- The Hamptons
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Kelly Skinner | Photo: Patrick Heagney | September 24, 2013
Design Within Reach’s newest upstart hails from Atlanta.
“Furniture is one of those industries in the design world that has a strong following, with a lot of passion behind it,” says Atlantan Chris Hardy. The stylish up-and-coming furniture designer should know. After all, it’s what first put him on Design Within Reach CEO John Edelman’s radar at the hospitality industry’s HD Expo three years ago. Proudly toting his graduate portfolio beneath his arm, Hardy, then a veritable unknown, says his passion made him hard to ignore. “This [furniture] collection I’d put together was romantic—there was a story behind it, and there was an approach that was unique to me.” Similar sentiments could be said of his first collaboration for the modern decor juggernaut. With a cast brass base as the focal point, offset by asymmetrical walnut legs and a clear glass top, his understated DWR Helix coffee tables and side tables exude unexpected warmth and simple sophistication. “I think when you’re designing, you have to strike this balance between character and efficiency,” Hardy says of his three-piece construct, noting that “brass is so often restricted to the details. Here, it’s where the beauty is.”
Raised in a home that fostered creativity—his brother and father both have architecture backgrounds, and his mother taught art—Hardy’s appreciation for design began early. “We didn’t really have many family heirlooms growing up; what we did have was furniture. I’d look at a piece, and it would be my great-grandfather’s antique, and I only knew about him from stories,” he recalls. “That [began to] interest me: how stories can become entwined with objects.” 2451 Peachtree Road NE, dwr.com; chrishardydesign.com
Hardy has enjoyed his share of travel, and even earned his master’s degree at the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Here, his favorite design destinations:
“It is, without a doubt, the home of America’s design scene. They have the best museums, galleries and showrooms to explore.”
“I love an old-school aesthetic mixed with cutting-edge styling—like The Raleigh Hotel, which has retained that authentic Miami vibe.”
“There is no greater pilgrimage for a designer (or aficionado) than to attend Milan’s design week in April.”