Perfected by woodworker Robert Pettit in his Boerum Hill, Brooklyn woodshop, the unique all-in-one horticultural cabinet marries craftsman design with state of the art technology with finishes designed to fit any home decor.
Raised in upstate New York, Robert Pettit has a BFA from Tufts University and studied art and woodworking at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where his early installations won awards and recognition.
With over 15 years of custom cabinetry experience for the home, Leaf + Wood is a blend of his fine art education coupled with wood-working craft and a passion for horticulture, and cannabis.
“I wanted to create something that was impactful as its own piece of furniture, but which also has a hidden purpose, and that wasn’t obvious by the design. A client should have something that’s beautiful, that doesn’t scream industrial, but rather be warm, natural and modern to fit into any home environment.”
“I really want to break the stigma of the past and elevate the lifestyle with some great design. There’s a lot of opportunities to elevate the home experience for those interested in horticulture. In the home cabinet design category, there’s such a wide range. My niche is a big step above anything pre-made and below Italian made cabinetry that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Robert explains, there’s a sense of pride and even mystery to the cabinet, “It feels modern, discrete and elegant, it’s also clandestine and beautiful. I love that moment when I’m showing someone the cabinet for the first time, they could be sitting next to it or have walked past it, and when I open the doors and the whole apartment lights up full of bright light; when you smell those terpenes too, it gives you life, it’s remarkable!”
He continues, “There’s magic when you open those doors. I’ve grown some amazing basil and herbs as well that provide a remarkable nose when you open the doors too. As a self-contained unit, no light or odor penetrates beyond the cabinet, you have no idea by looking at it. The options are unlimited and I’m excited to do a Hemp grow as well for some CBD this spring.”
Included in the turn-key 72” tall, customizable $15,000 unit is a bevy of best-in-class details he’s researched far and wide, including a powerful energy efficient, super silent Vortex Fan.
“I love that it offers low power consumption with built-in permanently lubricated ball bearings and thermal overload protection with an automatic reset. I’m using Laboratory grade Phresh® Filters with a special RC-48 activated carbon from Australia to scour the air clean of dust and leave the home odor-free.”
“Full spectrum LED Light Quantum Boards from the Horticulture Lighting Group have the highest flux and lowest voltage for unbeatable, energy-efficient performance. The entire unit can be monitored as well by a third party app.”
“When I looked at the home grow options out there, and I’ve done a lot of research, I was obviously disappointed. There’s a glut of tents under $1,000—with lots of competition. They lack great design though, there’s no nuance to them, no warmth and I wouldn’t feel proud to display them in my home. Times are changing and so should our home design. I wanted to include everything you’d need to develop your own home-grow without all the leg work. I include everything right down to a beautiful watering can and a grow journal.”
His design process of The Cabinet led him to look at the lifestyle of the owner who will purchase it, and imagine what else he could create that would suit their style. “Since its a plant, that you don’t just grow and smoke, I thought about what else would live in the world The Cabinet lives.”
Looking at the next steps once you’ve cured your grow, he began designing accessories to roll with and added a line of rolling trays, including large pieces he calls Rolling Stations.
“Trial and error and a lot of research led me to these designs. I took time to consider what looks good visually as well as what ratio of the design that works ergonomically with your hands and made the designs focused inch by inch to see how it all works just right for the roller. Cabinetry taught me to make sure proportions and ratios are not just pleasing to the eye but serve a function.”
“My work is a blend of aesthetic and function with class and elegance, I want to create an heirloom quality product that’s meant to last for generations. I like the idea that the pieces I create have a life beyond my own creation, they’re meant to be enjoyed, shared and handed down. True craftsmanship and design should be timeless and have a sustainable legacy.”
Taking inspiration from the traditions of Chinese Tea ceremonial trays, the designs are offered in both clean modern and more traditional designs. “I grew up drinking tea, my father who’s an artist himself, engendered the tradition in the family and we always had various tea sets and trays.”
“When I look at the ceremonial aspects of tea and China, there are so many nuances I think are wonderful as traditions, like tapping your fingers upon receiving a cup of the brew. There’s a story dating back to the Qing Dynasty of the emperor traveling the countryside in disguise. When he was dining and served his servant some tea, since bowing to him would reveal the emperor’s identity, instead, the servant bent his fingers and knocked the table to express his gratitude and respect. In this sense, the bent fingers signify a bowing servant, one finger representing the head and the others the arms–that’s a tradition lives on today, that’s beautiful.”
“There are aspects to the tea ceremonies that relate to cannabis and hemp today, the way the leaves are handled, the breaking down of flowers when you roll, and the passing of the station mimics that in a modern, cool way. I’d like my designs to provide us with a better, uplifting aesthetic than what’s come to pass as cannabis traditions in our recent history, nothing like it exists.”
“Coming from art school I had a studio I worked from for five years and when I left that to create cabinets, I never had that space to build my own designs, I’m bringing back that artistic creativity while working in my own environment. My woodworking shop now is a Lab, it’s all about seeing what works and what doesn’t.”
“The artistic process…of dreaming and imagining and then coming to the shop and working out the math on a piece, the dimensions, selecting the wood, it all works together in the design, turning an idea into a physical object and bringing it into reality is a remarkable experience. I’m also always exploring new ideas and combinations and enjoy making happy little mistakes because they teach me what’s possible and inspire me to do more.”
Divided into various design categories, The Rolling Stations by Leaf + Wood include standard and unique bespoke designs he’s developed into nine categories, including The New Classic, The Sampler, The Burls, and The Hybrids.
Pricing ranges from $50 for simple rolling planks up to $600 for intricate pieces using rare woods like Wenge, Cocobolo, and Rosewood.
Each has its own signature look and feel and are meant to be proudly displayed for an elevated roll. “I realized I wanted to also elevate the roll experience beyond the cheap trays and bamboo variety that’s on the market which we all grew up with. As an artist, I wanted to do better.”
The collection began with when he was gifted a collection of exotic woods like Monkey Pod, Wenge, Zebrawood, Rosewood, Brazilian Cherry amongst other treasures from his great uncle Bud who had a full woodshop in his West Palm Beach home where he would make pens, small furniture, and lathe work.
“Working with all the sizes from his old shop is an exercise in visual and structural design. I love working with the exotics–playing with color and the grain–and using my research into joinery techniques to make beautiful things. It’s a process of discovery and small details, for example, part of the technique that can’t be overlooked is the art of sanding—90% of the work is sanding! It brings out the natural beauty of the wood grain. Where you find the mistakes and how to correct them, because it’s all natural, every piece is different and the feel and touch happens here, there’s a whole art behind it.”
Robert’s work has begun to spread far and wide, and he’s recently designed a custom tray series via a design partnership with Curidor™, whose all-in-one units preserve potency, terpenes, and color by maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels for at-home and industrial clients.
Parker Sullivan, owner/founder of the Curidor™ explains, “Our designs are created to bring a new level of sophistication to the cannabis community by elevating the way cannabis is stored and treated. The Leaf + Wood rolling tray inserts are designed to fit perfectly into our system, and complete the experience.”
Parker met Robert on Instagram through shared interests and immediately hit it off and began a collaboration on several designs before they chose the final design.
“We wanted to create something that had an artisanal handmade feel combined with our own high tech functionality and design. The days of crumbling cannabis on the living room table or a magazine are in the past,” Parker says. “The reality is that as a new wave of home growers and connoisseurs are going to be harvesting and storing many different varieties of cannabis from different harvests as well as cultivation methodologies.”
“Connoisseurs can open their Curidor™, pull the tray out and select a jar from their collection to bring to the living room or wherever to share with friends or enjoy individually. We came up with the design to elevate the way people access and enjoy their home collection.”
Looking ahead, Robert sees a bright future, “We’re making our official debut of The Cabinet at the Architectural Digest Design Show in March in New York City, and I’m looking forward to building more relationships in the design, architecture, cannasseur and horticulture communities.”
“Collaboration is something that excites me, I’ve been tying together industries at every level with Leaf + Wood too, from growers in cannabis and hemp to interior designers and landscape architects. I recently met the ladies behind Humble Bloom whose mission is to Disrupt, Collaborate and Connect, and I’m looking forward to doing some education sessions at the woodworking shop too. The response has been terrific. I love meeting new people”
“There’s a lot of energy for change on the horizon and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next. As my dad always said, always do your best, give it your all, and whatever you do, try your hardest, that’s what drives me every day, I’m excited!”
The Cabinet can be found on leafandwood.com and the Rolling Stations and accessories can be found on leafandwoodshop.com and the brand is on Instagram as @Leaf_And_Wood where Robert Pettit appreciates feedback and chatting with folks in the industry.