One of the great pleasures of our business is the opportunities it gives us to work with outstanding interior designers and design companies, helping them select the perfect pieces for their clients.
In many cases these working relationships blossom into something deeper, which is why we are thrilled to present a new design collaboration with luxury interior designer Anna Standish. Unveiled at London Design Week 2019, The West Coast Collection was inspired by Anna’s passion for American interior design from the 1970s and our desire to create new pieces that push our aesthetic into new areas of colour, materials and technique, while remaining complementary to our classic designs.
“Our previous collections are heavily inspired by the Art Deco period and the 1940s, but we wanted to create a look that was new and different,” says DAVIDSON managing director Alexandra Davidson. “The West Coast Collection has this wonderfully fresh, vibrant, dynamic quality that manages to feel both young at heart and, yet, entirely in keeping with our other pieces.”
Like DAVIDSON founder, Richard Davidson, Anna has extensive experience in antiques, and it was their shared love of vintage, coupled with their understanding of how design and craft is always evolving that drove this collaboration.
“I tend to look for a fun and exciting statement piece for a room and often go to vintage pieces,” Anna explains. “I remember saying to Richard that the trouble is that when you buy a vintage piece all too often the hinges aren’t very good, or the veneer is peeling, and wouldn’t it be amazing if you could have a vintage piece with the quality of DAVIDSON furniture. That was our starting point.”
This is the second time we have worked with designers to create new pieces. In 2018, we launched our popular Howes dining table – created with Taylor Howes to mark 25 years of friendship. But, says Alexandra, working with Anna was always on the cards. “We’ve worked together for many years and this collaboration is a natural extension of that. The ideas for each piece grew organically from our shared desire to create iconic pieces that would be unique to the DAVIDSON portfolio.”
“What I love about the 1970s is the way in which they played with proportions,” says Anna. “I wanted to use that in these pieces. If you look at the cabinet, for instance, the plinth is much higher and narrower than a typical DAVIDSON piece. Then with the coffee table and chair we played with big radiuses.”
What excites Richard most about the new collection is the innovative dyed veneer. “This is the first time we’ve used this technique,” he explains, “and it is a significant departure from our usual colour scheme. The coffee table and cabinet are both made with high gloss bird’s eye maple – a new timber for us – which has then been tinted to a vibrant turquoise and beautiful blue, then finished with antiqued brass detailing. For the chair, we chose an eye-catching coral wool fabric from Holland & Sherry.”
As well as style, the choice of colours is another nod to the 1970s and Anna’s love of David Hockney’s paintings of California swimming pools. The bird’s eye maple, meanwhile, has a wonderful pattern natural to the grain of swirls and waves that catches the eye and recalls the ocean.
“These colours are not the obvious choice,” says Anna. “But in the correct balance and proportion, they provide the perfect burst of colour in a home. It was quite an instinctive process – it came from the feeling of the blues and greens in those paintings. It needed to be punchy but also something that people realistically felt that they could recreate in their own homes, or that designers want to work with.”
Pre-dyed veneer is a relatively new process, allowing you to choose almost any colour you want, as Richard explains: “Blonde woods like this are ideal for dyeing and the whole veneer is submerged so that it seeps right through the wood, carrying the same vibrant colour all the way through.”
The result is colours, lines, proportions and quality finishes that blend the best of classic Americana, the 1970s, modern art, the natural world and fine British craftsmanship to produce a collection that would make a stunning centrepiece to any contemporary room. But like any other DAVIDSON piece, The West Coast Collection can be tailored to your specific needs.
“We design all our furniture to be really versatile,” says Alexandra, “which means we can make any of these pieces to a client’s desired size and specification. You can choose the bird’s eye veneers or the DAVIDSON standard house finishes, you can select your own colour and choose from polished nickel, polished brass or a veneer for the metalwork. Plus, the chair can be upholstered in any fabric that is supplied to us.”
Of the collaboration itself, Alexandra says it has been an extremely positive experience, one she would be keen to repeat: “One of the great things has been the strength of the relationship between Anna, Richard and me. It’s been a joy to work together and we’d certainly love to do it again.”
If you’d like to find out more about The West Coast Collection, or any of our iconic pieces, then the DAVIDSON team would love to hear from you. Our furniture is available in a range of styles and finishes to suit different tastes and preferences and to help you create a home that is as unique as you are.