From grand millennial to coastal grandma, there’s no denying the increased popularity of traditional styles in recent years. Furthermore, the supply chain and shipping nightmares of the pandemic have influenced consumers to re-think where their furniture is coming from and who makes it. These two factors, along with beautiful design can be attributed to the tremendous success of direct to consumer custom furniture brand, Coley Home.
Founded by Coley Hull in 2019, the North Carolina based company currently offers a variety of pieces including beds, headboards, sectionals, and chairs along with accessories such as throw pillows. Every item is available in a variety of styles, fabrics, and other customization options.
I recently spoke with Hull about growing the business, manufacturing domestically, why she thinks there is new interest in traditional design styles and so much more.
Amanda Lauren: Tell me about the origins of Coley Home.
Coley Hull: Coley Home was founded in October 2019 with a focus on our patented Crown Bed and Headboard. Our headboard is 100 percent foam and is compressed, rolled into a manageable box, and shipped via UPS (all in ten days). Our headboards are perfect for city apartments or old homes where it is a struggle to get a wood headboard up the stairs. About two years after that concept took off, we were able to purchase our own manufacturing facility, allowing us to quickly expand into chairs, sofas, sectionals, and more. I can’t believe Coley Home is three. Time flies.
Lauren: Why is manufacturing domestically so important to you?
Hull: North Carolina is known as the furniture capital of the world and has a long history of creating quality, handcrafted pieces. My grandparents founded a well-known manufacturing company in North Carolina. My mom and her siblings all worked there, so I was lucky enough to be surrounded by manufacturing, design, and textiles from a young age. Walking through our plant and seeing all the talent is truly amazing.
It takes years and years to master the craft, and we are so fortunate to have upholsterers, sewers, and product developers with decades of experience in the industry. At Coley Home we buy all of our materials from our neighbors and friends. This is not only is this very environmentally friendly, but it just feels good to uplift our community. It’s so important to support local and buy quality pieces made in the United States!
Lauren: How would you describe the brand’s style overall?
Hull: Coley Home has traditional roots with a fresh, modern spin. We work very hard to make sure our pieces are comfortable and that the fabric is family-friendly.
Lauren: What do you mean by family-friendly?
Hull: Almost all of our fabrics are either treated with a stain repellent or are machine washable. For upholstered pieces, we do recommend choosing a fabric with a performance finish, but for slipcovers, it is better for them to be washable. We are a huge fan of machine-washable fabrics for slipcovers. Not only are you able to refresh your piece easily, but it is also chemical free.
Lauren: How has the brand evolved in recent years in terms of both style and how you run your business?
Hull: We have experienced so much growth and change in the past three years. Last November when we acquired the manufacturing, we went from six employees to almost 50. We also expanded from around ten products to over 50 in just one year. Owning and controlling our manufacturing helped us grow our product offering drastically and really become a line that people can make their own.
Our frames are timeless. We have approximately 70 in-house fabrics to design with, and we allow COM (Customer’s Own Material) on all pieces for trade members. I love seeing tagged photos on Instagram because every designer and customer brings their own twist.
Lauren: Why do you think that more traditional looks are falling back into favor?
Hull: Traditional design is very comfortable, layered, and also tells a story. I think people are spending more time in their homes since the start of the pandemic and really want a space that reflects their personality.
Lauren: What other trends do you think will emerge in 2023?
Hull: We have seen a huge uptick in slipcovered pieces with washable fabrics. I think people are becoming more aware of the chemicals used in performance fabrics and are really wanting something they can take off and wash.
I also think people are becoming more aware of the environmental impacts of furniture produced overseas and are really going to be looking for pieces made in the United States that are built to last.
Lauren: What are your top-selling items?
Hull: The top-selling items are the Teeny Swivel, Milla Swivel, Crown Bed, and Cab Sofa.
Lauren: Why do you think there is so much interest in custom pieces?
Hull: I think people are getting tired of seeing the same thing over and over. At Coley Home, we are really working on creating new fresh frames that are not already overcrowded in the market.
Lauren: Choosing the right custom piece can be a challenge for people who aren’t designers or aren’t working with one. Do you have any tips for this?
Hull: Scale is key. Make sure you layout your room before purchasing furniture. We noticed when we started designing our line that it was hard to find small-scale furniture, so we decided to specialize in smaller pieces in the beginning.
Lauren: Do you have any interesting launches planned for 2023?
Hull: Yes, we have a very exciting launch coming this Spring! Stay tuned for more amazing frames and high-end textures. More bar stools, a fun “mushroom” inspired ottoman, and a super comfortable chaise.
The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.