EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HEYWOOD-WAKEFIELD FURNITURE
We don’t know about you, but Heywood-Wakefield furniture is the kind of furniture that makes us want to say, Hey, there, good looking. Crafted of rich maple and birch woods, vintage Heywood-Wakefield furniture is as eye-catching as it is durable.
Originating in the 1920s, the brand has made a name for itself creating basic yet sculptural dressers, tables, case pieces and more. Off-the-charts quality made Heywood-Wakefield a go-to among those who were looking to make lifetime investments, while the brand’s subtle Art Deco-meets-Mid-Century-Modern styling made it appealing to those looking to ease into the modernist offerings that dominated the mid 20th Century.
Throughout the 1940s an 1950s Heywood-Wakefield furniture sales flourished. During these years high-profile designers like Russel Wright and Gilbert Rhodes designed for the company, churning out Heywood-Wakefield dressers, Heywood-Wakefield coffee tables, and Heywood-Wakefield bedroom sets. Their designs featured subtle atomic architecture, yet felt perfectly accessible to virtually any buyer. When it comes to vintage Heywood-Wakefield furniture value, it’s the pieces from the Mid 20th Century that fetch the highest prices. If you’re looking for more of a quick buy than a splurge, however, don’t fret. Later Heywood-Wakefield styles look remarkably similar and often forgo the hefty price tag.
To help you meet your match, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about vintage Heywood-Wakefield furniture. From those many shades of blond wood to the brand’s most iconic collections, this is vintage and used Heywood-Wakefield furniture declassified.
VINTAGE HEYWOOD-WAKEFIELD FURNITURE FINISHES
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the majority of Heywood-Wakefield furniture, including Heywood-Wakefield chairs, Heywood-Wakefield dressers, and Heywood-Wakefield bedroom sets were constructed of maple or birch. These pieces were only lightly stained to preserve the wood’s natural amber color. While some dark-finished Heywood-Wakefield furniture does exist, you will most likely encounter these natural-finished pieces. Below, is a color encyclopedia outlining some of the most common golden finishes.
Amber – Produced from 1936-1939. A warm, autumn-like gold color.
Bleached – Produced from 1936-1939. A brilliant, almost silver blond tone.
Champagne – Produced from 1939-196. A blond finish with a rosy undertone.
Platinum – Produced from 1954-1951. A blond tone awash with gray and beige hues.
Westwood – Produced from 1962-1966. A sweet, almost translucent honey tone.
Wheat – Produced from 1937-1966. Just as the name implies, this golden color is an ode to the Heartland’s champion crop.
ICONIC HEYWOOD-WAKEFIELD FURNITURE COLLECTIONS
A line so epic it took four designers to design it (Ernest Herrmann, Leo Jiranek, Frank Parrish and W. Joseph Carr, respectively), the Sculptra line takes all of Heywood-Wakefield’s most iconic signatures and rolls them into one. Wavy, raised panel drawers lend the line’s dressers a French Art Deco simplicity. These raised panels also function as drawer pulls, thereby allowing designers to forgo hardware. Capitalizing off the atomic trend, smaller pieces like nightstands, vanity stools, and coffee tables are equipped with aerodynamic x-bases. Among our favorite pieces from the Sculptra line are the vanity stools. In addition to featuring the fanned x-base, these Heywood-Wakefield benches showcase a plush, upholstered pinwheel seat. Perfect for any flower child, past or present, these vanity stools embody everything Heywood-Wakefield has come to stand for: quality, durability, and everlasting style.
Heywood-Wakefield’s Rio line utilizes the same Art Deco silhouette as the Sculptra line but integrates a rustic element that pays homage to Mid 20th Century South American designers like Percival Lafer. A crosshatch emblem serves as the collection’s hallmark, and is used most predominantly for the collection’s drawer pulls. Although the pulls are made wood, the exemplary construction easily fools you into believing they’re leather at first glance. The result? Heywood-Wakefield desks and Heywood-Wakefield dressers that are perfect for southwest and cabin-inspired homes as well as Mid-Century Modern homes. Worth noting is that the Rio collection did extend beyond case pieces and includes a sought-after Heywood-Wakefield bed that was only produced from 1943 to1944.
Taking its name from the 13th Century 186-karat diamond discovered in India, the Khinoor collection was designed to dazzle. This line of Heywood-Wakefield tables and Heywood-Wakefield chairs was in production just two years—1949 to 1951—but remains one of the brand’s most desirable sets. Recognizable for a repeated convex square motif that embellishes drawer fronts as well as Danish-style pencil legs, the line line skews more Mid-Century Modern that some of the brand’s earlier offerings. If you’re in the market for a Heywood-Wakefield desk or Heywood-Wakefield vanity, it’s worth seeing if you can track down an example from the Kohinoor collection. Both of these pieces feature curved cabinet portions enclosed by a side-to-side rolling tambour door. Splayed legs, reminiscent of LAX’s Theme Building, complete the look.