There are a lot of good reasons to buy American-made hardwood furniture. Our best manufacturers use sustainably grown, fine-quality Real American Hardwood® timber that doesn’t need transoceanic shipping, a decided environmental plus. Also, many of these companies don’t mass produce their furniture but use artisanal methods to make well-designed, durably constructed, impeccably finished pieces. And though it’s seldom inexpensive, such furniture almost always proves economical in the long term. “Well-made hardwood pieces will last a lifetime and more,” says New York-based interior designer Glenn Gissler. “It won’t need to be replaced and is easy to repair or restore if necessary, so you’ll save money over time.” Here are three heirloom-ready armchairs from three different American brands that show what Glenn means.
Originally from Sacramento, California, brothers Ryan Schultz and Travis Nagle launched their first collection in 2005 with the idea of creating sustainable, well-crafted furniture that won’t just end up in a landfill. Now located in Portland, Oregon, their Medley brand makes products that are a combination of sleek aesthetics, sturdy construction, and eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices. One of my favorites is the Eim accent chair, an elegant Scandinavian-inspired design in a choice of FSC-certified maple or walnut with a natural wax and oil finish. A bonus option: certified-organic natural latex foam cushions upholstered in wool—super comfy! medleyhome.com
An authentic American classic, Stickley is the brand successor to a number of furniture companies founded by the Stickley brothers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most famous for their iconic Mission-style oak products along with handsome Arts and Crafts and, later, Colonial Revival pieces. Today’s company continues to create instant classics, like the Park Slope armchair, which takes signature Mission features like spindles and reverse-tapered posts and gives them a sophisticated update. Available in solid quartersawn oak or cherry, the inviting, comfortable, and above all elegant chair can be matched with a cute-as-a-button ottoman. stickley.com
Millennials outfitting a first home often get sticker shock shopping for better quality furniture. Founded in 2016 by two college students, Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra, New York-based Burrow specifically addresses that demographic by producing modular sofas, seats, beds, and tables—some of which are delivered as flatpacks—that allow customers to customize, assemble, and move their furniture easily and affordably. A fine example of the company’s principles and practice, the Lodge chair has a solid frame made of sustainably forested ash that’s both strong and stylish. Even though it comes as a knock-down kit, the Danish-modern inspired piece is beautifully crafted, a model of fine woodwork that’s also easy on the pocketbook. burrow.com