Universal Furniture is one of the best furniture brands in the world. They encompass several popular lines of furniture such as Paula Dean Home and shepherd in the latest in furniture styles and design trends. Getting to know this brand over the years has been a pleasure and Universal Furniture should be on the radar of anyone shopping for furniture.
Universal’s catalog features a wide range of styles, accents, and expressions of contemporary, modern, and even traditional styles. They continue to “wow” designers year in and year out by continuing to set trends. Getting to know their catalog will evidence just how incredible this furniture brand truly is.
Midtown Bedroom Collection
The Midtown Bedroom Collection by Universal Furniture showcases a contemporary design staged by a subtle linen fabric and inspired 4-poster design. Shown here amidst a seasoned mahogany-walled bedroom, the concave curvature of the headboard offers a fun accent underlying the otherwise traditional-ish design.
The Berkley Collection by Universal showcases an elegant traditional design with a timeless neutral finish. The soft linens and low gloss finishes are a perfect compliment to renovated spaces, contemporary homes, and even more traditional spaces. This line features upholstery, case goods, and delicious seating options for your consideration.
Paula Deen Home Collection
The Paula Deen Home Collection is one of the most popular lines of furniture offered by Universal. It showcases a medley of find furniture designs—most with a flair of American South design—that are well suited for any number of styles and spaces. Sold under the brand name of celebrity chef Paula Deen, this collection also features stylish outdoor furniture, occasional tables, and fine upholstered seating options for all.
Like many great furniture companies, Universal was birthed by entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity. Particularly, the under-utilized rubberwood resources located in Malaysia. This would allow founder Larry Moh, along with his relatives, to begin staking out a claim in the furniture market.
All this was happening as the United States embargo with China was coming to an end. Moh, using the strategic local rubberwood supply, positioned their newly-vested furniture company as a well-received value buy amidst the family-owned American furniture brands of the South.
In combination with low wages required by the Chinese state government, Universal Furniture (named Hok Kong Teakworks still) was able to vastly undercut American furniture production costs. As Beth Macy notes in her book Factory Man, Asian factory workers made around $0.75 per hour in 1975 compared to an average $6.36 of American counterparts. That is a formula for marketplace disruption.
Moh quickly took his company into the international marketplace focusing first on hotel furniture, the later looking towards American retail. The company took the name Universal Furniture during this time and continued to challenge the status quo of the then monopolizing American made furniture options.
Today, Universal Furniture is owned by Samsung Holding which is one of China’s largest furniture makers—also owner of La-Z-Boy furniture. Universal Furniture has manufacturing facilities located in Asia and maintains a powerful showroom presence in Highpoint, North Carolina, home of the High Point Furniture Market. They have won many awards within the industry.
Universal Furniture doesn’t carry the same legacy as many of the century-old American family brands—but they sure do have style! The collections shown here are but a fraction of the great lineup offered by Universal. For those interested, check out our lineup of the best online furniture stores to find the best pricing on Universal Furniture.
A furniture designer with a passion for design and architecture. Mildly obsessed with mid-century modern furniture, finding new room ideas, and discovering new color combinations.