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Custom Built Melbourne Furniture Designer and Builder, Custom Industrial, Provides Right Stuff for Zoo Studio

Zoo Studio director, Ken Drake shares the benefits of buying handcrafted furniture.

Victoria, Australia – WEBWIRE
Zoo Studio director, Ken Drake and Custom Industrial founder, Durwin Lambe standing with the Drake Desk.
Zoo Studio director, Ken Drake and Custom Industrial founder, Durwin Lambe standing with the Drake Desk.

It’s incredibly satisfying to design and create a beautiful piece of furniture built to unique specifications that I know the client will love.

When Zoo Studio director, Ken Drake achieved recognition for his work as a photographer and won a major international photography award (Grand Prize for Portraiture at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 2014 print competition), his wife Rebecca chose to congratulate him and celebrate his success in a very special way.

She knew he had been looking online for a unique drafting desk to replace his standard, modern office desk, and bought Ken a gift voucher to have work commissioned by custom built Melbourne furniture company, Custom Industrial.
After Ken spoke with Custom Industrial’s founder, Durwin Lambe about the specifications over the phone and through email, Durwin began the creative process. The challenge for Durwin was to build a desk that could tilt, lower and raise, and make reference to boutique beers – a passion of Ken’s.
“Right from the start I loved the way Durwin worked, he wanted to make me an art-piece that would be useful every day, which would combine my tastes and personality but also capture some of Durwin’s too,” says Ken. “[He kept] me abreast of all the progress by sending me through photos and videos of my desk in production. He took on board my comments; he loves a collaborative approach. He was also very keen to make sure the desk came in on budget, he wasn’t going to (and didn’t) give me any nasty surprises on the cost front.”
Even though it’s currently cheaper and faster for Australians to buy ready-made or flat-pack furniture straight off the shelf from furniture chains, custom built and repurposed furniture is continuing to steadily increase in popularity. With ordinary bulk furniture available in abundance, commissioning craftsmen and artists is trending, making buying handmade furniture exclusive and chic.
Custom Industrial’s founder, Durwin Lambe, says for him the design process is very intimate, personal and satisfying. “I absolutely love the challenge of the creative process. It’s incredibly satisfying to design and create a beautiful piece of furniture built to unique specifications that I know the client will love,” says Durwin. “I really enjoy thinking outside the box, and using abstract industrial materials to add an unusual flavour.”
Even though Ken says he gave Durwin a brief, and was regularly updated on the desk’s progress throughout the designing and creating process, he still received a “wonderful surprise” upon delivery from the custom built Melbourne furniture company. “Durwin made the main desk top out of boards rescued from an old brewery – I love beer! – [and] the tilting mechanism came from an old coroners table. He included a quote from my favourite photographer and a personal engraving,” says Ken. “I love using the desk. As a creative individual I find it so much more inspirational to use a wonderful piece of furniture than a sterile office desk. It’s perfect and I love it to pieces! Durwin has a real skill at finding, fixing, joining together and finishing such disparate pieces and making the final piece both beautiful, practical and sturdy - this will last me forever. His creative eye and craftsman ship are first class.”
For more information about how buying handcrafted furniture can enhance a space and inspire an individual, or about Custom Industrial’s founder Durwin Lambe, visit
About Custom Industrial
Custom Industrial is a unique furniture and lighting design company specialising in the re-purposing of old machinery, parts and unusual items into exclusive pieces. Everything Custom Industrial creates is individual, using timeless craftsmanship. Their products are made to last using the best measure of both time-honoured techniques blended with modern day efficiencies.
The business was born from a love of the unique and interesting, and influenced by the founder’s family history working in and around the wharves, surrounded by patina worn, heavy industrial machinery. Combining this with skills gained in the building and timber industries, a passion was fuelled for turning the unusual and unique into custom pieces of furniture and lighting that captured the feeling of those childhood memories.

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 Zoo Studio
 Lighting design company
 Custom built Melbourne
 Handmade furniture
 Industrial materials

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