Oftentimes importance is placed on the more overtly influential pieces of an interior when redesigning a room — the type of couch, chair, table, or light source you use becomes the focal point, while accessories are utilized to balance the room in subtler ways. Most overlooked, however, is the importance upholstery can have and the design impact it can make. The fabrics and textures create the ambience and mood of a room rather than the physical layout that their counterparts form.
Holland & Sherry has provided the finest fabrics to the apparel industry since 1836. First mastering the best wool and silk cloths, they moved their expertise to interiors in 1998. With 200 years of experience in the textile industry, Holland & Sherry has become internationally acclaimed for their work in furnishings, wall coverings, leather, hardware, trims, custom rugs, and embroidery. Most recently, they have begun using their luxurious fabrics to re-upholster vintage pieces. As always, their finished work never falls short of remarkable, contributing to their ongoing legacy of consistency and unmatched quality.
We asked a few questions to Dan, Vice President of Interiors, and Herbie, New York Territory Manager, to better understand the thought process and genius behind their stunning re-upholstered designs:
What types of furniture do you re-upholster and how long does it take from start to finish?
Dan: “I’m a fan of Americana. Designers like Adrian Pearsall and Paul McCobb. For some reason, I have one foot rooted in my grandparents home and the other in the modern world. I just like the juxtaposition of the old and the new. Herbie has a better eye and education when it comes to furniture design, and he’s pretty cool to have around. Upholstery takes 2-4 weeks, we don’t do anything too fancy and keep it local.”
What is your favorite part of this process?
Dan: “For me, it is the finished product. When Herbie and I are in Paris or Belgium, I will really like a chair… to which Herbie will reply “No”. But then I buy it anyway. And then it is re-upholstered and sold quickly and I win. There is a little friendly competition when it comes to buying vintage as a team.
How do you go about matching a specific H&S fabric to a piece of furniture? Do certain types of fabrics work better with certain pieces of furniture?
Dan: “Bryan Dicker, who started Holland & Sherry Interiors, did a great job in the beginning of introducing these nostalgic, kind of far-out fabrics like boiled wools, wool felts, and Donegal tweeds that complement vintage really well. The interesting forms we find don’t clash with our fabrics because, really, it’s just subtle texture and color.”
Herbie: “Finding in-stock furniture is somewhat challenging for designers. Many times, we select neutral fabrics that can work in any scheme.”
How does H&S differ from other furniture upholsterers?
Dan: “Simplicity. I don’t think there is a need to embellish these vintage pieces. Although it seems one of us always tries.”
Herbie: “We provide handsome-looking furniture that is upholstered in great fabrics, and is available immediately.”
Share with us something that the average consumer wouldn’t know about your brand and approach to furniture design.
Dan: “None of us went to school for this. The whole process has been a learning curve, but it’s awesome. I think furniture and lighting design brings you into a realm of seriously opinionated designers, and we take their opinions to heart. I learn a lot from Herbie, but also stay up at night researching good finds. We bought the World War I truck mirrors in Paris basically because they were cool. Last year, I was wandering around Munich and came across them in a museum that explained their design and importance. And I thought, wow we bought twelve of those because we thought they would look good on consoles.”