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Something in the Heirloom

Sarah Smith

The new furniture line from Beekman 1802 evokes something old with something new.


Photography by Sarah Smith. Courtesy of brands. (Chairs)

It seems that Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge have made good on a classic aphorism: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In 2007, after abandoning their high-flying New York city jobs to sink their life savings into the Beekman mansion, in the fading spa town of Sharon Springs, N.Y., the duo came perilously close to bankruptcy. That they not only survived, but thrived, is testament to their resourcefulness, entrepreneurialism, and sweat. Their mushrooming brand, Beekman 1802, is born of craftsmanship and a holistic relationship to nature, covering home, garden, food, and beauty. The pair recently added a robust new line of furniture, the Heirloom Collection, a mash-up of steampunk and romanticism that Ridge describes as "the love child of Nikola Tesla and Dorothy Draper." Inspired, like all their work, by the landscape and community around their farm, the furniture conjures Sharon Springs' gilded past, when the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts would come to take in the town's famous waters. Each design is named for a local landmark, such as the Chalybeate chairs in quilted leather and burlap, which take their name from a renovated 1910 temple on Main Street. Although new, many of these pieces look as if they've been around for years, and will be for years to come. The effect is deliberate. "We never, ever sacrifice function for style," says Ridge. "The difference between an antique and an heirloom is that the latter was used and loved -- and has the patina of use to prove it."

Select pieces now available at Bloomingdale's, or view the entire collection at

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