In 1889, John Mathias Bernhardt founded the first industrial venture in rural Lenoir, North Carolina, which would later become the Bernhardt Furniture Company. Leveraging the region’s natural resources and local woodworking skills to strengthen the local economy, he opened his factory with vast ambitions and twenty-five employees.
In the twelve decades since, Bernhardt has mastered and refined its craft to become a leading diversified global furniture manufacturer. Unique by today’s standards, Bernhardt remains a family-owned business deeply committed to the welfare of the local community.
To mark this occasion, Bernhardt Design honors the company’s heritage with a new collection of products that underscore this artistry. Designers Ross Lovegrove, Jephson Robb and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance draw inspiration from three different traditional furniture archetypes and recreate them for today’s world. New York artist Frederick McSwain completes the celebration by paying tribute to generations of craftsmen with a series of original artwork.
“For me, Bernhardt Design’s history is not only a story of fine woodworking, but also a respect for quality sewing and upholstery. To capture these elements in one new product, it appeared the obvious place to look for inspiration was the Chesterfield sofa. A typical Chesterfield sofa conveys opulence and elegance, which is achieved through the visual complexity of generous rolled arms, buttons and tufting. My entire design process for the Alex sofa was about reduction and simplification – to express elegance in a modern way with clean lines and precise details.” Jephson Robb