Games We Play

Matt Tait's live/work design space exemplifies Tait Design Co.'s thoughtful approach to fun.

For Matthew Tait, work and play go hand in hand. And in his sunny Detroit workspace, his craft and his home blend together seamlessly. Tait's delightful designs—yo-yos, mobiles, and the classic Turbo Flyer—appear throughout his studio, decorating windowsills and showing up in sketches. But even more, the sensibility of his designs, the classic lines, the fine wood and exquisite details, are echoed in Tait's home decor, from the wooden beams that span across the ceiling, gallery walls hung just so, and objets d'art through which his personality shines. Here, Tait shares the five things that make his house a home.

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"I have plants all over the place—they add life to the space and improve the air quality and mood. Some of them I've had for a long time, so they have sentimental value, too. This particular one started as a single leaf cutting that was given to me by a friend in college; it's been nice to watch it grow over the years."

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"Ray is my 3-year-old Wirehaired Vizsla, she has a lot of energy but is super-sweet and makes us all laugh a lot. She will greet you at the door with noises—she sort of sounds like a seal—and try to kiss you as much as possible. I named her after Ray Eames, who is a big source of inspiration."

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"Music plays a huge role in the inspiration of our work: we always have something playing in the background, whether we're designing new work or assembling our products. In my home I have a collection of records—half of them from my dad's collection that I inherited, and the other half mine. Detroit's music scene has always been good, but it seems to be on the rise right now. Lately, we've been listening to a lot of Protomartyr, who are good friends of ours. Check them out!"

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Personal Photos

"I think it's important to fill your space with things that inspire you, cause you to reflect, and keep you going. I have a collection of photos on the wall that do that for me. Going clockwise, I have a drawing of Ray by my 9-year-old niece, Carys, a photo of my Grandma Tait from a trip I took to San Francisco, a small iridescent beetle from the evolution store in New York, an illustration of New Center, Detroit from the 1950s (where I live now), the tree fort I built when I was a kid, and the panoramic photo is of my friend Jason and Kenji when we were on a train in Japan traveling to Nagano. That trip changed my life and has led to deep appreciation for Japanese design."

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"We have one of our new mobiles hanging above the studio. The mobiles were our biggest launch to date and our first entry into interior design: the project took over a year to design and we're incredibly proud of how it came out. It adds life to the living space, tranquilly moving throughout the day as we do. I really enjoy just lying down and staring up at it as it slowly spins and balances itself."

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