Ennis Fine Furniture

Month: June 2016

Who’s Afraid of Color?

A recent news headline has us thinking about color: “How the world’s ‘ugliest color’ is saving lives.”

An agency commissioned by the Australian government researched the putrid tone and put it on cigarette packages to see if it would act as a deterrent to smoking. Guess what? It worked. Tobacco sales have fallen ‘down under’ and in the UK, France and Ireland. The brown-green blend was credited with reminding people of death or tar. It’s officially known as ‘opaque couche’ 448C by The Pantone Color Institute — the world’s foremost experts on color. This simply confirms what interior designers have known for a long time: that color can have a profound effect on your disposition, even your energy levels. So how you use color in your home is VERY important.


beautiful green colored couch with two similar chairs

Some of our feelings about color may be emotional while others come from conditioning. Take white, for example. White reflects light and is considered a color of summer – when we’re active and enjoying long days. It’s neutral and goes with just about anything. White can also mean innocence or purity because of its association with brides, or bring feelings of sterility or cleanliness –think hospitals. So your feelings about color can be very personal depending on your life story.

“If you’re intimidated about adding or changing colors in your home, it’s a good idea to just take a look at your wardrobe,” says Ennis Fine Furniture interior designer Donna Larson. People tend to wear the colors that make them feel their best so take a cue from your closet.

Starting small is also safe way to jump in the color game. Choose accessories and artwork integrating your favorite color. “If you have a neutral palette, say gray or linen upholstered pieces – then you can bring in a lot of personality by changing your textiles like curtains, throw pillows and area rugs,” adds Larson. The Thomasville dining set below is a great example. The owner chose the soft gray fabric for the chairs which are sitting pretty above a sea-blue area rug. A pop of colorful artwork, a buffet tray and flowers echo the sentiment.

If you go big on color with your walls, accessories and textiles you can balance that with neutral furniture pieces. Conversely: If you go big with richly colored leather or fabric furniture — like the terra cotta covered sofa by Jessica Charles (below) you can use more natural, toned-down surroundings like the wood, metals and white-washed surfaces which are all quite neutral.

Once you feel more confident you can consider painting an accent wall or using a bold, brightly colored wallpaper to make a statement.

Colorful splash of bright pigments on a canvas“Even here you can start small by painting the color you want on a sample board.” This allows you to see the paint color(s) at different times of the day with natural and artificial light.

And if you’re really brave, go ahead and get several colors to test side-by-side on the wall. Your wall likely has a bit of texture which can be played-up or minimized based on the finish of the paint (flat, eggshell, satin, etc.) And some colors have nuanced depth to them that is not noticeable until you see them side by side. Think about the many shades of gray which is so popular in homes today. Some grays can have a pink tone, some have a warm tone. Sometimes there’s just no way to tell until you get them on the wall next to each other.

Always remember: a designer from Ennis Fine Furniture can lend expertise for any room you may be changing. If you have an idea, our designers are a great sounding bound. They can channel your vision into reality and prevent you from making costly mistakes. It’s all part of the experience of shopping at Ennis.

Mid-Century Modern Makes a Comeback

The mid-century modern look is more popular than ever. You see the sleek furniture lines everywhere–from television’s ‘Mad Men’ series to Elle Décor Magazine. On ‘The Daily Show’, you will see the guests sitting on classic Knoll office chairs. If you go to a contemporary restaurant, there’s a high likelihood you’ll sit on a chair designed in the 50’s, be it Bertoia, Cherner, Eames, or Saarinen.

Mid-century modern is a complex term to define. It describes furniture, architecture, and graphic designs from the mid-twentieth century. It was an era alive with everything from the industrial revolution to the world war. It was a time of great departure from the classic European style of furniture design mostly pioneered in the 1950’s. The design has remained popular since its inception and has gained more followers in the last ten years perhaps because it speaks to an entire generation. Manufacturers and retailers embrace its polished look. The pieces are exclusively designed and have a timeless look. Millennials, whose parents grew up with these designs, are part of the market for both the original pieces and the reproductions. For today’s generation, the designs are a direct connection to the past that still feels fresh and modern. Mid-century tends to integrate especially well with today’s less complicated aesthetic and the current trend of urban living.

Some iconic designs like the Eames Lounge Chair never went out of production, but many other designs fell out of popularity in the 90’s and were no longer available. Things began to change when Knoll, a chief manufacturer of mid-century designs, opened a SoHo showroom where pieces were sold to designers and architects only. His direct to consumer strategy was to increase the customer base to compensate for the lost office business. He did away with special prices for designers and architects, which was 40% less. Instead, the company offered lower prices to all clients. Knoll noticed a huge improvement in his business. This prompted him to convert the showrooms into more visible customer-oriented sales hubs. With time, more pieces that were only sold to designer and architectures became available to the average clients.

Herman Miller, a furniture manufacturer, was synonymous with the iconic design when it was first introduced. Under the supervision of George Nelson, Herman Miller was among the first businesses to deal almost entirely in office furniture. The firm did not produce residential furniture for 30 years. Herman Miller noticed the trend of people creating home offices and recognized the opportunity to return to the retail market. The firm decided to release some pieces from their archives and offer them directly to the clients. The new pieces had the original designs and are stamped with a medallion to differentiate them from the vintage pieces. However, they’ve been updated to use modern fabric and material technology. To battle a market being flooded by poor quality knock-offs Herman Miller brought the classic designs back in production to protect the company’s reputation and satisfy consumer demand for better quality.

You can find updated and classically styled mid-century pieces in many of the lines carried by Ennis Fine Furniture. A great example is the Stickley “Elroy” chair pictured above. It has the spare lines and space-age sensibility of the 50’s era. But it takes a giant leap into the modern consumer era — allowing you to choose from an entire library of fabrics to suit your taste. Additionally, Ennis offers artwork, accessories, lamps, rugs and more to complete your mid-century style. Whether you want just a few pieces to harken back to that golden era — or you’re remodeling your entire space — the designers at Ennis will work to find the options just for you.

Get started today by browsing the choices of the vast Ennis Fine Furniture collections on-line. www.ennisfurniture.com