Tuesday, September 29, 2009

J Covington Design Published in ACCENT Magazine!

J. Covington Designs is a design firm with a boutique store located in New Hampshire. Most of the members of their team have come to HCC University to meet our talented employees. They have a great web site and blog. I just discovered that they had been published in the September issue of Accent Magazine! Their client's home is located in Lake Winnipesaukee, New York. The home was built in 1820 and the home owner reached out to J. Covington to help them take this wonderful historic property and create an enviroment for their needs and desires.

As I read their blog post about the published article in Accents Magazine, I began to discover the many pieces of Hickory Chair furniture that J. Covington's designers selected for this family. The Center Hall Table by Mariette Himes Gomez was finished in a soft painted finish and is positioned in the foyer of the home.

Then in the Living Room I noticed the Spool Chair by Mark Hampton and the Badlam Table from the Albert Sack Collection. Made by the craftsmen in the custom workroom in Hickory, North Carolina, they were able to select from one of the 68 finishes to find the right color for the room. A Hickory Chair fabric that is reproduction of a French flour sack was selected for the chair.

The Gothick Bench, a reproduction from the Winterthur Country Estate Collection, was placed in the open gallery that leads from the kitchen. With its distinctive form finished in Weathered Black paint, it is dramatic and inviting.

We congratulate our friends at J. Covington Designs. Our talented craftsmen in Hickory, North Carolina appreciate the many pieces of Hickory Chair furniture that were selected for the beautiful home.
Have you been published? We would love to share your Hickory Chair story too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It is not a Factory... it is a Workshop!

Every day we have the honor of making one of a kind requests come true at Hickory Chair. Our craftsmen and artists embrace these requests. They are happy to make pieces standard but they love the challenge of making custom pieces. They believe that a factory worker can make standard furniture but it takes a really talented cabinetmaker to make custom furniture. This is one of the reasons so many call Hickory Chair home and have forged careers that span twenty, thirty and even forty years!

A great example of this dedication and skill involved one of our occasional tables. The customer loved the form of the Milo Table (shown left). They were excited that they could pick the height and then we could make it the width and depth that was just right for their room. They chose the veneer species for the top and then the Sable finish. The only drawback was that they really wished the Milo Table was made with a drawer.
The designer knew that they could ask for a special construction and contacted their Customer Service Representative. Within 24 hours of requesting the special construction, we had an answer of yes and a price. The designer was thrilled because they were able to find a table that met the customer's needs without wasting time searching through catalogs or the web. The customer was thrilled because they not only got exactly what they wanted, but it is a one of a kind piece personalized and hand made especially for their home. The cabinetmakers were thrilled because they had the opportunity to please someone and hone new levels of skill.

So, my question is "Why settle for standard when you can have it made special for you?"

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Touch of Elegance

Today I was reading The Peak of Chic's blog that centered around bullion fringe. She showed beautiful examples of its use and then suggested that improperly used it could be horrid. I commented that bullion fringe can really soften the lines not only of the piece but the entire room when used with great taste. For example, this Cloverleaf Ottoman (from Hickory Chair of course) has been dressed with optional bullion fringe. The bullion fringe adds softness to the curvilinear lines of the skirted form.

When this Cloverleaf Ottoman with the fringe is used in a room it takes that additional step to soften the entire room. In this room (featured in the Hickory Chair Showroom in High Point, NC), the curvilinear form balances the linear shapes of the doors, mirror, sofa and pull up chairs. The bullion fringe softens the use of the very dark finishes used on the wood pieces and exposed wood upholstery. The designer has created a very modern feel with the selection of pieces of furniture, their arrangement and the variety of finishes, fabrics, leather and trim.

In this example, also from the Hickory Chair Showroom, the room is soft and elegant with the use of the Weathered French Grey paint on the Left Bank Bed upholstered in linen and the Normandy chest finished in Rustic French Grey paint with the Oxford finished top. In this case, the Cloverleaf Ottoman is a continuation of the softness of the color palette.
The point is that it is the details that make the difference. The designer, Ron Fiore, created both rooms with very different thoughts in mind when he began the process. If you notice, he actually used the same bergere and ottoman in the two rooms. The way they were used was very different. Recently Ron spoke to a group at a recent HCC University and suggested that "When you pick pieces with 'great bones' they always work. Think about a navy blue blazer - you can dress it up or dress it down. You can do almost anything to pieces with great bones with finish, fabric, leather, trim or hardware. You can use them over and over and they always look great."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting Better With Time...

This week a lady contacted me through our blog. She has in her home a set of our Chippendale Side Chairs. Her set includes (2) 865-01 Arm Chairs and (4) 865-02 Side Chairs. She would love to add two more side chairs to her set.

When contacting Hickory Chair she learned that we retired this style about 10 years ago. I offered to share her story with you! If you have or know of a set of these beautiful mahogany vintage side chairs, please contact me. I have great hope that we can help her finish out her set!

Why am I so confident? If you go to Craig's List or Ebay and type in Hickory Chair you would be amazed with how many pieces are available for sale. The quality of craftsmanship allow the pieces to live several lives... I have a piece my Grandmother purchased in the late 1930's from Hickory Chair as well as a full size bed. I am proud of my heirloom Hickory Chair pieces. I am confident that the pieces I have purchased from the company will be able to furnish my grandchildren's homes someday too!

Do you have a story to share? We would love to hear it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mary Evelyn McKee Featured on Nest Egg Blog!

Mary Evelyn McKee is a talented designer based in Birmingham, Alabama. She opened a small boutique in 2007 simply named Mary Evelyn. We at Hickory Chair are very proud to be honored as a workroom that she trusts to make personalized pieces for her clients.
Mary Evelyn has been published in blogs and magazines such as Traditional Home, Southern Accents and Design with her beautiful interiors. In fact she was featured in the last print issue of Southern Accents (thankfully they will continue their online version!). Her web site shares her design philosophy:

"I seek to portray a sense of place reflecting harmony, balance and beauty" - Mary Evelyn McKee

Recently she was featured on Nest Egg by Rachel Halvorson with excerpts from the Southern Accents article where she was interviewed. In the article she reviewed pictures of interiors and asked her opinion of LOVE IT and LEAVE IT. Obviously the Love It interiors worked. In Leave It she expressed the opposite approach that she would not have advised. Rachel being a former employee and author of the Nest Egg blog, shares a wonderful insight into Mary Evelyn's aesthetic. For the full story, visit Nest Egg!
What is your story? email us at lholland@hickorychair.com for more information!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Full Size Beds

One of the things that I hear the most about client's homes is how difficult it is to find full size beds for the smaller bedrooms. Some designers have contacted us with a wish to make a full size version from a queen size. Our talented craftsmen took on the challenge and were successful! Now you can order, as a special construction, full size versions of the following beds!
Every day we receive requests to adapt pieces for client's homes. We love making one of a kind pieces. Why not ask today for something that is MADE not Manufactured?

Chelsea is available in queen, king and california king. In addition, it is available as a headboard only!

The Candler Bed is one of the most versatile beds we offer. Not only does it come in a queen, king and california king, but also as a twin size! It is available as a headboard only. The slip covers are optional as well!

The Left Bank Bed is available as a queen, king and California king. The four posts are designed to be removeable so that if you prefer only posts on the headboard you can remove the footboard posts. You can also remove all the posts if you prefer it! The choice is yours! Why settle?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Completely Preppy: Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

Completely Preppy: Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

Beautiful Things

Today I found a wonderful blog, The Complete Prep, and their topic today was Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair. The author, Elle, chose to feature not only Suzanne Kasler and her amazing Alexandra Chair and Linwood Arm Chair but other Hickory Chair decorative chairs and benches. The Gothick Bench and the Gillow Bench from the Winterthur Country Estate Collection as well as the London Side Chair and Manor House Arm Chair by Mariette Himes Gomez.

She shares her love affair with chairs in her blog post. Her favorite is a side chair with a structure back with scrolled legs. She loved the Alexandra Side Chair that she found while reading Southern Living magazine. We love how she describes herself in her bio... "I am a Southern girl that loves interior design, vintage clothing, pink, pearls, and fresh flowers in every room!" As a Southern girl myself, I appreciate her kind words about finding beautiful things and the interest they add to your home. Isn't that really why our entire home furnishings industry was created?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Celebrating Labor

With Labor Day weekend upon us, it made me think to why we celebrate Labor Day. I googled Labor Day origin and was reminded that the first Labor Day was held on September 5, 1882. Twenty thousand laborers marched in New York City not to celebrate a holiday but for change in the work place. America was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution where manufacturing was king. The work environment was very different than it is today. By 1894, congress passed a bill making the first Monday in September a celebration of Labor Day.

Today we should celebrate every American worker. Unfortunately there are more Americans in service jobs than manufacturing - making things for people to buy. At Hickory Chair we celebrate the 460 individuals who choose to be part of our family. These talented craftsmen continue the spirit of the early laborers that made this rugged country a world power. These talented craftsmen at Hickory Chair make each piece to order. They have bridged the era of bench made products to the Industrial Revolution manufacturing world of making batches of furniture. Our employees have taken the efficiencies of lean manufacturing and have applied them to making one piece at a time. They can make custom pieces in just 14-30 days from order. They have transformed our factory where we make furniture to a workroom where we make one of a kind pieces for people's homes.

Let's give thanks and a cheer to the craftsmen who can carve, sew, cut, sand, assemble, upholster, finish, polish, paint, decorate and every other task needed to make one of a kind pieces. Some may consider all of this labor but we consider it art. Without these talented craftsmen and artisans we could not offer the special pieces made to order. I challenge everyone who has read this post to thank the people who choose to make. They are what America was made of and what will help us restore our country to health and prosperity!

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Designer's Vision

Today this picture was shared with us at Hickory Chair. Owner, artist and designer, Alan Watkins of Designer's Source of Sarasota, selected the Continental Demilune Chest by Mariette Himes Gomez for a client's home. He chose this piece as the perfect canvas for the room. He then hand painted this beautiful design on the curved front of the cabinet. He personalized the chest for his client.
Could we have offered this type of hand decoration to a chest like this? Our artists here at Hickory Chair are willing to take your design and personalize pieces for you. Refer to our post Part 2: Something Special For You for examples of our employees artistry!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Collins And Dupont Interior Design Blog: Trend Alert: Quatrefoil

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting two designers from Collins and Dupont Interiors from Naples and Bonita Springs, Florida at our HCC University program. Today Carol emailed to tell us that we had been featured on their blog! Their post by Renee Gaddis Trend Alert: Quatrefoil included our Alexandra Side Chair by Suzanne Kasler as a great example of how quatrefoil motifs have become popular in the marketplace!

As I read on, I was thrilled to see the Gothick Bench from our Winterthur Country Estate Collection was also featured! The quatrefoil motif is incorporated into the back of this classic bench from the museum in Winterthur, Delaware.

These pieces inspired me to think about the other pieces in our offering that include the quatrefoil motif. The Collier Dining Table by Suzanne Kasler was designed to have a large quatrefoil as the stretcher. The shape of the legs with the quatrefoil stretcher create a beautiful shape.

From the San Marino Collection, is the Quatrefoil Book Table. Available in over 60 finishes and Customer's Own HardwareTM, this table is both functionable and fashionable!