Jun 3, 2016

Fine Furniture Making

written by Saxon Henry
Bruce Andrews Highland Chair with Feral Legs
Bruce Andrews Highland chair a symbol of fine furniture making

The Highland chair by Bruce Andrews Design in black.

Why make a commitment to fine furniture making? Our CEO Bruce Andrews answers this question for readers of the Bruce Andrews Design journal:

I wanted to concentrate my focus on fine furniture making because there are not many companies in the United States producing furniture the right way anymore—the benchmark way. There is a lot of offshore-developed furniture that doesn’t last very long. Even when companies say they are using sustainable woods or other earth-friendly elements in their furniture, the fact that the pieces do not last means they are not sustainable at all. As much as we talk about making products from sustainable parts, if we’re building them poorly, they will be going to the curb for pickup in a few years. How can that be sustainable?

Furniture Design as a Benchmark

Lion Rampant symbol on Highland chair

The earliest recorded use of the Lion Rampant as a heraldic symbol, shown here on the back of the Highland chair, was 1222; it represents the ancient Kingdom of Scotland.

 

There’s another element to making fine furniture that is more emotional than practical: nothing reminds you of family more than the beauty of an item you remember from when you were a child—one that makes you want to have the piece and cherish it as you would the most valuable antiques. I remember my grandparent’s dining room table, for instance—it was beautiful and grand; it was heavy as lead. My cousin inherited it and we were all jealous of that but not because we didn’t want him to have it; we just wanted to be able to enjoy our own experience of recalling dinners at this table in our own homes. The antique piece fed five generations of my family, actually, and not only did my grandparents dine sumptuously around it, they could recall dinners with their grandparents when it was new to the family. That’s quintessential heritage.

 

Ann Chair in Southeastern Designer Showhouse

The Ann chair in Ginger Brewton’s space in the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens.

 

Symbols of Fine Furniture Making

It is helping people source furniture with this level of emotional connection that I had in mind when I founded Bruce Andrews Design and began building our brand with the first release—Collection Skye, which harkened back to my grandparent’s manor house in Scotland. The Highland chair and the Ann chair—our first two products—will be future heirlooms that will inspire thoughts of family connections for others, just like the dining room table has always done for me.

 

Details of the Highland Chair in Blue

The beauty of fine furniture making is obvious in this detail shot of the Highland chair in a resonant blue.

 

Cohabitating with the character that future heirloom furniture brings to even contemporary interiors is enhancing to a home’s modernity because it brings history into the mix. My dream is that my furniture will be pieces owners will want someone to see because they will reflect good taste, and I believe they will be even more meaningful to those who share my Scottish heritage. If a person or a family move around the world, I suspect these pieces will mean even more because when living in different countries becomes a way of life, they will bring continuity and a soothing reminder of all the places lived in the past.

The Isle of Skye Scotland

Sgùrr nan Gillean, a mountain on the Isle of Skye, as viewed from Sligachan Hotel in Scotland. Image courtesy WikiMedia and Diliff.

I have pieces that I moved here from other places, and I almost feel like something is missing without them. They give me a sense of peace and a spirit of family around me. That’s what I want the Bruce Andrews Design brand to bring to others.

This post, Fine Furniture Making, © Bruce Andrews Design, all rights reserved. Ginger Brewton tapped the Ann chair, shown in her room above, for inclusion in her space at the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens, the event produced by Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. Our furniture is now available through Nandina Home in Aiken, SC; Jalan Jalan in Miami, FL; Travis & Company in ADAC in Atlanta; and the Ellouise Abbott showroom in Dallas, TX. We will soon be showing in the Ellouise Abbott showroom in Houston and in the Michael-Cleary showroom in Chicago, IL.