When I hear someone say “everything old is new again“, skepticism takes hold as I imagine someone trying to sell a truckload of VHS tapes recorded with instructions on how to dance the “Lambada”. You see, for this humble design professional, nothing that’s old is ever new – unless it’s attained the status of being a CLASSIC. Classic design is FOREVER new. For a seasoned interior design professional, including a Hinson wallpaper or a Brunschwig chintz speaks of their pedigree… while with the new guard, perhaps it’s a Lulu DK stripe or a John Robshaw linen. One classic that enjoys universal applauds across the spectrum of our community is John Boone‘s “St.Thomas” sofa.
Wandering up 3rd avenue yesterday I was reminded by an awning in the distance that JB‘s showroom was within my perspective, so I decided to go in. It turns out that Joyce Stansell-Wong (who’s been a friend for longer than either of us will ever admit) is now Vice President and the showroom manager, and we had a great chat. John Boone himself was also in evidence and took a few minutes to share the history of the “St.Thomas” with me.
John explained that his partner, Chris Lockwood, is responsible for the design of the sofa which was introduced to their line in 1992. We talked about Chris’s history as the childhood apprentice in his grandfather’s upholstery workroom in Yonkers, and their mutual admiration of fine upholstery. John also confided that Billy Baldwin has had a large influence on their collection, clearly referenced by the tuxedo frame and cut-out arm of the “St.Thomas”. More than 20 years have gone by, and this sofa remains relevant. The list of designers and firms who have procured this piece for their clients is long and legendary. Baldwins version was originally made for a clients’ island retreat on St. Thomas. John Boone’s interpretation of Baldwins silhouette remains available for those of us who believe classic pieces are essential to successful interior design no matter how old you are or where you live. And while exotic locals are fabulous, we’re all lucky it can be delivered just about anywhere a truck can travel.
John Boone Inc. 1059 3rd Avenue 4th Floor New York 10065 212-758-0012