Barry Remley, owner and designer of the Maryland-based company Salvations Architectural Furnishings, is an extremely talented woman whose company has been in business for over 25 years. She creates very sleek, simple and classic looking furniture, and many pieces are made out of recycled and salvaged materials. She has given me the pleasure of learning about some of her inspirations, motivations and interesting projects.
Remley started her business in 1985 when her husband was seeking furniture for his office that didn’t look like typical office furniture. Inspired by her findings at friend Donetta George’s shop The Brass Knob, Remley and former business partner Jo Coveny set out on their project to design furniture for the office. From there, the two decided to start a business together.
The company got its name, “Salvations,” from the concept of giving new life to found pieces that were no longer able to serve their original functions. Remley said of this, “It was a time when antique architecturals were not as valued as they are today. We loved the historic interest and beautiful craftsmanship found in the old antique grates and random pieces we found, and wanted to make furniture out of them.” One of the company’s very first coffee tables was made from an old grille found in an alley behind Remley’s DC home!
For over ten years, the company was run out of a basement studio in Remley’s house. After about a year into the business, Remley’s partner, Jo Coveny, left to be a designer at The Kellogg Collection. Upon Coveny’s departure, Remley took steps to learn the process of design, including taking drawing classes at Mount Vernon College. From early on, everything she did for her company was by trial and error. In the beginning it was about putting one foot in front of the other and staying in business until the next coffee table was finished.
Eventually running a growing business out of her house became too much, and just when she was ready to move into a larger space the right one came along. Taking this step has helped her grow the company – and thanks to a combination of luck and hard work, she has been in business for almost 30 years. And now with her son working with her, she is hoping to be in business for many, many more.
Remley, having grown up in a family of creative people, has found inspiration all around her. From nature to travel and architecture, she seeks inspiration in all forms. A lover of rocks and stones, she says that many of the paint finishes in her designs have been inspired by color in rocks that she has collected and brought home from different parts of the world.
Antiques – namely, antique furnishings – are also an inspiration in her work. Remley has always appreciated the simplicity of clean lines, wanting her designs to “feel rooted in the past” and “timeless.” Her designs are just that. What makes her product so special is that her designs look beautiful in a wide spectrum of interiors, from the very traditional to the contemporary. In working with the same blacksmiths for most of her years in business, Remley claims that the team spirit and shared love of what they do shows in every piece they produce.
One of Remley’s favorite accomplishments is that Salvations tables and accessories are featured in American embassy residences in over 70 worldwide locations. In fact, some of her table names, such as Budapest, Lima and Nepal, were chosen because they were designed for the American embassies in those locations.
One of the greatest parts of Remley’s line is that every piece is made locally. She finds that many of her buyers are interested in supporting local artisans; in that, it is much easier to customize tables as opposed to manufacturing her products overseas.
Remley has had a hand in every step of the production process. She works day and night and there is no doubt that she is talented at what she does: “I think in some way I sort of followed an unconscious path for a while. I was having fun and still am. I absolutely love what I do; I love the creative process, I love talking to the clients. I am grateful to work with so many creative designers. And loving what I do every day keeps me going.”
For over 25 years, The Kellogg Collection has maintained a fabulous working relationship with Barry Remley and the staff at Salvations. The Kellogg Collection is the only retailer that stocks many of her coffee tables that are ready for immediate delivery. Stop in to one of our four locations today and let us help you pick out the perfect Salvations table for you!