Best of the Best 2007: Furnishings

James Magni has an advantage over most interior designers: He trained as an architect before entering the field. Structure and line are paramount to him, as is reducing a piece of furniture—whether it is a chair, bed, or table—to its essential form and then adding exquisite details. Magni (310.623.1623, www.magniclassic.com), the furniture line that he launched 15 years ago, is now presented at Randolph & Hein showrooms. Magni’s furnishings unite exotic, luxuriously finished hardwoods with metal accents in pieces such as the Metropolitan barstool, which features high-gloss macassar ebony and stainless steel footrests; the Moderne armchair, which has a hardwood frame and a maple seat stretcher; and the Hurrell silver tray table, with its body of pure silver leaf, nickel-plated braid, and a removable hand-polished stainless steel tray with handles.

Since he opened Bolier & Co. (336.887.2815, www.bolierco.com) in 2003, Christian Plasman has provided a tightly honed collection of furniture with a classic yet contemporary look that suits a variety of settings. The former president of Baker Furniture is no stranger to setting precedents; he was one of the first people in the furniture industry to invite interior designers such as Barbara Barry to create their own lines for the general public. With Bolier & Co. (which he named after his paternal grandmother), Plasman repeats this formula at a smart new showroom in High Point, N.C. There, he and a small group of designers take well-proportioned English, Swedish, and Japanese antique furniture and update them for those who want to enjoy high design without sacrificing comfort.

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