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Back of Brunswick

A relatively undiscovered gem, Xilo has been creating contemporary custom furniture for the design community of Melbourne for the past 13 years.

Back of Brunswick


November 1st, 2007

Tucked away in the back streets of Brunswick lies one of Melbourne’s talented furniture manufacturers, Jim Barbounis, who began his business Xilo from within the confines of a tin shed. They’ve come a long way from the old shed, and Xilo now enjoys large premises on Ovens Street with state of the art machinery, and a host of skilled technicians, designers and woodworkers.

Fascinated by the natural beauty of Australian hardwood timbers, and the desire to do something ethical, Barbounis began Xilo as a means to salvage timber that was being sacrilegiously burned in demolition sites. “I decided to take that timber and create furniture pieces that would once again bring to life the natural beauty.

It as exciting to convert pier treads, Red Gum stumps and so forth into furniture pieces that would live long within a persons habitat.” Xilo (named after the Greek word for wood) holds a simple philosophy at the core of the business, “create a product that is functional and beautiful.” That way it will grow with its surroundings into something older and more beautiful.

Effectively helping the environment by preventing more landfill. Driven by passion, Xilo is constantly revising the techniques and machinery to ensure the most successful and efficient outcome.

Yet they are careful to ensure that none of the quality or detailing of a hand made product is lost in the process. There is a constant experimentation between materials and their limitations, resulting in some spectacular pieces. This year, for the first time, Xilo has released a range of furniture based on their most commonly specified pieces and their signature aesthetic.

Their status has risen rapidly in the Melbourne market (with commissions from the likes of Geyer, Electrolight and Diretribe) and the latest project involved not only the furniture, but also the interior design of Seamstress. A four-storey restaurant situated in Melbourne CBD, which is due to open in October 2007.

Another string added to the bow of an accomplished designer with a keen sense of business. Xilo’s success can be attributed to contemporary yet ageless design and the high quality of finish, but a thorough knowledge in CNC technology as well as traditional and composite materials affords designers the luxury of reassurance.

It can be taken for granted that the job is in safe hands with Xilo, and the results speak for themselves.

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