Fun, Funky and Functional

Fine Furnishings Show showcases the season's trends


Last fall’s fine furnishings show in Milwaukee featured several innovative and covet-worthy pieces. So what’s “in” right now? Some furniture makers and artists are drawing inspiration from nature and are reinterpreting traditional designs and shapes. The results are unexpected yet fantastic. Some pieces of note: a glass-topped coffee table with acrylic-painted wood “boulders” for a base by Brent Skidmore (, Michael Brown’s colorful wood chairs (2) and Christopher Poehlmann’s custom light fixtures made to resemble branches (3).

Other artists revealed a touch of irreverence and whimsy, like the cabinet and bookshelf by dust furniture (1). The biggest overall trend? Individuality. The majority of pieces at the show were designed and crafted to be show-stoppers and investment pieces.

1 Dust furniture’s stacked cabinet no. 3 looks like it’s straight from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. Vincent Thomas Leman’s distinct and quirky designs all use curves and jagged angles. Sure to be conversation pieces, Leman’s work should have customers expecting the unexpected. If interested in purchasing, call the Seebeck Gallery at 262-942-8888.

2 Clean lines and natural finishes with a contemporary feel are hallmarks of Michael Brown’s Windsor-style chairs. This Paul Bunyan of furniture makers fells his own trees for his custom-made pieces. He will also work with a tree from a customer’s property, though you probably have to be in North Carolina, where he’s based, to do that. 252-249-1348;

3 Christopher Poehlmann’s beautiful organic light fixtures were a show favorite. The Milwaukee-based artist’s chandeliers, pendants and sconces are in homes and businesses nationwide. Poehlmann reveals a playful side in pieces like “Popsicle Pendant” and “Cup + Saucer Sconce.” His motto is “Like real branches, no two are ever alike.” 866-597-4800.

Madison Magazine - January 2007
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