On October 27, 2017, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) of Oregon hosted their annual Design Excellence Awards ceremony in Portland, celebrating excellence in interior design and product innovation with a jury of three internationally known designers from all over the country, and moderated by the IIDA CEO out of Chicago. Justin Nelson submitted his newly designed Sling Chair into the running, and came away with two awards: Best in Category (Maker) and The Overall People’s Choice Award.
Nelson became a full-time designer and craftsman in 2015 when he started Fernweh Woodworking, a small business focused on modern furniture and home decor centered around natural hardwoods. His contemporary designs focus on accentuating the natural beauty in hardwoods, combined with pleasing joinery and strengthened with the help of modern tools yet reminiscent of classic Danish and Maloof joinery. Justin loves the search for the perfect tool to complete a job. Over the course of a day you might see him using the classic hand spokeshave, which he uses to the smooth curves in his furniture, or the modern domino joiner, which strengthens joints with oval dowels.
While Nelson is most passionate about custom furniture and his own furniture line, he has an extensive line of smaller home decor, including lamps, shelves, bud vases and planters (some of which are featured in the Google headquarters). He launched his first furniture catalog in 2017, including several end tables, dining tables and the award winning Sling Chair. In 2018 he’s excited to round out his selection with new coffee tables and a new chair, while also continuing custom work for local Central Oregon interior designers as well as designers in Portland and San Francisco. Justin’s work can be seen locally at the Red Chair Gallery, The Workhouse and Bend Furniture & Design.