When Cecil Adams, our VP/Creative Director chose the Pablo Picasso quote—“The hidden harmony is better than the obvious”—for our blue trend this spring, he echoed the ideas Aimee Kurzner, our Director of Furniture, had in mind when she was designing the Kallista family of furniture, after which he named his style story.
Kallista is Classic in Blue
Aimee had been seeing images of dyed veneers on purses and in wall art, though at the time she was noticing mostly greens and reds. Inspired by these fashion/décor statements, she decided to produce a dyed veneer cabinet. “I had 3D rendered the cabinet in three different color ways—black, red, and blue,” she explains. “During the design team meeting, everyone selected the blue.” This reverberated with what she had noticed in the fashion world at large, as she had been seeing a classic navy blue and black combination in many of the runway shows.
As she headed overseas to work on the development of the Kallista series, she was determined to create a distinctive color. “We were dying various veneers to determine the best species to use, as well as how to achieve the shade of blue I was envisioning,” she says. “I left Indonesia without a finished color panel so I reached out to AKZO Nobel for their help given we work with them on new wood finishes from time to time. I traveled to their offices in North Carolina to discuss what I wanted with Bob Averett, who ushered me into his office and showed me a bright-blue, aniline-dyed guitar. After seeing it, I knew they would be the right collaborator to help me, but I wanted to push the envelope further so we kept working until we achieved the special shade of blue I had in mind.”
Aimee was after a hue that was almost navy but without too much purple in it. “I wanted the blue to be dark and elusive, like a true rich navy color,” she says. “The figuring in the Sycamore veneer would then create a variation in tones, which would happen naturally due to the patterning.” There was another reason to choose the color: “I wanted this collection to be a bit masculine to balance out the other cabinets in our line.” The Kallista family of products has been a big hit with our customers, though Aimee says that’s never a given.
“I had no idea it would be so popular,” she remarks. “At Currey & Company, we pride ourselves on being distinctive and they allow the designers to take risks, which results in that “wow factor” in our showrooms and product line. I am always pushing myself to design pieces that have something special that our customers won’t find elsewhere, and I am fortunate they allow me the creative freedom they do. That said, I don’t know that anyone can truly predict if an item will be popular or a best seller. Sometimes you think it will sell and it doesn’t, and other times you think, ‘Wow this is really unique, I’m not sure it will sell but it will definitely get attention’; then somehow it becomes a best seller!”
The Kallista Chest and Writing Desk are in the latter category, as they are both unique and among our best sellers. Each piece in this family of offerings has a dark sapphire blue finish that enlivens the sycamore veneers. The wood grains bring the navy-blue chest a hint of distressing that contrasts the sleek lines of the base and the door pulls in an antique brass finish. The exterior is finished in a glossy caviar black. Also in the Kallista line are a room screen, a cabinet, and a mirror.
Cecil paired a variety of our blue products with the Kallista furniture in this video that highlights just how many shades of the color there are sprinkled throughout our product line-up.