Friday, April 8, 2011
High Point is in full swing. Traffic has increased, and buyers are replenishing inventory. I was on day 4 of shopping when I started this post, a tired girl reporting to you at the end of the day. Let's just cut to the chase and go to Hickory Chair--the rare destination where we can tick off extinct traditions, thriving in its own unique American archipelago. This surviving niche product line is made in America (Hickory N.C.), by American craftsman, one unique and custom piece at a time. The driving force of their success, in my opinion, is that their line is driven by the top designers of our era, versus the finger to the wind interpretation of what consumers want. Suzanne Kasler styles the ultimate girl cave for us.
I could take over the world empowered by these "tools of the trade." The perfect work table is combined with muscular industrial shelving and lighting, and infused with energy. My synapses are positively crackling here. Suzanne is a sparkling raconteur, communicating her aesthetic of creating a neutral space with color accents. This light hearted Suzani fabric is exclusive to Hickory chair.
Below, study the left side horizon to the perfect office in chic, chick aesthetic. First we do the work, then we close the deal. I am now seeing myself on the cover of Forbes. Hickory Chair understands imagination, vision and talent.
After you have made the deal of the Century, you might retire with close family and friends (with a celebratory glass of Champagne) to your quiet and elegant living room.
Panning to the right.....
I know that I am thin and wearing Armani! My imagination is running amok, and the generous Suzanne, communicating her aesthetic, carries none of the drama flashing through my brain. Suzanne explains how her super clean aesthetic succeeds through the use of mixed metaphor and oxymoron. Mid-century merges with a comfortable clubby upholstery, combined with a feminine arrangement of ceramics. It is a Yin/Yang assemblage balancing structure with dark finishes, light fabrics and dimensional wall treatment. Mentally, we need to balance, and so, the external reflects the internal. I don't like to hear the nonsensical comment: "It's just a house." Pirouetting, vibrant wall art pops, warming up the space. My imaginary friends are very happy. Should I tell them you can have this room within two or three weeks? Call me if you want it.
Moving on to the fun and gregarious Alexa Hampton, president of her father's Mark Hampton atelier, tells a different story. Alexa is all legacy, with a twist and fresh take on both traditional and mid-century. Her look makes me feel like I am an only child, inheriting layered years of households. Forgive the photograph. Alexa has the best dining table ever, ever, ever. I have been shopping for 30 years. It is The Bomb.
Inspired by Alexa's own antique Irish Regency drop leaf table, the Christiansen can be ordered to seat as many as 20 people, at nearly 216" in length. This table has 5 leaves so it has "features and options." You can order special cloth bags for storage, which I recommend. My Uncle inherited my grandparents'
"State dinner table," which is what I called it. I have the happiest memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners, with most of us at the big table. My Aunt would bring out the leaves and move it to the long Lanai. She set it so beautifully it took my breath away. We would eat and talk for hours. It is not just a house, it is your home--the staging for your life and memories. The dinner table is the family center, and this is the best. The price is entirely reasonable for the quality and options. I am using it with these Mariette Himes Gomez Hickory Chairs, with a custom paint finish.
I became a little tongue tied with Thomas O'Brien , it is all me. I asked him really stupid questions, and he doesn't suffer fools like me. Anyway, silly me aside, Thomas has the best book shelves on the planet.
Give me a Stendal break, these studly bookcases are shown in a luminous velvet, and can be done in linen, wood, paint and so on and so on. I would think they will be part of the line for eternity, but you never know. They are entirely collectible. Thomas O'Brien does ground breaking work. If you want to collect modern American furniture, this line is for you.
Are you seeing the distorted Georgian chair, in front of the knock out saddle leather bed? This chair is a completely original and defining concept. Collectors succeed wildly, when they purchase the first wave of an aesthetic. I would say, this chair is most collectible piece I've ever seen at market. I have had the experience of a website making the furniture look better than it really is. Hickory Chair is the opposite.
I'm not losing my mind over this image on the website. I've seen enough "High Virginia" style to last me a lifetime. I snapped this picture in the showroom this week.
How much prettier is this James River Breakfront done in a gray/white paint finish? It is really fun to play with the online design studio. We have all been talking about creating versatile dining areas. Especially in apartments where space is tight. The showroom has some stylish examples of library or living room dining solutions.
Raising this sectional to dining height creates a much tighter space that multitasks as dining, workspace, reading or just relaxing.
Love the classic Georgian table with the very cool zeb sofa and sleek leather printed modern chairs. Its all in the mix. I have gone on and on, but Hickory Chair is without a doubt the gold standard of furniture manufacturers in America. The showroom illustrates the best design in the country. On a corporate level, it is a very open and friendly place. The president, Jay Reardon even sat down and ate lunch with little me!!