Jun 2, 2016

Our Homage to Design Excellence

written by Saxon Henry
Bruce Andrews Highland chair in a Tweed plaid
Highland Chair in Carnaby upholstery fabric

The Highland chair in Collection Skye covered in Abraham Moon & Sons Carnaby upholstery fabric.

If you are of the opinion that we have nothing to learn from Victorian England, we at Bruce Andrews Design offer you this caveat: the furniture created during that era has retained its value because there is quality infused into its very DNA. We are excited to welcome those of you who have found your way to our corner of the web, and we look forward to sharing with you how devoted we are to quality, an effort we call our homage to design excellence. We also hope to entertain you.

Made in America

Furniture in our initial debut, Collection Skye, took root in Scotland but each piece is Made in America, the Scottish link a consequence of our founder’s roots: “My dad comes from a long lineage of Scots,” Bruce Andrews, CEO of the company, explains. “My grandfather had a manor house in Scotland on the Isle of Skye—very dramatic perched as it was along the cliffs and crags. I really enjoyed his style and tastes. The interiors of his home there were very strong and beautiful—had been there for hundreds of years—so I took inspiration from pieces he owned.”

Bruce Andrews Design Ann chair

The Ann chair, in the Collection Skye, debuted in April 2016.

The “Made in America” commitment took Bruce on quite a journey as he fulfilled his determination to source quality products made in our country. First, he landed in Boston, where he found the orthopedic surgeon who helped design the frame. He took these drawings to a team of upholsterers in Newton, Massachusetts, who breathed life into his concept. The frame is kiln-dried maple from America, and a jeweler in Rhode Island made the ferrules on the chairs.

The ferrules on the feet of a Bruce Andrews Design Highland chair

The ferrules on the feet of a Bruce Andrews Design Highland chair.

The nailhead trim is made in Los Angeles, and the chairs are assembled in North Carolina. “Each piece we produce carries a brass plaque with the name of the last person who worked on it,” our founder adds, “as well as a number to signify its place in production.”

Our Homage to Excellence

In this, our first journal entry here, we’d like to share a bit about another diary, the one Queen Victoria kept during her travels in Scotland. This resonates with us because the writing preserves history on par with our furniture-making. Did you know she kept a diary from the age of thirteen? Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, gave her the first blank volume so she could record a holiday in North Wales.

Queen Victoria Highland Journal

“Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands” by Queen Victoria, a first edition inscribed by the queen. [London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1868. Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987.]

The Queen was a disciplined diarist. Her daily entries spanned her lifetime, the last pages written at the dawn of the twentieth century, a few days before she died in January 1901. Her first journey to Scotland, which took place in 1842, proved to be one of the most important excursions of her life because she became enthralled with the country and its people. “No point, however small, was missed, and her enthusiasm for all things Scottish is as vivid to us today as it must have been to her,” wrote David Duff in the version of Queen Victoria’s Highland Journals he edited.

Her first visit took her to Edinburgh, Perth, Taymouth and Stirling. When she set sail on the morning of September 15, she wrote that she watched the “fair shore of Scotland” fade away, adding it had been a holiday she would never forget. What a wonderful way to have a feel for Great Britain before it was the kingdom we know it to be today.

Bruce Andrews Design Highland chair in plaid

The Highland chair, in Collection Skye, in a bonny tweed.

We will be sharing some of her musings from those fair shores in future entries, as well as expounding upon bespoke furniture design, publishing style reports, trend-watching and covering design events so we hope you will visit us often. Thanks for stopping by.

This post, An Homage to Design Excellence, © Bruce Andrews Design, all rights reserved. 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.