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Furnishings: In-Line Design

William Kissel

Clients of Stephen Sills and James Huniford may recognize some of the pieces in Dwellings, the first collection of furniture and home furnishings from the owners of the Sills Huniford Associates interior design firm in New York City. “All of the ideas come from the classical, custom designs we’ve done over the years for ourselves, our clients, and on our many projects,” says Huniford.
 
Dwellings’ low, armless Bedford Banquette sofa, for example, is a replica of one that the designers produced for their own country house. The collection’s boxier, square-armed Southampton is based on a contemporary sofa that the designers created for clients from the Long Island town of the same name, and the more ornate Tufted Back sofa is reminiscent of one that they made for a fashion designer’s Manhattan apartment.

The Dwellings collection ranges from armchairs to wall sconces—modern and classically styled—and also includes custom design services. Antiques, which Sills and Huniford mix freely in their interior design work, also figure in the Dwellings collection. Pieces in its ever-changing assemblage have included an 18th-century Directoire steel daybed, a 1920s-era German folio cabinet, and an undated map of Seigneurie de Logron, an estate in France. “At one point during our travels,” says Huniford, “we found 12 pieces of [crystal-like] gypsum in London and had them made into lamps.”

The Dwellings collection represents a departure from most interior designers’ furniture lines, which tend to be produced through licensing arrangements with top manufacturers. “We wanted to finance the whole thing ourselves so that we could control the quality, the fabrics, and the end product,” says Huniford, noting that he and Sills select materials to re-create—not duplicate—their custom pieces in a manner that reduces the furniture’s cost yet maintains its visual appeal. The re-creation of a $14,000 bronze-and-parchment coffee table, for instance, involved the use of less expensive patinated metal and bark paper. “Where fabrics in Sills Huniford might be made from linen and silk, Dwellings [fabrics] could be cotton and cotton/linen blends,” says Huniford. “Think of it like the difference between couture and ready-to-wear.”

Dwellings, 212.717.5753, www.dwellingshome.com

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