This year I discovered a particularly fun design competition: the Crate & Barrel Designer Custom Challenge. It's open to professional designers who are members of their Designer Rewards program. (Side note: many retailers have programs like these, which offer pros a discount on merchandise. We then pass the savings onto our clients: one of many reasons why hiring a designer is a great idea!)
This competition calls for entrants to design a piece of furniture. You can use any frame offered by Lee Industries, and any fabric offered by Lee or Crate & Barrel itself. You must create a sketch of your piece, and submit a short description of the thinking behind your design. The three winning entries are then fabricated and sold at certain Crate & Barrel stores.
My entry is the chair shown at the top. My home is a mix of earthy and chic, and that's what I was going for with this piece. I just love the Lee chair frame. Its sweeping arms are so graceful, and the brass nailhead detail is really refined. I used a dark brown leather for the seat and back, and paired it with a charming kantha fabric for the reverse. The result is a piece that's unexpected, with a sensibility that shifts depending on which way you're looking at it. I think it captures a glamorous bohemian vibe.
I am sorry not to win, but it was great fun to design my chair. Besides, the winning entries are excellent:
And Joen Garnica's
palette is so fun and bright. This bench would be just great paired with a modern white dining table.
Congrats to all the winners. The sketches are all lovely, and I'm sure the pieces will be even better in person. And here's to the competition in 2014!