The Art of Furniture

Charleston Forge has a long history of hand-building beautiful, high quality, steel, wood, and leather furniture. We have an extensive catalog of products and do a large amount of custom work and have built product for retailers such as Room & Board, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel and Bloomingdales, just to name a few.

Charleston Forge Benches: Have a seat and stay a while.

Tara Jackson - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The six legged Prague Bench was introduced at the Spring 2012 Market in High Point. That, along with the Legacy Bench, we among our top sellers. They are especially popular because they exhibit who we are and what we do best. Heating metal to more than 2,000 degrees and shaping it by hand and hammer is not an easy task, but one that we take pride in. Pride in our craftsmanship is obvious especially when we are asking our artisans to repeat "the look" more than once, by hand, not by machine.

We've combined top of the line, solft, saddle stiched leather, with solid steel to create these beautiful pieces. Consider placing a bench at the foot of the bed, in the hallway or foyer, or even as an alternative to chairs at the dining room table.


The Prague Bench 

(as shown in an Oak Leather with an Antique Pewter Finish 48"w x 16"d x 19"h)




The Legacy Bench

(as shown in an Smoke Leather with an Burnished Finish 48"w x 16"d x 19"h)


The 2012 Charleston Forge Annual Sale!

Tara Jackson - Monday, May 14, 2012


The Charleston Forge Annual Sale runs from Friday, June 1st from 9am-5pm, until Saturday, June 2nd from 9am-4pm at our Boone, NC factory location. Items available will include Charleston Forge classics, along with new items and market samples. Other local vendors offerring items such as mattresses, sofas & recliners, leather sectionals and oriental rugs will have product on location and available to the public. Be sure to stop by early for the largest selection!

Charleston Forge Featured in the High Point Market Style Report

Tara Jackson - Friday, May 11, 2012

Due to it's hand crafted appeal, Charleston Forges Pacific Drink Table, designed by John Kolkka, and featuring a beautiful exposed metal look paired with crisp cast glass, made it to page five of the 2012 Spring/Summer issue of the Market Style Report. 

Click here to download and view the full report listed under "Spring 2012 Market Style Report."

... and to see more of what we've got in the works, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Charleston Forge: The Newbies High Point Experience

Tara Jackson - Wednesday, May 02, 2012

While I know there are plenty of blogs out there that share their experience with the High Point Furniture Market, veterans or fashion experts are usually the authors. Name brand companies have teams whose sole goal is to paint their company in the light of success based on another "in house" team’s market research.  People who follow the trends and know the furniture industry inside and out, knowing just what to say in order to trigger a sale or interest.

I am not one of those people. I am new to the furniture industry and I tend to tell it how it is because I believe people want the truth… want to see a company as a person, not as a big corporation with CEO’s that could care less about their employees. I graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with a photography degree in December of 2011. I’d never been to market, in fact, I hardly knew what it was. I had four months to learn everything about the company; who they are, what they stand for, what the mission is and how they have changed since the furniture industry went over seas; all of that goes in to communicating who they are photographically. Four months to develop and perfect my eye and lighting and editing when shooting furniture (my graduating portfolio revolved around portraiture - and the two are hardly related.) Four months to grasp the vast meaning of the High Point Furniture Market – the biggest furniture market in the world.

In all honesty, the marketing team here (which really consists of a marketing director… and me, a photographer, retoucher and social media fan) really began preparation for this years April market five weeks prior to its opening.  We sat down, looked at a calendar and began talking about what needed to be accomplished between then and April 21st. My head began spinning; furniture wasn’t built (the order hadn’t even been finalized,) the new catalog hadn’t been in process for long, take-aways had to be thought about, press packets hadn’t been discussed, ideas for design and color schemes for the showroom hadn’t been approached, and every part of this process had to be photographed, designed or edited in one way or another. Five weeks. Five.

The idea for our newly improved image was upscale, geared towards women. Clean. We’d been headed that direction for a long time, but were having a hard time communicating it. Our look had to match that this time around, communicate that. It’s who we are now, yet all people seemed to think of us for was our Bakers Racks... the foundation to the Charleston Forge expansion all those years ago.

I was continually told that market was glamorous, busy, buzzy and nothing less than exciting. Five weeks and I was having a hard time seeing it. I am surrounded by a factory; men covered in metal dust, loud noises and flying sparks, and a vast space that could serve as a horror film backdrop at night - jagged metal, sparsely lit. The only clean white space is my studio here at the factory, and even that is in need of new paint after the frenzy that is market prep. At that point, I could only guess where we were truly headed, and all I had to work with was lighting. The head spinning continued as I frantically photographed and edited and designed and edited… and edited.

Then the CEO, Art Barber, and I went to High Point, to the Charleston Forge Showroom. I fell in love with the Market Square building. The old brick, the large windows streaming light in, the open spaces… and while no one had even begun to set up for the upcoming Market, there were plenty of showrooms still set up from the October 2011 Market. I felt that I was back in New York City, visiting Martha Stewarts studios. I suddenly saw the vision of what had been discussed back at our factory. I saw our product beautifully lit against an upscale backdrop and on the level of New York. Instead of old school bakers racks, I saw beautiful clean finishes and accent pieces paired with amazingly designed beds and consoles. I came back to Boone with a much clearer and cleaner vision of our goal for this years Market.

We got it done. With only a few weeks left, and with a very limited staff, we finished everything we’d set out to do to portray Charleston Forge in the light that it deservs.

While I did not get to see market in full swing, the Thursday before market opened was enlightening.  The showroom was fully set up, the press packets were delivered and our reps were set to meet with us. I was impressed with what our team had accomplished in such a short period of time, especially when the showrooms of names much bigger and well staffed than ours were still full of boxes that had only earlier that day been delivered… and there wasn’t a person in sight unpacking or directing the flow of what needed to happen in order to be fully prepared for market to open. 

We accomplished our goals, and the success of the April High Point Market, and the reaction of visitors to our showroom, reflected all of the hard work and dedication we put in to it.

Tara Jackson



The Custom King Size Bed: Recon

Tara Jackson - Friday, April 20, 2012
A few weeks ago, we had a customer contact Charleston Forge about creating a custom bed. They had a design complete with sketches, but they needed some details and some metal working talent to accomplish it. Our team worked together on this king size behemoth named "Recon" to the customers specifications.

While its difficult to show through a photograph how beautifully massive this piece is, it is just that... beautifully massive! There are really very few other ways to describe this work of art. After it was put together, waiting for its new paint, every person here at our Boone, NC location went out to the factory to see it, and the response was across the board: WOW.
(I am 6'0" tall, and felt dwarfed by this beautiful creation)

Just a note: The second photo in the series is of a member of our customs team working the metal that was to become one of the feet of this bed. The weight and size on their own was impressive, and provides a very sturdy base to this design.  

Beauty, Function and Value

Tara Jackson - Friday, April 06, 2012


Passion and Hard Work

Tara Jackson - Friday, March 30, 2012
We are preparing for the April High Point Furniture Market and have LOTS to show! So many new and exciting things... make sure you take some time to come by and see what we've been working on! Our showroom is being spruced up, and our product has been overhauled. 

Be there. 
April 21-26, 2012

Charleston Forge and the Augusta National Golf Club

Tara Jackson - Friday, March 09, 2012

Being one of the few American made metal furniture manufacturers, Charleston Forge has opportunities to be involved in some pretty cool projects. One of our more recent projects was in conjunction with the Augusta National Golf Course (thats right, where the Masters are held.) We welded and built some tables that were to be paired with copper tops. 


Charleston Forge: The Roundabout Collection

Tara Jackson - Tuesday, March 06, 2012

We are announcing our "Roundabout" collection. A very clean design that compliments any interior and available as a cocktail table, side table and console (not shown above.) Shown here in Oil Rubbed Bronze, this beauty has captured a wide range of audiences after initial release to our dealers and designers, and orders have soared within the last few weeks (even before we had the first piece made)  and we are focused on getting them out of the factory as quickly as they are made!

Want one? Want the whole collection? Be sure to contact your interior designer and ask for Charleston Forge specifically, or head on over to our "where to buy" page and find a local Charleston Forge Dealer. If they dont have one of these beauties in stock yet, be sure to ask for it!


We would love to hear back from our readers. Feel free to post a comment or feedback below

...and, if you have a facebook page, take a moment to come and "like" us on our FAN page



Getting to know designer Holly Carter: Holly Carter Design

Tara Jackson - Thursday, February 23, 2012

1) Did you always want to be a designer? 

No, I wanted to be a professional horsewoman but lacked the talent (even though I still have the desire.) Design runs deep in my genes. My family on both sides is filled with artists, inventors, engineers, and the like. My parents, as a hobby (that was really an obsession,) bought and restored old stone farmhouses in historic Bucks County, Pa. The very essence of architectural integrity was a daily experience as they did project after project bringing these magnificent homes back to their original splendor. They would then go to antique auctions in the surrounding areas and furnish these houses. 

I can remember my mother on her hands and knees using Johnsons Paste Wax to polish the old pegged floors. When she was done, she would always ask me to hop on her electric buffer and get a “ride” while she buffed the floors up to a shiny patina. She said she needed the extra weight for a good shine.   

 2) What’s your design philosophy? 

As a tag line: Creating environments that nurture the soul! My Design philosophy is really simple; there is nothing new under the sun… just another viewpoint on the already well-known wheel so to speak. So it has to be beautiful, it has to have a purpose and it has to be justifiable.  I use as many organic materials as I can. And if the project dictates...I have to have the inside of the home transitioning with the outside, or I go mad! 

It's not about me...its about my clients. I want it to look like their home and feel like it’s them. if it’s a commercial project, I aim to give it a shot of soul.   

 3) From where do you draw your inspiration? 

My Inspiration comes from God. The master creator… look outside yourself and your questions will be answered. 

Then of course my family and all of my memories and experiences [bring inspiration].  I think a lot of personal life experiences play into developing your taste and style. I had a Grandmother that painted and gardened daily. Her home was always a great inspiration to me. She had this greenhouse that opened into the foyer in this redone carriage house in Yardley, Pa. It smelled like turpentine and hot dirt. It was quirky, but cool. Then she had a studio in the back of the house where the light was best with a hallway that connected the two areas; so when you would enter you got that whiff of turpentine and dirt. It sounds weird, but it’s comforting to me. She always had fresh flowers and lots of light streaming in everywhere. Her husband, my grandfather was an inventor, very much a southern gentleman; birds would sit on his hands and take seed when he fed them. He was very gentle... He impressed me a lot. 

My inspiration also comes from being an equestrian, along with many trips abroad foxhunting in Europe and seeing the world.   

4) Is there a specific design feature you like to use or feel fits in almost any situation? 

Oh yes, I would say a signature piece for me for an interior would be something antique ... every room should have one; even if it’s a book. An exterior signature piece could be a serpentine wall of some organic composition such as brick, stone or a fence line. It just undulates with the lay of the terrain.   

5) Tell us a little bit about your first solo design job, was it smooth sailing, or a nightmare? What did you learn? 

My first project was a dream project. My clients had just purchased a home and it needed a lot of cosmetic renovations along with an addition, and then total furnishing. The wife wanted to keep the wallpaper and save money. The husband didn’t give an opinion but eventually asked me what I thought. I was afraid to give my honest opinion. I was sweating the idea of having to tell them what I thought because I simply wanted the job. I finally advised them to do it right the first time and to get rid of the hideous wallpaper. He said, “Good, the jobs yours!” 

To be honest, clients are paying me for my opinion, and if a designer is afraid to give an honest opinion than they aren’t being true to themselves as a creative individual or to their clients. If that happens, then the integrity of the project can become compromised.


6) What other profession do you think you would love or be good at? 

There are quite a few: Set design, the old fashioned way (they never told us about that at career day in school.) Loving history as I do, I wanted to be an archeologist at one point. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I’d love to be an architect; one who draws by hand not in a cad program, which I feel takes the design evolution away from the process.   

7) What’s your greatest achievement to date? 

My greatest achievement would be still having a business after the horrible recession we have all been through. I’m still young enough, energetic enough and passionate enough to get out of bed each day and enjoy my work and the many wonderful friends I have met in this business (whom I am so grateful for and to!) 

Having your own business is a challenge. When I would complain about the trials of having your own business, my good friend Randall Tysinger would say to me “H, if it was easy, everybody would have their own businesses.” I am grateful to be self-employed. I never ever would have believed it if anyone had told me that one day I would have my own firm.  


Holly Carter is a designer located in Aiken, South Carolina. She offers complete interior design services...as well as the finest American and English furniture, European antiques, luxury gifts, and accessories. 

www.hollycaterdesign.com   phone: 803-226-0025   facebook fan page 





251 Industrial Park Drive, Boone NC 28607 USA

info@charlestonforge.com

p. 828.264.0100

f. 828.264.5901