This is a big year for furniture brand Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. It’s the company’s 25th anniversary—and to celebrate, the namesake duo have a major agenda: They’ve released their third coffee-table tome, Who We Are. They’ve created a special anniversary collection of silver-infused products for spring. They’re embarking on a yearlong tour to 19 of their signature stores for birthday parties that benefit local charities. And they’re opening another six stores throughout the country—including one due to arrive at Tysons later this year.
To kick off the year of celebration, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams stop by Washington’s 14th Street store next Wednesday to toast to their milestone. We chatted with the founders recently to get their take on stylish living; read on to see what they have to say, then swing by the party to chat with the pair in person.
What design trends are you most excited about for 2014?
We are loving the far-out elements from our favorites in 1970s film, music, and fashion: Our new collection is the love child of pop culture and iconic comfort. Within, sophisticated notes of glamour and sexiness become one with energetic glimpses of freedom and fun.
What trend are you ready to see disappear?
Honestly, we’re not big fans of the idea of a home-furnishing color of the year or season. We’ll search as long as it takes to find just the right shade of a color and take care that it works beautifully with other colors before adding it to our collection. We look for colors that will be as timeless, beautiful, and easy to live with as our furniture. Sometimes we’ll focus on a color that caught our eye in our travels, like chartreuse, which we saw accenting the outfits of fashionable men and women on the streets of Paris.
What’s your signature design style? And how can readers work it into their home?
Our signature is comfort combined with style. One of our favorite ways to incorporate it into our homes is by including upholstered furniture where others might choose wood. For instance, we love upholstered chairs for the dining room and upholstered headboards in the bedroom.
Mitchell, you have a condo in DC. Do you have any favorite local sources for design inspiration?
DC is such a beautiful city. We find it walking around our Meridian Hill neighborhood, and on 14th Street, where our store is, which we’ve watched go through a great transformation. Ideas for new styles, colors, and even ways of doing business might come from something as simple as a trip to Whole Foods, a meal out in a great modern space like the Source, or an afternoon at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery—a new exhibit just opened there called “American Cool,” which I hope to see soon.
What’s your best tip for small-space living?
Don’t be afraid to include an over-scaled piece of furniture. For instance, in our DC condo, we used one of our wood-and-polished-stainless dining tables instead of a narrower console table. It has the surface space to hold our stereo equipment and records plus books and collectibles, making it a great focal point for the room.
How has your company evolved over the past 25 years?
We are very proud of the fact that we started this company with an investment of $60,000 (in challenging economic times not dissimilar from today), and it’s now a $125-plus million brand offering not only beautiful, comfortable furnishings for the whole house, but also an equally appealing chain of retail stores that is being expanded this year. In homage to our 25th anniversary, we made silver our muse and choreographed a collection with sheen: fabrics, leathers, mohair, and even hair-on-hide in tones from graphite to ecru, pewter, zinc, and steel.
What’s next for Michell Gold + Bob Williams?
Our Tysons Corner location is the latest in a growing number of Signature Stores for the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams brand. The company plans to open a total of six new store locations over the next 12 months, with the next openings planned for Tysons Corner, Beverly Hills, Montreal, Miami, Alpharetta, and St. Louis.