The Weekend Australian - Review - - Australian Furniture Awards -

AS a high- end man­u­fac­turer, the pres­ti­gious Best of the Best award is the ul­ti­mate recog­ni­tion, says win­ner Joe Stil­li­tano of West­ern Aus­tralian man­u­fac­turer In­ter­na­tional Cab­i­nets. The Best of the Best award is the cul­mi­na­tion of all 12 cat­e­gories in the 12th An­nual Aus­tralian Furniture of Year Awards for 2007 an­nounced at the Perth Con­ven­tion Cen­tre last Satur­day.

The win­ning piece is an eight- seater ta­ble com­bin­ing na­tive tim­bers in a har­mo­nious bal­ance: mainly jar­rah, with fea­tures, ac­cents and borders of marri and sheoak through­out the top and base.

Stil­li­tano, based in Bal­catta West­ern Aus­tralia, was re­spon­si­ble for the de­sign. ‘‘ The ob­jec­tive was to use na­tive tim­bers to suit a mod­ern lifestyle,’’ he says. He adds that the award is ‘‘ very im­por­tant’’. He says: ‘‘ It’s the most pres­ti­gious award in Aus­tralia for furniture mak­ers, so on a na­tional ba­sis in the top end niche mar­ket we have es­tab­lished, it’s pretty im­por­tant.’’

He says the piece, which sells for un­der $ 5000, is unique be­cause of the way it blends na­tive tim­bers. ‘‘ The three tim­bers blend per­fectly to­gether and it gives you a clas­sic look,’’ he says. ‘‘ The de­sign is a bit un­usual be­cause the edge of the ta­ble gives it an ec­cen­tric look as well as the de­sign com­bin­ing the in­lays and in­serts of the ta­ble. The com­bi­na­tion of the shape of the pedestal, the re­cessed in­serts of sheoak and the curved edges of the top, as op­posed to a square edge, and the in­sert of the marri runs to the edge of the ta­ble on two planes.’’

The ta­ble bears the Aus­tralian Made tag, which was re­cently launched to as­sist con­sumers in pur­chas­ing lo­cal prod­ucts.

Ian Hearn, CEO of the FIAA in West­ern Aus­tralia, says all win­ning en­tries proudly wear the new Aus­tralian Made swing tag.

The tag of­fers the con­sumer a five- star guar­an­tee and peace of mind,’’ he says.

Pur­chase of a prod­uct with the tag en­sures qual­ity work­man­ship, ma­te­rial and de­sign as well as sup­port of sus­tain­able prac­tices.’’

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