Introducing Maidstone: How Stickley Develops a New Collection

Introducing Maidstone: How Stickley Develops a New Collection

[originally posted October 2023]

Over the coming months, Stickley’s newest furniture collection, Maidstone, will begin arriving in dealer showrooms (and here on our website). It’s the beautiful culmination of a process that plays out over the better part of a year and involves nearly every department at L. & J.G. Stickley. Let us give you a first look at Maidstone, along with a brief glimpse into how a new collection comes into being.

From idea to inspiration to reality

The months-long process of creating a new collection begins with the Product Development and Executive teams deciding on its direction; their choice is partly influenced by market trends and forecasts and by how Stickley, as an authority in furniture manufacturing and design, can best respond to them. In the case of Maidstone, the team saw an increased demand for relaxed, natural, coastal looks that we were more than capable of delivering.

Early rendering of the Maidstone Bookcase                         The finished piece

With that direction, our Director of Design begins weeks of research, studying historical and modern inspiration to inform her vision and developing her first computer-aided sketches of the collection. These are reviewed and refined by the team over several rounds, with many decisions being made about materials and construction techniques. The Engineering department turns the designs into detailed computer models that will guide manufacturing, and prototypes are created in our Sample Shop to test and refine every aspect of the designs. Finally, any new finishes that are required are formulated and tested in our Finishing department, and special details such as cabinet hardware are resolved.

Maidstone Two-Drawer Server in Sandbank finish

In April, the final, approved collection samples for Maidstone made their debut in the Stickley showroom at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina. There the industry got its first look and dealers from across the country placed orders for their businesses. Production then began in earnest in our Manlius, New York and Archdale, North Carolina, factories, and now the new collection is ready to be introduced to the public!

                    Maidstone dining room in Pier finish

Maidstone revealed

With one look at the Maidstone Collection, you see the vision that was set by our team at the start. This is furniture of casual luxury, with earthy textures and tones indebted to nature; though inspired by coastal style, it’s versatile enough to turn any home in any setting into a relaxed retreat. Each piece is crafted from red oak, a hardwood with a deep, open grain. To bring that grain to the forefront, we’ve used cerusing, a technique that creates a two-tone contrast between the grain and the overall finish color. Maidstone’s two cerused finishes are light, breezy Sandbank and Pier, a cool brown.

     Maidstone Tall Chest with Gallery                 Woven Jute drawer fronts and branch pulls in warm nickel

Adding to the furniture’s natural appearance are optional surfaces of woven jute, available on select drawer fronts and tabletops. Hardware is finished in a warm nickel and sometimes takes on an organic shape. And throughout the collection, you’ll see that, though the furniture forms are kept simple, many corners are cleverly carved away, with bevels and chamfers softening edges and adding character. Similarly, Maidstone’s upholstered furniture opts for sheltering curves in place of angles. With such a beautiful, shared design language, each Maidstone piece flows smoothly into the next and works seamlessly in any room.

Round Cocktail Tables show distinctive bevels and chamfers          Maidstone Sofa

Maidstone does a gorgeous job of capturing the airy, relaxed, coastal-inspired style that was its goal, while at the same time providing thoughtful function and superb comfort. It’s a testament to the skill of every Stickley team that had a hand in its creation!

                    Maidstone bedroom in Sandbank finish

Additional sources:

Marissa Brown, Director of Design

Elise Thayer, Project Manager, Product Development