02 Andrea Banda
In her past role as director of furniture for Connecticut retailer Lillian August Designs, Andrea Banda always found great design options for clients with plenty of disposable income, but a glaring lack of choice for those on a budget. Now director of merchandising for Rowe Furniture, with design responsibilities over the Virginia-based upholsterer's upscale Robin Bruce collection, Banda suddenly finds herself in a position to alter that scenario.
"With HGTV and all the makeover television shows, there is an amazing opportunity now to bring more accessible design to the mass market," says Banda, whose new Hollywood Glam collection for Robin Bruce features sophisticated 1920s- to 1940s-inspired sofa, love seat, chair, and ottoman designs that might have once filled the homes of movieland icons Lauren Bacall and Cary Grant, among others. With Robin Bruce, named after former creative designer Robin Poteet and current Rowe president Bruce Birnbach, "the furniture is a little more high fashion," says Banda. "But it's at price points - $800 to $2,500 - that are still way under what you'd pay to get this same look in a designer line."
Banda hit on the colorful old-Hollywood theme as a way of counterbalancing the predominance of modern furniture in neutral shades. "My roots are in more traditional design, and I found the market was being flushed with contemporary, cleaner styles," says Banda, noting that she wanted to provide something in between. "[So] I juxtaposed a contemporary sofa or ottoman design with more traditional fabrics, like velvet and faux mohair, to create a mix."
Hollywood Glam Collection for Robin Bruce by Andrea Banda, (877) 290-1502, www.robinbruce.comPictured:
Nadine love seat, Christophe chair, and Apollo patent leather ottoman