Lindsay: When did you first develop an interest in design and craftsmanship and how did this lead to the launch of vanCollier? 

Beth & Chris: We were interested in art growing up, and later developed an interest in furniture through antiques. When we were dating, we visited museums, antique shops, and auctions together looking for that special find. This experience gave us an appreciation for functional art. When you see a piece of furniture made hundreds of years ago that has stood the test of time, it helps you appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that go into creating something beautiful.

Lindsay: Who or what has been most influential in your career as a furniture designer?

Beth & Chris: Antiques are our biggest influence, but many furniture designers of the past have influenced our designs. Our influences include Giacometti, Lalanne, Royère, Perriand, and Baughman, as well as many others.

Lindsay: What are some of your most important design philosophies?  

Beth & Chris: Our most important design philosophy is simplification. While many of our designs are quite detailed, we tend to create pieces that are pared down. Simple lines and minimum detail are what many of our pieces exhibit. The simple designs can fit into an array of interiors. On the other hand, we also like to add some quirky pieces like the Finn and Fiona Ottomans.

Lindsay: Can you tell us a little bit about your process of designing, developing, and creating a new piece of furniture..... from initial concept to final product?

Beth & Chris: We often see a piece of antique or vintage furniture and pick up on one detail from that piece. We are introducing such a piece at the Spring High Point Furniture Market. While looking through a magazine, I saw an antique coffee table in a Parisian apartment. The leg detail caught my eye, so we took that detail and designed a new drinks table. Once we have an idea, we sketch the proposed design and then take it to one of our talented craftsmen. We discuss our vision of the design and together we will develop a prototype. We will often tweak the prototype until we are satisfied with the design.

Lindsay: How has your furniture line evolved over the years?  What exciting plans do you have for the future?

Beth & Chris: The evolution of vanCollier's designs has primarily been in the types of materials we now offer. We started with metal furniture, sometimes accented with stone tops, began designing upholstered pieces, and now have begun offering wood pieces. However, our design philosophy has not changed. In the future, we would like to have some one-of-a-kind pieces to sell. We still collect antiques and various items of interest but have begun thinking of showing these pieces at Market alongside our furniture. It helps to create a real-world look. Our home is an eclectic mix of various styles and periods, creating an approachable atmosphere. 

Lindsay: What are some of your favorite vanCollier pieces?

Beth & Chris: The original design, the Ginkie Martini Table, is still one of our favorites. The Caldwell Swivel Chair, the Hulot Console Table, the Finn Ottoman, and the new Stiggy Coffee Table are some of our other favorites.