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By Don Nichols | Photo: Courtesy of Brown Jordan | January 31, 2017
Brown Jordan’s new Design District flagship debuts an outdoor-living collaboration with Michael S. Smith.
Celebrated designer Michael S. Smith ended 2016 in a big way—working with the Obamas on their post-White House home in Washington, D.C. That project capped a year in which Smith also teamed with another well-known American name—the outdoor furniture-maker Brown Jordan—for his first foray into alfresco living. That partnership has spawned three distinctive collections that have pushed this respected brand outside its comfort zone and into some unexpected worldlier styles.
“Brown Jordan is known for its clean lines and midcentury-modern designs, but Michael has allowed us to be viewed as more grand, more estate-ish, rather than a pigeonholed brand with a particular look,” says Stephen Elton, the company’s chief brand curator.With the Arbre collection, Smith reinterprets faux bois using metal. The console table’s intricate design nods to vines and boughs growing over an arbor ($2,195). That same woodsy look on the étagère ($5,195) makes that piece a head-turner too.
For the Deia collection, which features handlathed finial details, Smith drew inspiration from the exclusive coastal village in Mallorca, Spain. Elton considers the daybed ($3,595) one of the collection’s standouts because “you don’t see a lot of daybeds for outdoor use.” Meanwhile, the Harewood collection delivers an updated Georgian Chippendale look. “It’s less like pool furniture and more like garden furniture,” Elton notes.
“Partnering with Brown Jordan to bring these three unique outdoor furniture collections to life was such an interesting journey,” Smith says. Elton seconds that. He notes that it usually takes Brown Jordan 16 to 18 months to launch a new collection with such an esteemed designer. But Smith’s vision and acute attention to detail translated into nearly four years of development work. Elton says the time investment was worth it: “Michael pushed us to do things with metal furniture that no one had ever done before.” 3625 NE Second Ave.