When Eric Dyer was 11 years old, he sat inside his aunt’s house reading her books and magazines on architecture while friends played outside.
“She wanted to be an interior designer but never followed through,” he said sitting at his desk in his sleekly modern office in Hallandale Beach where he is design director of Trend Design + Build and CEO of the Arthur Collection. “I knew then I wanted to be an architect and felt I should follow through for her.”
And follow through he did, studying architecture at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. But soon he learned his ideas and those of his professors were totally at odds. He was way ahead of the mainstream and they urged him to change or get out of the business. He did neither; he diversified.
“I noticed that most architects had no idea how people actually lived, so I got a degree in interior design from the Interior Designer Institute [in Newport Beach, Calif.]. The exterior blends into the interior and the design becomes more sculptural.”
He admits that he knows what he wants and doesn’t stop until he gets it. He’s a perfectionist with an eye for timeless design. It was this way of thinking that led him to create Arthur, a 35-piece furniture collection inspired by the simplicity of Asian design, architecture and our culture’s desire to declutter. (Arthur is his middle name and also an ode to his grandfather, who designed footwear. See www.arthur-collection.com.)
“Most contemporary furniture looks good, but it feels like you are sitting on rocks,” he said as he sat on “Paris,” a comfortable sectional from the collection that is in the company’s lobby. “We want to give people quality and comfort. Quality is number one and we do what it takes to obtain it.”
Quality means high end construction — kiln-dried frames with strong mortise and tenon joints and little connecting hardware. It means comfort — double elastic webbing, three layers of multi-density memory foam that springs back into shape and a top layer of either down or Dacron. The fabrics are reminiscent of menswear suiting and are accented with fashion details such as buttons, zippers and strapping.
This love affair with menswear details harkens back to when he was putting himself through school and worked at Gucci and Giorgio Armani.
“Armani won’t release anything until it is perfect and neither do I,” Dyer said, noting he sent the collection’s catalog back for revision. “I work 18 hours a day and he still does.”
Working hard in his profession for the past 25 years has earned Dyer a following of design and building professionals such as Joy Eber, owner of Inside Out, a high-end European outdoor furniture business with showrooms at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach and at the Miami Design District. Dyer helped furnish her Mediterranean-style home in Boca Raton. Pieces are from top Italian manufacturers and include his coffee table. Eber said she loves Dyer’s large wood and stainless table because it is the perfect height and allows her to put her feet up.
“He is without question the most talented person I have ever met in my life,” Eber said. “He sees things that no one else sees. He understands how people want to live. He made our home livable rather than formal.”