West Bros., a company long defined by quality, solid wood furniture, produced with pride in North America announced that it has embarked upon an exciting new course, marked by new product, new attitude and a new, head-turning showroom created by celebrated designer Blake Tovin.
When the ribbon is cut on IHFC Space D1144 during a special ceremony on Opening Day of Market, Saturday, October 13 at 1:30 p.m., the pared-down, sophisticated presentation that will be revealed will be more fine art gallery than furniture showroom. According to Tovin, the focus this Market is on peeling away extraneous elements to spotlight the clean and modern sensibility of the new West Bros. collections and highlight the beauty and craftsmanship of all West Bros. products.
Front and center will be Serra, a new collection designed by Tovin, inspired by the work of George Nelson. Latin for “saw,” Serra mixes walnut solids with lacquered drawer fronts in fresh, fashion-forward colors. The new designs are aimed at urban customers yearning for quality contemporary design with a North American aesthetic.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the work of George Nelson, who in the mid-1950s began combining lacquer (color) and wood (walnut) in the “Thin Edge Collection,” Tovin says. “I was fortunate enough to meet him when I was starting out as a young designer and he was about to retire. He had an amazing ability to design pieces that were both of their time and timeless. This point was driven home when I recently came across some of Nelson’s vintage pieces, a great pair of bedside chests he designed in the late ‘50s in walnut and red lacquer. I decided on the spot that I wanted to work with the idea of mixing natural wood with solid color. Serra is my nod to Nelson’s classic modern designs.”
On the heels of Phase, which balanced the strong, horizontal lines and bold planes of classic modernist architecture with the warmth of solid walnut to rave reviews last Market, the new collection moves the company directly to the forefront of high-quality, solid wood contemporary design.
“We see a real need and desire in the marketplace for domestically produced, high-quality contemporary and transitional products,” says company founder and president, Paul West, “and we’re in a unique position to produce them because of the significant investments we’ve made in technology over the years. These investments, which blend the precision of CNC equipment with the talents of old-world craftspeople, coupled with Blake’s talents on the design side, allow us to execute clean-lined, solid wood products very well.”
According to West, the focus on state-of-the-art manufacturing has also enabled West Bros to introduce more expensive materials like walnut into its line-up while continuing to remain competitive. “Walnut is not the easiest wood to work with,” he says, “but it is absolutely gorgeous when it’s finished.
Indeed. Paired with Tovin’s hip, clean-lined designs, the result is beautifully executed solid wood furniture with a high-end look that allows consumers to immediately discern the obvious quality inherent in the product. “Unlike the products coming in from off-shore, where they generally don’t do contemporary because there’s no ornamentation to camouflage flaws, the caliber of our construction and finishing techniques ensure we have nothing to hide,” West says.
“Consumers today have a growing awareness of, and tremendous interest in great design,” says Tom Halvorsen, vice president sales and marketing. “The proliferation of blogs and television programs devoted to design and decoration means that taste levels are much more sophisticated and fashion-driven in the upper middle of the market where we play. They seek experience, excitement and furnishings that reflect their individuality. And they are clearly demonstrating to our industry that they are bored by lackluster, traditional furniture presentations.”
“In today’s highly competitive marketplace, you have to have a very clear vision of who you are and your point of differentiation,” Tovin says. “At West Bros., that translates into beautifully crafted, contemporary solid wood furniture collections for bedroom, dining room, occasional and entertainment that are comprised of designs that just can’t be found anywhere else.”
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