Who better to talk about design trends than the forward-thinking president of high-quality furniture companies The Eleanor Rigby Leather Company and Abbey Road Design Studio, Christopher Thorpe? Mr. Thorpe was generous enough to take time from his busy schedule and tell us more about what influences the fully customizable pieces in 100% top grain leather and luxuriously soft fabric covers offered in both lines.
My Interview with Eleanor Rigby Leather Company President Christopher Thorpe
Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Christopher! To start off, could you please share what you see as the major design and style trends in regards to household furnishings this year?
When we started our company back in 2011, our product range had a focus on transitional/traditional frames and leathers – classic parings such as a hand-applied nailhead sofa upholstered in our unique hand-colored and hand-burnished leather called Maestro Artisano.
Whilst demand for these types of products is still strong, our primary focus for 2016 will be on the contemporary/modern aesthetic. Custom metal finishes combined with a lighter color palette will feature prominently in our product offerings for 2016.
We have also developed some beautiful hand whipstitching for the contemporary frames that we will be debuting in the upcoming High Point furniture market in April. One particularly exciting leather article that we are launching is called Caressa. Caressa combines the weight and heft of 100% leather with a special surface lamination of an ultrasuede to give it an exceptional durability and resistance to staining.
I’ve learned from other designers that pastel colors and metal finishes are playing a big role in modern design trends, so it’s great to see that Eleanor Rigby Leather is incorporating those trends in their newest products. And that Caressa upholstery sounds heavenly!
Can you tell us a bit more about those factors that have influenced your latest designs?
We have positioned ourselves as a specialty supplier in several very distinct markets. One of the niches where we have a special affinity is supplying the specialty leather stores with Western-themed frames.
Many of these will be upholstered in North American bison hides which have a unique homegrown story and resonate with our customers. Bison hides are typically much thicker and stronger than cowhide and can be finished with waxes and oils to give them a rugged and distressed appearance- perfectly suited to be combined with hair-on-hide accents.
A mid-century modern influence is another product category that is enjoying a resurgence in interest from some of our customers. Trips to antique stores and some of the homes located in Palm Springs are good sources of inspiration for our interpretation of this product category.
Western themes and mid-century modern are always big here in California.
I have to ask: how will the Eleanor Rigby Leather Company and Abbey Road Design Studio grow this year in terms of collections? Besides the hand whip stitching and Caressa ultrasuede upholstery, what else can we expect to see later this year from your furniture lines?
We will definitely continue to push the creative boundaries across all of our product categories this year.
We are currently working on a new, hand-rubbed leather for our traditional models and separating our modern and contemporary frames into a separate catalog to give them the emphasis and focus they deserve.
On the fabric side, we are working on a new collection of contemporary slipcovers in an exclusive range of luxurious linens.
That sounds fabulous, Christopher! Thank you once again for sharing your design trend insights and giving us a sneak peek into your company’s future offerings.
So there you have it – a lot of exciting changes coming from one of the most unique and innovative furniture companies that exist today. And you be sure that Sofa Designers will be proud to carry all these new product offerings, metal finish and upholstery options. I can’t wait to see them in person!