For those new to furniture selection, the offerings of Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware are the norm. However, if you are the parents of these children then Ethan Allen, Drexel-Heritage, Sligh Desks, Henredon, John Widdicomb, Kendle are familiar names. The past decade has been greatly influenced by imports. Many of the American companies are gone and the remaining stores are chains than span the country. Custom detailing in custom homes has had an effect on this marketplace as well.
Luxury residences typically involve architects, interior designers, lighting specialists and landscape designers and the team evolves the look either they are known for or that the client is trying to achieve. The custom furniture market for luxury homes has eliminated a few of the most sought after companies of past generations. Some of these companies also became more of a mass production, lower cost option. The current approach to developing luxury interior furnishings may include more customized cabinetry for starters. Wall mounted stone shelving in lieu of a free standing table eliminates legs that may not be desirable, for example. Mass production furniture in a custom home may not be at all appealing to the person that wants unique, one-of-a-kind furnishings. Not all sofa configurations are available unless you have them custom made. Desks and dining tables need to accommodate the space and number of guests to be seated as well as the style of the furnishings.
Chairs, bar stools, mattresses and bedside chests can usually be found from existing manufacturers. So much effort goes into the composition of a comfortable chair-the back fill, seat fill and framing. These options from recognized manufacturers have been developed over generations. Customizing every piece in the home would be very time consuming and costly. It is advisable to sit in and try the chairs that will be used most often keeping in mind height variations of those using the chair and ease of exit for various situations. It is easier to stand from a chair with arms to support yourself.
So where do you start?
When space planning, it is easy to check manufacturers and see if there are options available for the size required. Not only is the development based on the spacing options of the floor space available, but the volume of the room. Eight foot ceilings use a smaller scale than twenty- two foot ceilings. One does not need to reinvent the wheel if there is something available!
Here is a list of companies that have exceptional furnishings that you may want to at least consider –
Through design professionals
A. Rudin – upholstery
Abner Henry-wood, metal combinations
Alfonso Marina – handcrafted
Allison Paladino at ejvictor.co
Costantini Pietro -great chairs
Creative Metal & Wood
Dennis & Leen
Ferrell+Mittman – beautiful upholstery and well designed casegoods
Glassisimo – unique glass pieces
Formations – Historically inspired furnishings. Unique finishes and exquisite detail in upholstery, case goods, lighting, accessories, stone mantles and outdoor
Justin Van Breda
Kolkka Metal Furniture – custom options
Mario Grimaldi International (available through showrooms)
Rose Tarlow Melrose House
Noir – casegoods and chairs
Nathan Anthony Furniture – great upholstery
J. Robert Scott
Oggetti – unique pieces
Old Biscayne Designs
Taracea – custom options
Thayer Coggin – mid-century options, curved sofas
Hancock & Moore – Traditional with exceptional design (fabric options are also available)
American Leather – Slightly more contemporary with custom options available. A great sleeper program, custom recliners
High end manufacturers that have varied combinations
Baker Furniture – traditional, Barbara Barry collection, Milling Road
Bernhardt – traditional case goods, Bernhardt Interiors
Bradington Young – upholstery, recliners and motion sofas
Century Furniture – Upholstery (custom options available) and case goods,
Hickory Chair – King Hickory for western options
Hickory White-Lillian August
Hooker Furniture – variety of styles from contemporary to more traditional
Huntington House – good fabric options, Solution furniture
Jonathan Charles Furniture
Lorts Manufacturing-custom options
Maitland Smith – collection of imports
Marge Carson – higher end upholstery and case goods, larger scale options in grand, palatial style
Hickory White – Sherrill
Stanley Furniture-options for children
Stickley – traditional and mission upholstery and casegoods
Theodore Alexander – casegoods
Wesley Hall -nice upholstery line
Tips for furniture space planning
Allow 2’ 6” for pull out space of the chair, so take the table size and add 5’ to each measurement for chairs on both sides OR take the space available and subtract 5’ for chairs on both sides and you will have the best size table option.
A 60” round table makes for better conversation than a 72” round and you can get 8 people around a 60” table with average size dining chairs.
Furniture looks crowded if the arms overlap.
To add the space needed for a furniture arrangement take the depth of one piece and add the width of the other with space for entering the area.
8’ is the maximum between chairs for easy conversation.
Quality furniture construction-
Solid wood framing in upholstery with suspension, sinuous suspension or 8-way hand tied-each has a different comfort appeal
Semi custom and custom companies have choices for seat and back fills
There is more inspiration on my Pinterest boards!
Residential Design Elements
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