Broyhill Premier Chapter One furniture — 1970s dream design — 20 photos

broyhill chapter one furniturebroyhill chapter one logoMy 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 bedroom Steve & I are also diggin’ the mural in the bedroom shot. Thanks, Steve!

Broyhill Premier Chapter One in Green:

drexel green

broyhill premier chapter one furnitureI 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:

Pam-

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!

Thanks, Lisa!

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 as featured on retro renovation

broyhill premier chapter one

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-Onemirror

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-nightstand

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-high-dresser-side

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-High-DresserBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-Dresser-sideBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-dresserBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-dresser-and-mirror

Broyhill Premier Chapter One yellow china cabinet:

broyhill premier chapter one buffet

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:

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-dresserBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-dresser-inside Over on ebay, I found another Chapter One dresser, in a different style, for sale by searching the terms “Broyhill Loewy”.

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:

Broyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-deskBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-desk-with-chairBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-desk-drawersBroyhill-Premier-Chapter-One-desk-chairFinally, check out this desk and chair, which are for sale from ebay seller twin_powr right now and who gave us permission to enter these into our archive. So groovy, baby!

Broyhill Premier Chapter One Green Dining Room SetBroyhill Premier Chapter One Green Dining Room SetUpdate: Reader Mitch sent me this photo of his new/vintage Drexel Premier Chapter One dining room set. Luv.

Broyhill-Chapter-One-Padded-headboard-White Broyhill-Chapter-One-Padded-headboard-WhitePam spotted the 1970 Broyhill Premier Chapter One padded headboard above for sale by Etsy seller MidCenturyModOne.

Broyhill-Chapter-one-bookshelf

Broyhill-Chapter-one-bookshelf-closeupReader 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.

red-and-white-broyhill-premier-furniture Broyhill-Premier-coffee-table Broyhill-Premier-furniture-red Broyhill-Premier-coffee-table-red Broyhill-Premier-coffee-table-back Broyhill-Premier-logo Broyhill-Premier-end-tables-vintage Vintage-Broyhill-Premier-night-stands-red vintage-broyhill-premier-end-tables Broyhill-Premier-nightstands Broyhill-Premier-nightstand-drawer

Mega thanks to Ebay seller aprilsantiquesandmore for allowing us to feature these very rare ‘bittersweet’ red-orange Broyhill Premier Chapter One coffee and end tables she has listed for sale in her Ebay store.

broyhill premierSo what do you think, readers?
Are you feeling the luv for Broyhill Premier Chapter One?

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Comments

  1. Andrea says

    It’s super groovy in that late 60’s/early 70’s-does-the-future-way. It feels very modern and optimistic. My 8 year old self would have loved it(the one that was so proud of my first bell bottoms made of orange corduroy).

  2. says

    I live in Ontario, Canada and I’ve had a handful of pieces in this style but they were made in Quebec. The drawers and the pulls themselves are identical to those on the true Loewy pieces, right down to the last detail, including size.

    I’ve had red, grey, white, and lime green. I saw one in silver at a shop in Toronto!

  3. Robin says

    Hmm, not really my thing but I do appreciate the zap-pow colors. I know I’m preaching to the choir but the blah colors offered today are just so, well – blah. I totally dig the desk with the tulip legs though. Outta sight!

  4. lynda says

    Interesting article. Reminds me of some doll house furniture I bought for the girls back in the late 70’s. Just keep educating us!

  5. Annie B. says

    Funkadelic furniture, for sure, man, for sure!

    All of it would look great sitting on my brown Moorish tile 1970’s floor covering. And, none of the pets would be able to hurt it, I’ll bet.

    I’ll be scouring my 1970’s home decorating books tonight for an advertisement or reference to the line.

  6. tammyCA says

    Too bad I gave away the few ’70s magazines I had several years ago (came with a bunch at a yard sale)…honestly didn’t think anyone would be retro ’70s again until I found this blog & some other blogs into that era. Makes me wonder now if people will be into the ’80s! I just can’t see people bidding on country blue/mauve and geese/ducks!

  7. tammyCA says

    Did you know that Crayola retired “lemon yellow”?
    http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0872797.html
    That crayon and “Midnight Blue” were my favorite combos when I was a kid. In fact, I have those 2 crayons in a box of other retired colors that I labeled “DO NOT USE” so my kids don’t wreck them. :) Also, loved Thistle…Robin’s Egg Blue…I love crayons!

    • Sarah g says

      Why would one ever retire ANY color?! To me, the more the merrier! especially with crayons since they don’t blend very well…

  8. Kyle says

    I do prefer the Bassett product, Seems more reminiscent of what used to be called “campaign” furniture. I have no idea why it was called that though. I remember mostly painted dressers in one color,

  9. Steve says

    Hi Pam –

    I’m so glad you decided to profile Broyhill Chapter One furniture. I’m a huge fan. I have three Chapter One dressers and a desk, as well as a Loewy DF 2000 chest and some Canadian made knock-off nightstands and a large credenza type cabinet. I also have the two page Broyhill Chapter One magazine ad. It’s pretty cool looking, and it lists all of the retailers nationwide who sold the line. This particular ad was from House & Garden Magazine. I don’t know the date as the pages have been cut out. I would be happy to send you a scan if you told me how (my technological abilities are circa 1970 as well). The Chapter One pieces are actually fairly well built; dove tailed drawers and a lot of solid wood parts. They weigh a ton and are no fun to move up stairs. Only the tops are laminate, everything else is white enameled paint. The ad mentions that the drawer fronts are “Cycolac brand ABS thermoplastic”

  10. says

    Really cool article, Pam! Has anyone seen any earlier ads, catalogs, etc. on Broyhill Premier furniture? I’ve been trying to figure out what Broyhill line my poor, poor chair comes from – here’s a couple of current photos (with one or two old photos when it was a beauty – it’s still a “beauty” to me): http://thehistorykeeper.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-new-old-chairs.html
    I think I may have seen a fairly similar chair in a Broyhill Premier ad, but the ad didn’t specify exactly what line of Premier it was in. Just curious…
    But I love this stuff! So colorful!

  11. Annie B. says

    Jan,

    My research says it’s either Broyhill Premier “invitation” or “Epression” line. See what you think.

  12. Linda Blackmore says

    Hot dog, this is my year!! My most favorite color, and the official Blackmore family favorite color!! This color in the late sixties was either a House and Garden or House Beautiful color called Parrot Green. I had a parson’s table in it.

  13. Maryanna says

    Oh man! That china cabinet is precisely what I’ve been looking for all these years! I just had never seen it anywhere but in my own mind. I love it!!

  14. says

    Thanks for helping SAVE a couple of pieces from this line! Today I purchased a dresser and nightstand in green from a seller who saw your posting on Retrorenovations. It had been in his family for years and until recently had used in his master bedroom. It had been relegated to the basement and he didn’t know what to do with it thinking no one would want it. After seeing your post he advertised it for sale on Craiglist and I was lucky enough to get to it first.
    I’ll clean it up and make some minor touch-ups and release it back into the retro loving world. Thanks, Retro Wanderlust

  15. Gerry says

    The Room & Board catalog has a line of kids furniture called Moda.
    I think is it painted maple. Furniture is white and you can choose up to 10 (?) accent colors including green, orange, aqua, and red. The bedside table and dresser have a similar look with the contrasting paint colors. It is on their website too.

  16. says

    Oh good lord – I have been looking for one of the yellow dressers for years. I think they are so fantastic and amazing!

    I saw one on ebay but the guy wouldn’t ship it and he lived about 6 hours from me and my hubby was not in the mood to do a weekend trip to nowhere Jersey to pick it up. haha.

    Le sigh… some day right! In the meantime I’ll just pray to the retro furniture gods!

  17. Charms says

    This was my bedroom set growing up (yellow for me). Alas, my parents were stylistically visionary but sentimentally bereft and gave it away several years ago. How I yearn for it now!! I believe I have one of the original spec sheets that came with the set. If you’d be interested in me scanning and sending. Let me know.

  18. Rich D. says

    If you are interested, I have the yellow desk for sale. I’m not trying to use your site to sell it, but primarily letting you know to see if you’d like any additional pictures of the desk.

  19. Rose says

    I have the a bedroom set of the Broyhill Chapter One. I also have a sales catalog and info from when my father bought the furniture. It was bought in a small town in PA. I had to have it. They had a few pieces. We wanted more and I remember looking all over for it- from New Jersey to VA. We ordered bookcases and it took a very long time to come. I see in the info it does not have a picture of the bookcases. I have never seen the bookcases anywhere else. The furniture is well made. We have moved several times and it is heavy. It has been in use since I bought it in 1971. It you want to see the info I have let me know.
    Rose

  20. Tony says

    I just decided to do a little searching to find out some info about my dining room set, because I’d like to get more pieces. I had no idea what I had! I have a four door china cabinet and buffet style side table in yellow that I bought for $75 about 5 years ago. These are probably my favorite pieces in my whole house. Thanks for all the info!

  21. andy says

    beautiful stuff! I have the rare desk in yellow, the bedroom set in green and a piece of the Canadian version ( Treco) also in green. I just listed a bedroom set on ebay in this style with the molded plastic fronts in a cool blue/gray and in great shape, 6 piece. Very hard to find in this shape. Ebay id: rbwp

  22. says

    That furniture looks like it’s straight out of Woody Allen’s movie Sleeper. I recall a Nixon joke in that movie about having to count the White House silver after his dinner parties.

  23. JP says

    I have a yellow credenza (or wide dresser, not sure which) that I bought 15 years ago at a flea market. Mine has circle shaped pulls and no makers ID. Any idea who manufactured it?

  24. Markus Kobi says

    I know that looks can be deceiving…but to me it looks extremely well made and the pictures from multiple different collectors and sellers all show the pieces in amazing condition. From the photos I’ve seen, Chapter One pieces have fought the aging process incredibly well for the buyers that were lucky enough to purchase it in it’s day. It’s (one of the reasons) why I have such an obsession with artifacts from days long gone…You’d be hard pressed to find anything manufactured these days that compares to the ‘standard’ level of quality and workmanship that consumers enjoyed 20+ years ago.

  25. Markus Kobi says

    Just as a shot in the dark, I might try to discover if there was any traceable distinction between Broyhill and Broyhill ‘Premier’ at the time Chapter One was manufactured. It seems odd that even a 30 year veteran of the company has no memory of the collection, and the delay that Rose experienced in receiving pieces that didn’t make the catalog might be due to a third party that Broyhill subcontracted temporarily for certain product lines. That could definitely explain why nobody at Broyhill remembers this furniture, because nothing from a third party would ever have gone through Broyhill in North Carolina. (?)

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