We asked our award-winning Director of Furniture Aimee Kurzner to share with readers how she has been developing the furniture program during the past several years. We learned quite a lot about what she has been doing as she has worked with our collaborators around the globe to reach the high level of quality our customers have come to expect. Not only does she deliver, she also gives us a few spoiler alerts for products to come. Here she is in her own words:
Our Furniture Program Illuminated
I was brought on board with Currey & Company over six years ago to revitalize and elevate the furniture program. The goal was growth as well as to have the furniture step up in line with our lighting in terms of distinctive design, quality, craftsmanship, and perceived value; to have it be as much of a statement as our lighting has always been. We have brought over 500 new furniture and upholstery products to market since I began, and we continue to see growth in both SKUs and sales in the program.
To do this, I worked with our current vendors to put standards in place. I have also traveled extensively so I could be on the ground overseas working with our teams to make sure the details were always correct. The relationships with our vendors are very important: without them my ideas would never come to life. As a furniture designer, it’s my job to know the capabilities of our factories and to design with that in mind, but also to bring new ideas, materials, techniques, or finishes to each of them to continue to grow our value and relationships.
A big part of elevating the furniture has been the fine-tuning of each product, something I firmly believe in. Features and benefits such as the materials and finishes very much matter as well. Often, it’s the smaller things that make a difference—a screw choice, a trim detail, the height of the brass ferrule, the hardware and its placement, or the give on a seat cushion. But it is also as big as the functionality of the piece: is the scale and proportion correct; do the doors and drawers open easily with the hardware selected; is the chair comfortable for me at 5’2” and also for our President, who is over 6’?
I aim to design products that people are drawn to. I want them to be inspired to touch the top or the veneer pattern, to admire the hardware or finish, or to enjoy opening the drawers to see and feel the inside. Furniture is very much a tactile physical element. For me it’s intriguing to watch customers in our showrooms as they reach for a piece and to see what they touch first—that first touch when the fingers and palm move across the top or the hardware tells me everything!
On the Arren Credenza, quality details behind the scenes are soft close hinges, adjustable glides, and a cord management system. Aimee also highlights the mid-century-inspired custom pulls made by our sculptor. “I angled the crown-cut oak center to create a visual pattern that aligns with the angles of the hardware,” she adds. “The handles are made of wood from a CNC machine and finished in an antique brass.”
Special attributes of the Evie Shagreen Credenza are adjustable soft-close door hinges, adjustable shelves, adjustable glides, a cord management system, and cast brass door pulls. Aimee calls this line a feminine case goods collection featuring ivory faux shagreen complimented with a solid mahogany frame in a dark walnut finish. There are 5 pieces in the collection with more coming. This is our first spoiler alert of the post!
The Nicolene Lingerie Chest has undermount soft close slides, adjustable glides, and polished brass and leather tassel drawer pulls. “A large segment of our customers are interior designers,” Aimee notes. “They are always looking for products that are distinctive. I wanted to design a jewelry armoire, for them and for our customers, that is a true statement piece and feels a bit feminine. The top lifts up to revel a removable storage tray lined in velvet and a beveled mirror. For this particular piece, I went with a solid wood drawer slide and created custom tassel pulls from cast brass and genuine leather. The drawer boxes are solid mahogany dovetail boxes finished in our Caviar Black finish.”
Our Arden Pink Vanity has undermount soft-close slides, three removable gray faux suede liners, adjustable glides, and brushed brass drawer pulls. Aimee also points to the wrapped brass legs as a special detail. We’re getting a scoop on this family of furnishings, too, which was inspired by a 1970s reverse-painted glass antique found at the Paris flea market. “This collection has done well,” Aimee explains, “and we will be offering a new ivory finish this spring that is simply divine!”
Our Kallista Writing Desk has a single drawer with solid wood drawer slides and custom cast-brass hardware. Aimee also notes how the figured sycamore veneer with a one of a kind veneer pattern and a dark sapphire blue finish changes when light hits it from different angles. “We have done well with this desk,” she says, “and will be offering a larger 60-inch version soon.” There you have it on the scoops!
One of our cleverest upholstered pieces, the Visby benches and ottomans have seats that flip to turn them into tables. Shown above is our Visby Calcutta Pepper Ottoman. Each of the pieces in this family of furniture has solid white oak construction with brass details on the stretchers. When the cushioned seat is flipped, it reveals an oak veneer top in a reverse diamond veneer pattern. Cecil Adams our Vice President/Creative Director and Aimee showcase this family of products below.
Looking Forward to New Introductions
With these hints of things to come, it makes us look forward to seeing all of the new products and new introductions in some of our must successful families of products. We’d like to thank Aimee for taking the time to share with us some of the most special attributes in our furniture offerings. Once we are all back to in-person shows, be sure and tap her to give you a deeper understanding of all the new pieces being introduced—she’s terrific at it!