Unexpected Joy: Grand Rapids Heritage

When you’re looking for joyful inspiration, central Michigan in the middle of February might not be the first place that comes to mind.


But Grand Rapids, Michigan was long ago nicknamed “Furniture City” for a reason. Like High Point, the city is rich with legacy furniture brands that are still going strong today.


One of those is The Kindel Furniture Company, which, after over 100 years in the business, recently acquired two other iconic brands, Karges Furniture and Councill Furniture, to become Kindel Grand Rapids.

Why do you need to know this? Because furniture makers like these have been around for over 100 years for a reason: they actually know what they’re doing, and they do it better than any startup/disruptor your client is going to find. This is furniture royalty, and their pieces are built to last through generations, not just the next fashion cycle. And for the first time in a long while, that’s beginning to matter again.

As Millennials enter their 30’s and the enlightened class is increasingly rejecting throw-away consumption, classic pieces that bring lasting value and spark joy are back in the spotlight.

And while we’re on the subject of joy, let’s not forget the thrill of being the first to use classic pieces in new ways. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to introduce you to each of the three Kindel Grand Rapids brands, starting with its namesake. Each has its own personality, but all share the values of quality and heritage, and, trust us—the depth of their lines will surprise you!

As Millennials enter their 30’s and the enlightened class is increasingly rejecting throw-away consumption, classic pieces that bring lasting value and joy are back in the spotlight.


Kindel has been manufacturing handcrafted furniture in the United States since 1901. Starting with traditional residential lines and expanding into award-winning authentic reproductions, they have long been a top go-to for top-notch period pieces, including the Winterthur and Dorothy Draper collections. And recently they introduced Facets, which takes custom contemporary to a new level?

A key thing to know about Kindel Grand Rapids is that they offer truly custom furniture, not just a menu of options for “customizing” a piece. Everything is made to order and can be built to any specification or modified for any purpose.

Take, for instance, two iconic Dorothy Draper case pieces: the España Bunching Chest and the Pinwheel Chest. Below are just some of the custom variations that Kindel has created for clients.

Steelyard members can see more Kindel custom pieces by opening the Kindel Grand Rapids catalog and choosing “Custom Products” in the top left dropdown menu.

(Not a Steelyard member? Click HERE to sign up.)

…And those are just the outside views. Imagine how many functions these cases can be modified to accommodate, from bath vanities to mini-fridges; entertainment consoles to office credenzas. Anything is possible for the Kindel Grand Rapids crew—that’s what they do!

Sandy Hughes