High Point. Low point?

I know people come to Hammertown for inspiration for their home and their lifestyle. That’s why we are always pushing ourselves to create a “home like” environment in our store that is engaging as well as inspiring. We want to give you ideas on how to bring new elements and design sensibilities into your own homes. It’s a challenge to do that within a store-like setting but it is my overriding vision of Hammertown…always has and always will be.

Custom chair for Hammertown will be upholstered in old Sari quilt

New Cisco sofa arriving this summer

Thinking about this -- what do you think?

So, you might ask, where do we find our inspiration? Years ago I would travel abroad to France and England to search for antiques. I would always be inspired and bring new ideas and fresh looks back to Hammertown. In fact, way over 10 years ago, we were one of the first shops in this country to carry Farrow and Ball paints…an inspiration that came to me from many trips to England.

I haven’t been abroad in a few years. Importing antiques has become more and more difficult, quality things harder to find, and, of course, prices keep escalating. However, I still pour through European magazines (as well as American shelter magazines) to discover merchandise and trends which tap into my own interests and ideas. As always, my guiding principles are about good, authentic design for living , with a modern, country twist.

Another source of inspiration in the past has been Trade Shows, like the one in High Point, NC Rhonda and I just returned from. This is where buyers are supposed to see the latest and best in design trends. However, this year it was somewhat disappointing. I realized, though, that sometimes you have to look at the good, the bad AND the ugly to validate the direction you are heading. In fact, sometimes it helps me to see what I don’t like– what I don’t want to do. It affirms the path I’ve chosen for our Hammertown stores. Of course, we did find some wonderful things to buy but the process of searching and editing on this trade show visit was particularly daunting.

The High Point trade show also brought new clarity to my mission at Hammertown; what I want to do and what I don’t want to do.

Let’s start with what I DON’T want to do:

  • Carry upholstered furniture that is manufactured overseas. When you see sofas and chairs at the chain shelter stores and in their catalogs that seem overly reasonable in price — or if the sale sounds unbelievable — there are reasons. They are purchasing their furniture overseas. It is cheaper and mass marketed and produced. The brands we carry: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Lee and Cisco, are made here in the United States! They will last and stand the test of time. In the long run, making a good investment in a well-designed and well-made piece of furniture will save you money.
  • Carry items that the big shelter chain stores are saturated with. That includes tables, side chairs, dressers, etc. that they produce overseas in such quantity that there isn’t a chance a small business could compete fairly with them.
  • Be guided by what might be “trend setting”. If my heart doesn’t love it…you won’t see it at Hammertown…whether it’s a big trend or not.

Nice repros. The lower one will be good for planter. Coming in June.

What I DO want to do:

  • Mirror for Rhinebeck

    Buy what I love and what inspires me with the hope you (our customers) will respond. Our homes should be special reflections of “us” and if our editing can help you in your decision, then I feel we have done our job. From a special bar of soap, to a unique pillow, comfortable sofa, and great rug…we’re here for you!

  • Buy as much as I can that is made in America. All the upholstered furniture that I sell at Hammertown stores are made in the United States by family owned businesses. These businesses employ Americans and help sustain our economy and support local communities with work and opportunities. Any imported items that I do buy are from responsible Fair Trade companies.
  • These beliefs have also led me to a new venture. I, along with two local designers, have created Hammertown’s own signature line of artisanal furniture. All made locally and found exclusively at our Hammertown stores. Make sure you come in and see these beautiful new pieces!

Coming home from High Point and walking into the Barn and seeing the magic Wanda and Jessica had created while I was away, renewed my inspiration. It was gratifying and it reinforced my belief that we are on the right track.

So I will continue to strive to never disappoint and always inspire you when you visit a Hammertown store. That is my pledge to you, our loyal customers.

[click any image to enlarge and for details]


  • Camilla Gray says:

    Inspiring!Both the affirmation of your philosophy AND the great pieces on order for the shops!

  • Susan says:

    Gorgeous & Smart!
    I was happy to read ‘High Point-low point’. I’m currently on the search for a new sofa and my husband suggested a trip to High Point. I dreaded the very idea of getting all the way there just to find acres and acres of inferior furniture that don’t suit my taste or style. I love your Great Barrington store and recently spotted the perfect sofa but knew nothing about! I’m happy to learn you not only carry gorgeous furniture, but ‘smart’ to offer American-made products. And I’m thrilled I can forego the horrible trek down south.

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