Interior designer: Ron Fiore, Hickory Chair, 37 9th St. Place S.E., Hickory, NC 28602; 828/328-1801, hickorychair.com.
Written and produced by Jenny Bradley
Photographs by John Bessler
Once an overachiever, always an overachiever. Founded with the slogan, "Chairs Made Better Than Seems Necessary," it's clear why Hickory Chair is honoring 100 years of making furniture that's, well, better than seems necessary.
Renamed Hickory Chair Manufacturing Company in 1911 after investors purchased the Surry Chair Company and moved it to Hickory, North Carolina, the firm quickly expanded from dining chairs into all things furniture. Surviving the Great Depression and a halt to nearly all furniture manufacturing during World War II, Hickory Chair not only persevered, but flourished. The company pioneered the making and marketing of reproduction furniture, introducing the James River collection-the oldest collection of 18th-century mahogany reproductions and adaptations in America.
Today, Hickory Chair offers an expansive selection-from those 18th-century reproductions to collections by renowned interior designers Thomas O'Brien, Mariette Himes Gomez, Alexa Hampton, and Suzanne Kasler. And everything-from the chairs to the case goods-is customizable.
"Hickory Chair allows you to personalize, not compromise," says company president Jay Reardon. "The results are classic pieces 'Made to Order, Made to Last.' "
To honor those collections and to celebrate its centennial year, Hickory Chair participated in the 2011 Hampton Designer Showhouse-enlisting the firm's creativedirector Ron Fiore to transform the house's master bedroom into a serene, painterly hideaway. Renoir meets beach retreat.
"I wanted to create a space that was arty and casual," says Fiore, "a room with an easy palette that reflects the Hamptons and also highlights our product."
Tapping Hickory Chair's resources, he incorporated pieces from multiple collections (and with different finishes), all with a common palette, providing continuity with breathing room.
"I like mixing collections and finishes within a space and then pulling it together with common fabrics," says Fiore. "It doesn't look like it came out of a can."
Nothing canned here, thanks to finishes that run the gamut and upholstered items that are swathed in pastel fabrics. These unique classics give a nod to Hickory Chair's history-and a look to its future.
Sofa ("Leigh Armless Sofa" #1504-44): Hickory Chair, 800/349-4579, hickorychair.com.
Sofa fabric ("Twine Dove" #GWF2815-11, by Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks); pillow with circles (#GWF3054-711, by Groundworks): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Floral pillow on sofa ("Bark Jaipur"): Serena & Lily, 866/597-2742, serenaandlily.com. Bookcase behind sofa (custom Studio Bookcases); table ("Ingold Center Table" #184-70/185-70); side chair ("Amsterdam Side Chair" #1552-02): Hickory Chair, 800/349-4579, hickorychair.com.
Side-chair fabric ("Huron Stripe"/Lilac): Beacon Hill, 800/333-3777, beaconhilldesign.com.