July 2020 - Kathryn H.
Unknown to me, my love of Kittinger reproductions began in 1991.
I had bought my first house in Houston, Texas not realizing at that time that I would still be living there thirty years later.
As a child, all of my Christmases were spent with my family in Williamsburg, Virginia. I learned to love history, beautiful old homes and their furnishings early.
My parents both had an interest in the furnishings of the Governor’s Palace, the Peyton-Randolph and Wythe houses and even the taverns such as Christiana Campbell’s Tavern. They enjoyed the clever ways furniture could be used and not used by tilting the table tops up and placing pieces against the wall to accommodate dancing.
They shared this knowledge with me and I continued learning from them and from the docents of Williamsburg and a few other great houses in America until it was time to decorate my own home.
The first piece I bought from the Williamsburg collection of reproductions was the Silver Chest.
This beautiful little piece fit in with other reproductions I bought and accommodated my silver service. I also bought the Williamsburg fire screen in 1991 from the Williamsburg collection.
My Silver Chest and Fire Screen were part of my “forever” furniture until August of 2017 when Hurricane Harvey came to stay and flooded my town house. Under eight feet of water, only a few pieces survived to be refinished.
The loss of my Silver Chest along with so much else broke my heart. I was unhappy with the furniture in the stores at the time and good reproductions were hard to find in Houston as the storm destroyed many inventories as well as private homes.
One day I found Elmwood’s online inventory and saw that they had the exact Silver Chest I had once owned and cherished. One telephone call later to Jim placed my name on that Silver Chest and led to so much more.
I also saw a pair of wingback chairs Elmwood had brought into inventory and I purchased them as well, along with a true antique stool, circa 1830.
In that same conversation a seed was planted about the Bombe' Chest on Chest (CW190).
After beginning working with Kim Earl for months looking at fabrics for my chairs, I decided to add one of Elmwood’s camelback sofas, one pie crust table and two 25” square-top end tables. While still looking for fabric, Elmwood brought Kittinger’s Williamsburg reproduction bookcase (CW164) into stock. I had been asking for this piece and Kim and Jim found one for me. All pieces were either made by Kittinger’s Williamsburg reproduction program or were Williamsburg Adaptations made by Kittinger.
Finally, I decided to add the Kittinger Bombe' Chest on Chest for an upstairs bedroom. Only one hundred and fifty of these Chests were made. I love mine (#68).
I think the final addition to my purchases was the Wythe House Mantle Clock reproduction that was shown in the accessory section of the online catalog.
Meanwhile, Kim and I came upon the right fabric and Elmwood’s upholsterer did an expert job of recovering the wingback chairs and camelback sofa as well as the antique stool.
Pillows were made, along with sleeves for the upholstered pieces and everything was transported to Houston at one time.
I was delighted with the extreme care that was given to wrapping my pieces prior to transport and then unwrapping them and placing them for me.
The Elmwood Company saw to every detail from selecting pieces, to refinishing and reupholstering them, to finding a wished-for piece, to safely transporting everything to my home in Houston.
I could not be happier with my new “forever” furniture.
The bonus is having met Jim and Kim in this process. They have many of these pieces in their own homes. They share with me a love for beautiful and well-made reproductions. Jim and especially Kim stood by me every step of the way.
When we completed our furniture journey I told Kim I would not say good-bye. But rather, “I’ll be back.”
No doubt, I will be.