‘Love it’ – Braxton Culler sets Hilary Farr line for October unveil

HIGH POINT — Braxton Culler is set to launch a licensing collaboration for indoor and outdoor furniture with British-Canadian designer and television personality Hilary Farr at the upcoming High Point Market as part of the Hilary Farr Designs Collection.

Farr is a co-host of HGTV’s popular “Love It or List It” home renovation series and president of Hilary Farr Designs, which has offices in Toronto and New York. She has designed and renovated properties in Australia, the United Kingdom, California, New York and Toronto. Those projects include the homes several celebrities.

Farr bills the furniture collection as “Brit Chic” and said it will blend the British design aesthetic she acquired growing up in the U.K. with American preferences for comfort and scale.

“One of the defining elements of the collection is who I am,” Farr said. “I have a British aesthetic, but I’ve lived in America long enough to know what (consumers) want here.”

Braxton Culler “was already embracing a lot of what I love in design,” she continued, and Farr could adapt the company’s existing niche to new styles. “The sweep of an arm, the turn of a leg can completely redefine a frame.”

The furniture will utilize a line of 35 upholstery fabrics she also will debut at Market with Covington Fabric + Design.

“The fabrics aren’t ‘safe, safe, safe,’” she said. “You’ll have some creams and neutrals, and also fabrics that I believe will create a lot of excitement. … We’re bending the sides of the box with this line.”

In addition to furniture and fabrics, the Hilary Farr Designs Collection launch at market will include rugs at Kaleen Rugs, lighting at Grandview Gallery, and room décor and accessories at AB Home. Farr also debutted a bedding collection in New York in September with Sky Home.

Braxton Culler Chief Operating Officer Brack Culler has known Farr, who has a home in Raleigh, N.C., for eight years. The business relationship started began a couple years ago with Braxton Culler providing furniture for ‘Love It Or List It.’

“I got an e-mail two markets ago that she was interested in doing a furniture line,” Culler said. “She liked the fact that we’re a one-stop shop furniture line, that it’s a family business and that it’s made in America.”

Farr’s licensing agent brought Farr to see the company’s showroom at the October 2018 market, and Culler said she liked the line’s affordability, value and quality story, and customization capability. Braxton Culler saw it as a good match as well.

“We loved Hilary’s design experience, her eye for fashion, her TV personality, that she has a major public forum on which to use our furniture (with ‘Love It or List It’) and the fact that she has an impressive and fiercely loyal fan following,” Culler said. “More than 100,000 followers on Instagram definitely puts her in an elite group of design influencers.

“For us, the timing was right,” he continued. “We have worked with licensees in the past that have been very successful for us, and we were ready to bring in a fresh face to help promote our line.”

For her part, Farr said she’d wanted to do a furniture line for a long time, but balancing her show, her design business and personal life got in the way. Why now?

“The question should be, ‘Why not sooner?’” she said. “This happened because my brain was bursting with ideas, and it was time to do something.”

Braxton Culler sent its design team to Farr’s Raleigh residence to collaborate. Culler noted that Farr is a natural for a home furnishings license.

“On her program, ‘Love It or List It,’ she’s all about creating great living spaces,” he said.

To showcase the new line, Braxton Culler completely remodeled a 3,100-plus-square-foot space on the second floor of its 310 S. Elm St. showroom in High Point to create “The Loft at Braxton Culler.” The renovation included opening up windows to let in lots of natural light and eliminating drop ceilings to create a big, airy space in the former mill built in 1947.

“This renovation is not only valuable for the natural light, but the architectural aspect is spectacular,” said Showroom Manager Lorraine Hayes. “We are so fortunate to have the steel window framing in place, thus requiring only new glass to be inserted.  Seven years ago we replaced the glass in two other windows in the center part of the showroom, so we knew that this endeavor would be a beautiful enhancement to our showroom.”

Farr said the Loft at Braxton Culler is ideal for showcasing the furniture: “The space literally sheds light onto the product line.”

The new Hilary Farr collection includes five upholstery groups, a wicker/rattan group, modular outdoor furniture, a complete bedroom, a wicker/rattan bed, fabric upholstered bed and an assortment of accent furniture.

Outdoor includes a modular sectional in a light washed gray weave and custom options on the upholstery seating.

In addition to more than 35 fabrics Farr selected for the collection, all upholstered pieces will be available in any of Braxton Culler’s 1,200 fabrics. Farr’s fabrics also will be available throughout the company’s existing line.

A launch party is set for the collection in the Loft at Braxton Culler on Saturday, Oct. 19 starting at 5 p.m., when Hilary Farr will be on hand to greet buyers and discuss the new line.

I’m Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. Upon my return to F/T, I developed coverage of the logistical and service aspects of the furniture industry as well as following the occasional, home office and home entertainment categories. In April 2018 I took over the upholstery category, with responsibility for coverage of the fabric and leather stationary and motion upholstery, recliners and massage chair categories.

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Post time: Sep-30-2019