You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Furniture doctor

Hume lives to take things apart

This is the 50th anniversary of the Eames lounge chair. Alfie Hume is in the business of making sure they don’t show their age.

An affable Brit who now lives and works in Venice, Hume lives to take things apart. “My father used to say that my toys didn’t come with instructions,” he says. “They came with destructions.”

Today, that talent has taken him to corner offices and design-minded homes containing Herman Miller, Knoll Bertoia, Eames and Nelson pieces that have gone creaky, cracked or otherwise flabby.

“Most of my Herman Miller pieces have been in the hospital at one time or another,” says production

designer Jeannine Oppewall, who amassed a midcentury furniture collection while working for Charles Eames at the original Eames Office in Venice and scouting yard sales and flea markets for pieces to use on film sets.

“Alfie knows these pieces backward, forward and inside out,” she says. “He gives great advice about how to preserve the value of your investments.”

Hume came to Los Angeles in 1994 to escape the rain, but then he met his future wife, Sheila Kaufman. Her

father, Jeff Kaufman, was VP at Jules Seltzer Associates — the largest Herman Miller dealer in America, which had just launched the Aeron chair.

Hume began taking on Aeron repair jobs, mostly as favors for friends and family, but afterward clients had a question: “I have an Eames chair I inherited from my parents. Can you fix it?”

“If they had the money for Aeron chairs, they had the money for Eames furniture,” says Hume, noting that in Jerry Bruckheimer’s offices, even the mailroom is outfitted with Aerons. “The business literally snowballed overnight.”

To serve a client base that’s often short on both time and patience, Hume has amassed an inventory of spare parts. And while Hume goes on service calls himself, he relies on a cadre of craftsmen that includes a refinisher, two upholsterers and a fabricator.

Although an appreciation of midcentury design has become a mark of sophistication for young Hollywood — his patrons include design buffs Courteney Cox and David Arquette — many of Hume’s clients are of midcentury vintage themselves.

“The people I enjoy working for the most are the old-school Hollywood people,” says Hume, who recently did some work for Charlton Heston at his home. “It’s quite amazing to see what money can buy.”

Alfie Hume is available at humemodern.com

More Scene

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Impact Awards Gala Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, Feb. 22 Photographers and videographers clamored near the doorways of the [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazers [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Amandla Stenberg and Sofia CarsonVanity Fair

    Oscar Week Kicks Off With Vanity Fair's New Hollywood Party

    The night was definitely still young Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood party in Los Angeles. The magazine kicked off Oscar week with a party — the first of its three-event Campaign Hollywood series — at Ysabel in West Hollywood to celebrate new and emerging talent. Co-hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscars Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

  • Yalitza AparicioTeen Vogue Young Hollywood Party,

    'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio, 'Central Park Five's' Jharrel Jerome Sound Off on Trump

    Yalitza Aparicio recently reunited with Alfonso Cuarón, who directed her in “Roma,” for a W magazine photo project that featured her standing at various barriers built at the border between Mexico and the United States. The message? “You can make a name for yourself despite the differences,” Aparicio told Variety on Friday at Teen Vogue’s Young [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content