On my way to our first appointment, I strayed off of my course when I noticed a chair maker that I hadn’t seen before.
The company was located in an incredible Art Deco building, the town’s former post office.
What a beautiful space, but I was in such a hurry that I only got a shot of the interior as I was descending the staircase on my way out.
First appointment: Bolier, maker of contemporary furniture with a traditional reference point.
Having been at the showroom two days before for the debut of Designer Juin Ho’s line of furniture, I thought that I had pretty much “seen the line”, but without a crowd there was much more to see and take in.
Juin Ho’s table with red lacquered top on steel-wrapped wood base. The tables wood rectangular leg’s are bordered with painted gold steel trim. The gold detail gives the table a finished, more sophisticated look. Set against the color of stained wood and the contrasting Red lacquered table top, it’s a fabulous combination.
The Ho Collection included upholstery and casegoods. While each of the pieces were beautifully designed by Ho and executed by Bolier, the upholstery lacked a lot in the “sit” and fit. Ho, a smaller framed gentleman, designed the upholstery pieces for someone other than the average American. The sit was not comfortable, and was sacrificed by Bolier for the look. I’ve never understood why a manufacturer would do this. To me, the way a sofa or chair sit’s is everything. I say wait on the Ho upholstery, unless you are selling it to a corporate user for an Entry Hall or Waiting Room. This is a designer to watch, if he comes around to understanding comfort.
’s upholstery line is clean and tight and has elegant lines. The Bolier
showroom looked stunning with all of the upholstered furniture done in taupish
linen, all sitting on white lacquered floors, with white walls and ceiling. Curtains were hung from the very high ceiling were made in white cotton and were used to designate, and separate, the “rooms”.
The Chairs were nice and deep, but several of the seat heights were a little low, more of a European height. Most of the Sofa’s on the other hand had a normal seat height. The Sofa we bought for Cabana Home is a tight-back Sofa, has two bolster side pillows, and sits on a dark stained wooden frame with stretchers
between the legs.
Another favorite was the modified “Tuxedo” Sofa, with a full “dressmaker skirt”. The term dressmaker skirt refers to a skirt that actually starts at the top of the arm seam, and falls to floor length. On this sofa, the skirt corners have one simple vertical pleat, and the cushions are “baseball stitched” (literally stitched with a large thread, visible just like the stitch on a baseball).
The entire line is an interesting take on traditional furniture gone contemporary. Straighter lines than that of traditional furniture; softer finishes with many of them being “dry” (without gloss or shine). Though at Bolier, there are several pieces in the line that come with a super high gloss finish. Most of the Metal hardware was finished in polished steel or chrome, though some of the casegood pieces had brass, bronze or gold leaf finished hardware.
A great find was a pair of beautiful barrel back chairs in carmel leather. Bolier had a “market special” on the chairs because of a special purchase they made on leather from one of the top leather suppliers in the furniture industry. We promptly scooped up a pair for each of the Cabana Home Stores (Santa Barbara and Mill Valley, CA).
Left: The Barrel Back leather chairs
Right: A table top in the “dry finish”
A great, and highly ununusual table with an architecturally interesting four column pedestal, available in square (shown) or round, that extends with two twenty inch leaves.
Bolier added a tailored linen upholstered Bed (photos not yet available) to their bed collection.
The new bed augments their bedroom collection, which includes the elegant Rosenau Post Bed
, a wood four poster with ultra simple posts and “testers” (wood rails that connect the top of the four post’s together). Rosenau
is an understated semi-traditional bed.
Photo above: The Rosenau Bed from Bolier
From the Bolier
showroom we were escorted by our sales Rep, John Cattich
, to see another line of upholstery that he represents, TRS Furniture & Textiles
). The company is a total custom upholstery manufacturer and textile importer with the ability to custom any sofa or chair, whether it’s making it taller, wider, deeper, longer, or with a skirt, or without a skirt, you name it, and they can and will do it.
They not only import textiles, they design and develop the patterns as well in both domestic and Italian mills. They can do just about anything you can think up. I saw a Sofa that practically made my heart a ‘flutter, see it below!
Photo above, left:
The sofa pictured is upholstered in a butter-soft tan leather, which was perfectly tailored to the frame. The simple lines of the frame is both elegant and inviting, and though there were no pillows or loose cushions, it was much softer than it appeared. The frame wasn’t carved, but was detailed with bronze finished nail Head trim. This sofa was beautiful, and I’ve nearly convinced myself to throw my new sofa at home out the door the minute I get there. Now, a day later, a calmer head presides over my body, and I’ll keep my sofa, but I will bring this sofa into the stock of Cabana Home for all of you to see! It is delicious!
Photo above, Left:
And I loved the “Angle” chair (above, right), aptly named for its architecture. On close examination of the detail, the designs changing plains are upholstered to perfection, not an easy task considering the exposed angles.
Next, and what was to have been just a cursory look at the Emerson et Cie (Emerson and Company in French) line, turned quite lengthy! I showed up without an appointment, hoping to avoid any sales persons so that I would free to quickly walk through the showroom to get a feel for the line. Suddenly a tall guy, a big guy, maybe a little younger than me, approached me. It was the company’s owner! So much for walking through on my own I thought. He turned out to be a charming individual with whom I had an engaging conversation. He ended up walking me through his showroom, sharing his ideas, techniques and philosophy with me. I was impressed with both the line and his commitment to it.
Left: A great dining table with a soft, sculptural base, and a shaped apron around the table.
Right: A French style Chest with all over walnut burl veneer.
Caroline, Leisa (from the Mill Valley Store) and I all agreed that this line is well designed, well made, and well priced. Rarely the case in the furniture industry these days.
When it was over, not only had we toured the entire line, we had placed a substantial opening order with his company.
Overall, the casegoods
are more European traditional in styling with clean detailing and finish’s that are au
currant. Many of the pieces featured either an exotic wood or a detailed inlay, and some featured both.
Watch for the first pieces of Emerson et Cie furniture to arrive in the Cabana Home Stores in early January, 2010.
An interesting tid
-bit: The owner of Emerson et Cie
is the boyfriend of Janelle Loevner
, owner of Anthem
, (3274 Sacramento Street at Presido
), a chic boutique home furnishings store in San Francisco, That is located adjacent to Sue Fisher King’s wonderful store (http://www.suefisherking.com/
Anthem (pictured, left) is very stylish and embodies a balanced perspective between traditional and contemporary furniture. Loevner
describe her look as, “modern but with appreciation for details”. And, at Emerson, you can see her influence on the owner and on the line, where there is also a table named in her honor.
Next we were off to a “garage Sale” held by Julien Chichester, the English designer who is known for detailing his furniture with Shagreen (you learned how to pronounce this word in yesterday’s blog—didn’t you?). The sale was pretty well over, though we did manage to pick up a soft beige Shagreen “waterfall” table, and a pair of maize colored Shagreen lamps for a great price (though I still have to buy a shade for it).
We then walked to the HALO Showroom, a stylish importer of traditional furnishings made with a contemporary twist, mostly manufactured in China, but swathed in a cloak British historical significance. As a matter of fact, the entire building draped in the Union Jack!
Photo Below, left: The Union Jack drapes the Halo Showroom Building
Photo above, right: We particularly liked the over sized, full length mirrors made of “scrubbed” (unfinished, and unwaxed wood) pine. With its raised panel pediment tops and simple columns and trim, this was a big statement piece. Big as in about nine feet tall and five feet wide!
Halo also had a booth in the coveted “Interhall“, in the International Home Furnishings Center. I loved the aluminum clad helicopter set in the middle of their booth.
Across the street at their sister store, G & J Styles, we found these incredibly detailed, and carved wood urns, copied from original antiques, that we just couldn’t live without. So, we bought a pair for each of the stores.
From there we headed towards the Suites of Market Square
Building, but no soon had we stepped off the curb in that direction, when Caroline
spotted a Moroccan tent atop the very contemporary Show Place Building
. An odd site indeed, but it just so happens that Caroline had been on the lookout for the maker of these tents that she had found on the internet, that she wants to use at a charity event that she’s chairing next spring in Santa Barbara. So we had to track the tent down, or up as it was. we road the escalator up the seven stories to where we figured the tent was, all the while my patience is wearing thin, as I’m thinking this is a wild goose chase and that this tent is here for a party and probably not for show.
Wrong! She was right. She was able to find the manufacturer and the owner’s information from the showroom tenant, just so happens that his best friend owns the tent company!
On the way down the escalator, I spied the booth of Bernard Mollynaux
, the importer and dealer of antique Louis Vuitton
trunks. My daughter had mentioned to me that if I saw an old LV trunk that she would like to have it to make into a coffee table. Sounded like a clever idea, so I approached Bernard himself.
“How much is that trunk” I said confidently.
“$8,900 US Dollars” he replied.
To which I replied, “Thank you, just looking”.
I swear, that kid of mine… Unfortunately, a real chip off the old block!
Photo: A stack of vintage LV trunks
Finally we were on our way to the Suites at Market Square. While stopped On the at a Red Light, I looked up to admire the Natuzzi building, home of the Italian furniture line, Natuzzi. It’s real architectural gem, and I wanted to show it to you. I’ve passed this building umpteen times, and never really took the time to admire it. Enjoy!
Completed for Natuzzi in 1988, as their United States headquarters. Designed by the architectural firm of Mario Bellini Associati, Milan, Italy.
Once we reached our destination, we headed to the courtyard for a cocktail party honoring Margaret Russell, Editor in chief of Elle Décor Magazine. Margaret was launching and signing her new book, “Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Décor”.
The event took place in a chic, white party tent with plastic palladian style windows, and to say the least it was jammed. The line snaked around the asphalt floor twice, with another line for those still in need of purchasing her latest tome. The paparazzi and the decorati were snapping pictures as if it was Barack Obama himself up there signing the books. It was very exciting in the tent, but impossible to move.
We stood there taking it all in, assessing the situation silently, then looked at each other…and we left!
Maybe next time, Margaret!
On the way out of the Elle decor event on our way to the OLY Studio party, we walked through the now closed Suites of Market Sqaure Building. With empty halls, it was a great way to really see the goods!
Cabana Home Stores has just added OLY, the San Francisco based line of beautiful furniture and lighting to their merchandise mix. The line is chic and fresh, tailored and beautiful, and we assumed that the party would be nothing less than a glam affair. We were right!
Photo above, left:
They had a New York style disco complete with colorful club style lighting, a mirrored disco ball, and a disc jockey spinning club and disco remixes. It was a ton of fun, the food was excellent, and the crowd the most interesting yet!
A lot of Euro fashion, with men in suits so tight and short that it looked like they were wearing their little brothers clothes. Women, and I mean almost all of them, in their new “just under” knee-high leather boots and wild Pucci-esque printed dresses. As the drinks continued to flow so did the party. Dancing finally broke out and it was all downhill from there.
Photo above, right:
The DJ announced the birthday and presence of our friend, Babi Ahluwalia, founder of Ankasa, the beautiful line of embroidered pillows and linens. Babi immediately took command of the dance floor, center stage, cuts the cake and passes it out to everyone. I’m on a diet, but since she walked a piece of it over to me, I felt obliged to eat it. It was the first sweet anything that I’d put in my mouth in four weeks. Um,um, good!
Pinted black cabinet with carved birds. A new offering in the Oly Studio line, also available in white.
There were magicians roaming the party (part of a Halloween theme?), though you could barely hear what they were saying over the music as they verbally set up their tricks (can’t hear over the music…I think that just sounded like my Father speaking!).
As you exited the party, there was another kind of mixologist, one that was mixing personal viles of essential oils for each guests (more of the Halloween theme?). We picked up and smelled the scents in the little viles of oils lined up on the counter, picking out our oils based on the way we want to feel whenever we apply our personal potion.
I selected four: Frankincense “uplifting; mysterious”; Bergamot “Healing”; Eucalyptus “Breathing”, and I can’t remember the fourth one!
Once mixed, the mixerette handed the vile to me for approval. Individually, each of the oils had a distinct and pleasant scent, but together it was almost fowl! I handed it back nodding appreciatively. She nodded back her appreciation of my appreciation and placed a cork in the bottle. She then handed it over to a guy who sealed the viles with red melted wax over the cork. Once the cork was covered in wax, he motioned for me to pick a seal with which to imprint and furthere personalize my vile. I picked the Skull and Bones seal, don’t ask me why.
A fun party indeed! Thank you OLY
Ready for some “Worst in Show”? All right then, let’s get on with it!
A window at the American Leather Showroom, with a quote by Donald Trump stenciled onto it:
“If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big”
Yep, that’s what I want for my corporate mission statement, a quote from “The Donald”.
A giant Chest of Drawers: A High Point landmark and symbol of the Furniture Capitol of the World, High Point, NC.
Notice the pair of giant size socks hanging out of a drawer, quaint.
To get a feel for the size of this thing, check out the fellow riding his bicycle in front of the Chest.
Okay, enough already. I’m going to bed.