My 2013 Color of the Year choice — Broyhill Premier Chapter One Lime Green — was inspired by a particular line of Broyhill furniture that was love at first site. I kept seeing this furniture referred to as “Broyhill Loewy” style — so I decided to do some research to find out more about this line, including what the heck its real name was. That part was easy. Some clicks on the worldwide web, and the name came up, seems to be: Broyhill Premier Chapter One. I was able to find photos of the line in two fabulous colors — lemon yellow and lime green. Above: Reader Steve sent me this ad from 1970. Woot! I digg it! Read on for more info and 20 more photos of this technicolor dream design –>
Broyhill Premier Chapter One in Green:
I only have two photos showing this furniture line with the green doors — from my visit to Furnish Me Vintage in St. Petersburg, Florida. This is when this furniture line really came into my consciousness.
Subsequently, I saw one of these pieces, in green, in the comedy movie “Dick”. The movie is a spoof on Richard Nixon and Watergate, starring Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst. The 1970s interior design and clothing are fantastic. And I love the movie — it’s hilarious — highly recommended — if think you have the same irreverant goofball sensitivities as me.
How we know this is called “Broyhill Premier Chapter One”
When searching online, i saw some references to this particular name, but I wanted to verify the information. Very quickly, I was able to find a mention of a 1970s Better Homes & Gardens two-page ad for the furniture line in this database. No image of the ad is still archived, though. Does anyone have 1970 issues of Better Homes & Gardens that they can search???
Of course, I also reached out to my contact at Furniture Brands — the big company that today owns the Broyhill brand. Lisa Hanly, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Relations — who found us the fabulous Broyhill Brasilia and Scupltra catalogs recently — was able to do some immediate searching among the Broyhill team. Alas, this must have been such a limited line that here’s what she found:
This is not the answer I wanted to provide, but the people we have working on Broyhill (and this includes a 30-year-veteran of the brand)…have absolutely no record or even memory of this product from Broyhill!
We do have archives that go back, evidenced by the Brasilia find…but nobody can find this. I’m sorry we couldn’t help. Bring me another fun one and we’ll keep trying on something else!
Why is it called “Loewy” style?
Raymond Loewy was a famous and super important industrial designer before and after World War II. I hunted around the intertubes, and it seems he was the pioneer of this look, with his DF2000 line of furniture, this site says it was for Doubinsky & Freres. This site shows a number of pieces. So: It is shaping up to sound like the Broyhill design was a knockoff aimed at the middle class America. In just cursory examination of online values, it looks like the vintage Loewy today costs about two- to 10-times more than the vintage Broyhill Premier Chapter One. Although: All this stuff seems to be constructed of plastic and laminate. I am guessing the drawer fronts are some sort of injection molding of high-gloss plastic. Interestingly: Ikea has lots of furniture and cabinetry with exactly the same look as the white of the Loewy / Chapter One furniture. They could design shiny plastic drawers and doors — and they’d have yet a third-generation homage.
Is it “rare”?
I tend to think so. I am guessing this was seen in the marketplace as a “novelty” design. Not “timeless”. So it would have been an extravagance. Also, it doesn’t look all that durable. Even on the yellow pieces, which look well cared for, you can see the difficulty in keeping the laminate from getting chippy. And, if the furniture went in a kid or teen’s room, I bet it was even more likely to get beat up. So there might not be a lot of Broyhill Premier Chapter One furniture still around.
Yellow Broyhill Chapter One furniture — big set of bedroom furniture
This yellow bedroom set — sold! — are used here with permission of estatestore.org and communitywarehouse.org, which are based in Portland and metro Portland, Oregon. Thank you so much for letting us show these in our archive.
Broyhill Premier Chapter One yellow china cabinet:
Hunting around, I also found the fabulous example above — a china cabinet. It was over on flickr, where Oliver says he found this Broyhill Premier Chapter One buffet (he calls it a buffet, I would call it a china cabinet) on craigslist. In fact, he called it the Craigslist Find of the Century — $100 clams, including light bulb. Thanks, Oliver, for permission to feature your great find!
Broyhill Premier Chapter One — Another dresser style, in yellow:
Note: ebay widget above is an affiliate link – buy anything from ebay after clickin’ in, and the blog earns a spiff.
Thanks to seller spoonbill3 for permission to show the photos. Store information:
Antiques & Crystal Repair
3411 N. Dixie Highway
Oakland Park , Fl 33334
Broyhill Premier Chapter One desk and chair:
Reader Rose — who sent us images of her original Broyhill Premier Chapter One catalog for our post — Broyhill Premier Chapter One Furniture Catalog from 1971 – also shared a few photos of her rare Broyhill Premier Chapter One lime green and white bookshelves.