By Janice Harris
We love speaking with Christopher Guy Harrison, the renowned furniture designer responsible for the elegant and luxurious Christopher Guy brand. Christopher is one of those designers who seamlessly conveys his vigor for the industry in a way the everyday homeowner can understand. Plus, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
While here at 2018 Las Vegas Winter Market, we had the chance to sit down one-on-one with Christopher to talk about his observations of the high-end furniture industry and the ways his company is adapting to the ever-changing retail landscape.
Here at Winter Market, Christopher was eager to showcase his Las Vegas-based permanent showroom’s new layout and introduce some of the newest items from the beautiful Christopher Guy furniture line.
Speaking about his Las Vegas and High Point showrooms, Christopher said, “Every three years we go through a major change.”
During this particular Market, Christopher presented several newer globally-inspired designs featuring a mixture of carved wood, limestone, brass, hand-beaten brass, and mosaics. The new styles are eclectic without feeling busy and reflect the multiple style preferences of his customer base.
But Christopher recognizes that many trends come and go, which is why he’s determined to stay ahead of the curve.
“We’re always thinking about what the next trend is,” he said.
However, he recognizes that trends in furniture design aren’t like hair or fashion trends (i.e., short one day but long the next).
“Today, [furniture design] is a mixed trend.”
Christopher’s design inspiration is very organic. After building a home from scratch in Provence, France with this stepfather at the age of 16, Christopher used the money he made from this project and opened a store. The store was situated near the Riviera, so Christopher got an up-close-and-personal look at the lifestyles of the region.
“All I could do was look and watch, and that translated into my design work,” he said.
He started designing mirrors, and the rest is history. Today, Christopher melds that inspirational French Riviera experience with his fascination with Coco Chanel to perfect his rich designs.
“I ask myself, ‘What would Coco Chanel’s home look like?’ and that’s how I base my trends,” Christopher told us.
These inspirations fuel Christopher’s emphasis on curvature. It’s an element he uses whenever possible in furniture and décor design, even when it’s not necessarily easy to do so. For example, the new Christopher Guy sectional offerings infuse strategic curves, but the entire design still maintains the “easy lifestyle” feel that younger generations are looking for.
“As much as I do elaborate work, I also like to maintain a cleanliness to the design,” he said. “I love the clean look, but that doesn’t necessarily mean straight lines. I use curvature and curved lines.”
Like so many designers across the industry, Christopher recognizes that the way consumers purchase furniture and home accessories is changing. In an attempt to meet many of his customers where they are (online), Christopher is taking a “clicks and mortar” approach to product sales. In addition to offering the Christopher Guy line in showrooms and physical stores, he’s also acknowledging that some may want to purchase his collection online. With this combination approach, which isn’t common yet in the world of high-end products, Christopher believes people will, go to a store to touch and experience the furniture, and then order it online.
Also, Christopher is launching a new website in March 2018 that offers designers all the tools to create a room layout and mood board. This advanced software accommodates third-party product uploads and gives the user complete freedom to make design choices throughout the room. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!
The future is bright for Christopher Guy Harrison and the Christopher Guy line, and we’re excited to be along for the ride.
Check out the Christopher Guy line at www.christopherguy.com.