Friday, October 31, 2008

Heywood-Wakefield Furniture

Last week I began to discuss Mid-Century Modern style furnishings and how Charles & Ray Eames' influenced this genre of design style. Another influential furniture of this time (and one of my favorites) was manufactured by the Heywood-Wakefield Furniture Co.

Designed for the masses, Heywood-Wakefield knew the world was ready for modern furniture. Their interpretation was to create solid birch, steam bent pieces that were blonde or champagne finished in colour.

Heywood Wakefield Modern (1936-1966)
Christened "The Heywood-Wakefield Modern Line," they produced limited quantities of these pieces and in this golden age, and America turned blonde, filling homes with the bubbly boost of birch. Various lines were introduced, ("Sculptura", "Encore", "Kohinoor") and if you can get your hands on an original piece it will be highly coveted in the mid-century modern world of today.

Heywood Wakefield Furniture

Sculptura Bedroom Suite

Kohinoor Vanity

Encore Double Chest

Back in Circulation
In the early eighties, entrepreneurs began locating new businesses in the so-called "Art Deco District" of South Beach in Miami, Florida. It was during this period that a new small store called the South Beach Furniture Company was founded. This store specialized in finding and restoring unusual or interesting furniture and decorative items from the Art Deco, '40s and '50s periods. The store owner noticed that a particular type of light-colored, solid-wood furniture would immediately find a buyer any time he was able to locate a piece for the store. This furniture was Heywood-Wakefield Modern.

In 1992 the remnants of the Heywood-Wakefieled Furniture Co. was purchased by the South Beach Furniture Company. The new Heywood-Wakefield Company began research into available sources for the manufacture of solid wood furniture, and by 1993 the first pieces of newly-made Heywood-Wakefield Modern furniture - now called Streamline - were produced.

Since that time the line has grown to more than 35 items, with new pieces added about four times a year.

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