Furnishings and home decor – Winner

Sam Maloof-inspired Rocking Chair

from GaraWood

Made in Calgary

$4,400

garawood.com  @garawood

The late Sam Maloof was an American master woodworker and furniture designer, revered for his philosophies on letting the wood “speak for itself.” The idea that wood is more than just a simple building material, that it has inherent beauty and soul, has bred countless acolytes, among them Dallas Gara, who pays homage to Maloof in both name and form with the furniture pieces he crafts out of his garage workshop in the inner-city Calgary community of Richmond. Gara’s appreciation for the aesthetics and character of wood pre-dates his discovery of Maloof, however, going back to when he was a 10-year-old kid growing up in a small town, who found himself captivated by the wood grain on his skateboard decks. He has carried that wonder with him into adulthood as the creator of custom rocking chairs and other furniture items.

“There’s something about [a piece of furniture] being handmade, handcrafted. It’s not perfect, you’ll find little goofy flaws, silly little things when you make something by hand, but I think there’s something to that,” Gara says. His clients think there’s something to that as well. “They’re looking for things that are real and tangible and that will last, and that’s what I want to do. I want to build things that mean something,” he says. “The rocking chairs I make are meant to be heirloom items; I build them with the intent of them lasting for 100 years.”

Photograph: Jared Sych   |   Writer: Shelley Arnusch

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