The Clean Slate Collection
Bench made by hand in America
South + English is all about fresh starts. Forward is the only direction co-founders Palmer Smith and David Ebbetts know. So, it’s perhaps no surprise that the first S+E collection is called Clean Slate. Each piece feels fresh, modern and in the moment. Yet, Clean Slate designs echo traditional forms and the manufacturing process is classic old school. Each solid wood piece is bench-made to order in America by skilled craftspeople and artisans.
Our place in the scheme of things: Residential design & hospitality
Every collection has its niche. The essential DNA of the Clean Slate collection make it an especially ideal choice for residential designers and hospitality. Every piece stands apart. Finishes are nuanced, hardware is just right, customization is embraced, and lead times are reliably about 8 weeks from order finalization. It’s a go-to for the professional designer.
ON LIFE & DESIGN
Q+A: The Art of the Clean Slate
English: I believe in change. Palmer does as well, but his embrace is charmingly impetuous; mine is more strategic. For me, change is the compass. It’s where I look for guidance. So, the notion of reinvention – starting with a clean slate – absolutely resonates with me, and Palmer too. Clean Slate puts a name to both a philosophy of life and a furniture collection.
South: Well, I think every day is a new beginning. That said, there are hardcore on-steroids NEW beginnings. David and I had both recently stepped back from longtime career positions. That’s always, eye-opening! So many question marks. So many opportunities. The result of our cleaning the slate process – lots of soul searching and planning – is the company we call South + English.
English: Yes, lest we forget, we are a furniture company! Tangibly, Clean Slate is a 30-piece furniture collection. The point of view is modern. Designs riff on traditional forms, updated for the way we live today. But the manufacturing process is artisan and old school: American-made, solid-wood case goods and bench-made. Human hands (with tools of the trade) touch every piece.
South: Road trip! We packed up the car and the dog – with lots of Vitamin Water and Cliff Bars – and headed for the Midwest. In the American heartland, we discovered a new generation of furniture workrooms making new furniture the old-fashioned way.
English: As it happens, our Clean Slate partner – and to clarify, we are as different as night and day in most ways – embraced new ideas, styles and challenges. I think this philosophical “clean slate” outlook may be fundamental to some human natures. I like to think South + English gravitates to and even attracts people and companies open to what’s new and next.