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Your Position: Home - Furniture - Four Hands Buyer's Guide

Four Hands Buyer's Guide

Furniture manufacturer Four Hands may be based in the US, but its history and range of design influences mark it out as a truly international brand. The company believes in the power of design to truly transform indoor and outdoor living spaces and achieves this through boundless creativity and experimenting.

Four Hands aims—in its own words—to “furnish style”. The range of innovative and expertly designed furniture products that the brand offers is impressive and has helped build a solid reputation among interior designers and other customers. What’s more, the brand’s prices are highly competitive.

With such a range available, choosing the perfect product can take some time. That is why we have put together this buyers’ guide for anybody who is curious about Four Hands furniture and wants to learn more. 

In this guide, we will delve into the history, style, and ethos of the brand, what products they offer, and how best to take care of Four Hands furniture and pair it with that of other brands.

About Four Hands Furniture

Furniture for Every Room

Four Hands offers products for living spaces including bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and more. Most of the brand’s products are crafted from wood, although pillows, upholstery, rugs, lighting, and even wall art are also now on offer. The founding principle of the brand is creativity, and this informs every design decision.

A Rich and Diverse Design History

The brand has a rich and adventurous history and can be traced back to when founder Brett Hatton met his wife Molly at the University of Texas. The pair decided to go traveling through Asia, where they were inspired by the artistry of antique furniture in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and China. 

Small Beginnings

Deciding to start a wholesale importer business, Brett and Molly opened a store in Essex, UK, in 1992. From here they sold furniture inspired by what they had encountered on their travels, focusing on hand-crafted items with “spirit and soul” not found in mass-produced furniture.

Growth Fueled by International Partnerships

In 1995, they decided to relocate to Austin, Texas. Since then, the brand has grown substantially and built a dedicated following. Products on offer include chairs from Europe and Indonesia, wooden tables from India, and many more. 

The expert touch of Brett and Molly’s combined “Four Hands” sets their products apart from those of other brands. Each piece of furniture on offer has been specially chosen for its quality and its unique, hand-made nature.

Four Hands Furniture Style

Embracing Transitional

Four Hands furniture is inspired by the “transitional design” school. Transitional furniture aims to combine the unique flair of traditional design (such as that found in the antique pieces encountered on the founders’ travels) with the practicality and functionality of modern furniture design.

The style emerged from the mid-20th Century, when traditional design was becoming replaced by the new “mid-Century modern” style, which renounced ornate ornamentation in favor of clean, smooth lines and minimalism. The transitional style, similarly to the contemporary Scandinavian design style, aimed to offer the best of both worlds.

Transitional Style is Still Wildly Popular

Transitional furniture design remains the dominant style to this day, and Four Hands uses this style as a core inspiration while retaining its own distinctive charm. Each product is designed not only to draw attention through style but also to fit into almost any setting. 

Versatile, Timeless & Modern

Four Hands products are versatile and can bring life to traditional, more modern, or even industrial spaces. The concept of placing antique pieces into new contexts, and therefore transforming both the space and the pieces themselves, is an important principle of Four Hands furniture. The creativity and experimentation of the brand’s founders are reflected in each product offered.

Craftsmanship

Four Hands is dedicated to expert craftsmanship in all products. The brand’s curators select only the finest manufacturers and artisans from around Asia and Europe. 

Committed to their Craft

With most of the pieces chosen being made by hand, Four Hands carefully inspects each item for quality, and even restores furniture where needed. Every single item is waxed and polished until it is good as new before it is stocked ready for purchase. 

The name of the brand refers to Brett and Molly’s commitment to personally inspecting each item—although these days there are plenty more workers and many more than just four hands involved in this process!

Four Hands Furniture Product Categories

Most products in the Four Hands furniture range can be categorized into one of three categories—Dining, Living, and Bedroom.

Many Four Hands products are versatile and can fit perfectly in a variety of rooms.

How to Take Care of Four Hands Furniture

Although Four Hands products are durable and built to last, taking care of furniture is recommended in order to keep it in good condition. This is especially true of antique furniture! The best ways to maintain different items vary depending on the specific materials of those items. 

Caring for Reclaimed Woods

Four Hands products typically use reclaimed woods. Reclaimed and recycled woods are known for their so-called “imperfections”, such as knots and weathering. These make textures and colors unique, varied, and rich. 

Caring for these woods includes regular dusting with dry and clean cloths, avoiding artificial polishes or roughly-textured cloths, and using coasters and placemats to prevent surfaces from becoming marked by sharp objects, temperature, or moisture. Keeping this furniture out of direct sunlight, and carrying rather than dragging furniture, is also recommended.

Caring for Top Grain Leather

Top-grain leather upholstery also requires care in order to maintain the character and sophistication that it provides. To preserve this leather, regular buffing (without oils or artificial cleaning products) with a dry, clean cloth is recommended—or with a damp cloth in the case of liquid spillages. Like with reclaimed wood, avoiding direct sunlight and sharp objects is also optimal.

Caring for Acrylic Frames

Acrylic frames, such as those featured in Four Hands mirrors, also need care in order to keep their character. For dusting, damp, soft cotton cloths are ideal, and only mild soaps and lukewarm water are recommended for cleaning. As with other materials, artificial or harsh chemical cleaning products are best avoided. When polishing, opt for specialized products for acrylics.

 

Brands that Work Well Alongside Four Hands Furniture

Versatility is one of the designing principles of the Four Hands brand, and each product is designed to fit alongside a range of other products and in a variety of different contexts. The following brands work especially well in the same space as Four Hands products.

  • Essentials for Living:

    Californian brand Essentials for Living is another company inspired by the transitional design style. Like Four Hands, the brand places high importance on versatility, and as such their products can pair brilliantly together in your living space.

  • Ferm Living:

    Furniture from Ferm Living exemplifies the Scandinavian style of the brand’s native Denmark. Transitional furniture such as Four Hands products can be particularly stylish alongside Ferm Living pieces. 

  • Menu:

    Like Ferm Living, Danish brand Menu follows the Scandinavian tradition, blending modern minimalism with natural materials. Alongside Four Hands products, these can be used to bring life to a range of spaces. 

Furnishing Style with Four Hands

Four Hands’ blend of unique style, high quality, and affordable price makes their furniture ideal for many applications. The sheer versatility of the brand’s products makes them highly prized and has won over countless devoted customers.

House&Hold is an authorized Four Hands retailer, selling a wide range of their most popular products. When you order Four Hands products from our site, Four Hands ships all orders directly from their warehouse in Texas. This means that we can offer free shipping on all Four Hands products.

Unlike many businesses, longtime Austin furniture designer and global importer Four Hands saw a surge in business during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We had a great lift during the pandemic," said Jerome Kearns, chief operating officer of the company, which was founded in 1996. "People were buying home furniture. Because people were staying at home, home office was very big. People were spending a lot of time at home."

Still, the company, which has supplied furniture to retailers including Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and West Elm, ran into supply chain issues and sometimes ran short on inventory.

Those problems are largely resolved, Kearns said. Four Hands has 700 employees, including 480 in Austin. It also has international operations, which were a lifeline during COVID, he said. The company has offices in Vietnam, China, India, and Indonesia.

"The one good thing about having 150 employees overseas is we were still able to work with manufacturing partners and ship containers. We were boots on the ground, so we were able to keep our supply chains moving along," he said. "Compared to a year ago, we're pretty good on inventory."

Now, Four Hands is in growth mode, and has signed two leases in Buda that will serve as the company's distribution headquarters. The two leases at industrial park Buda Midway on Fire Cracker Drive will add more than 360,000 square feet of warehouse space. The expansion is expected to add 50 jobs.

More:'Second downtown' keeps growing: Tallest tower yet planned at Austin's Domain

Four Hands will keep its existing headquarters and showroom on Woodward Street in South Austin. It will also retain five warehouses that total 530,000 square feet of space near St. Elmo Drive that will be used for other purposes including storage.

In addition, earlier this year, the company opened a 35,000-square-foot art studio that produces exclusive handcrafted pieces across different mediums, from watercolors to photography. To date, the company has curated more than 4,000 images from a rotating roster of 150 artists.

Four Hands first sought industrial space in Austin, but that proved to be unfeasible, Kearns said.

"We were not able to find the kind of buildings we were looking for," he said. "We looked at Georgetown and that was also pretty tight. Then we looked at the Buda/Kyle area and there is quite a bit of industrial development going on there. We were pretty excited to get some properties in Buda."

Current employees who work in distribution will move to the Buda sites, and Kearns is optimistic about recruiting additional employees in the area. Other warehouse suppliers nearby include Amazon.com and US Foods.

"We're in pretty good company in that part of the area," Kearns said. "One of the reasons we like Buda is there is a good labor pool there. With gas prices being high, this is a shorter commute for people. We're very excited about the demographic and recruiting from a really great labor pool."

Four Hands, which is privately held, posted $450 million in revenue in 2021 and is on track to reach $1 billion in sales within the next five years, the company said.

More:Why Austin-area demand for industrial space is soaring

The company's expansion comes as demand for industrial space in Central Texas is sky rocketing. In a recent report, commercial real estate services firm CBRE said it expects Central Texas' growing population, increased manufacturing -- led by technology giants like Tesla and Samsung -- and other factors to continue to drive strong demand for industrial distribution facilities for the foreseeable future.

"Supply-chain disruption and rising transportation costs during the pandemic have driven historic demand for warehouse space closer to population centers," said Darryl Dadon, senior vice president with CBRE's Industrial & Logistics platform in Austin.

More than 8.4 million square feet of industrial space is under construction in Central Texas, according to Colliers, a commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Millions more square feet -- by one estimate up to 30 million more -- are in the planning stage, although industry experts say it remains to be seen if all of those projects get built.

By the end of next year, 20.7 million square feet of industrial space is expected to be added to the Austin market, according to Colliers, which said 48 buildings are under construction, including six of more than 300,000 square feet or larger.

The surge in the Austin area's industrial sector is a good sign for the region's economy, said Ray Perryman, a Waco economist.

"A vibrant industrial sector is essential to long-term prosperity, bringing in investment and generating new jobs," Perryman said.

Industrial production brings in money from outside the region, along with the tax dollars paid by those large corporations. The increase in industrial space can also benefit consumers by getting goods in their hands more quickly.

"Consumers are demanding goods faster than ever, which requires goods to be stored in warehouses closer to consumers," said Sam Owen, managing director and partner in the Austin office of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners.

American-Statesman reporter Shonda Novak contributed to this report.

Four Hands Buyer's Guide

Austin furniture maker Four Hands grows distribution space, adding 50 local jobs

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