Noir and CFC were excited to open their doors to top interior designers on Thursday, May 12th. Headquartered less than a mile away from each other in Los Angeles, both companies work under the talented and esoteric founder and lead designer, Georg Baehler. Designers were invited to discover the many processes of the affordable, handcrafted furniture that Noir and CFC produce. The tour began at CFC, where guests enjoyed a delicious breakfast catered by Porto’s Bakery and Cafe.
“I wanted to write and say thank you so much for the opportunity to attend the Noir tour. I had SUCH an amazing day… everything was just wonderful! The food, the tour… it was all very inspiring, and I met some cool people, including THE Bassman and Blaine team. They are cool. I am even more in love with Noir than I was before! George is an inspiration. Thank you again!” – Claire Deutsch, Irma Shaw Designs
Started in 1999, CFC quickly grew from a one-man show to be one of Southern California’s finest furniture manufacturers, catering to some of the country’s most exclusive stores and designers. With unique designs and quality in mind, CFC strives to build furniture and home accessories that last for generations to come. Many of the furniture designs incorporate recycled Douglas Fir from torn-down homes and reclaimed oak from barns, fences and box cars. These reused materials add to the hand finished characteristic of each piece. All production is handmade in Southern California and designed by master woodworker and owner Georg Baehler. Georg’s designs are natural, simple, classic and timeless. He believes in manufacturing furniture the old fashion way, by hand, in the United States. His designs are made to last a lifetime and have natural imperfections which make them all unique.
THE CFC TOUR
The first group followed Product Designer, Juan, and Director of Marketing, Cat Holman, to CFC’s wood workshop to see how all of CFC’s line is manufactured right there at the LA headquarters.
Designers learned that no computers are used in the processes of making of CFC furniture.
CFC pieces are made from solid wood (Reclaimed Douglas Fir, Alder, Oak, and Walnut), steel, and glass.
CFC’s Metal Press
Juan showing designers the raw material used to coat product.
Finish colors are an approximate representation and can vary slightly due to hand application and variances in the original wood color. The standard finish for all of the reclaimed douglas fir items is a natural wax finish. Wax finishes do not have a lacquer topcoat, except for Grey and White Wash, and will show more wear-and-tear. This adds to the rustic flair of the line. Wax finishes can be touched-up relatively easily and the use of coasters, placemats, and hot pot stands is recommended.
CFC has carefully selected over 100 of its favorite and bestselling items that they are committed to keeping in stock and ready for your customers.
Inventory reports are sent out weekly on Wednesday. Items that are in stock have a lead time of 1 – 3 weeks. Items that are not in stock have a lead time of 6 – 8 weeks. All items are shipped with blanket-wrap carriers (i.e. Cal Metro, Trail Lines, and American West). Customers may arrange pick up from CFC’s corporate offices with their own trucks or trucking company.
All CFC furniture is made and/or finished to order. The customer can choose fabric/finish and Customer Own Material (COM) is available. Grade A fabrics come standard with all UP items, Grade B fabrics have a 5% upcharge, Grade C fabrics have a 10% upcharge, and Grade D have a 15% upcharge. You can view all of their fabrics HERE.
In 2004, Georg Baehler and Stephanie Lu formed Noir Trading, Inc. with a mission to manufacture furniture that deftly balances design and affordability. Over a decade later, Noir has established itself with a hand-crafted line of over 1200 products that is consistent, sustainable, available, and affordable.
As the Lead Designer, Swiss-born Georg Baehler creates every item for Noir the old-fashioned way: with a pencil and paper. Whether wholly original or classically inspired, every Noir product is meticulously designed to scale by Georg’s hands. With Noir, co-owners Georg & Stephanie provide customers affordable handcrafted furniture that can last for generations. Noir’s goal is to make furniture that is uniquely beautiful, useful, and environmentally friendly.
THE NOIR TOUR
The Noir headquarters tour began upstairs in co-founder and lead designer Georg Baehler’s spacious and eccentric office. Designers gathered around Georg’s drawing table for an intimate interview on his ideas, inspirations, and industry insight.
As by surveying the anarchical yet conscientious organization of vintage decor throughout the office, designers learned about Georg’s unconventional designing process. He prefers to mix styles, elements, and time periods. This is why Noir and CFC do not necessarily have furniture “collections” of identical pieces designed to pair together in a room. Instead, Noir and CFC pieces are made to pair in non-“matchy” ways.
After background information on the company upstairs, the tour continued in Noir’s warehouse.
Noir product is manufactured in Indonesia and China. Furniture pieces are made of solid wood (Birch, Elm, Mahogany, Mindi, Oak, Teak, and Walnut), acrylic, glass, steel, and stone. Unlike CFC, Noir product cannot be customized.
Noir has over 85% of the product line in stock. The website is updated twice a day. If an item is out of stock, the website will list how many will arrive within 2 – 6 weeks. If there are no items listed as arriving in 2 – 6 weeks, the lead time is 10 – 12 weeks (and up to 16 weeks on some items). Most new items will have a 10 – 12 week lead time.
Noir Quick Ship Program Noir has curated approximately 150 of its favorite and bestselling items that it is committed to keep in stock and ready for your customers. All items in the Quick Ship Program will usually ship within one week from order confirmation, normal transit time applies.
Shipping All items are shipped with blanket-wrap carriers (i.e. Cal Metro, Trail Lines, and American West). Items can be shipped White Glove upon request. Customers may arrange pick up from Noir’s corporate offices with their own trucks or trucking company.
One of the specialties of Noir is their beautiful lighting line. While lighting is manufactured overseas, each item is opened and wired in-house to meet UL’s U.S. certification and Canada standards.
All hanging light fixtures include 6 feet of chain and 8 feet of cord. Additional chain is available at an additional cost. Light bulbs are not included.
Noir’s pendants and chandeliers are the perfect statement piece for any room. You can view all of Noir’s lighting on their website.
The tour continued through more offices, including where all of the markets are planned. The designers learned about the meticulous process of setting up a showroom.
Designers even got to see brand new items!
While Noir has a QuickShip program, pieces need extra time to go through inspection once they have arrived at the facility. Although comparable in price to inferior & more toxic pressboard and veneer furniture, it is important to acknowledge that solid wood items may expand or contract as a result of climate. Each product is perfected by hand in the warehouse before approved to ship to customers.
Noir strongly recommends the use of coasters, placemats and trivets under hot and cold items to protect the finish. Some items, such as the waxed tables, will be more susceptible to heat/cold/moisture than others. To achieve the natural look, wax is only applied on the surface of the table tops. If coasters are not used, rings will appear on the surface. However, our designers were shown helpful demonstrations on how to care for and clean with certain items depending on the finish.
The tour concluded with a fabulous lunch where all of the designers and Noir’s team sat down and got to network. Thank you to everyone who participated. We had a great time!