The furniture in your home may take on new meaning as you realize that behind each table, chest or sofa there is a designer or designers who poured their creative energy, vision and even dreams into the piece.
Often the unsung heroes, these designers took center stage at the 16th annual 2011 Pinnacle Design Awards gala dinner and ceremony at the High Point Market International Ballroom recently.
I was delighted to be able to accompany my colleagues Cindy Hall and Erica Wingo to the dinner, as Cindy and Erica were finalists for Pinnacles in two of the 16 furniture, accessory and lighting categories. Their Rafferty console was nominated in the occasional table category, and their Classique Scroll Chest for occasional storage. Both pieces are from Hooker Furniture’s Melange Collection, a collection that Cindy and Erica designed with the intention for each piece to inspire an emotional connection within the home.
The mission of the Pinnacle Design Awards, as articulated so well by Dudley Moore, 2011 President of the American Society of Furniture Designers, is to celebrate excellence and originality in furnishings design and to elevate design by “lifting up future generations of designers.” Everything about the awards ceremony reinforces that mission. The well thought-out details include elegantly appointed tables, inspiring visual communications and an awards ceremony that emulates the Oscars with a Master of Ceremonies, Furniture/Today Editor in Chief Ray Allegrezza, and other well-known personalities in the industry who are presenters in various categories. The major underwriter of the event, Furniture/Today lends even more credibility and cache to the awards by extensive editorial coverage, such as this front page article.
As nominees and winners in each category are presented, an accompanying slide show with large photos of all winning pieces and judges comments helps lend importance to furniture and design. There’s even an element of suspense with a roving spotlight and dramatic pause as the audience waits in suspense to hear the winners’ names called.
We didn’t have to stay in suspense long at our table. Occasional Tables was the very first of the 16 categories for the Pinnacle Award to be presented, and Erica and Cindy were announced as the winners for the Rafferty Console! It was a thrill to see them walk up and receive the sculptured crystal trophy and the congratulations of the crowd. The judges comments about the console included, “The products found in Hooker Furniture’s Melange Collection offer an unexpected, eclectic blending of colors, textures and materials. The Rafferty Console gives a stylish, decorator look at an affordable price. Inspired by an old world compass, the design has timely ‘right now’ style with good scale and a rustic charisma with its planked top and stone-like finish.”
What an affirmation to the dedication and passion these young women put into their tireless work developing beautiful furniture. As I snapped a photo of them beaming with their award, I knew without a doubt that the mission of the Pinnacle Awards had squarely hit its mark.