The British may not be coming, but Brit Chic style is headed our way thanks to a major fall launch in the works: Hilary Farr and Hilary Farr Designs, a new universe of licensed home furnishings collections designed for both inside and out.
News is that the internationally renowned interior designer and co-host of Love It or List It, the wildly popular series that airs on HGTV in the US and W Network in Canada, is turning her ability to anticipate industry trends and understand what makes consumers—and clients—tick to product in a big way. Currently, five leading companies are hard at work on everything from upholstery fabrics (Covington) to furniture (Braxton Culler), accessories (A&B Home), lighting (Grandview Gallery) to floorcoverings (Kaleen Rugs). And, she hints, discussions are underway to expand the fast-growing empire even further, with announcements about additional licensees expected in the near future.
“We’re in high gear,” Farr declares. “I was never going to be one of those so-called celebs who just signs off on stuff,” noting that she resisted the urge to expand into product development until she was sure she could devote the time necessary to be successful. “I’m spending more and more time in North Carolina now (she has long resided in Toronto where she is credited with being the first designer to stage properties) and I’m feeling more grounded, so I felt like the timing was finally right.”
According to Farr, the aesthetic that will inform all of her comprehensive, coordinated collections is “elegant, sophisticated and incredibly functional, with a little bit of whimsy. My intention is to bring my British aesthetic to the U.S. market, where everything tends to be larger, with slightly softer, kinder lines. The goal is a classic line with a little bit of an edge that can be literally used across the board.”
Indeed, Farr says she is “creating a niche that people didn’t realize they needed to fill. It’s almost impossible to define because it’s so eclectic. I’ve spent my entire life traveling the world starting from the age of about five, so I’ve been influenced by so many different cultures and design aesthetics.” That said, her involvement in the show—and the strict budget constraints that are part and parcel of any successful production—have had a profound impact on her approach. “I’ve had very high-end clients where I had no problem fulfilling every single need and want that they have,” she relates, “but it’s very difficult to really do that when budgets are restricted; not impossible, but difficult. So now, with that experience, I feel I can make those higher-end elements more accessible to a much larger audience.”
That was the attraction for Braxton Culler, which is known for moderately priced furniture lines for every room in the home. The family-owned and -operated North Carolina-based manufacturer has collections in independent retailers across the country thanks to its special-order capabilities and extensive offerings for indoors and out, from upholstery to casegoods and wicker and rattan.
“We think Hilary Farr has tremendous appeal for today’s consumers,” says Brack Culler, Executive Vice President, “and we believe our partnership will be a boon for independent dealers seeking to set themselves apart in the marketplace. She’s smart, friendly and a working designer who understands what resonates and how to effectively define her brand. We’re incredibly excited to work with her on bringing her vision to reality.”
While the collections will not be unveiled until October, Farr will be making an appearance this market on Saturday, April 6 at 4:15 p.m. at The Point located on Commerce Ave, between S. Main and Wrenn streets. For more information, visit www.hilaryfarr.com.