More designer looks available in bedroom
Thomas Russell -- Furniture Today, November 26, 2012
HIGH POINT - Consumers can bring more and more designer looks into their bedrooms and elsewhere in their homes thanks to the relationships furniture suppliers have with renowned furniture and interior designers.
Designer lines are prevalent at the high end of the price spectrum at companies such as Henredon, Century, E.J. Victor and Hickory Chair.
But they also are becoming more visible at upper-middle priced resources including West Bros., Gat Creek and even middle-priced lines such as Broyhill, which has a line of contemporary case goods designed by interior designer Brian Gluckstein, originally created in partnership with Canadian retailer The Bay and available in U.S. since 2011.
West Bros. has developed bedroom and dining room furniture in partnership with Blake Tovin, a move that has not only resulted in designer themed collections, but also moved the company's solid wood groups from transitional into in a more contemporary realm. Its first two groups were Arris and Phase, and a third called Serra was added this October's High Point Market.
"We now have more credibility with better-end contemporary dealers," said Tom Halvorsen, vice president of sales and marketing at West Bros. "Arris initially appealed to a small group of people, and when the Phase bedroom came out, it broadened that. There was such a void that people didn't know they needed it until they saw it.... This better-end contemporary is growing for us."
Serra, which features three piece bedrooms targeted from $3,000 to $3,500, is made with solid walnut construction that also incorporates brick, slate and mist-white painted finishes on drawer fronts of case pieces.
The furniture, Halvorsen said, stands on its own in terms of quality and finish, but Tovin's name adds a layer of design expertise that he believes brings added credibility and appeal.
Industry officials say the same of other lines ranging from Henredon's Barbara Barry collection to Hickory Chair's Thomas O'Brien, Alexa Hampton and Mariette Hines Gomez lines.
"They practice the art of design - they are not just a license with a name," said Jay Reardon, president of Hickory Chair. "They design custom furniture for their clients and they look for distinctive and functional pieces they feel can have commercial viability."
Hickory Chair's custom capabilities as a domestic case goods and upholstery producer also allow it to offer designer furniture that fits in a multitude of settings. This custom approach ranges from the use of custom fabrics and finishes for an upholstered bed and frame, to custom sizes and veneers on companion case pieces.
Henredon's relationship with Barry has been successful in the marketplace, according to the company.
"Barbara Barry's keen eye for detail is evident throughout the collection," said Todd Sessa, vice president of merchandising and product development at Henredon and sister companies Maitland- Smith and LaBarge. "The product appears clean-lined and simple, but is very complex," he added, noting the joinery and other construction details. "It has contemporary lines, but with warmth, elegance and grace. It is a quiet and reserved elegance that is difficult to achieve."
To promote the importance of the relationship, the company catalog showcases pieces that are photographed in Barry's home as well as the homes of her clients. The furniture also is shown on Barry's website, www.barbarabarry.com.
Other high-end resources such as Century and E.J. Victor also tout the importance of their designer collections.
Century offers collections by Charlotte Moss and Juan Montoya and more recently added Patrick Aubriot. His Art Deco-inspired Rue de Seine collection, which includes about nine bedroom pieces, did well at the October market, the company said.
"Patrick's name brings authenticity to the Deco style we are doing," said Alex Shuford III, vice president of sales and marketing. "American consumers like authenticity, and he is a modern pillar of French Deco."
John Jokinen, president of E.J. Victor, said the company is doing particularly well with its three-year-old Alison Paladino line, which includes about 30 SKUs of bedroom, dining room, upholstery and occasional furniture.
"She brings an aspect of design that heretofore we have not had in our arsenal of product," he said. "It is true contemporary design inspired by the Art Deco period. She has a wonderful sense of scale and proportion and a taste for a little more modernistic approach."
He added that Paladino is also a great personality who brings a breath of fresh air to the company from a product standpoint. He said this is particularly true for dealers that have looked to the company for traditional designs in the past, and are now seeking more contemporary and modern forms.
|Solid wood case goods manufacturer Gat Creek’s Collette
canopy bed was designed by Joe Ruggiero. It has beehiveshaped
finials similar to an antique bed Ruggiero found in a
French chateau in the Loire Valley. It retails at $2,450.
|Century’s Saint Germaine
upholstered bed is part of the Rue de
Seine collection designed by Patrick
Aubriot. It is made with alder solids
and eucalyptus veneers and has a
starting retail of $8,925.
This bed is part of Baker Furniture’s Thomas Pheasant collection. It has a button-tufted headboard available in multiple fabric and leather options.
|This bed is part of the Allison
Paladino line for E.J. Victor. It
is made with walnut veneers
in a medium walnut finish. The
headboard comes in fabric or
leather, and the bed has a starting
retail of $10,425.
|The Pinstripe bed in Broyhill’s Brian Gluckstein line is made
with cathedral mahogany veneers in a dark mahogany finish.
It has Deco-inspired design elements.
|The Graceful bed is part of the
Barbara Barry line by Henredon.
Launched in 2006, it is made with
walnut solids and veneers and has
a starting retail price of $12,525.
|Blake Tovin designed this
wall bed for West Bros.’
bedroom group. The
collection is made with solid
|The Fifth Avenue bed is part of the Thomas
O’ Brien line at Hickory Chair. The fully
upholstered bed features nail head trim on the
headboard, footboard and side rails and has a
suggested retail of $7,485.