Designer Snapshot: Built to Last

February 16, 2011

These past couple of years, most talk about the economy is all about the downside. Designer Melissa Gulley takes a more positive view of things. “I feel the need to focus on the quality of the items we include into our lives,†she says. “I’m not suggesting the most frivolously expensive, but making sure we invest our money in things that will last. Like the old proverb says, ‘Buy the best and only cry once.’ â€

Hand-crafted furniture pieces that become instant heirlooms exemplify the kind of value Gulley is talking about. Gulley, who has her own design blog chose some high-quality pieces for her selections for a game room in our January/February issue.

Photo courtesy of Melissa Gulley

“This bed is classically styled, hand carved out of solid mahogany and made by a master furniture maker to last for decades,†Gulley says of this bed crafted by Leonards of Seekonk, Massachusetts. “Most important,†she continues, “My clients love it. It’s the last bed they will ever need to buy and they will probably pass it on to their grandchildren.â€

Here are a few more gorgeous pieces made by southern New England furniture makers.

Photo courtesy of Michael Gloor Furniture

Michael Gloor‘s work blends Shaker simplicity with Asian elegance, as in this bow-front piece made of chenchen, mahogany and black epoxy.

Photo courtesy of Timothy Philbrick

If you seek museum quality, this hall table from Timothy Philbrick is it–literally. Examples of it sit in the permanent collections at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The one pictured here is made of Cuban mahogany.

Photo courtesy of Peter Zuerner

Peter Zuerner calls this cherry and Douglas fir piece Tallulah’s Chest.

Photo courtesy of Hank Gilpin

We featured Hank Gilpin, who crafted this chest of curly red oak, in our Artistry department in our September/October 2010 issue.

–Paula M. Bodah

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