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Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth Furniture Company donates furniture to The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library

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Two of the chairs donated by Tomlinson/Erwin Lambeth

The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library announced that Rod Lambeth of Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth has agreed to furnish the first floor of the newly renovated Library facility in memory of his parents, James “Jim” Erwin Lambeth Jr. and Dr. Katharine “Mama K” Covington Lambeth.

“The Library appreciates this generous gift from Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth.” says Charles Sutton, President of the Furniture Library, “The Lambeth’s dedication and support of the Library was invaluable and this is a wonderful way to remember their legacy in the furniture industry.”

Jim and Kay Lambeth were close friends of the Furniture Library’s founders Sandy and Bernice Bienenstock.  Mr. Bienenstock and his wife introduced Kay to the industry and that friendship continued and grew over the years.  Kay Lambeth founded Erwin Lambeth in 1946, with her husband Jim.  Kay was a visionary in the furniture industry and functioned at a high professional level as CEO of a major furniture manufacturing and design operation at a time when few women had the opportunity to do so. 

“My mother was unique in that she built the business and ran it from her heart.  Her dedication to the furniture industry and the consumer was always unmatched,” reflects her son Rod Lambeth.  Kay operated her company from a women’s point of view.  She knew what was missing in a furniture industry dominated by men.  She wanted two things that were not available to her as a designer, “Choices” and “Quality”.  Her “business plan” was based on two concepts:  “Build to a standard, not a price” and “Focus on what we can do for our customers, rather than what we can sell them”. 

The furniture pieces included in the donation are manufactured by Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth, Directional Inc., and Carter Furniture Company.  These companies incorporate products by nationally known designers such as Larry Laslo, Michael Wolk, Barry Dixon and Vladimir Kagan.  Larry Laslo is recognized for his extraordinary style and sophistication while Barry Dixon’s designs have an exquisite sense of harmony, balance and comfort.  Rob Jones has an incredible knowledge of proportion and scale to his clean, classic designs.  Michael Wolk’s furniture is a marriage of American Modernism with the grace and elegance of European design tradition.

The staff at The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library invites members of the furniture industry to experience the newly renovated Library and its extensive collection of books relating to furniture, architecture and design at the upcoming High Point Market.


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