Sixpenny Brings Casual Luxury Direct to Consumer With Ethically Sourced Furniture


HomeHome / Blog / Sixpenny Brings Casual Luxury Direct to Consumer With Ethically Sourced Furniture

May 09, 2023

Sixpenny Brings Casual Luxury Direct to Consumer With Ethically Sourced Furniture

It's tempting for new companies to fall into the trappings of being everything

It's tempting for new companies to fall into the trappings of being everything to everyone. There's something to be said about honing in on a specialty and executing it exceptionally well. Founded in 2017, Sixpenny has quickly carved a space for itself in the made-to-order furniture space for doing just that.

Rather than offering a catalogue of hundreds of pieces, typically resulting in decision fatigue for consumers, Sixpenny did a soft rebrand in the summer of 2020 to focus on slipcovered upholstery and eco-friendly, ethically sourced tables. The company has a thoughtfully curated inventory of chairs, sofas, daybeds, coffee and dining tables, and consoles.

I visited Sixpenny's showroom in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, to meet with Robert Natale, Sixpenny's chief of design, and get a first-hand look (and feel) of the hallmark offerings. (As of publish, the Sixpenny Loft is only open to interior designers, architects, hospitality developers, and professionals within the trade.)

Courtesty Image

Courtesy Image

Sixpenny has a reverence for casual luxury—pieces that are beautifully designed but not painstakingly so. Comfort isn't an afterthought. This isn't furniture relegated to sitting rooms and parlors with the sole purpose of being on display (though they're beautiful enough to do just that).

Natale doesn't shy away from a lived-in sense and sensibility. Rings and watermarks on a coffee table don't perturb him. They're visual reminders of time spent entertaining; it's what makes a home a home and not a museum or showroom. He mentions being inspired by a wooden desk he'd seen that belonged to an architect and designer that'd been worn smooth by his forearms over time.

Sixpenny's Brooklyn showroom is a portal to Europe, with checkered and geometric Turkish rugs, Italian marble, travertine floors, French tapestry, and Italian oil paintings creating a visual feast. There are a multitude of Sixpenny's seating offerings on display.

Related: Luxury Bathroom Essentials That Fuse Style and Design

Sofa and chair frames are handmade from kiln-dried solid hardwood; the cushions are blissfully overfilled with ethically sourced down feathers (non-live-plucked down feathers are a natural byproduct of the food industry) or poly fill; and fabrics range from all-natural linens and cottons to faux fur. None are performance fabrics that are treated with chemicals for added durability.

Sixpenny's FAQ section is a brilliant resource for pet owners to discern best fabrics. Cat owners should lean toward Light Weight Linen, Cotton Canvas, or Thread-Dyed Cotton Linen, which all boast tighter weaves that are more resistant to claws. For families that have dogs and kids who like to rough-house, heartier fabrics like Medium Weight Linen, Light Weight Linen, and Cotton Canvas are optimal. All the fabric slipcovers can be removed for dry cleaning (if you're feeling confident, they're also machine washable).

We spoke to Natale to do a deeper dive on all things Sixpenny.

Courtesy Image

Robert Natale: More than anything, creating Sixpenny was about sharing our way of living. We deeply believe in this idea of casual luxury—that the world's best materials and craftsmanship can come together in a way that is unprecious and inherently livable. We all spend so much time at home, and creating a comfortable, enriching space is one of life's fundamental pleasures.

But frankly, the industry has, for years, been quite polarized. Luxury products using quality craftsmanship and materials cost a fortune. And the majority of the time, more affordable items use cheap, synthetic materials and aren't built to last. It felt like the intersection of both worlds was missing.

Since we're a vertical company and own our own factory, we’re able to create some of the world's most comfortable furniture, using all-natural fabrics, solid woods, and ethically sourced feather and down, all without the insane markups. It sounds cliche, but we truly aim to offer the greatest bang for your buck in the marketplace.

Related: The Frame Review: Digital Art-enabled Smart TV

I hope people are struck by a sense of time. All the details have been crafted slowly and intentionally to allow distinguishable features to develop. Every piece plays with a juxtaposition between antique and contemporary.

We’ll never compromise on a number of things—and being a vertical company allows us the creative and financial control to do that. We’ll always build our assortment around comfort, natural and Earth-friendly recycled materials, and high-quality materials that tell a story and enrich spaces.

History. Nature. Uniqueness created by time. Hand-craftsmanship.

We’re fascinated with the pre-industrial period, just before the introduction of mass manufacturing, when artisans were at the peak of their expertise. The level of detail in items made during that time is still unsurpassed and it inspires us at Sixpenny to add precise layers and thoughtfulness at every turn.

Almost all our fabrics are made using exclusively natural materials—linens, cottons, or some combination of the two—and the one non-natural fabric is a super cuddly Recycled Faux Fur made from ocean-bound plastic bottles (it's honestly a miracle fabric).

Our solid woods are, well, solid. No MDF or veneer anywhere, so the character—especially of our reclaimed woods—and build quality are unbelievable.

I’m in love with our Thread-Dyed Cotton Linen family. It's a set of five rich garden-inspired colors, in a wonderfully soft blend that's dyed at the yarn level for extra colorfastness.

Related: High-End Kitchen Essentials That Fuse Style and Design

I’d say the greatest sign of growth in Sixpenny over the years has been our edit. We’ve always strived to offer unparalleled comfort and world-class materials, but as we’ve found our voice and our look over the years, what's been equally important is the stuff we don't launch. We’ll only debut a product if it feels absolutely perfect, and as a result, the comfort and the quality are really highlighted by the curation.

Courtesy Image

Wow, asking me to pick a favorite child! Neva is our best-selling collection and we’re very grateful for her. I also love Ziki's sort of monastic simplicity; Loula's fluffy, curvy grandeur; and Camino's exaggerated comfort. Cordelia is a favorite table collection—the way it blends antique and new styles and finishes feels very special.

We’re very excited to launch our new website and refreshed branding this summer, in which we feature further extensions of our line including slipcovered beds, a few really high-end sleeper sofas, plus more swivels, gliders, and occasional chairs, storage pieces, and expanded dining seating.

Order swatches: Seeing the materials in real life makes a world of difference when choosing.

Customize: We launched design and custom services last year, which allow customers to edit the dimensions of any piece to perfectly fit their space.

Get a second slipcover: Once you have a piece of ours, the beauty is being able to switch up the look. Plus, having a spare slipcover around when there's a spill or a cleaning day makes life immeasurably easier.

My order for the Cordelia Console Table went in during the first week of February. The estimate was 12 weeks and the table was delivered right on time. (When in stock, the Cordelia Console Table can ship in two to three weeks; for seating, expect three-and-a-half to four months.) You get email updates during each checkpoint in the process so you're never in the dark.

Sixpenny is able to hold shipments at its Los Angeles distribution center for up to 30 days free of charge. You can delay your shipment for more than 30 days for a fee. Moreover, made-to-order items can be canceled for free until they ship from the distribution center.

A Sixpenny delivery success leader reached out to confirm my console was being sent to a local delivery hub, then delivered by Pilot Freight Services due to its weight. I was able to leave notes for Pilot that I live in a four-floor walkup so they could be adequately prepared. They reached out to schedule a delivery date and window around my availability. On delivery day, I received a call when Pilot was 20 minutes out, then the deliverymen brought the Cordelia Console Table up in two pieces.

Note: This is a heavy table—163 pounds and 72 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 30 inches high—so you'll want to know exactly where to place it. I opted for white-glove service and the team screwed the two pieces together, cleaned up the boxes, and were out in no more than 20 minutes.

The base is made of solid reclaimed Chinese pine columns that are architectural but with understated grandeur. They're carved and slightly tapered, which makes a nice contrast to the soft, rounded edges of the sealed Turkish travertine top.

Both the travertine and wood is chosen, cut, laminated, assembled, and sanded by hand. As with all stone, there are natural derivations in veining, pitting, and coloring of the travertine. It's rustic yet polished and the perfect addition to an entryway or living room.

If you've been burned by uncommunicative furniture retailers with deceptive lead times, consider Sixpenny.

[Cordelia Console Table, $3,199;]

Related: Luxury Bathroom Essentials That Fuse Style and Design Robert Natale: Related: The Frame Review: Digital Art-enabled Smart TV Related: High-End Kitchen Essentials That Fuse Style and Design Order swatches: Customize: Get a second slipcover: