For more than 40 years, David Francis has been attracting praise for their exclusive designer furniture collections that make a statement in any room. Specializing in environmentally friendly materials such as Rattan, Crushed Bamboo and Plantation-Grown Hardwoods, they bring artistry, detail and a fresh perspective to traditional materials through innovative furniture.
We spoke to Catherine Blum about her experience as a Creative Director and Owner in this interview for byDesign.
Let’s start out by learning a bit more about your company. What makes your brand and products unique?
David Francis is a master of customization, as most of the indoor collections are available in 25 + finishes and an array of fabric options including COM. Our mission is to deliver unique, timeless, natural furniture, while never compromising quality.
Who or what inspires you most when conceiving of your designs?
I have had the opportunity to travel extensively since early childhood. That has given me the chance to see different cultures, architecture, and design. I find that I am drawn to patterns and forms in tile, fabric, and architecture.
I look at Chinese vases, old woven textiles, rugs and more. I have been fortunate to draw upon these many art forms for inspiration. I appreciate how design affects behavior and mood. I think the importance and value of good design is now recognized more than ever in our lives.
What is the process behind initiating new designs/products?
We painstakingly draft, test and re-sketch until each piece of our sustainable design furniture is perfectly unique. We spend a great deal of time sampling furniture to make sure it has the perfect feel before putting it into final production.
What is your favorite part about the manufacturing process?
I love seeing a design come to life; from a pencil sketch to a CAD drawing to a raw sample and finally a finished product shipping to a client. I like to end each day with a walk through the finishing department. It puts such a big smile on my face to see my finishing team apply a finish for an order shipping to a client. The possibilities are truly endless!
Please speak to the custom nature of your lines.
Our product line is very customizable. We stock our frames raw, without a finish. We offer 25 + finishes and can perform a custom color match to any paint color. We also have an assortment of graded-in fabrics and can accept COM. Our clients have an opportunity to choose a finish and fabric for their furniture.
We love seeing our furniture though the designers eye!
Please give us an overview of the more personal side of your business, who’s behind it, how did it come to be, any interesting stories about the origin or the founders you can share?
David Francis, is a real person and the chief designer behind the brand. He and his wife were dissatisfied with furniture in stores so they decided to create their own by purchasing a local rattan company in 1997. Years later, that rattan company grew into David Francis Furniture. I am the daughter of David, and second generation to the brand. We have expanded a great deal over the years but have also kept some of our classic and timeless designs like the Chippendale Collection. Quality can truly last a lifetime.
What current trend are you tired of?
We don’t want to see “disposable” furniture. While trends and colors may change, a well-designed piece should have a form that is comfortable, durable and aesthetically pleasing. It is better for the environment, too.
What has been the proudest moment of growing/running your business?
My first designs were headboards and etageres. I chose patterns that were pleasing to me and incorporated rattan materials that allowed me to create some intricate patterns. Rattan can be steamed then placed on a jig to bend it. It allows me to use patterns that would otherwise be difficult to attain. I still remember how proud I felt when one of my first designed étagères was nominated for a prestigious Pinnacle Award. We are thrilled to have won this award 5 times.
Follow David Francis on LinkedIn at: David Francis
Shop David Francis on DesignerInc