Milo Ray Baughman, Jr. was one of the leading modern furniture designers of the 20th century. Recognized for his “High Styles” shown at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, Milo’s furniture has been exhibited in museums throughout the United States, including the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art In Winston-Salem, NC; and the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. However, Milo’s lasting contribution to the furniture industry is the timeless modern aesthetic he developed in creating distinctive yet imminently livable furniture pieces as a principal architect of the California Modern aesthetic. As Milo himself said “Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting, but too often belongs only in museums.”
Born in Kansas in 1923, Baughman was raised in Long Beach CA. At 13 years old, his parents recruited him to help design the interior and exterior of the family home. During World War II, Milo continued to develop his design skills while serving in the Army Air Forces, where he designed officer’s clubs around the world. After the war, he returned to Southern California to study product and architectural design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and at the California Institute of the Arts. In 1947, he started Milo Baughman Design Inc. from which he launched the critical collaborations of his career, defining the California Modern aesthetic and forging a lasting bond with Thayer Coggin furniture in North Carolina. Milo’s collaboration with Thayer Coggin would become the defining collaboration of his career.
Milo was highly regarded among his peers and was always in demand to speak about modern design. In 1969, he was invited by Brigham Young University to establish the Department of Environmental Design, where he served as chairman and adjunct professor for six years while he continued his design business. In 1965, Baughman converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and remained a passionate devotee to the Church until his death in 2003.
Milo’s rug designs were recently rediscovered in the Thayer Coggin archives and adapted for production by Guy Hill, Thayer Coggin Creative Director, and third-generation Creative Accents designer Colleen Schaeffer.
The designs of Guy Hill reflect where he feels contemporary furniture is today, in relation to style and comfort. Hill was a Milo Baughman protégé who cannot overstate Baughman’s influence on his career. This background has given him an unparalleled perspective on design, fusing color, texture and clean modern lines to create powerful pieces from chairs and sofas to tables and area rugs. Guy Hill is the Design Director at Thayer Coggin where he perpetuates the design legacy begun by Baughman and Thayer while adding his own compelling visions of current classic modern furniture.
From a gnarled oak tree to a sleek pocket knife, award winning San Francisco industrial designer Rick Lee finds inspiration in everyday objects. An innovator at the vanguard of modern design, Lee combines rational thinking with radical influences to create minimalist pieces with deft whimsical touches.
Upon obtaining a degree in industrial design, Lee began his career in Chicago with notable furniture manufacturers and design studios. Relocating to Milan, he then honed his distinctive artistic style seen in his work today. Incorporating minimal principles of Bauhaus with experience he gained collaborating at the irreverent Studio Alchimia, Lee nurtured a unique aesthetic that is both vibrant and charismatic.
After more than 15 years of multi-disciplinary exploration in San Francisco, Chicago, and Milan, Lee and his team now design for major furniture manufacturers and independent clients including Bonaldo, Frag, Magis, Surface Magazine, Bombay sapphire, American Leather, DWR, Creative Accent rugs and the San Francisco Opera Guild. His work has appeared in movie sets and in celebrity homes of Bruce Willis and Michael Jordon. Lee’s designs have also been widely exhibited and reviewed in notable publications such as the New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Surface Magazine, Case De Abitare, ID, Metropolis, Interni and Dwell.
Lee’s theoretical approach to design hinges on the tactics of an actor. Working with a wide range of materials and resources, he prefers not to work with any one particular material on a consistent basis. Lee considers “California cuisine” an apt metaphor for his work’s mix of seemingly incongruent ingredients carefully combined to create something new and fresh.
With a passion for creativity and design, Nathan Gilreath approaches each new project with a balanced sense of reality and unlimited possibility. Raised in Mammoth Lakes, a small town nestled in the heart of California’s Eastern Sierra Mountain range, he developed a great love for organic designs found throughout the natural world. Having long been a student of Nature’s canvas, a perceptive attention to elemental balance, space, scale, color, and variation accompanies all design efforts. Viewing every opportunity to create as a new challenge to design not only a stand out product but also an object that will develop a resounding sense of harmony within its surroundings.
Currently living and designing in Los Angeles, Nathan’s love for art and music keep him constantly excited about new forms of creative expression. By working on diverse aspects of product design through his personal studio, The Progressive Nature, an ability to understand various disciplines and reach diverse demographics has emerged as an invaluable trait.
Working within the Creative Accents design labs and manufacturing facilities, Nathan has developed a great perspective of procedures available, allowing a full exploration of textures, patterns and movement within each design. Continually looking for new territories of expression has allowed some great new developments in our Creative Accents portfolio and we are glad to be showcasing Nathan’s work.
Colleen Schaeffer, a third generation Creative Accents family member, was born with a keen eye for color. Her natural talent for design and color coupled with a lifelong immersion in the textile industry has caused Colleen’s skills to flourish and mature over time. Her worldwide travels through Europe and Latin America have influenced her designs, exposing her to a variety of patterns, colors, and flavors from around the globe.
Colleen’s fresh perspective on color has also helped us expand our ever-evolving color palette. We are proud to have a member of the third generation so essentially involved in the design aspect of our business.
I was born in Washington state and raised all over California. At one point during my childhood, my parents bought an old, gutted food truck to live in on the beach in Mexico. We lived in luxury or poverty, but rarely in between. Taking monetary and material risks for the sake of a greater vision was an everyday reality in my family.
As a child, I was subject to the whims of two very artistic, creative people who didn’t put much stock in the conventional “American dream.” As a result, I don’t have the nostalgic memory of one solitary childhood home, with neighborhood kids gathering at the cul-de-sac, or a single elementary school where I learned my ABC’s and graduated from the playground to middle school.
I do, however, have a deep, uncompromising desire for authenticity, spontaneity, and courage. These are the things that drive me in business, and motivate every aspect of my life. Because values like these cannot be compartmentalized, they are the driving factors in everything we do, and are, here at Creative Accents.
When my dad got into the carpet industry, I was a 10-year-old kid who thought driving a forklift and skateboarding around the factory was the absolute coolest thing. Later on in high school, while the rest of the family lived on the beach in Mexico, my dad and I slept on the floor of the factory, working non-stop trying to re-build the pieces that were left after a bad business deal. I saw firsthand the sheer determination and resilience it takes to build and run a successful business.
I’ve always loved the creative process. From the mysterious creation of an idea, bending and forming in an individual’s head, to the expression of that idea on pen and paper, paint and canvas, fingers and instrument. This process is what drew me to Creative Accents full-time in my early 30’s, and what continues to motivate me almost 30 years later.
Here, we get to collaborate with extremely gifted people to create a tangible product, handcrafted from the best raw materials. And every day, I am grateful that I never have to compromise my deeply rooted value system. What we do here, from the raw materials to the design and manufacturing processes, is authentic and original-every time.
Ryan Beauchamp is a third-generation Creative Accent family member and the founder of Big Sky Dwellings. Before founding Big Sky, Ryan served as Creative Director for Creative Accents, making essential contributions to the Company’s current success.
When Ryan fell in love with Katie Hensler, the grand-daughter of Creative Accents’ founder, Ken Hensler, he was pursuing his dream of professional rodeo. In a world of etched leather and gem-inlaid belt buckles, Ryan always had a thirst for functional color and design; the kind that makes you feel balanced and at peace. Ryan’s contributions to our portfolio tap into a deep well of creative energy and a sharp eye for design. His search for quality and balance extends to a passion for the perfect cup of coffee, and you can usually find him, cup in hand, content but never satisfied; enjoying the present, but looking with passion and energy toward the future.
Andrew Hayes first came to Creative Accents team in late 2013 and while he served in other areas for the company, he was immediately attracted to the processes of rug design and design as a whole. Through the next two years, Andrew learned more and more about design and even contributed some of his own to the Creative Accents’ catalog. As his passion for the field increased, Andrew decided to return to school in Sacramento to become a graphic designer. He hopes to be able to work on a variety of design work, ranging in everything from album covers to rugs.
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