David Gaynor Design’s  Pierce Round Coffee Table is pictured here in white marble and walnut.

David Gaynor


or his eponymous furniture line, David Gaynor simplifies construction methods to create airy, modern pieces that complement a room, without taking it over. In each object, materials and parts are comfortably attached, as if they fit together naturally. In the Pierce coffee table, for example, the wooden table legs insert delicately into marble cutouts. “I think there is visual lightness to our pieces even when we are using heavy materials,” Gaynor says. Each detail is constantly refined and revisited in subsequent iterations of the pieces, while sometimes, the original details are those that stand out over time. In the first object that he designed under his own name, the DGD Lounge Chair, a soft, bullnose edge subtly enhances the interest of the chairback, elevating a part of the chair that other designers might have ignored.

His gift for manipulating joining techniques, scale, and proportion in his work comes from a passion for both sculpture and design. The son of furniture manufacturers, he honed his interest in design at the Rhode Island School of Design, before establishing a name for himself at the sustainable furniture brand, Uhuru Design. His studio is now located in Brooklyn’s Industry City. “I am inspired by so many contemporary designers, especially here in Brooklyn,” he says. “There is a great community here, and we strive to push one another to be better designers.”

The simplest, most beautiful furniture convinces viewers that, despite the amount of work that designers put into planning and executing its craftsmanship, the object could not have been built any other way. In the following pieces from Gaynor’s collection, simplicity and comfort are key, and each design appears effortless.

Hair Pin Dining Table

Top: David Gaynor Design’s Hair Pin Dining Table in walnut is paired here with the SQ Upholstered Dining Chair in ash and bouclé upholstery. Bottom, left: This style is also available as an end table. Bottom, right: The lead time on the Hair Pin Dining Table is eight to 10 weeks.

In the Hair Pin Dining Table, Gaynor riffs on the mid-modern elegance of metal hair pin table legs. In solid wood instead of metal, the hair pin becomes much softer, with the wooden sides of the leg curving back into each other at the base. The table is available in maple, ash, cherry, white oak, and walnut, as well as a 36-inch and 52-inch diameter. However, Gaynor can also create custom sizes and shapes for the tabletops, which creates new possibilities for wholly original furniture. “Our ability to adapt our line to our clients’ needs by providing them with customization options gives each project a unique look,” he says.

DGD Lounge Chair

Top: Here, the DGD Lounge Chair is pictured in rosette mohair. Bottom, left: A detail of the metal leg fitting into the chair frame. The chair is shown here in leather and maple. Bottom, right: The size of the SQ chair can be customized to the client’s needs.

The DGD Lounge Chair is the first object that Gaynor designed for his own line. For the piece, he wanted to create a lounge chair that featured each element he enjoyed working with, including upholstery, wood, and metal. He also wanted the chair to set the standard for the brand with perfect proportion, clean lines, and top-of-the-line construction. In the frame of the chairback, the wood curves comfortably into a shallow bullnose edge, as the visible end grain elevates the style of the piece. Metal chair legs flow into the chair, undisturbed by seams. “The design was inspired by mid-century lounge chairs, but we tried to put a contemporary style to it,” he says.

The chair also demonstrates how Gaynor approaches building his collection. After creating this piece, he explored how he could craft furniture that seemed to grow out of this initial chair. “All of the pieces we have talked about started with a concept,” he says. “After we get that piece finished, we then look at how we can expand upon that and keep a consistency within the line.” It is available in each of the custom woods — including maple, ash, cherry, white oak, and walnut — and a range of studio select fabrics, as well as the customer’s own fabric or leather.

Pierce Round Coffee Table

Top: In the Pierce Round Coffee Table, the marble tabletop balances delicately against the wood. Bottom: A detail shot of the joinery on the table.

The Pierce Round Coffee Table is named for the way the wood “pierces” through the marble tabletop. “That piercing is actually what keeps the stone in place,” Gaynor says. Together, the materials contrast and complement each other, as they fit perfectly together without clunky joinery. Likewise, the sharp angles of the table’s base highlight the curve of the marble. The table can be crafted with any of the brand’s custom wood options and special-edition finishes, as well as certain other stones, and the dimensions can be altered easily to fit the client’s space.

Whenever he develops a new product, he constantly makes small edits, further refining the piece until it is complete. “We have a lot of back and forth between concept and drawings, and then drawings and prototypes,” he says. “This allows me to see the pieces evolve, and make sure they are comfortable. No detail is left untouched.”

SQ Dining Chair Special Edition

Top: The SQ Dining Chair Special Edition is shown in ebonized ash. Bottom, left: A close-up of the chair’s brass hardware. Bottom, right: The chair in white-finished ash.


With the SQ line, Gaynor focused on creating the lightest chair possible that still prioritized comfort and featured an impactful visual design. “We started this line in a study of simplifying the construction process of building a chair,” he says. He refined the proportions carefully to minimize the weight, and he used identical stock parts, rather than the conventional differently sized elements of a chair, and the same joinery to create a seamless look. The dining chairs are available in David Gaynor Design’s custom woods with select studio fabrics as well as COM/COL.

Developed through a custom project with a client, the special-edition version of the upholstered chair, pictured above, features plush shearling on both the seat and back, paired with ebonized or white-washed ash. Before working with this client, Gaynor had not been upholstering the SQ dining chairs. He was excited for the new opportunity. “We had wanted to do this to expand the line, but sometimes it takes a client asking for a customization for us to be able to put in the time to develop something new,” he says. The hardware options for the shearling chair include brushed brass, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, and brushed nickel, and it can also be designed as a bar or counter stool.