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Introducing Matthew Johnson - Moku Collective

Founded in 2020 through a profound love for raw, rustic materials, diverse cultures & interior design led to the birth of Byron Bay based furniture design studio, Moku Collective. Slow living and stepping away from fast production is the key focus for Moku. Creating hand-crafted pieces to last a lifetime and define the raw beauty of materials used. 

Mokuzai means wood in Japanese and being home to rustic simplicity the name Moku was born. With an aim to make furniture pieces timeless yet aesthetically pleasing. Moku houses furniture made from many different reclaimed timber species from all over Australia. We offer our own handmade designs available on our website and custom specifications made to order.

We chat with Matt to understand the story behind the master craftsman:

Thank you for taking the time to chat to us today, can you tell us a little bit about how Moku Collective came to be?

Moku collective came to be when Covid happened. I had recently moved into a new house. Having a bit of time off carpentry due to lockdowns. I started to build furniture pieces for my own house. Loving the creative control and finding it more of an art form than work I was inspired to start Moku Collective. 

Describe your design process when it comes to creating your pieces, does the timber you source inspire the end result or do you already have yours design in mind?

Most of the time I have a design that I have sketched out and then source timber to suit. Sometimes you just find some really beautiful timber and I end up creating a new piece around that. Most of my designs are quite minimal, showcasing the beauty of the timber without complicating it so sourcing the right timber is the key.

How did you move into the world of furniture design, was it always a passion?

My grandpa was a carpenter/furniture maker. from a young age I would spend weekends in his workshop building furniture with him. I have always been a creative person so the design part comes naturally. 

All of the timber you use is reclaimed and recycled, where do you generally source your materials? 

Salvaged trees that have been turned into slabs and aged timber that has been salvaged from buildings/factories. 

Do you have a favourite type of timber to source and work with?

I love to source & work with most hardwoods. I think timber really gets its beauty from weathering over time.

What is one of your favourite pieces you have made?

The low slab coffee table at Bodhi at the moment with all the bowtie joins down the crack is definitely one of my favourites. 

Is there anything you would really like to make that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

I would love to build a studio/cabin from aged timber & natural materials, you might see some more stuff soon.

Local Project - The Walker Farm

Spectacularly located in the Byron Bay hinterland, Walker Farm is an exercise in liveable luxury. Opulent, yet understated in its materiality, this home challenges your assumption of what a new build looks like and takes upon the visage of a structure that has always been in this landscape. Surrounded by enviable lush hillside views, this home has been expertly designed so that every space feels connected to the landscape.

Located in the hinterland hills of Myocum, just a short 10-minute drive from bustling Byron Bay, Walker Farm has it all. While in the home there is a covetable silence which is only interrupted by the occasional call from a resident wedge-tailed eagle. The home is on a sprawling 40 acres and is still a working cattle farm.

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Design detailing and Interiors by @thedesignory

Building by @sactuary28gc

Architecture by @marc.and.co

Photographer: @jessie__prince - @thequateracre

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