Kerf Design, Inc.

Well-Made Modern, Smart,Stylish… And Responsible.

Kerf Design is an award-winning shop that is known for their distinctively fresh, modern style as well as their high quality and rigorous environmental standards. All of the work they do is custom.

“There is already a lot of stuff out there in the world. If you are going to make more stuff and put it out there, it should have as low an impact as possible” explains Nathan Hartman, President of Kerf Design. “From the very start we have always tried to be a sustainable company. I cannot even remember a time when we didn’t think this way.”

Kerf seeks sustainable solutions from both outside and inside the shop: from FSC certified wood to low-impact finishes and materials that to do not emit toxic fumes.

“When PureBond® formaldehyde-free plywood was made available to us there was no question. We just said ‘We’ll take it!.’ If there is a choice, we will always take the greener product. When it comes to finishing wood, we get all of our plywood pre-finished by Columbia Forest Products as they offer a UV-cured finish that does not emit any VOC’s. We have worked on LEED certified commercial building projects, and we also do work for Nike’s headquarters and they are also building to LEED standards.”


More than cabinets… more like modern furniture!

For the past ten years Kerf has been designing unique solutions that would fit nicely within a cutting-edge loft renovation or a mid-century modern remodel. Hartman explains,” I have a BFA in Industrial Design from RISD. I moved to the West Coast in 1993 from New England, and it took me a little while to appreciate and understand the aesthetics from this area.

“My design philosophy comes from the same place that work like that of Charles and Ray Eames and Jean Prouve comes from. Design is an evolution. You study what you like and what works, and then you try to improve it or do it a little differently each time.”

Kerf Design borrows its name from kerf, a wood working term that describes a groove, notch or slit that is made by a saw blade and is the width of that saw blade.

Kerf Design’s work has been featured in “Seattle Northwest Home and Garden”, “Seattle Homes and Lifestyle”, “Atomic Ranch”, and “Sunset Magazine”. They are also the darlings of the modern design blogs world.


Kerf Design has a manifesto which reads:

The Kerf aesthetic is born out of honesty: of material, of construction and of function. Every design decision we make is tested against these three loyalties. When we hold true to these principles, the final assemblage is a beautiful synthesis of many small but essential details. The resulting aesthetic is totally unique to Kerf Design.