When Laura Byford and Carol Veronique set up shop in Malibu three months ago, they knew they wanted to bring a couple of very specific things to the design world: microcement and metal.
Three months on, their brand — Byford and Veronique — is nabbing enviable private commissions from design-savvy customers who are drawn to the way that Byford, the designer in the duo, fashions weighty coffee tables in metals with finishes as diverse as vintage lace and crocodile.
British-born Byford imported the idea of using metals for indoor furniture from her previous home of Valencia, Spain. Teaming up with financial and marketing pro Veronique, herself a fan of architecture and design, Byford set about finding a local workshop to hand-make the furniture, which uses molds in an array of different finishes overlaid onto materials including copper, rose gold and white bronze metal.
"That's why two pieces will not be the same," Byford said. Artisans make the tables by essentially "layering" over a core of wood, then using a silicone mold of the finish and finally adding the metal. In addition to the coffee tables, Byford and Veronique are finishing up a custom-made headboard as well as an imposing 12-foot dining table in crocodile skin-motif metal. A range of tiles soon will be introduced, which can be used as a backsplash or countertop covering.
An exterior furniture selection uses microcement, which comes in 55 colors and can be applied straight over other materials and existing floors and counters for a fraction of the cost and time (and weight) of using solid cement.
"It's a simple application that can give a modern feel to any environment quickly," Byford said.
The metal tables start at $5,000; the microcement tables start at $2,000.