Wesley Hall…continued

I know what you’re thinking…”Oh those barstools look fabulous on the showroom floor, but within five minutes in my house, they’ll be a different color!” About 90% of my clients tell me during the consultation that they don’t want their house to look like a museum, and yes, they all use that exact phrase.  (In my head, I’m thinking “Why not? That’s crazy talk!”  But I’ve gotten really good with the ol’ filter.)  What they are trying to say is that they want to live in their house, for nothing to be off limits, and for their furniture to look just as good in 2 years. The good news: You don’t have to select dark fabric for seating or ban your family from the new sofa!

Wesley Hall barstools covered in Crypton Fabric

Because style and performance are important to most families, Wesley Hall has included 45 Crypton fabrics in their upholstery line.  The fabric is environmentally friendly, and won’t emit harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde.  It is stain resistant, odor resistant, and easy to clean.  And if you need even more protection, Crypton Super Fabric has an impenetrable moisture barrier.  (I wish I would have known about this fabric before getting a male dog. Sigh)

Even without a moisture barrier, liquid beads up and sits for a month before soaking into the fabric!  (I know many events where red wine wasn’t even served, and rightfully so.)

Mixing fabric types can result in an interesting contrast of textures.  For the furniture below, Wesley Hall selected a Crypton fabric for the top of the ottoman (where dirty shoes and kids will be) and a regular patterned fabric for the vertical portion.  The sofa and chocolate wing chair are also covered in Crypton fabric.  (I’m not naming names, but why are the white towels dirty? You just got out the shower!)

The Wesley Hall dining room chairs, covered in Crypton fabric, show how style meets function. Would you have ever known that this beautiful fabric could also be so practical?!

One of the other fabrics Wesley Hall uses for high durability furniture is Sunbrella. The company makes marine fabrics for outdoor use in boats and yachts, so UV protection is one of the strengths of their product. Their line also includes many fabrics suitable for both indoor and outdoor home use. Sunbrella fabrics offer the same stain resistance and durability as Crypton, but provide extra protection from damaging sun exposure.  Furniture placed near windows that get direct sunlight will eventually fade fabric and dyed leather!

Sunbrella fabric on the sofa & quatrefoil chairs

The hang-out where I got my daily market caffeine dose…too pretty to keep to myself!


Wesley Hall Furniture

The design community has been buzzing about Wesley Hall for their unbelievable finishes, embellishments and customization.  (ok, and their famous “tufted doors” too!) They have been a family-owned company for 25 years — and 100% manufactured in the United States — but they’ve recently taken their brand to a whole new level.  Their recipe for success?  Classic lines, pops of colors, and extreme attention to detail.

Zack Taylor & Amy Huff – the fun & the brains at Wesley Hall!

The Audrey Chair (left) is customized with a 3″ fabric band and Greek Key Tape.  Can you tell it includes a swivel base?  This option, available on most chairs, is ideal for creating conversation areas in open floor plan rooms.  Although petite in size, the rope welt on the Parker Settee seat cushion (top right) makes a big statement.  I’m particularly crazy for grosgrain tape and nail head trim combo, seen in gunmetal on the Hagan Settee (bottom right). Personalization is the true luxury of our era — not to mention the unparalleled level of quality.

A little detail goes a long way…(notice the difference in spacing of the nailheads from the image above and below) And did you spot the flat cording detail along the seat cushion?

Create a personalized look with contrasting cording and chair banding:

These are the infamous doors I speak of!

Options are unlimited with fabric and nailhead pattern combinations.

Upholstered desk/console table with nailheads:

Although classic, Greek key is very “current” at the moment.

Mongolian lamb is a chic option for this petite ottoman:

As a designer, I need choices.  Lots and lots of choices.  Wesley Hall carries over 800 fabrics and over 100 leathers.  Once you put trim and other embellishments into the mix … well, there’s no (good) reason to have the same sofa as your neighbor!

We all love pretty, but there is a non-glamorous world that happens behind the scenes, and not all sofas are created equal.  The bottom line: Wesley Hall is a responsible manufacturer.   Their craftsmen are paid by the hour, not by the piece — which means that they aren’t encouraged to work faster at the expense of quality.  What matters is that the piece is finished perfectly, not quickly.

As a mom, I care about what goes into the products I put in my home.  Because Wesley Hall is a 100% Made in the USA manufacturer, their safety standards are beyond what most companies require.  They buy only USA-made foam, none of which contains the harmful fire-retardent chemical that you’ve been reading about in the news.  The glues are water-based and toxin-free.  The hardwood frames are made of US-grown maple and effectively sterilized through the kiln-drying process.  There are no carcinogens or other toxins in the wood frames or finishing materials.   It’s like we tell our kids — inner beauty is just as important as outer beauty!

If you aren’t a designer or weren’t able to make it to market, you can still catch up on all of the fantastic things Wesley Hall is doing.  They’ve created a virtual showroom tour, organized chronologically by market, which is the next-best thing to being there!

Thank you for sponsoring my market trip, Wesley Hall, but do note…I’ll never forgo walking through those fabulous doors, or refilling my coffee after a 15 hour day!


Harden Furniture – Part 2

At a recent blog conference, the question was posed: “Who dictates color trends?”  Many say that the power is in the hands of textile designers, and I would have to agree.  Custom fabrics can be costly and time-prohibitive, so often times, designers are limited to what already exists.

Before Spring and Fall Market, furniture manufactures tour Showtime, the largest dedicated home textile show in the United States, to select fabrics for the upcoming season and to get a sneak peak of emerging colors, textures, and pattern trends.  Here’s what the Harden team concluded:

  • The use of tangerine and pink in a variety of patterns and textures gives us clean and graphic designs without the use of frilly flowers.
  • Flame stitch is back but in a different format featuring an almost digital look in a very non-traditional color scheme.

Harden’s tufted back slipper chair from the Artisan Collection in a flame stitch fabric:

  • Textural woven goods with hand crafted looks were all over the market.
  • Blue continues to be a dominant color with shades ranging from indigo to vaporous aqua tones.

  • Sheen and shimmer are still in! (sweet!)
  • The use of polished cottons, Lurex (a branded yarn with a metallic appearance that is made from synthetic film, onto which a metallic aluminum, silver, or goldlayer has been vaporized) and pearlized finishes create surface interest.
  • For the past several markets we have commented about Gray and its role as the new neutral, well it continues to prove it has staying power.
  • Harden has included new patterns in platinum and cream to give it a fresh look, and to warm up the gray tone, we’ve added a splash of Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s color of the year.

I love the raspberry tones they selected for the entry showroom displays!

In a designer’s world, customization is imperative, and the ability to see past existing finishes opens up a vast world of design opportunities. Take the St. Regis Entertainment Center, for example. This orangish/red stain lends itself to a traditional environment, but by merely changing the finish to a darker ebony stain, it takes on a completely different look.

Harden is a fully customizable company, and when they say you can choose any finish, they mean any finish! Painted, gold leaf, lacquered…perhaps you want to add a metal top!? No problem! They have the tools and craftsmen to turn your vision into reality, and it doesn’t hurt that Mrs. Harden is an Interior Designer herself with a successful design firm.  I’m quite sure she understands the constant need of “stretch this, add that, tweak here…..” After all, you would never want to tell Mr. President, “I’m sorry, your conference room table is only available in two finishes!”


Harden Furniture – Part 1

Finding new products and vendors is the most exciting part of my job.  Harden Furniture was one of those new-to-me sources this market, but I can’t figure out why it took me so long to hear about one of the suppliers to the White House!  Founded in 1844, Harden is the largest privately owned manufacturer of high-quality, solid hardwood furniture, and is in its fifth generation of continuous family ownership and management.  Fine detailing, rich hand-rubbed finishes, durability, and craftsmanship are qualities that are important to the company and have been for 170 years.

Mt. Vernon Collection

One of the most successful new products in the Mt. Vernon Collection last Market is the #3404 Uncommon Chair.  George Washington referred to the barrel-back leather-upholstered armchair that he purchased while president as his “uncommon” chair, perhaps referring to its unique swivel mechanism which enabled him to move without standing up.  Washington used the armchair throughout his presidency and brought it back to Mount Vernon, where it can be found in his study today.  Harden has updated the proportions of Washington’s iconic armchair for the modern user. (I wonder if this is politically correct for fast-food-eating-Americans?)

New to this collection is the 873 Writing Desk.  It has been adapted to a lighter scaled table desk with fluted details, antiqued hardware and metal furniture legs.  It was designed with a functional center felt-lined pencil drawer and two side drawers.

The 44″ diameter Hi-Lo Table is also a new addition. This versatile game table will drop down to cocktail table height with the tip of a finger.


Nu Classic Collection

NuClassic is a nod to the streamlined classic designs of the early 20th century…a fusion of time-honored craftsmanship and sophisticated designs relevant to today’s living environments. Crafted from American black cherry grown in Harden’s SFI®-certified forests, this group presents a series of contemporary classic designs in beautiful solid-wood construction. Here are a few of my favorites:

Harden’s solid wood Live-Edge tables are available in a variety of species including Adirondack black cherry, black walnut, curly maple or wormy maple.  Because no tree is alike, each table has unique characteristics, underlying colortones and textures.  Table bases can be constructed of wood, iron or metal, and edges vary from tree bark on, bark off, square edge, contrasting edge, or a rough edge like the table below.  Custom sizes are available by the inch up to 120″ x 50″.

If you want to find out more about my market sponsor, visit their website or keep up with them on Facebook.