Ennis Fine Furniture

craftsmanship

Ennis Has The World’s Best Furniture

Sherrill Furniture, accent chair

Ennis Has The World’s Best Furniture

At Ennis Fine Furniture, we pride ourselves on the unparalleled quality that we can provide for our customers. Whether it’s through the portfolio of furniture brands and accessories we offer or our peerless level of customer service–a catalog of faculties ranging from simple question answering to whole-home redesigns–we strive to be emblematic of excellence. Locally-owned and family-operated since its inception in 1946, Ennis Fine Furniture does business on a microscale. We prefer an intimate knowledge of our brands and services, choosing to highlight any and all details from the ground up so we know exactly what we’re offering, when and why. In our effort to keep this commitment, we scour the globe for companies who share this work ethic; simply put, “nothing but the best.” Take a look at the Sherrill Living Room Arm Chair. A feat of American craftsmanship, this stately piece has a fine base of hand-carved wood, with engravings lining every visible surface, and we offer it in a host of both contemporary and traditional embroidered fabrics.

A hallmark of our stores, we offer a variety of quality pieces from our partners at Sherrill Furniture. Like a top-quality, brown mahogany sectional at its core, but wrapped in a light, modern stitch and ergonomic arrangement that aptly displays the market-sense and design knowhow that Sherrill’s furniture makers have been dishing out for decades. For over 140 years, Sherrill Furniture factories have been creating quality craftsmanship in and around the Hickory, North Carolina area. Essentially a conglomerate of local NC-based furniture brands, Sherrill Furniture has been in business themselves since 1945, but their oldest brand Hickory White started out as the White Furniture Co. in 1881. Through their series of brands and products, Sherrill has sold numerous custom-built, handcrafted pieces to major department stores all over the U.S. As American-made furniture companies started to dwindle, a shrewd decision to band together and offer a wider range of products allowed the conglomerate to carve a niche for themselves and not only survive the volatile push and pull of the economy, but to flourish–no matter the financial season–thanks to a devoted customer base.

Despite these commitments to the age-old crafts of woodworking, carpentry and fine furniture, Sherrill continues to innovate. Let’s focus on one of their more forward-thinking brands that we feature in our stores: MotionCraft. MotionCraft has been producing beautifully-upholstered, functional seating for the ergonomically-minded folk for over four decades now. They are America’s leading manufacturer of “functional motion that doesn’t look like motion seating.” It is the art of comfort within the spectrum of traditional to transitional styling. These sentiments are best exemplified by their vast collection of recliners, particularly the Douglas Hi-Leg Recliner. With its dapper tartan cross-stitch, ruby leather and rich mahogany finish, the chair is a wonderful juxtaposition of old world fabrics, materials and patterning against a dramatic, modern application of style. We also offer the same chair but in a power format, with the same smart medley of textures in addition to a rich tanning of all creamy European leather.

Like nearly everything we offer, this chair is completely customizable. Say you love the chair, but don’t want either of those wrappings? You can have one of our design specialists create a new work based on the patterns of existing materials shared with other pieces across our entire showroom, or better yet: MotionCraft will be happy to customize one right from the beginning on their factory floor. Just another reason why we love partnering with the MotionCraft and Sherrill brands and yet another reason why you need to visit one of our convenient Ennis Fine Furniture locations in Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington.

Stickley Furniture: Still Made in the USA

Stickley living room furniture, made in the USA

Stickley Furniture: Still Made in the USA

Last entry we discussed the timeless heritage designs that are still being produced by the Stickley Furniture Company, one of our partners in providing exceptional quality here at Ennis Fine Furniture. The company, then owned by the Stickley family, underwent a restructuring in the 1980s when the Audi family stepped in and took over for the next generation of Stickley craftsmen. Still proudly made in the USA, Stickley Furniture Co. continues to promote the Arts and Crafts movement as a distinctly American tradition, limiting the size of its workforce to help preserve, manage and fiercely defend every one of its disciplines on craft; a work culture so passionate it proudly embodies their motto of “to the best of my ability” in every piece it produces. These traditional practices have helped keep Stickley true to its mission statement, but it hasn’t kept the company from expanding its collections and keeping its design profile fresh.

Take the Park Slope Collection. This expansive range began as an update of the classics found in the more traditional Stickley Mission Collection, but it soon morphed into a juxtaposition of modernization and craftsmanship. At first glance, the curves and repeating lines are reminiscent of the Pasadena Bungalow series; the oak spindles take your eye up and down the back of the chairs, bedposts, or settles, giving off a tall, regal appearance. Instead of harking back to the subtle warmth of a more natural wood stain, Stickley has opted to showcase many of the Park Slope pieces in a vivid black sheen. This modern retelling allows for the oak grain to be brooding and dark for times when natural shadows dominate in the room, while also letting it shear off in bright, brilliant refractions when shone in some overhead illumination. The modernization of the Mission look has simplified curves in some places, dramatized negative space in others, and overall has streamlined the movement into an almost minimalist feel. It gives the appearance of a design that’s been beautifully distilled, reduced to only the essential parts needed to pull your eye in from the sensory overload of modern life.

So, if you’re on the lookout for American-made furniture–pieces of exceptional quality and craftsmanship–then it is definitely in your best interest to see what the Stickley brand, motto, and life are all about. Take a trip down to an Ennis showroom, cast your eyes onto one of these inviting designer chairs and let them linger peacefully for a bit, tracing the black-lacquered hemispheres and polished dramatic angles of the Park Slope Collection until you’re ready to plop down in one and experience the greatest feat Gustav Stickley and Co. ever pulled off: making an art form out of simply sitting down.

Proudly made in USA. Made by Stickley.

Stickley Furniture, living room set, made in the USA

Proudly made in USA. Made by Stickley.

To many Americans (and certainly other folks around the world), “Made in the USA” was a phrase once so ubiquitous that it became synonymous with quality of the highest order. For a time, it was the standard for the world. While the emphasis on peerless craftsmanship may still be true, finding this pride adorned on products of any kind today is sadly becoming a more and more difficult task. As this continues to happen, it undoubtedly rarifies the process of things being distinctly American-made. As a citizen of this great land, one cannot help but feel both connected to this sense of pride during our celebrations of Independence, and equally distanced from this notion as many of our homegrown manufacturers, services providers, and other bastions of the industry have more recently sought residency overseas.

That is why Ennis Fine Furniture takes immense pride in being able to offer a long-lasting partnership with one of America’s oldest and most revered furniture makers still operating within the US today: Stickley Furniture Co. What began as the Gustave Stickley Company in 1898, Gustav Stickley and his brothers created a legacy of fine craftsmanship galvanized by a motto in their native Flemish, “Als Ik Kan”: to the best of my ability. Stickley used this principle as the root of their philosophy, while also adding an honest simplicity to his work, favoring pragmatic design and quality of materials over the ornate details and gaudy finishings of the then-popular Victorian and Queen Anne styles. His modernization of the craftsman style made his designs emblematic of the Arts & Crafts movement, so much so that it continues to be popular to this day. For over 120 years, Stickley has continued to be the source for top quality, American-made productions of Mission and Arts & Crafts furniture.

The Mission Collection, first reissued during the company’s restructuring in the late 1980s, has buoyed the Stickley revolution and has been their flagship vehicle for decades. Expanding and contracting since then, the Collection hosts a variety of new pieces but also has the distinction of offering original designs from Harvey Ellis, Elbert Hubbard, and Gustav Stickley that were part of the company’s original catalog over 100 years ago. The Roycroft pieces, some designed by Elbert Hubbard as early as 1906, are a hallmark of the collection. The Roycroft Tabouret for example; a smart and sturdy cocktail table made from solid oak, shares the function-over-form discipline that Gustav Stickley insists be a part of anything that should bear his family’s name, with slick, incognito tongue-in-groove joints, a rich texture of oak grain and the Roycroft’s Orb seared into one side. The Orb, once a medieval symbol signed by monks at the end of a manuscript to indicate one’s best work, was repurposed by Hubbard and given a grand letter R to represent Roycroft, a term itself lent to a carpenter’s work that was actually built for a king. Thus, where ‘fit for a king’ came from.

To see how Elbert Hubbard’s goal of bringing exceptional furniture–craftsmanship truly ‘fit for a king’–to the market was accomplished in his Roycroft designs, visit an Ennis Fine Furniture showroom today!

Heirloom Furniture

Stickley Heirloom furniture

Heirloom Furniture

If you have ever spent longer than five minutes with an elderly relative, they’ve more than likely issued you a series of whimsical phrases that most often you find either amusing, outdated, or downright confusing. ‘The early bird catches the worm’, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and so on. Despite the age of some of these charming sayings, the occasional nugget of truth can still be found within. One phrase often heard repeated is, ‘they sure don’t make them like they used to.’ You’d think that with the almost supernatural pace of technological advancement coloring our modern world that things built today are not only not at all like they used to make them, but perhaps better in every single way. Homes are more energy-efficient, cars are built with safety as paramount a feature as the body and mechanics, and communication has been streamlined from a dozen industries and services into a single device that can fit in the palm of your hand.

In this Jetson-esque kind of life, what could possibly be better from a time long ago? If you need a minute to sit and think about it, do so and you might find yourself literally sitting on the answer: furniture. Furniture production, like most other products created today, has become so computerized and hyper-fabricated with lightning efficiency to the point that the items we buy are built with only a transitory lifespan in mind. That is, they are only built to survive until the next great trend comes along. But once we’ve found that great new thing, the furniture we’ve had for but a few years gets unceremoniously donated or repurposed through the recycling process, and even by that time, the expiration of quality on these pieces is evident: chipped corners, peeling fabric and wobbly legs aplenty. So what type of furniture is impervious to the fads of our time? What furnishing invokes the phrase, ‘they sure don’t make them like they used to?’

Harkening back to times spent with your elders, you may have noticed they never seemed to follow the back-and-forth, ups-and-downs of ‘fashionable’ pieces of furniture and likely have hung onto the stuff you’ve always known them to have had. That’s most likely because the quality and history behind those pieces prevented them from finding anything appealing in a showroom. It’s a combination of those elements that define what is commonly known as ‘Heirloom Furniture.’ Heirloom furniture is revered not only because of the story they tell of being passed down from generation to generation but because their build quality was set at such a high standard from the beginning to ensure that they would, in fact, be handed down for decades, perhaps even centuries later.

So what makes a piece heirloom-quality? To separate the hordes of heirloom-imitators from works of fine craftsmanship, one must become a sleuth of sorts as modern production processes have garnered manufacturers the ability to mimic heirloom types quite well, but a few keen tips will help any who may be in search of true woodworking mastery. Typically, heirloom pieces have three things in common: attention-to-detail craftsmanship, fine wood materials, and timeless, elegant design. Shelves, drawers, and joints will be both screwed and glued together; most often in a striking, ergonomic pattern like a dovetail. The wood, if original and well-kept, will be prominently displayed, seldom stained, and never painted. It will have matched grain flowing in opposite directions to give the piece stability and the power to expand and contract as the seasons change, something that was mass-produced in a factory could never achieve.

So, is heirloom quality furniture still manufactured? The answer is yes! We invite you to take a look at Stickley as a perfect example of heirloom quality furniture that can be acquired new today.

If you’re looking to begin a modern-day ‘heirloom’ journey with a new piece for you and your future kin, Ennis Fine Furniture has numerous brands that still abide by these time-tested, hand-crafted techniques and incomparable standards. Stop by and discover some of the craftsmanship your children’s children will be marveling over for years to come.