Kathryn Bar Stool by Kristin Drohan Uses Reclaimed Wood and Recaptures North Carolina Furniture Heritage

By Trish Holder

Kathryn Bar Counter Stool

We struck North Carolina gold, craftsmanship and chutzpah with this irresistibly stylish bar stool from the Kristin Drohan Collection of eco-friendly furniture — our Greenspiration Home Pick-of-the-Week.

So much of what Greenspiration Home admires about the American made furnishings industry is (literally) woven into this unique, comfy looking bar stool.  The emblem-stamped linen back is woven in a North Carolina mill.  Like all other pieces from the collection, it is 100% made by a family-owned furniture manufacturer in Hickory, NC—one that has courageously chosen to fight back against hard times by partnering with Atlanta-based interior designer, Kristin Drohan. Oh – and the barstool is named after Kristin’s mom, Kathryn!  How great is that?

An Entrepreneurial Success Story

The birth and evolution of the Kristin Drohan Collection speaks poignantly to the plight of American made furnishings.  A highly regarded interior designer, Drohan had been interested in eco-friendly furniture for many years.  She was also fiercely loyal to American made furnishings – recommending them to her clients whenever possible.  Of course, over the years this became increasing difficult because of competition from cheap imported goods.  Fortunately, Kristin had forged a relationship with a well-known Hickory, NC manufacturer who happened to share her passion for eco-friendly home furniture.  The designer and manufacturer eventually developed several prototypes from Drohan’s sketches and the Kristin Drohan Collection was born.

Something Old, Something New

The collection not only reclaimed a bit of North Carolina furniture heritage, it is reclaiming North Carolina wood from closed down furniture and textile factories.  Customers have the option of using either reclaimed wood or sustainable harvested wood for framing.  Most of the fabrics used are eco-friendly and have cradle-to-cradle certification.  Several are sourced from local mills.

“Whenever I can find a suitable choice – for my collection or for my clients – I choose American made.  Even if my clients don’t always care – I do.  I’m on a crusade to get designers to specify items with regard to origin,” said Drohan.

The Kristin Collection includes a little bit of everything from seating to beds.  It can be purchased directly or through the Chicago Merchandise Mart.


2 Responses »

  1. Hi Trish,
    Thanks for this intro to the Kristen Collection…I do like quite few of her pieces, including this bar stool.
    I also enjoyed the videos on her site.
    The thing is – and this goes for ‘green’ and ‘eco’ furniture pretty much across the board, not just Kristen’s designs,of course – in using ‘bio-foam’ in chairs, sofas, etc, we are supporting the growth of genetically engineered soy.
    In addition to other ramifications, did you know that where genetically engineered crops are grown, the life in the soil is destroyed?
    It’s the microbial life in healthy soil which sequesters (absorbs) greenhouse gasses from the air…So, in actual fact, it’s anything BUT ‘green’/eco to use genetically engineered bio-foam since it contributes to increased carbon pollution instead of being good for the environment.
    I realize that most designers are probably not aware of this….As a GreenAP through the Sustainable Furnishings Council, I have had good conversations with wonderful ED Susan Inglis regarding the use of g.e.soy and g.e. corn products….It would be great if this awareness could be spread so that ORGANIC soy and corn could start to be used instead.

    • Another point about the eco furniture is that the cushions usually contain only a small percentage of soy, and the rest is petroleum based foam. On top of that if you don’t cover it with organic fabric/or if the upholstery fabric is treated with chemical stainguards, then you are still exposing yourself, your family, and your home to the offgassing of these undesirable Toxins. I am interested in saving the Earth, but I am also interested in saving myself from a Chemical Sensitivity Reaction!

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