In 1959, Mikhail Darafeev, a Russian immigrant who spoke virtually no English, began making hardwood furniture frames in his East Los Angeles garage. With the freedom to pursue the American dream, his Old World craftsmanship skills, and $500 borrowed from a family member, Mikhail soon outgrew his garage and became one of the top producers of hardwood chair frames and components in the West. His attention to detail quickly earned him contracts with top furniture manufacturers and the nickname “Gentleman of the Old School.” Within 10 years, Mikhail built a state-of-the-art factory in Los Angeles.
In the mid 1970’s, the second generation of Darafeevs created a proprietary line of product, starting with a single barstool. There was nothing on the market like it. Soon to follow came a complete line of barstools, game chairs, tables, and bars. An American family business was born.
Darafeev products began to appear in the finest retail stores across the nation, delivering made-to-order home furnishings tailored to client’s unique specifications. Design configurations became nearly infinite as available styles were made in multiple sizes and heights, then outfitted with high quality wood finish, upholstery, nail treatments and metal decor. Customers were not hesitant to pay a premium for the highly customized product. The company regularly services clients who purchased Darafeev furniture several decades ago, and wish to update the upholstery on products still in daily use.
The commitment to building contract quality into residential furniture opened the doors to the contract and hospitality industries, meeting stringent requirements for strong, durable furnishings. Distributors have taken the Darafeev product into hotels, restaurants, country clubs, luxury retirement centers… even Presidential libraries.
Adhering to Mikhail’s vision of “doing a few things well”, Darafeev puts all its emphasis on building only the world’s finest barstools, chairs, game tables and bars. With a focus on comfort, durability and service, the company takes pride in creating heirloom quality furniture, engineered to last generations.
Today, Darafeev remains family owned, operating over 100,000 square feet of world class manufacturing space from two Southern California factories. Now in the third generation, the Darafeev family legacy continues with the same strong commitment to the level of quality and craftsmanship as Mikhail, who often said “If it can’t be built to last, I won’t build it at all.”