Over 152 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Stanford Engineering Professor Uses His Patented Joint to Create New Furniture Styles

Furniture World News on

A retired Stanford University Professor of Mechanical Engineering has launched Menlo Furniture Designs, Inc. (www.menlodesigns.com), a new furniture design and manufacturing company that is combining art and science to create a new type of chair. Utilizing the patented Eustis Joint®, Professor Robert Eustis is developing elegant chair designs with modern curvilinear shapes expressed with the traditional warmth of wood materials. The company's Milano chairs and ottomans are instant classics that complement the architecture of homes, offices and other premium locations. "The sinuous beauty of modern design has always inspired me," explained Menlo Furniture Designs founder and CEO, Prof. Robert Eustis. "The eye is naturally drawn to the perfect arc in modern architecture, sculpture and decorative arts. I wanted my chairs to reflect this modern sculptural vision, while respecting the timeless craftsmanship of the great wooden furniture makers." A History of Chair Achievements Menlo Furniture is the second entrepreneurial endeavor for Prof. Eustis. After retiring from Stanford's faculty in 1990, he devoted himself to designing a nearly indestructible joint for wooden furniture. By invisibly embedding steel within a wooden joint, Prof. Eustis was able to create chairs with the refined esthetic of classic wood designs, but with the strength to stand up to years of sit-down use. Stanford University was the first to recognize the superior quality and longevity of chairs designed with the new Eustis Joint, and the University faculty club became the first customer for Eustis Designs, the professor's first chair company. Eustis Designs went on to sell its robust and attractive products to a wide variety of institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, Santa Clara University, the University of Oregon, the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Carlos and Sunnyvale in California and the city of Plano, Texas. In 2000, Prof. Eustis donated the patent for the Eustis Joint, as well as his entire shareholdings in Eustis Designs, to Stanford University. Second Retirement Launches a Second Chair Company Faced with his second retirement after donating Eustis Designs to Stanford, the professor began to imagine other applications for the Eustis Joint. The Eustis Joint not only enabled the manufacture of a stronger, more robust chair, it also opened new design possibilities. Curvilinear lines, which previously depended on the flexibility of metal, could now be expressed with the warmth and distinctive character of wood. Professor Eustis launched Menlo Furniture Designs to exploit the exciting creative possibilities of the Eustis Joint, creating unique chair designs that possess the versatility to fit residential, office and many other locations "The design of these chairs is special in every way--aesthetics, structure and ergonomics. Not only are they beautiful to look at, like a piece of sculpture, but they look wonderful in a variety of interior styles," said Jerrine Barrett, of Jerrine Barrett Interiors in Menlo Park. "The structural integrity of these chairs reflects extraordinary engineering and effort, which adds interest for those clients that appreciate quality. And, most importantly, they offer the comfort which welcomes any owner to sit for endless hours." Pricing and Materials Milano Chairs are priced between $1,380 and $1,590, depending on wood and fabric choice. Milano Ottomans are priced between $575 and $610. Each Menlo Furniture chair is tested to withstand more than 400 lbs., and each chair is guaranteed. The Company's Milano Chairs and Ottomans are inspired by the finest Italian design and based on ingenuity that's clearly American. Beyond fitting the location, Menlo Furniture chairs also fit the customer The natural flex of the wood provides a subtle and reassuring response to the body. Standard upholstery materials are offered in a choice of premium aniline dyed Italian leather in black or saddle, or a premium quality fabric woven of 55% cotton and 45% linen from Glant Mills located in Northern Italy. The fabrics are available in 4 beautiful colors; Sand, Cashew, Reed and Sage. Milano chair frames are made of premium hardwood domestic maple, walnut or cherry and are kiln-dried to 6-9% moisture content to ensure that they will not crack, warp or split. A two-coat varnish finish is hand-rubbed to a beautiful and durable luster.

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers