There are certain furniture collections that are sought after at auctions and on eBay and Craigslist long after they are available at retail. One of those is Drexel Heritage’s Precedent by Edward Wormley.
Wormley’s signature style embodied the essence of modern design combined with traditional styles.During a time of growing modernism, Wormley was able to interpret the modern into a style that became uniquely predominant throughout the forties, fifties, and sixties.No one else during this time was able to create such a fresh and modern outlook, while preserving cherished elements from the past.
In 1947, Wormley brought his creative talents to Drexel Heritage to create Precedent.The collection was called Precedent because “it promised to set so many bright new standards in contemporary living.” It featured bleached mahogany, silver elm, beechwood, solid brass handles and sliding panels.Wormly created 100 pieces for Precedent, priding the collection with convenience, style, fine craftsmanship, and a great value for every home. Don’t you just love this old advertisement for the collection?
Wormley believed that modernism meant freedom—”freedom to mix, to choose, to change, to embrace the new but to hold fast to what is good.” Wormley’s pieces became necessities for a conservative, up-scale and comfort-seeking customer who loved the versatility his designs offered.His work was featured in the Good Design show at the Museum of Modern Art during 1951 and 1952. Today, his work can be seen in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Museum of Decorative Arts in Montreal and inside the homes of many avid antique collectors.
Is it possible to have a room without tables? Where do you put the lamp? The bouquet of fresh cut flowers? The photo of the dog? I recently moved my office furniture into my living room while changing work spaces and the side table and the book shelf never made it to the new office. They were exactly what the room needed — a little more surface space!
While reading the September issue of Traditional Home over the weekend, I was thrilled to see that celeb interior designer Katie Brown (Katie Brown Workshop) turned to Drexel Heritage for side tables that provided just the right accents in her Brooklyn home. (She also paired Drexel Heritage china cabinets and upholstered chairs with a rustic table in her dining room.)
We feel like end tables can be your decorating wild card. If you need to give a room a little umph or just a finishing touch, what could be easier than adding a table adorned with something you love? If you have heavy pieces of furniture and want to lighten the mood, perhaps try the Lily Accessory Table with a mirrored top and gold accents. Need a little storage? Take a look at the Ferguson Accent Table. And if you are like me and love the look and the versatility of nesting tables, check out our Urban Contemporary Nesting Tables. If these aren’t you, we have a full house of options in dozens of styles, shapes and finishes.
The Drexel Heritage product development and marketing teams are always preparing for market. It might not be the next market, it might be two or three markets into the future, but in the world of furniture, I think it is a safe assumption that “a” market drives the entire schedule of the production of a collection.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of being onsite for a product development meeting for some collections that are such new concepts I can’t even tell you anything about them yet. I can say that it is very exciting to be in the room with interior design experts who look at the world in a way that allows them to draw creative inspiration from so many different places… international travel, a scene in a movie, a moment shared with family.
As I see the same people become as equally as excited about the plans for a new collection as they were for the ones they recently introduced, I realize that it doesn’t get old for them. It is just like those of who love to decorate our homes. I can love my next design project just as much as I loved my last design project. And in fact, I do!
In the late 1950’s, Stewart MacDougall and Kipp Stewart partnered with Drexel Heritage to design Declaration, a modern collection in natural walnut. These pieces are considered classics today and usually can be found on the typical sites online such as eBay and Craigslist. Of course those of us who love the thrill of the hunt have much more fun scouring thrift shops, antique stores and auctions.
I thought it would be fun to show share some photos of the collection in an “original” setting, as well as some of the vintage catalog pages. If you have any Declaration pieces in your home or remember them in your parents’ or grand-parent’s homes, we would love to hear from you.
Maybe it has been spurred by the economy. I’d like to think there are sustainable motives behind it. Whatever the reasons, more and more people are embracing what Sarah Susanka fans have known for years… sometimes bigger isn’t better. Sarah, author of The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live (and several other books in the Not So Big series) says that not so big doesn’t mean small. It means not as big as you thought you needed, and the magic is that it actually feels much bigger.
Kristy Yule, vice president of marketing for Newland Communities, the largest private developer of residential and urban mixed-use communities in the United States, confirms the trend. Kristy has noticed that buyers coming to Briar Chapel by Newland Communities, located just outside Chapel Hill, NC, are interested in a higher fit and finish. This means they might be less interested in an additional 1,000 square feet and more interested in things like built-in bookshelves or a high-end appliance package for the kitchen. She says most people live in about four rooms and some outdoor space. People are asking, “What do I really need in my home?”
If you are wondering just how small you can go without forgoing beautiful interior design and the expression of your personal style, check out the current issue of House Beautiful. The magazine cover poses the question, “Is small the new big?” and inside features demonstrate how to live big in a studio, a guesthouse, a one bedroom, a cottage and a beach house. My fave: the 1,200 square feet beach house in Balboa Island, CA. Love the mixture of the bright fabrics and patterns and the pink fridge in the kitchen!
I have an antique mirror collection in my dining room, and I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post on mirrors. Then I saw the cover of the July/August House Beautiful featuring “15 Great Tricks with Mirrors”. I flipped through the magazine several times looking for photos of mirrors before realizing this story was told in the magazine’s The Last Words section at the back of the book. The reason I missed it was because there is only one photo.
In addition to pulling my three favorite designer “tricks” from the article, I’ve selected a few Drexel Heritage product photos to feature. They include The Mirror of Enlightenment and the Reflective Mirror from the Philosophies collection, the Belemy Mirror which is upholstered and can be customized (LOVE that!) and the Tisbury Mirror, available in a variety of finishes.
I recently mirrored the ceiling of a powder room and put a small modern crystal chandelier in the center to obscure the mirror. the room is like a jewel box, with the light appearing to float above. – Thomas Pheasant
I’ll put an upholstered bench or a console against a mirrored wall. The table and its reflection read as one complete shape. It seems to double in size, and so does the room. The idea is to pretend the mirror isn’t there, so you want it to be as big as possible. Then it becomes a doorway into another space. – Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz
Spending this past weekend on a North Carolina beach for the Fourth of July sent me floating back into my coastal living day dreams. I love the soothing sound of the waves meeting the shore, the glistening water and the pure merriment of kids building sand castles. Perhaps most of all, I love gathering ideas for how I will decorate my future beach house.
A bit sunburned and back in the air conditioning after looking at homes on the market in the neighborhood where I’m visiting, I found this great beach house decorating slide show on the Country Living website. In total contrast to what I typically think of as beach décor (lots of colors… think Seaside, FL), many of these photos show earth tones that create calm, serene rooms. As much as I like color and pattern, this also appeals to me because it makes me feel the same way being at the beach feels.
This weekend as those of us
in the United States celebrate our country’s independence, can I get a “Yankee Doodle Dandy!” on the freedom to mix and match prints, choose from a variety of finishes and accent with pillows, welts, cording, skirts and nail trims?
Not to mention the freedom to experiment to see how it will all look together which is exactly what the customization section of the Drexel Heritage website allows you to do.
In the spirit of the holiday weekend, I decided to use the site to give myself a red, white and blue interior design challenge. These are not colors I typically choose, so it was fun to see what I could do with them, and to my surprise, I think I might be falling in love with blue! (This is what I have concluded after spending the entire evening on the site which is apparently quite addictive!)
You’ll see in the last photo, that I left red out of it altogether, and I certainly didn’t go crazy on the customization which is the best thing about having different options… you can do as much or as little as you would like. In this case, I just love this fabric too much to change out the pillows or change the seat cushion.
I would be delighted to hear what you think of my creations, and if like me you spend hours on the site designing your own customized furniture, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Lastly, on behalf of everyone at Drexel Heritage, I would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.