New intros take Jonathan Charles in new directions
Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, September 25, 2013
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture will be presenting several new looks in occasional furniture at the High Point Market next month.
An area of focus for the company is "William Yeoward Collected," which won the World of Interiors Award of Excellence at London's Decorex International this week. The 81-piece collection, based on favorites from Yeoward's English country home, will make its U.S. debut at the October market.
A company press release describes the collection, which features more than twenty finishes, as "an assortment of favorite, admired and above all useful furniture that will stand alone in interiors of many different styles and references." Included in the launch are consoles, benches, chairs, desks, beds, cupboards, bureaus, mirrors, dining and side, accent and coffee tables.
Yeoward, a British style maker and interior designer who says his last decorating project was for Margaret Thatcher "at the time she left government," is also a retailer, author of several books on entertaining and a successful designer of lighting, dinnerware and an eponymous crystal line. He says he's been looking for some time for a way to reintroduce some of his favorite pieces of furniture to the market, and found that in meeting Jonathan Charles founder Jon Sowter, a traditionally-trained furniture maker.
Strathraven bobbin table, William Yeoward Collected, with polka dot marquetry drawer lining.
"To see furniture being made at the bench using the same techniques as when first manufactured made me very happy," Yeoward said. "The default setting in Jonathan's vocabulary is ‘Yes! Let's give it a try!' Something I really admire and find essential."
Jonathan Charles Creative Director John Cunningham is excited about the launch because it helps open up some new directions for the company. "Jonathan Charles is bench made furniture and was founded based on the company's ability to reproduce 18th and 19th century antiques and Jon (Sowter) is brilliant when it comes to that," he told Home Accents Today. "As styles and trends have changed, we've also begun to transform, expanding into more transitional while maintaining the same level of craftsmanship. We still do marquetry work, but going forward you'll see cleaner designs and a more modern approach to it."
Stiletto side table by John Cunningham.
"What I love about William Yeoward is that there are finishes and more casual pieces we have not had before at Jonathan Charles, and a lot of scrubbed oak in a grey finish is about half that collection." Cunningham said. "We're mixing that with other JC pieces and presenting it in a 2,800-sq.-ft. gallery within the showroom."
Also debuting at Jonathan Charles is Stiletto, a group of accent tables, pedestals, consoles and hall tables designed by Cunningham. "This group is named for the legs, which are hammered brass, in antique and burnished bronze finishes. It's delicate looking but it's actually nice and heavy." Inspired by Italian sculptor Alberto Giacometti, the Stiletto tables feature inset glass tops and brass ring knots, the latter inspired by earrings Cunningham saw in a magazine photo.
"We have such amazing capabilities in the factory because we have our own foundry," he said. "All of our hardware -- every pull on a chest, every hinge on a cabinet -- everything is made in the foundry and it's all customized to that piece. A lot of our hinges are quite decorative - there's all types of scrollwork, some even have a "JC" carved into the hinge."
The company is also adding new occasional pieces to its Alexander Julian collection.
"We are introducing the 36-inch Cute as a Button coffee table with ‘sewing needle' legs, a smaller version of which was introduced last market. We've also done the tartan plaid, which is created from six different species of inlaid wood, in a haberdashery cabinet, small chest and cocktail tray tables."
"And then we're filling in with a lot of other pieces," Cunningham added. "We have a fabulous new chocolate rubbed oak collection and a group that's Biedermeier-inspired - a combination of black and walnut - it's really sharp."
Jonathan Charles, with partner company Wildwood Lamps, will also be launching a new Designer Concierge program, in which interior designers may shop and browse the showroom using a company-provided scanner. "There will be a desk in the lobby where designers may request a scanner to take through the showroom," Cunningham explained. "You do not have to walk with the rep, you can scan your own order, and receive a print-out at the end. The reason is, so many times designers are coming in, they're working on future projects, working on spec, and they want to walk away with just a wish list -- something in their hands that has thumbnails and descriptions of all the pieces they're interested in."
Jonathan Charles will host a party for William Yeoward Friday night, Oct. 18, and will be offering food and libations in its authentic English Pub, in the showroom, every day of market. The showroom is located in the 200 North Hamilton building.
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