Teak furniture crops up everywhere these days, and at seemingly bargain prices. On the face of it, the grain and golden hue, or the style and design may appear to be in step with the best of teak. But the reality is that much of the teak garden furniture marketed today falls short of standards that define this precious hardwood's time honored reputation for long-lived functionality, and ecological harmony with nature.
One notable exception is the Spirit Song Collection from Reforest Teak, a stunning, award-winning collection of indoor/outdoor furniture acclaimed worldwide as a leader in revolutionary teak design and unparalleled craftsmanship, and distinguished by a genuine commitment to innovative environmental and social change.
At Reforest Teak, while a love of tropical hardwood reflects the company's dedication to extraordinary garden furniture that's beautiful, durable and respectful of the ecosystems from which its timber is taken, Spirit Song is perhaps the single collection that best defines the Reforest Teak vision of sustainable luxury in partnership with nature.
Each piece of Spirit Song heirloom furniture starts with First European Quality (FEQ) teakwood (Tectona grandis), harvested from our ecologically reforested plantations in Costa Rica. These are stands that have been established on land formerly degraded, in large part, by the cattle industry and unsustainable agricultural practices. For Kevin Yardley and his wife, Christine, two magna cum laude Harvard graduates, what began as a volunteer adventure with The WorldTeach Organization in Costa Rica eventually evolved into a passion for addressing Costa Rica's deforestation crisis with innovative thinking. Kevin founded Diamond Teak in 1992 as a way to foster ecological reforestation in the region with sustainably planted, multi-species hardwoods. From these mature plantation teak trees, certified by the Smartwood/Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Diamond Teak today makes exquisite teak garden furniture and accessories for Reforest Teak, including Spirit Song. The workmanship is flawless and represents the pride of local craftspeople in their woodworking art. While the initiative is returning more than 1,000 acres to ecological productivity with upwards of 70 valued hardwood species including teak, the partnership of Diamond Teak and Reforest Teak helps to enhance opportunities for economic and sustainable development in the local community. Employment options have expanded with above-market wages, social security and insurance plans, and a pioneering pension plan designed to empower women. What's more, Kevin stands behind a heightened and ongoing sense of local awareness of the importance of forest resource conservation and sustainable forestry practices.
While the collection's eco message will undoubtedly appeal to conscious consumers in search of teak that's quality crafted and environmentally sound, the aesthetic design of Spirit Song has garnered the world's highest accolades for wooden furniture, including the Design Excellence Award of the International Casual Furniture Exhibit. With the Spirit Song collection, the celebrated design team of Barbara and Robert Tiffany have translated their passion for adventurous innovation into what many have called functional art.
Kevin Yardley and the Tiffanys first met in the late '90s at a the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. The Tiffanys were exhibiting their early design for a Spirit Song bench, the prototype that would eventually inspire their full line of benches, tables and chairs. They had crafted their first piece out of mahogany and aluminum. Kevin was immediately taken by its seeming buoyancy and fluid grace, a true drafting accomplishment considering the hardy, 200-pound weight of the piece. The Tiffanys, in turn, were impressed with Kevin's can-do enthusiasm for re-inventing their bench out of premium teak and shimmering, marine-quality steal. And they were convinced of his genuine passion for running a business that would enhance Costa Rica's ecosystems and extend social and economic benefits to the community.
"The design is so innovative, it's not surprising it was awarded a design patent," says Barbara who gives full credit to Robert for the line's engineering brilliance," but we're particularly proud of our utility patent, which covers the way it's engineered." Spirit Song pieces are uniquely engineered with tensioned stainless steel rods to hold their parallel elements together and stainless steel spacers to hold them apart. The result is an apparent floating effect with optimal structural stability,
Along with design ingenuity, Barbara adds her passion for uncompromising comfort. "I don't understand how people can design uncomfortable furniture," she says. "Whether it's upholstered or wood, furniture should hug the body. We rework the design of each Spirit Song piece until it does". Perfectly balanced, and ingeniously contoured for comfort beyond expectation in wooden furniture, Spirit Song lines create an ethereal floating appearance that's unique to the Tiffanys' vision.
Reforest Teak is one of the country's very few sources for the complete Spirit Song collection, and the only source of Spirit Song priced at an attractive 20% below suggested retail.
A Spirit Song selection becomes an artful heirloom in the home or garden for a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment. Visit Reforest Teak to discover the entire Spirit Song collection along with a full array of exquisitely crafted, sustainably harvested Reforest Teak furniture and accessories for indoors and out.
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