Conversations in Upholstery

What Does Your Upholstery Say?

Marilyn Sofa

Barrymore Marilyn Sofa on Productrazzi

The Barrymore Marilyn Sofa, elegance personified.

“It’s nice to be included in people’s fantasies but you also like to be accepted for your own sake,” Ms. Monroe, aka Norma Jeane Mortenson, once said. I’m declaring the Marilyn sofa her upholstery namesake because it seems quite comfortable in either scenario. What have you to say for yourself, symbol of glamour with nail-head detailing encircling your torso like an ornamental belt? “Chandeliers dripping with diamonds of light are, quite simply, a girl’s best friends,” she answers in a hushed sensual drawl. “Don’t turn off the light when you leave.”

This sexy seat can be customized to create a daybed and I’m guessing I don’t even have to spell it out but I will: this is your chance to go to bed with Marilyn!

Cooper ButtonBack Sofa

Barrymore Cooper ButtonBack Sofa on Productrazzi

Barrymore’s Cooper ButtonBack Sofa, as freshly pretty as a Princess.

Join me, won’t you? Name’s Cooper, Gary Cooper. Well, that’s my stage name and as the cliché goes, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Do you remember what I said about Grace Kelly? It deserves repeating ‘cause I meant it. She was very serious about her work; had her eyes and ears open. You could see she was trying to learn. I say that because you can tell if a person really wants to be an actress and she was one of those people. And she was very pretty so it didn’t surprise me when she was a big success.

Close the door when you leave, will you? I’m going to hang out here for a while and enjoy this pale beauty that reminds me of her. It’s not just the slender track arms and box-back cushions, but the modern glamour of the refreshing lines. Boy, I’d run lines with that pretty Princess any time. If only…

Townsend Chair

Barrymore Townsend Chairs, Upholstery on Productrazzi

The Barrymore Townsend Chair, classically comfortable in any setting.

Shall we settle in for a long afternoon of conversation? The kettle is heating on the stove and we have lots of catching up to do. Snuggle in and I’ll be right back with the tea. You said mint, right?

Here we go. Give it a few minutes to cool; it’s still quite steamy. You’re looking marvelous, by the way. The classically tailored lines of those peg-leg trousers with that dark piping look smashing on your trim frame. You look at bit cross; am I talking too much? I just can’t help but be in such a good mood when I feel so relaxed. Okay, you look settled into that big comfy chair so it’s your turn: ask me anything. We’ve been friends far too long to keep any secrets.

Details on Barrymore Upholstery

These conversations in upholstery were inspired by Barrymore Furniture’s products, all of which are made by skilled artisans using kiln-dried hardwood for the frame, double-dowelled and corner-blocked joinery, eight-way hand-tied springs, cotton felt, and high-density soy-based seating foam. Barrymore has been manufacturing sofas, sectionals and chairs for 95 years. I visited the showroom where they debuted their upholstery products during Spring 2014 High Point Market and was impressed by the quality the Canadian manufacturer achieves. If you attend #HPMkt, the Toronto-based company unveils new furniture at The Factory, a beautifully renovated building at 400 W. English Road in High Point, on the third floor.

I’ve posted a longer design narrative on SH, the blog, highlighting the Avignon chair so stop by and take a look. Ciao for now, design peeps! Text of Conversations in Upholstery © Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon Henry is an author, poet and journalist based in New York City. Books include Anywhere But Here and Stranded on the Road to Promise. She also produces The Diary of an Improvateur and is a columnist on Architizer.