Seattle is becoming more and more an incubator and an international hub for great design. At Board and Vellum, we value finding and working with the local people who contribute to the diversity of this “happening” city.
Last week we had happy hour with Curran. They brought some delicious cookies from Hello Robin (a must try) and we served a variety of local wine and hard cider.
Barbara and Jeff Curran are the owners of Curran an online site for furniture, floor coverings, and accessories. We asked Curran how it all began:
The story behind the company is simple. Jeff Curran was a manufacturer’s rep in the Pacific Northwest and friends and family were always asking whether they could buy from his home furnishing lines. To make things easier for everyone, he put a little flier together and mailed it out to 20 people. That was 1996, and the catalog grew by word of mouth. In 2008, Curran went totally online. In 2012, Curran opened a small showroom in downtown Seattle.
Jeff and Barbara go to many design shows around the world to select unique product lines to add to their online collection. In fact, as a native-Swiss, Barbara takes the kids along and turns the business trip into a two–month family vacation in the Alps.
Back at B&V, we were drooling over the outdoor furniture catalogs they brought along. It was very exciting to play with many colorful flooring samples of Sisal carpets (natural and synthetic), Bolon floor and car mats, and various wools… They even carry a line of 100% compostable carpets – now that’s green!
The highlight of their presentation was when they introduced their U.S manufactured furniture line. The manufacturer uses native species, and practices sustainable manufacturing methods (Curran’s Sustainability Statement). Each furniture piece is made individually and is entirely customizable. Since the furniture is U.S made, even with customization, the lead times are very reasonable – you lose no time going through the customs etc, which may become an issue with international furniture orders… We were very impressed with their ability to customize orders. They have put a lot of thought into how to streamline this process. Have a look at this example:
Take a traditional dresser from their catalog – draw a sketch – find new knobs – pick a new color:
And the result can have a very different, modern visual appeal:
Barbara told us that their price range hits the sweet spot between the very high-end designer furniture and mid-level mass producers. They are a family business, and they are aiming to make Curran a one-stop-shop for designers who work with families that care about good design, and want high quality, durable, and timeless furniture.
Inspired, we left the Happy Hour with a lot of ideas on how we can use Curran as a resource in our projects, and maybe one of their carpets for our office expansion.
You may visit curranonline.com to find more information about the company, or stop by their Seattle Showroom near Pike Place Market.
Photos courtesy of Curranonline.com