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Magazine    January 2003

Classics for a Lifetime

Hogart Armoire
Barley Four Poster Bed

Jacobs Side Chair

Vellay Folding Screen

Kerry Joyce, who has won an Emmy for set decoration and gotten countless magazine accolades for his interior design work as well as his classic furniture creations, was bound to catch the attention of one of the nation's high-quality furniture makers.

This month, Dessin Fournir will introduce the Kerry Joyce Collection in several showrooms nationwide. How to describe the collection of 70 pieces of furniture and small assortment of lighting? "Classic modern," "traditional" and "transitional" are all words that apply, but the overriding design characteristics in any Kerry Joyce piece are clean lines (sometimes straight, sometimes curvy), subtle details, fine finishing and quality manufacturing. “Normally my threshold is very short, but I'm not tired of anything in my line," says Joyce. "They're all classic, whether they lean toward the Art Deco period or are traditional pieces, and they all give off the feeling of having been made in the past."

As Joyce would tell you, many of the designs were originally created for clients' homes. Those clients and their houses include Andy Warhol's townhouse in Manhattan, which Joyce remodeled for MTV CEO Tom Freston, Ian Schrager's 1930s Southampton beach house and an entertainment industry executive's Ricardo Legorreta house in Bel Air, California.

While his interior design work extends from coast to coast, Joyce is firmly rooted in his home base of Los Angeles and his fondness for Hollywood and the elegance and glamour in old motion pictures shows up in the names he gives his pieces, the Bergman coffee table and the Jane sofa.

The designer had started the collection several years ago with another manufacturer, who went out of business. Rather than try to have the furniture made himself, he looked for a company to build it for him. Joyce had been buying furniture from Dessin Fournir for years, and he admires founder Chuck Comeau's design and manufacturing abilities. "Our company's mission is to bring great design to the marketplace," says Comeau, whose company makes the highly regarded Dessin Fournir and Gerard furniture lines, Classic Cloth upholstery fabrics and Palmer Hargrave lighting.

Joyce's designs are well thought-out, balanced and rich in detail. The Bergman coffee table, made of rosewood with a rich French polish finish, is designed as if it were a tray table, but the tray is permanently attached. Joyce put in double legs and stretchers to mirror the two layers in the top and give the piece presence. The

Bergman Coffee Table

Jacobs chair was originally intended for a game table. "It was hard to find a chair with a tall back that makes a statement, so I designed one," explains Joyce, who thought to offer the option of "dressmaker" slipcovers with knife-edge pleats for a feminine look.

Finishes are very important in Joyce's oeuvre. The Barley Four Poster Bed has a dramatic, figured wood headboard of crotch mahogany with a traditional French polish. The door panels and moldings of the Hogart Armoire are completely ribbed mahogany, with a tete de negre finish. "I designed the armoire for a tasteful country-style house," says Joyce, who indulged his passion for Art Deco furniture with the Vellay folding screen. Made of a figured Anigre veneer, the Vellay resembles the parchment screens created by the most exclusive designers of the 1920s and 30s. Although originally designed for a modern interior, the room divider would be right at home in a traditional setting if it were made of a dark mahogany or rosewood. The consummate designer that he is, Joyce has design solutions for any interior.

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Kerry Joyce Collection for Dessin Fournir
At showrooms throughout the United States
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