Photographs by Daniel Bernauer; courtesy Henrybuilt.
At the heart of Henrybuilt, the Seattle-based manufacturer of sought-after kitchens and closets, is a seamless network of things. Its storage systems are pure expressions of everyday tools that also carry a sense of noble permanence, like heirlooms. Each top-grade design is customized, too, resulting in a hefty price tag. Last month, Henrybuilt launched a more approachable alternative: Space Theory, a sister company that’s produced by Henrybuilt craftspeople but functions as a separate entity. “We want to do things with Space Theory that are more experimental and less weighty,” says Scott Hudson, Henrybuilt’s founder.
Space Theory will adhere to Henrybuilt’s exacting standards but utilize less-expensive materials, including anodized aluminum, acrylic, and laminates. Flexibility is another differentiating factor: wall-mounted panels feature holes for anodized aluminum rods from which accessories such as baskets and shelving can be hung and interchanged on a whim. Inside the drawers, acrylic or stainless steel organizers allow for similarly endless configurations. Most importantly, Space Theory invites people to customize their own systems by using proprietary software developed by the same team that made the program Henrybuilt’s in-house designers use. It puts IKEA planners to shame with its high-res imagery that lets users see what they’re getting and know the cost as they go. “You’ve gone by all these barriers [in minutes] that could take months to complete with a custom shop,” Hudson says. The software is available only to designers at the moment but soon will be extended to consumers. “I don’t think people want to move boxes around on a screen,” Hudson says. “But they do want direct information.”