Stools handmade by local design studio Tuckbox. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling -Stephanie Stamatis.
Handcrafted stools by Tuckbox. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling -Stephanie Stamatis.
Klein / Lozenge stool by Tuckbox in a polished brass finish. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling -Stephanie Stamatis.
The MJ hallway console by Tuckbox. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling -Stephanie Stamatis.
Tuckbox stools and table. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling - Stephanie Stamatis.
Prue, Ant and Dan of Tuckbox. Photo – Tara Pearce. Styling -Stephanie Stamatis.
Off the beaten track in Campbellfield in Melbourne’s North is TUCKBOX, a family business run by brothers Dan de Groot and Anthony (Ant), and Dan’s wife Prue. Together this industrious team produce a small but perfectly formed range of furniture, made almost entirely in house by this hardworking little team, and they also take on a great variety of custom design and manufacturing projects.
Officially launching in January last year, TUCKBOX came about after many years of tinkering, dabbling and dreaming. ‘Like a lot of creative types, I’ve got years worth of ideas scribbled on serviettes, beer coasters and bills… It’s a disorganised diary of thoughts that I really wanted to start building from’ says Dan. With a background in industrial design, Dan spent many years doing bathroom and kitchen fit-outs, building storage units, and even learning gilding (as part of the team who worked on the recent Hamer Hall refurbishment), and though he has always been passionate about designing furniture, he says he has always struggled with taking the leap to concentrate on it full time. His fears fell away when he met Kyneton based chairmaker, Glen Rundell in 2013. ‘People probably throw around ‘inspirational’ too freely, but Glen is an exceptional character’ Dan says.
When Dan’s brother Ant moved down from Sydney at the start of this year, the momentum really picked up. ‘I had sketchbooks full of ideas and a shed full of old Italian machinery… we rented some workshop space and started making’ Dan recalls. Spurred on by the encouragement of some old mates at prominent design firms including Hecker Guthrie, Techne, and HASSELL, the pair have quickly built a reputation for their sleek designs and quality craftsmanship.
For Dan and Ant, TUCKBOX is a place to design, experiment and collaborate. They are a versatile pair, and in addition to producing their own furniture range, they are always keen to work closely with designers and architects on bespoke products and commissions. At heart, Dan is the ‘ideas’ guy, and Ant the problem solver. ‘Ant is one of those people that can turn their hand to anything, from websites to flying planes, welding to sailing, kitesurfing and electronics’ says Dan of his younger brother. ‘He keeps our workshop humming along’.
TUCKBOX’s debut residential collection includes a range of seating, side-tables and dining tables, all available to purchase online. ‘We know that urban interiors are increasingly compact, and our designs account for this in scale, assembly, storage and transportability’ says Dan, who is already deep in development for their next range of products, set to launch early next year.
After many years working in various other facets of the design industry, and having finally realised his dream of running his own furniture business, Dan is in a pretty good place. ‘We’re excited to get our pieces out there, to talk to people about them and get feedback’ he says. Aside from that, Prue and Dan are loving being new parents to their ten month old daughter, and Ant is looking forward to summer (which will apparently involve a fair bit of kitesurfing in the bay). ‘Life is full of some pretty awesome moments right now.’ says Dan… ‘as far as I’m concerned I get to work with my two best friends every day, which is a bit of a dream scenario.’