EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VINTAGE HENREDON FURNITURE
Understated and elegant, vintage Henredon furniture is a forever classic—Seriously, nestle it in right between the little black dress and the gin martini, and you’ll hear no complaints from us! Founded in 1945, Henredon was founded by four businessmen who strung together letters from each of their names to create the name “Henredon.” Committed to creating quality furniture, the foursome set up shop in Morganton, North Carolina, just miles from the now-famous furniture capital of Hickory. The first collection of vintage Henredon furniture was admittedly…sparse. The collection included only three case pieces. However, the company was quick to fire up its collaborative efforts, forging partnerships with design heavyweights like Dorothy Draper and Frank Lloyd Wright.
At its core Henredon is traditional furniture. You won’t find them taking too many avant-garde risks. But what the company does do, it does well. Even among the earliest examples of Henredon dining tables and Henredon dressers, it’s common to find high-end details like shimmery brass hardware, high-end woods, and immaculate jointing.
If you encounter a Henredon sofa or Henredon dining table and you’re looking to authenticate it before purchasing, it’s good to know that Henredon pieces are generally well-marked. One thing to be aware of, however, is that in the 1970s, Henredon maintained a cross-licensing agreement with Heritage furniture, leading to many used Henredon pieces from this era being labeled Henredon-Heritage. Also worth noting is that in the early 2000s, Henredon was officially absorbed as part of the Heritage Home portfolio, joining design royalty like Maitland-Smith and Lane Furniture.
While it’s true that virtually any piece of used Henredon furniture is worth the splurge, some earn extra points thanks to the brilliant designers who collaborated on them with Henredon on them. Below, learn about some of our favorite Henredon Furniture-designer collaborations.
DOROTHY DRAPER FOR HENREDON
For anyone with an affinity for Hollywood Regency design, they know that the movement can be single-handedly summed up by one piece: Dorothy Draper’s España bunching chest. A nine-drawer chest featuring a tic-tac-toe grid of drawers, this piece is defined by its dramatic black lacquer finish and wavy gold drawer insets. What most Regency fanatics don’t know, is that this iconic 1950s chest is actually a Henredon dresser. While knock-offs are now a dime a dozen, an original Henredon dresser can be confirmed by the appearance of the following traits: a finished back, beveled edges, a Henredon-Heritage stamp in the drawer, and numbered drawer slots. In addition to the España chest, Henredon also produced Dorothy Draper’s Viennese Collection, which featured chests with bold, geometrically incised fronts and ornate, bombe-base hutches. In case you couldn’t tell, these used Henredon dressers were built for those who aspired to the silver screen life.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT FOR HENREDON
When you consider the thoughtfulness of Frank Lloyd Wright design, it’s no surprise that the modernist master partnered with Henredon for his renowned Taliesin Ensemble, a capsule collection which encompassed paints, floor coverings, and furniture. Famed for his pioneer homes in areas like Chicago, Wright's Taliesin collection was intended to bring Wright’s Arts and Crafts aesthetic to those who did not live in one of his houses. The 1955 Taliesin collection was divvied among several companies. Karastan, for instance, produced the rugs, while Martin-Senour Company provided a collection of 36 paint colors. It was Henredon, however, who handled the 63-piece furniture collection. The majority of the Henredon dining tables and Henredon chairs from this line adhered to Wright’s clean-lined, Arts and Crafts-inspired aesthetic. Intersecting planes took center stage, and some were edged in a blocky, carved “Greek Key” pattern. It’s just the kind of didn’t-have-to-but-did detail that makes vintage Henredon furniture so covetable.
BARBARA BARRY FOR HENREDON
Having joined forces with both Baker and McGuire at different points of her career, California interior designer Barbara Barry was no stranger to collaboration before joining forces with Henredon for her award-winning Realized collection. Built on the laid-back principles of California elegance, Barbara Barry’s vintage Henredon furniture collection is composed of classic silhouettes that hark back to the refinedness of Art Deco design. The result could be stuffy, but thanks to breezy, coastal-inspired fabrics, these Henredon sofas and Henredon chairs still feel perfectly accessible. But the real beauty of Barbara Barry’s pieces is that they can be flawlessly mixed with other Henredon styles. Pair them with one of the line’s vintage Chippendale hutches or campaign chests and you have the beginnings of enviably eclectic design.
CELERIE KEMBLE FOR HENREDON
With Palm Beach as her muse, interior design powerhouse Celerie Kemble created a collection of vintage Henredon furniture that’s as playful as it is sophisticated. The collection features Henredon sofas and Henredon desks with simple and elegant forms, but puts a polished Palm Beach spin on them courtesy of jewelry-like details. Think: bamboo shapes, gold leafing, rosewood, and Celerie’s admitted favorite—Burned Sugar leather. True to Henredon form, the collection doesn’t tie its wings to any one style, instead dabbling in trends as varied as Neoclassical and 1970s glam. What pulls the collection towards a collective center is Celerie’s eye for pairing luxury and subtle whimsicality—and a little bit of Henredon alum Dorothy Draper’s glitz.