Remember us?? I’m McKenzie. And I’m Caroline, and we are Design the Gap. Don’t forget I [Caroline] am talking when you see the bold font. While I [McKenzie] am talking when you see the normal text. Feel free to interject any thoughts you have yourself. We interrupt each other all the time. We just get so excited! Ladies and gents, get ready to get your “learn on”. Caroline and I will be putting on our teacher hats and giving you a wealth of knowledge about one of our favorite names in furniture. Today’s blog is the first of three lessons, so pay attention! Before we can tell you about all the fun we had at Baker’s upholstery and casegoods factories, you need to be schooled about WHO Baker IS, so without further adieu, the always luxurious (drum roll please) Baker Furniture!
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to staaaart . . . when you read, you begin with your “A, B, C’s”, when it comes to Baker, you begin with Seibe Baker. This guy had no idea that with the start of his new furniture company, he would actually be reinventing the wheel for the entire industry, setting the bar for artisan and craftsmanship at an all-time high. Siebe Baker was a Dutch immigrant and an unparalleled craftsman, who founded Baker Furniture in 1890 with quality and design as his foundations. A few years later, Siebe’s son Hollis decided to join in the fun and carry on the values and ideals his father put into place.
Fast forward about 100 years and Baker is one of the leading names in designer furniture!
The faces above are of all the designers that have worked with Baker. Can you recognize who’s who? Oh alright! We’ll throw you a bone and tell you their names too! Andre Arbus, Barbara Barry, Tony Duquette, Jacques Garcia, Laura Kirar, Stephane & Frouwkje Pagani, Thomas Pheasant, Michael S Smith, Bill Sofield, Sir Humphry Wakefield and last, but not least . . . wait a minute . . . Caroline! We are not Baker Designers! Not yet . . . hahaha. You’re right, I just couldn’t help myself! We look so good next to the rest of the gang! Uh huh, as I was trying to say, click on their names to learn more about these smashing designers! Siebe and Hollis Baker established such a solid foundation, these designers have been able to take Baker from where the company originally started in western Michigan, to places like the Emmys, NY Fashion Week and the Oval Office– just to name a few. Oh, excuse me Baker, you’ve “got some dirt on ya’ shoulder”, can I brush it off for you?
We couldn’t agree more, Coco. I’ve always thought that fashion and furniture were two sides of the same design coin and when you compare a designer like Barbara Barry to someone like Coco Chanel, it becomes even more evident. Both ladies have created looks that are timeless yet current by using classic elements of style and good taste. The only difference between these fabulous women is that one designs for what we put on our bodies and the other designs for what we put our bodies on. Pretty similar, right? Brand recognition in the fashion industry is at an all time high and I think it’s high time we learned about our designers on the furniture side! Every woman enjoys showing off those red soles on her pumps to let people know that yes, honey, those are Christian Louboutins and I think if we discovered this amazing world of interior design that exact same woman couldn’t wait to throw her next dinner party to show off her divine, new Thomas Pheasant chaise. I absolutely want a piece of this design heritage in my home, don’t you?! Last stop White House, next stop your house!
Alright, kids, class dismissed! Look for Baker lesson two coming soon!
Stay Classy, (just like Baker)
Caroline & McKenzie