Modern Woodwork by Way of the California Coast
Alice Tacheny is surrounded by good design. She lives in a historic Eichler neighborhood in the Marin Headlands. Down the road is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last projects—the Marin County Civic Center. "But nothing is too polished and revered [here]; things have changed over time and it feels utilitarian and lived in. There’s this crumbling midcentury aesthetic that I really like," Tacheny says.
Tacheny didn’t study design, but after college decided she wanted to do something creative and hands-on. She apprenticed with Chicago woodworker John Miller, designed for Blu Dot, and worked on Target’s furniture design team. She moved to California in 2009, started her eponymous studio, and launched her first furniture collection in 2012. She works with a variety of woods; her collection features maple peg hooks, a white oak credenza, and walnut dressers. Brass features prominently. Tacheny recently launched a number of accessories, including a latigo leather wall pocket and cast concrete boxes. All of her pieces are made in the Bay Area, either in collaboration with local artisans or by Tacheny herself.
Each piece gets a trial run in her home, where she lives with her husband and two kids. Eichler houses are made for entertaining, and they often host neighborhood families. While she anticipates a future where "our kids are going to have massive house parties with teenagers jumping off the roof and into the pool," the continual presence of visitors means her work gets sufficiently tested. The resulting collection is durable, simple, and graceful. "It's about finding a solution for a design problem and making it look as if there is only one obvious answer, the one you created."