It all started five years ago in an apartment in Baker. Graphic designer Jon Ketchum and his wife, Deana, needed a dining table, but they couldn’t find anything that would fit the space and live up to their discerning tastes. So, like any good creative pro, Jon put pen to paper; bought lumber, a mallet, and a chisel; watched a few YouTube videos; and, over the course of a week, managed to create the perfect piece.

That one table spawned the now-two-year-old New Collar Goods, a Denver-based furniture studio that’s becoming well-known for its sexy, modern-hybrid designs. “I wanted to take new shapes and line forms and design them into furniture,” Jon says. And he did. The company’s ultra-elegant—but practical—wooden and powder-coated-steel chairs ($1,495), planters (starting at $99), and tables (starting at $275) are pieces of functional art—and currently top our must-have list for 2018.

“I’m about the application,” says Deana, whose background is in home furnishings. “How do you live with [a chair], how do you move around it? It has to be beautiful and approachable.” Take the Sling Chair’s razor-sharp form: It’s a stunner from afar, but built for serious lounging.

Jon and Deana are now moving in the direction of semi-customization: Shoppers can now browse a selection of ready-made pieces, or choose their favorite wood species, chair upholstery, powder-coating color, and size to create a personalized piece. “If you want a Sling Chair in electric yellow with walnut accents and a funky upholstered sling, we can create that for you,” Deana says. This is the duo’s way of marching into the next phase of an exploding business while still sticking close to its roots. And for this transformation, we’ll take a front-row seat (preferably in one of those Sling Chairs, thank you very much).

Q&A: New Collar Goods dishes on what’s inspiring them, what’s next, and more.

5280 Home: What’s on your drawing board?
Deana: Over the winter months we’ll be in a summer state of mind. In spring of 2018, expect to see more furniture for outdoor living.
Where in Denver do you go for inspiration?
Jon: We usually find our inspiration in unlikely places. We see interesting line forms in everything from architecture to landscaping, and look forward to walks through Virginia Village and Harvey Park. We recently found ourselves sitting at Urban Farmer for an impromptu breakfast and were in awe of the beautifully designed space and the thoughtful furniture throughout.
What’s your favorite locally owned home-goods store?
Deana: We’re inspired by looking back [in time], and for that, we really love going to Mod Livin’ and ModMood/Retro Consignment to see original pieces and how they’re constructed.