Bright-Minded Home – July 2012

By Melissa Coleman

Q+A with Brian Haddock, founder and owner of Furniturea

furniturea DSC 1018

Furniturea (pronounced fur-ni-chur-ah) began in 1974 as a carpentry company but eventually transitioned to furniture and, in 2006, opened a Portland showroom. Furniturea’s colorful, modern designs are inspired by the shapes in rural Maine architecture and made in Portland from regionally harvested wood.

Q: What is Furniturea’s mission in terms of sustainability?

A: My goal when I created Furniturea was to build a company that appealed to me as a designer, a worker, and a consumer. I’d never heard the term “slow design,” but that was, in hindsight, what I was after. Our mantra is “artful, functional, and affordable,” and our goal is to create original furniture with a local workforce, using sustainable regional materials. The wood components are designed so they can be cut from stock panels with minimal waste, our smaller products are built from material left over from larger products, and any remainder after that is utilized as biofuel.

Q: How does custom furniture factor into this mission?

A: If a customer has furniture built especially for them, I think they’re more likely to take better care of it and keep it longer. As well, customers who purchased furniture in the past bring it back and have it painted different colors to match a new home or makeover. It’s like taking old shoes to a cobbler to replace the soles.

Q: Anything new and exciting?

A: We’ve expanded our customizable Crate Storage Series to more than 150,000 choices in sizes, styles, and functions, and recently incorporated Maine Cottage’s 40-color palette with our own 24, for 64 eco-friendly paint choices.