All our furniture is exceptionally well crafted. By marrying traditional techniques with 5-axis CNC technology, we’re able to create an end product which bears all the marks of a hand-crafted piece, with none of the imperfections or hefty price tags.

Our Grounding pillars


We believe in taking time within the creation process and working with nature to create harmonious design in every sense of the word. We don’t just want our furniture to look good, but to work effortlessly and leave a legacy, providing people with a sense of comfort and purpose. From perfectly curved seats to smoothly sliding cupboards, unwavering bed frames and tables that won’t wobble. Everything we create is well-considered and environmentally conscious.

Our grounding pillars


We design all our furniture using classic silhouettes and noble materials, drawing from Scandinavian and Japanese traditions but adding contemporary twists. We believe furniture should last lifetimes and create a positive environmental effect, leaving a legacy for future generations. All our pieces will sit comfortably in any space, forever.

our story

the houtlander journey

When we (Phillip Hollander and Stephen Wilson) met on a Swedish design exchange, it was clear we were meant to work together. Collectively inspired by timeless furniture pieces, the insatiable urge to innovate and a desire to elevate South African design on a global stage, we returned to Johannesburg and started working together. 

After a year of careful planning and crafting, we managed to release our debut collection of furniture at the 100% Design Showcase – winning ‘Best Furniture Design’ for the coronation bench.

What followed was unimaginable. The event and victory exposed Houtlander to a global audience. The Coronation bench was purchased by Karen Roos of Babylonstoren and the company gained an invaluable patron in the form of design legend Gregor Jenkins.

Houtlander continued to innovate and evolve, expanding our retail and collectable design ranges. The factory in the West Rand of Johannesburg grew quickly, expanding from five staff to 60 staff in five years.

More awards arrived and pieces were acquired by design icon Rossana Orlandi in Milan, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and many other galleries and private homes throughout the world.

Our retail and trade range is now well established and Houtlander pieces feature in a wide array of homes, hotels, offices and restaurants around the country. We’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate with many other incredible craftspeople and designers, with a desire to innovate at our core.

The journey is only just beginning.

pushing the limits of posibility


2017: Best furniture design 100% Design for the coronation bench.

2018: Best SA Designer – 100% Design.

2019: Collaboration with MashT Design & Beauty Ngongo on the Hlabisa bench, presented at the Révélations International Biennial of Crafts and Creation at the Grand Palais in Paris.

2019: Winner of most beautiful object in South Africa – Design Indaba, for the interdependence bench.

2019: Interdependence bench showed in Milan design week with Rossana Orlandi.

2019: Best furniture design for the preservation bench at 100% design, collaboration with AHEC.

2019: Preservation bench shown at Downtown design as invited designers in Dubai.

2022: Collaboration with Trevor Stuurman on the Sunday Table for ‘A Place Called Home’ exhibition.

2022: Hlabisa bench acquired by the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

2022: Future Heirlooms collaborations with seven SA designers in partnership with AHEC.


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The Factory

Our Woodworking Home

Located on the West Rand of Johannesburg, our factory represents a seamless combination of personal touch and technology. Having grown our team from five to 60 in five years, we’re incredibly proud of the mark we’ve been able to leave on the lives of our staff and the landscape of South Africa as a whole.

Providing apprenticeships in our blend of 5-axis CNC and handcrafted techniques allows us to employ people who would otherwise have no entry point to the carpentry trade.

We hardly ever see staff leave and make a fervent effort to assist those who are struggling – frequently hiring from a nearby mentally handicapped facility and assisting the team wherever we can.

We take participation and transformation within our direct community seriously, and we believe you can feel that in the quality and energy of the end product.


Our team is the beating heart of Houtlander. Without this collection of talented and dedicated people we wouldn’t be here today. By continuously upskilling and empowering these inspiring individuals, it’s our hope that we’ll be able to carve out a place for South African craftspeople on the global stage.



Phillip started making furniture for friends and family when he was a student, using his dad's garage as a workshop. With an entrepreneurial mind and a love of working with his hands, furniture-making was a hobby that naturally became a career. A love of timber and its age-old appeal runs deep in his veins.



Stephen fell in love with wood when he worked for an Austrian cabinet maker who specialised in yacht interiors. Over the years he developed a deep understanding of different materials and their characteristics and applications. Stephen finds great satisfaction in merging technology and craftsmanship in his design, and won’t stop refining a product until it's perfect.