custom furniture design New York
The Klismos chair was a design that really stretched the boundaries of contemporary furniture design. In the first photo the only part of the chair that is straight is the seated portion, every other element has a curve of some kind. The second photo illustrates the design we came up with for the Klismos, When searching for Klismos chairs there are numerous variations, the chair we designed is a combination of a Klismos design by Belvedere Antiques (photo 3) and another by John Fowler Antiques (photo 4). The dining chair still retains much of the smooth curves of the other designs but has a more functional, modern style. We often find that clients love elements of classic styles like the Greek Klismos but want to put their own stamp on the design to create something not seen anywhere else, and therefore retaining both its value and originality.
These two dressers were created using solid cherry and feature three drawers. For this project the client provided us with an image of a dresser they found in a design magazine. The fronts of the drawers are detailed with a mahogany inlay and black ebony accent squares in the corners of the detail. We used traditional (no nails or metal, only wood) construction for these two museum quality dressers and they are 42” wide x 36” height x 20”deep. The photo displays the natural wood but the final product was finished in a natural hand polish finish.
This hand carved gilded mirror was inspired by the Baroque Style. During the Baroque period it was common to see console tables, ceremonial chairs and mirror frames in gilded wood finish that featured hand carved naturalistic elements. For this mirror we incorporated naturalistic forms and represented them in a stylized form. The gilt mirror has a large Baroque frame and features symmetrically carved (scrolled) leaves adorned with acanthus rinceau and palmette decorative motifs. For this gilded mirror the client provided us with a photo of a similar mirror that had additional woodwork motifs in the center top and that they eliminated this new design to improve functionality.
Following up on yesterday’s post, here are some steps
to follow if your considering designing your own furniture:
1) Find photos that match or represent as close as possible some of the elements you would like.
2) Draw a sketch, even it’s a rough one.
3) Figure out the size, materials and structural components.
4) Research furniture makers, make sure you are hiring a high end custom furniture craftsman.
5) Agree on contract with specific details, i.e. materials, size, payment schedule, construction schedule & shipping.
6) Develop an idea of how you would like it to look from every angle, not just the front or side.
7) Be sure to request shop drawings if needed.
One consideration when deciding whether or not you want a custom piece of furniture is if you have a vision for what you would like created. Often designers will come to us and have a very clear idea about the type of table or chair they would like created and the exact measurements in mind. Often they’ve wasted innumerable hours scouring the web, 1st dibs and the library trying to find something that fits the bill. Although creating a unique and original design tends to be more expensive, factoring in the amount of time trying to find something which almost matches versus paying a little more for an exact match is a no brainer. Not only will the furniture be seen nowhere else in the world and is handmade by a master craftsman, it is also enormously gratifying for clients to see their vision come to life. Every client who takes a hands on approach to coordinating with an interior designer usually has dreamed about designing their own style of furniture. Perhaps it is a combination of eras, a table with Japanese carving along the edges, art deco style legs and a smooth contemporary top or a reincarnation/ reinterpretation of that priceless dresser owned by King Louis XVI. This unique furniture will appreciate and last for generations and adds personality which is impossible to match from mass produced or machine made pieces which depreciate the moment they leave the store.
One of the amazing aspects of designing furniture is the ability to create something any size you would like. If you’ve just purchased a house or an apartment and there is that perfect credenza or side table you have your eye on, yet it seems a little too big, too small, too tall or too low, deciding on the right size will make all the difference. While it may seem obvious to some, one helpful hint is to work outwards from a typical size of the item. Typically a round coffee table is 15-17″ high and 36″-40″ in diameter, so keeping those dimensions in mind you can scale or down proportionally as a starting point. This table was designed with those dimensions in mind and measures
A common request by designers is they have a piece of furniture they saw in a space or magazine that they like a lot, and either want a set created around it, for instance a set of chairs, or a custom table to match the style of the chair and accentuate some it’s elements. Another common request is to design a similar piece of furniture with a different size or a different function. The initial design submitted for this piece was a stool and the designer requested an entryway parlor bench be created to match a living room stool, which was visible from the parlor area, to tie the space together. In this case we utilized the measurements of the space and designed a bench which fit the parlor as well as matching, yet not replicating, the stool. It’s a one of kind piece of furniture.
Wood inlay can be an important design element to include in a piece of furniture. It is seen less and less in commercial furniture because it’s necessary an additional inlay template needs to be created.
When an inlay is hand etched into a table or a hand made guitar, for example, it adds to its authenticity and originality. This dual function desk/ dining table is a great example of inlay with a diamond shaped basswood/ dark mahogany inlay etched and assembled into a pattern on the top. Further accentuating it’s iconic design is the combination of mahogany, walnut, dark mahogany and basswood on the top. The sides are also surrounded by dark mahogany.