In the spring of 2010, Bograds had the honor of being the first (and at that time the only) retail furniture store in the United States to carry Matsuoka, a line of furniture made in Japan by a company in business since 1886. We were captivated by the designs of Christian Lyon, a world famous designer from Perth, Australia and the incredible detail of their workmanship. In addition, they offered some of the world’s most exotic veneers.

It was not an easy time to decide to make a large investment, but we felt strongly that this was merchandise that deserved exposure and we thought that we had the customers who could appreciate its quality and design. It turns out that we were right, since Matsuoka quickly became one of the highlights of our offering. Pieces in Celebes ebony from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, silver sycamore, zebrano, pearl japonica and more exemplified the exquisite attention to detail of these master craftsmen. Drawer casings are crafted from Paulownia, a fast growing species often used to craft Japanese wedding furniture. We also have a magnificent sideboard finished in Urushi lacquer.

Christian’s designs combine a modernist approach, an Asian sensibility, and a fantastic design sense. His tortoise commode and entertainment console were inspired by a visit to a zoo. His Torii console is an interpretation of a Japanese altar table. There’s a room divider based on a tansu cabinet and other pieces that seem to be derived from Bauhaus designs. To top it off, they’ll customize anything. They’ve changed veneers and raised the height of a desk to accommodate a tall customer. There’s nothing we’ve asked them to do that caused them to say no.

And we’ve been in good company. We chuckled when we saw their ads in magazines such as Architectural Digest which listed places where Matsuoka furniture could be purchased—Moscow, Bangkok, Cannes, Taipei, –and Riverdale. Come to Riverdale and see it.

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