach, and passionate and rigorous design process has led to their work being showcased in various settings across South Africa ranging from private homes and restaurants to hotels and corporate buildings. Over the years they have successfully grown their production capacity to be able to work on large-scale commercial projects alongside their successful online range while creating a series of custom bespoke orders.
Pedersen + Lennard specialises in a diverse collection of products and designer pieces including, lighting, furniture, storage, and custom designs. Their bespoke designer furniture is tailor-made to suite every client’s unique design style and needs. Giving them an extra edge and unique authenticity you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for a local Cape Town based furniture design company, there’s no doubt that Pedersen + Lennard definitely delivers.
DESIGN & PRODUCTION
Founders and Designers/Directors Luke Pedersen and James Lennard are proud to be part of the growing local design industry. For these two forward-thinking creatives, great design is everything when creating and crafting their unique pieces and designer furniture. It is the crux of what they do. From the production line, new material research and testing to the small details that go into each individual product, design plays a vital part in every single step of the process. However, for them, design extends far beyond the aesthetic and overall look of the product or piece of furniture they create.
They pride themselves on taking a holistic approach to design. By focussing on solving problems and making use of high-quality exceptional materials they trust, their aim is to create pieces that add value to the lives of their clients and last a lifetime. Ultimately, they want their Pedersen + Lennard products to be so much more than what meets the eye!
“Whether it’s a dining room table, an office desk or storage unit, we believe design should be accessible, functional and beautiful. It’s why we focus on quality products, innovative design and a simple aesthetic that we believe will still hold our attention for years to come”– Luke Pedersen & James Lennard
To add to their unwavering love for great design, both Luke and James have become completely captivated by the connection that exists between design and production – it is the power duo behind creating an exceptional product after all! The undeniable link between these two vital elements has had a major influence on Pedersen + Lennard as a whole and the one-of-a-kind designer pieces they create for their clients. This is also where Luke and James have found their passion – It is something they’re both really good at and enjoy!
“Good design has the ability to address challenges such as brand identity, aesthetic preference, budget and technical issues – quality production backs this all up!”– Luke Pedersen & James Lennard
PEDERSEN + LENNARD PRODUCTS
All of Pedersen + Lennard’s products and furniture are designed and manufactured locally in Cape Town. The fabrication process merges machine-made elements with hand finishing, which all comes together in their cool Cape Town-based workshop and showroom in Maitland. They specialises in both residential and commercial designer furniture and products in a variety of settings, including hotels and restaurants to custom projects and workspaces.
A great deal of consideration goes into the type of material used to make each individual piece. Both Luke and James believe that the material used is critical to the longevity of the product, with the ultimate goal being that the right material is chosen to ensure a timeless result. The specific environment and intended use of the product is taken into consideration along with external factors such as availability, price, environmental concerns, and overall aesthetic.
Pedersen + Lennard make use of a variety of unique colour palettes (particularly powder-coated steel colours) and materials to create and produce their designer furniture and products. Some of these include a range of solid timber options, a selection of African leather and various indoor and outdoor fabrics. They also use sustainably forested hardwoods as they have a holistic view on the green economy which sees a product lifespan over many years.
In addition to these materials, they are always testing new materials and fixings as they believe in utilizing each material for its unique strengths. They choose not to hide fixings or cover with layers of paint or varnish while ensuring the durability of surfaces for their intended purpose.
Pedersen + Lennard’s has a variety of Product & Furniture Ranges to choose from which include:
Pedersen + Lennard specialises in both residential and commercial products and designer furniture, including: Tables; Chairs; Couches & Armchairs; Benches; Stools & Barstools; Shelving; Servers; Cabinets & Wardrobes; Beds; Hooks; Bedside Tables; Coffee & Side Tables; Bathroom pieces; Kitchen Pieces; Bins; Outdoor pieces; Lighting; Mirrors; Miscellaneous items; Kid Furniture & toys; Office & Workspace pieces and items.
All their unique products can be bought directly from their website and online store. They have such a diverse, and exceptional range of products and bespoke furniture pieces to choose from, so make sure to take your time to scroll through them all – trust us, it’s going to be incredibly hard to limit it to just a few, so good luck to you! Plus, you can custom design your own pieces!
Alternatively, if you find yourself in Cape Town, feel free to visit their cool Cape Town-based workshop and showroom in Maitland at 2 Quality Street, Maitland, Cape Town.
MORE THAN A BRAND
Pedersen + Lennard take pride in being a local proudly South African, Cape Town based brand. However, they are so much more than that. Luke and James don’t only view design as a vital part of their process and company, but as a sustainable tool to grow our local economy and create a momentum of opportunities for others to be part of. They take on interns to support the design industry and continuously invests in local designers to encourage and uplift local talent.
“Guided by our desire to build a long-term design business we invest a lot into our team, our processes and manufacturing capacity. We believe that this approach enables the kind of sustainable growth that our local industry needs and this continues to challenge our thinking.”– Luke Pedersen & James Lennard
They are dedicated to building a design focused business that takes a long view. It is this long-term focus that guides all their decisions around quality, service, design, employment, economic stability etc. But, above all, they absolutely love what they do!
“Somewhere in between all the chaos of daily life there is a lot of meaning being created around us, this is something as designers and the founders of this business that is very rewarding and certainly not something we could have planned”– Luke Pedersen & James Lennard
We caught up with Pedersen + Lennard’s founders and change-makers in their own right, Luke Pedersen and James Lennard, to chat a bit about all things Pedersen + Lennard, their inspiration behind this influential brand, what the design and production process involves and what motivates them to continue to build this incredible local business.
You guys mention how passionate you are about your love for design & production & the connection between the two. How important are these two components to you and the products and pieces you create?
Design in our case is everything! It’s the crux of what we do. We believe it’s our competitive edge because we create a market based on the way we think, our experiences and unique perspectives on the world. When you combine that with production, it all just comes together. Some of the best stuff happens in production. It is one of the reasons why we always wanted to do our own production. You can only take a design so far without knowing exactly how a product is made – there is unbelievable power in that, both for us and our clients. There is a lot of magic in that last step!
Our design process involves a whole lot more than people might think. Our design process includes understanding all the elements of production and the processes involved in making quality products. For this reason, we spend a lot of time trying to understand how each product is made as well as all the small details and intricacies around production. For example, with steel work we use a lot of very light weight steel to maximize its properties and highlight its strengths. On the same side, with timber, we try and make the meeting point between these two materials really beautiful, while also being very functional. A lot of our tables make use of a very light steel structure and the true strength and beauty of the product is only showcased when you add all the elements together – design and production – suddenly there’s integrity to the piece that, on its own, doesn’t exist.
One of our intentions creatively is to try and communicate more about why we do what we do and how we do it. This way people can understand the relationship that exists between design and production so that there is a stronger connection from start to finish. That’s really important to us.
You invest a great deal of time & effort into selecting the right material to use for each of your products & designer furniture, why is that?
We spend a lot of time researching and testing new materials as well as pushing the boundaries of different materials – Mainly because we want our stuff to last a lifetime! There is no use spending tons of time and money designing something beautiful and making it out of poor-quality material – Everything about that piece is going to be sacrificed to the material. That’s exactly why we pride ourselves on only using the best high-quality material to create and manufacture of products.
With so much invested into the process, how long does it take you to produce one of your pieces? How much actually goes into it?
To create a high-quality product, it takes a lot more processing than people are actually aware of. A lot of our work goes through 20 different processes, depending on whether its big or small, but it all has an impact on the end product. The more we learn about different materials and processes and perfecting our craft, the more involved and intricate our production becomes. There’s some sort of crazy irony in that – it doesn’t get simpler, in fact, it only gets more complicated – The more quality products we find, the more refined we get. But we LOVE it and we’re definitely up for the challenge! It’s always very satisfying to see something that we’ve made 8 or 9 years ago that still looks like its brand new or well used but not worn out. It just proves to us and our incredible team, that all our efforts, research, dedication, and hard work to create something unique, exceptional, and long-lasting actually pays off!
What was your main inspiration & motivation behind starting Pedersen + Lennard? And what do you believe has made you one of the rising local companies to watch?
We both started the business with the intention to show the market what we think, why we think that way and what we felt the local design industry was lacking. The goal was never to grow some monolithic company. It was always to grow Pedersen + Lennard into a size that would serve our vision – Which was to design cool and one-of-a-kind stuff that really stands up in South Africa.
One of the many reasons why we believe we’ve achieved the success we have today, is because of the undeniable synergy that exists between both James and I. Not to mention our unbelievable team that invests their hearts and souls into Pedersen + Lennard and do everything they can to make this company an incredible success.
We chose this path as a way of expressing ourselves and our way of thinking, which ultimately comes through in the design that everyone sees. But also in the way we choose to run our business – Our combined efforts, the way we treat our staff, and the way we cherish and cultivate the relationships we’ve built with our suppliers and clients is everything to us. It really is so cool! It’s incredibly rewarding and nice to have clients that we’ve worked with for so many years come back and being really satisfied with our products. It’s a feeling that’s pretty hard to describe! At the end of the day, we absolutely LOVE what we do, and we certainly hope we carry that over into every product and piece of furniture we create.
How has it been to build your business locally in Cape Town, South Africa? Do you believe more businesses should embrace the local South African spirit?
As we mentioned, our goal was always to grow Pedersen + Lennard into a size that would serve our vision, which was to design cool and one-of-a-kind stuff that really stands up in South Africa. We not only take pride in being part of the growing local Cape Town and South African design industry, but we’re incredibly motivated and determined to drive the industry forward and showcase local talent as much as possible. Above all, we take immense pride in the way we’ve chosen to grow and evolve our business over the years and the core values and principles that form the foundation of our business.
In our opinion, this country desperately needs these types of businesses. These are the kind of businesses that employ people and treat them well, look after them, embrace them as VITAL members of the team, uplift them, and offer opportunities of growth. All our guys at Pedersen + Lennard are on a growth path – We absolutely love spending our time tutoring and mentoring these guys to grow. I whole-heartedly want to see them evolve, grow, and achieve remarkable things in their own lives and beyond this business. That’s what it’s truly all about! But this doesn’t mean the South African design industry hasn’t been a wild and unchartered territory to navigate. It truly requires you to create your own path to success. At the same time we enjoy the vibrancy and the new appreciation that people are starting to have for our work and the value being placed on design in general.
What inspires you guys to go back to work every day and continue to build Pedersen + Lennard?
There really is SO much that continues to motivate and inspire us to get up every day and do what we love, but what we are truly grateful for is that we have the opportunity to continue to work and build something that is also really good for a lot of people. We REALLY enjoy seeing that! It is truly indescribable! We immensely enjoy seeing the guys in the factory enjoying their work and taking a moment of appreciate to admire their craft. It’s quite rare, especially nowadays, to find people who really just love and appreciate what they do – and there’s no doubt that we’ve found exactly that!