“The ultimate in environmental sustainability” is perhaps a curious description for one of the nation’s finest manufacturers of luxury custom chairs, barstools and gaming tables. Yet that’s precisely how Darafeev owner Paul Darafeev thinks of his company’s furniture.
Los Angeles-based Darafeev uses the most environmentally friendly materials available. For example, a current design project for Pebble Beach incorporates reclaimed California oak. But what Paul Darafeev really means when he says “sustainable” is quality and craftsmanship—the last word he would use to describe a client is “consumer.”
“We wouldn’t make any design that isn’t going to last,” insists Darafeev. This emphasis on integrity of design stems from the philosophy of Darafeev’s father, Mikhail, a Russian immigrant who started out in his own father’s blacksmith shop making wagon weels. In 1959, after settling in Los Angeles, Mikhail opened a wordworking shop in his garage and in ten years turned it into a thriving chair manufacturing business.
Today, Darafeev is a leading designer of high-end gaming furniture whose clients can expect made-to-order pieces and can choose from a dizzying array of finishing options, including no fewer than 30 different nailhead treatments. In addition, the company enjoys a growing international presence, especially in Mikhail’s native Russia, where poker has recently been made a national sport. Paul Darafeev clearly takes great pride in knowing that his father’s legacy is finding its way back to his homeland.