Article, Gray No.19

Designer founded Lounge22 out of a need–he couldn’t find the modern, high quality, American-made furniture he was looking to use in his projects. Instead of settling for less, he decided to create his own sleek, timeless pieces, and so launched Lounge22, burgeoning consumers and trade; in 2014, its contract division began working directly with architects and interior designers on hospitality projects around the world. Here, Armen Sevada Gharabegian Gharabegian sheds more lights on Lounge22’s commitment to creating beautiful, heirloom-quality American furniture.

A lot of companies carry the “Made in America” stamp. What’s distinctive about Lounge22?
From the get-go I was adamant about defining us as an American brand. When we launched, in 2004, we were one of the first companies to use the tagline “Handcrafted in L.A, “I’m completely anti-trend. I don’t think that furniture should be a commodity. We don’t change our look and we don’t do seasonal pieces or seasonal colors. I want to create pieces that people will remember 20 years form now–that somebody’s children will find in their attic and “My god, this is an amazing piece.”

What keeps you motivated as a designer?
Process is what excited me. I might be inspired by plants, insects, or the most mundane objects like erasers. When I was a furniture and exhibit design instructor, I always told my students to try to not get inspired by second-generation pieces. When I’m designing a chair, I don’t sit there and look at pictures of chairs. Instead, I might look at a beetle and see how its exoskeleton works, and that starts a chain of inspiration. We’re currently patenting a chair inspired by caterpillars.

What else are you working on?
We spent six years working with a Japanese factory to develop a new way to bend and use bamboo as a luxury material for contemporary furniture, and we’re currently designing an ecologically responsible office chair that’s an ode to Eames. We’re also designing an outdoor line that will come out in 2015. We’re inspired by Southern California–the surfing culture mixed with the hot rod culture mixed with the post-modern aesthetic.
Our other focus is expanding the reach of Lounge22 and building relationships with multiple stores around the country. We want people to be able to interact with our products. In Seattle, our line is carried at Loft 63–and we’ll be introducing additional locations in the Northwest over the coming months.