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Monday, January 31, 2011

Affordable Custom Furniture: Country Chair of Hickory

Affordable custom furniture may seem like a very tall order.  We've all seen the semi-custom options at places like Williams-Sonoma Home and Ballard Designs, and for the most part, their limited fabric choices and styles leave a little something to be desired.  Enter Country Chair, a small family-owned-and-operated furniture manufacturing company in Hickory, NC.  Country Chair allows you to customize every detail of your chair, sofa, or ottoman, from the height of the seat, to specific down cushions, to nailhead trim, to turned legs, to a tufted back.

Country Chair manufactures BEAUTIFUL pieces of custom upholstered furniture.  And their prices are very reasonable.  A fraction of Pottery Barn or Ballard prices, with about a week in turnaround time.   The process is so easy.  You can mail Country Chair your fabric, and tell them what style chair or sofa you want.  You can send them pictures of a particular chair or sofa you love, and they will custom build exactly what you want.  Or you can be creative and design your own piece of furniture, and they will build it to your exact specifications.  If you still aren't sure what you want, they have tear-sheets with hundreds of sketches in a variety of different styles.

My mom and I have both ordered furniture from Country Chair over the years.  Somehow when it came time to pick up my furniture, I was always in school or working and never actually visited their studio in Hickory.  Recently I have been needing a pair of chairs and an ottoman for my den, so I took a trip to Hickory last week to see Country Chair firsthand. 

When you first enter the warehouse, wooden furniture frames are stacked as far as the eye can see.  ALL of these furniture frames are made right in Hickory (a true rarity in today's world of outsourced labor), so the quality is excellent, and you can know that your purchase supports the local economy. 

An elegant wing chair frame caught my eye.

Last year MoS Washington ordered a sofa from Country Chair, featured here on Apartment Therapy, and it has pretty turned legs just like this frame.

Here you can see some furniture frames that have been stained.  Country Chair will stain your furniture in whatever color you wish (and they will make recommendations if you aren't sure!).

Here is a picture of a sofa in progress.  They have just added the springs to the frame as well as some muslin across the back.

Here they have gone one step farther, adding padding to the arms and covering the springs with muslin.

Next, you decide what style cushions you want.  They have several options, from springform down, to plain down, to a synthetic blend.  Todd and the folks at Country Chair are happy to talk you through the pros and cons of each option so you can make your decision.

Now the fun part- fabric time!  Country Chair does source some fabrics, so if you haven't purchased fabric of your own, you can tell them what you are looking for, and they may be able to source it for you.  They will mail you some samples and you can decide what you like.  Otherwise, you can mail them your fabric- they will tell you exactly how much you need based upon the pattern and the style furniture you want them to make.

Once they have your fabric and know what style chair or sofa you want, they use patterns to start cutting the fabric.  This particular pattern is for a seat cushion.

The cutting table is very long!  Only one person does the cutting, one pattern at a time, so the fabric cuts are consistent and exact. 

After the cuts are made, the Country Chair seamstress starts sewing cushions.

And a beautiful finished sofa, wrapped up and ready for delivery.

I decided to use a durable green herringbone upholstery fabric for my chairs and ottoman.  I am SO happy with how they turned out.

 They are exactly what I had in mind and really complete my den!

If you are in the market for a new chair or sofa, Country Chair is your best option for custom, affordable furniture. 

If you aren't in NC, don't worry.  Here is how the process works:
1.  Email Todd at, or you can call him at 828-328-8646.
2.  Describe what you are looking for, or you can email him pictures of what you want.
3.  He will give you information and a price on the style you want, ask you some questions about your room, floors, etc, and tell you how much fabric to mail them at:
Country Chair, Inc.
809 8th Street Dr.
Hickory, NC  28602.
5.  Pick up your fabulous custom furniture or have it delivered.  When MoS Washington ordered her sofa, I believe delivery to Washington was around $100.  The folks at Country Chair told me that the most expensive delivery is to California and is around $300. 

Talk to Country Chair about your furniture needs- we think very highly of them and think you will as well!


MyLittleHappyPlace said...

That is UH-mazing! I'm so glad to know about this resource!

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

What a great resource! Thanks for sharing it :)

Julie said...

Wow! They look so fabulous, and it seems so easy. Thanks for letting us in on this great secret.

Betsy said...

The chairs look great!!

980980980980rox said...

Um, WOW! Those chairs are GORGEOUS! Seems like a great business - will be contacting Todd in the near future for one of my projects!!! Love that everything is made here and not overseas!

kayce hughes said...

What a great find! Thanks so much for sharing.

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