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Essentials for Living Buyer's Guide

Based in California, US, Essentials For Living provides high-quality, fashionable furniture for a variety of applications. The principle behind Essentials For Living furniture is versatility: each product is designed to suit various environments, whether blending seamlessly in with its surroundings or creating a bold, stylish juxtaposition. 

Whether you are looking for an attention-grabbing central feature of a room or a subtle accent to existing furniture and aesthetics, there is something to choose from. The Essentials For Living range includes hundreds of products from chairs and tables to stools, desks, cabinets, and mirrors—and each is designed to work with other products from the brand or from other complimentary brands.

With such an extensive range available, choosing the right pieces for your home or interior design project can be a little tricky. This is why we have put together this Essentials For Living buyer’s guide to give you the information you need to choose the ideal product for your needs.

We will explore the history and style of the Essentials For Living furniture brand, the collections and products available, warranty information, and more. We will even explore some of the other brands that work well alongside these products to give you some inspiration. 

Alt-text: The Essentials For Living Chelsea Dining Table and two Bayview Dining Chairs.

About Essentials For Living

How it Started

The story of Essentials For Living starts in 1977. Initially, the brand was named Star International Furniture, Inc., and became well-renowned and synonymous with excellent build quality, imaginative designs, and top-quality customer service. 

A Marriage of Two Great Companies

After twenty-five years, Star International Furniture launched a sister company called Orient Express Furniture. Orient Express Furniture specialized in forward-thinking, state-of-the-art designs in the “transitional furniture” style for fifteen years, until both brands merged to form a new one—Essentials For Living.

Essentials For Living is Born

Essentials For Living marries Star International’s experience in the contemporary furniture design style with the transitional style of the Orient Express brand while keeping the same excellent build quality and customer service of both brands. Essentials For Living is based in Foothill Ranch, California, and has warehouses on both the East and West Coasts.

Essentials For Living - Transitional Style

Essentials For Living’s products are based on the “transitional” style, which emerged in the 1950s as a reaction and counterpart to the minimal mid-Century modern design movement. At the time, furniture, architecture, and interior design trends were emphasizing an extreme form of minimalism, with sleek lines and a lack of ornamentation. 

Transitional Style is All the Rage

Many designers adopted this style, while others rejected it in favor of the preceding “traditional” style, which focused on ornate carvings and embroidery, many decorative touches, and the emphasis on detail over simplicity. The transitional design aesthetic is still wildly popular as it allows a wide range of personal expression and versatility. 

Blending Seemingly Opposite Styles

The transitional style aimed to take the best of both worlds, blending traditional and (then) contemporary design features to produce furniture that was both aesthetically interesting and practical. In this style, both function and artistry are prized, with neither at the expense of the other.

Classic, Timeless, Modern

Transitional design aims to create furniture that is classic and timeless while also incorporating the practical benefits of modern advances in manufacturing. Essentials For Living products are designed with this principle in mind, with artistic flourishes chosen sparingly and strategically in order to bring uniqueness and interest to functional products. 

Examples include sturdy, smooth chair frames with unique mesh rope designs, and box-shaped, utilitarian dressers with ornamental drawer handles.


Essentials For Living’s products are designed with ingenuity, innovation, and creativity. What’s more, each product is built using top-quality natural materials, and with precise attention to detail, by skilled craftspeople. 

Innovation - The Loom Dining Chair

An example of the unique yet immaculate craftsmanship of the brand is its highly popular Loom dining chair or the Loom dining arm chair. This chair is built with a tough aluminum frame, mahogany legs, and an artistically-woven colored rope, and is designed to match a variety of other dining room furniture products. 

The Loom dining chair epitomizes the brand’s commitment to comfort, durability, and aesthetics—yet is only one of many Essentials For Living products that were designed and built according to these principles. 

The Essentials For Living Loom dining chair in the Platinum Rope / Light Gray / Natural Gray Mahogany color scheme.

Essentials For Living Collections

The Essentials For Living range incorporates a number of other collections, each with distinct visual styles and designed for specific purposes. The following collections are available from the brand, and each includes a variety of different products to choose from.

  • Bella Antique: From sideboards and ottomans to coffee tables and complete dining sets, the Bella Antique collection includes plenty of products to choose from. This collection emphasizes natural materials; from reclaimed wood to metal and stone. With natural variations in texture, grain, and color, every product is unique and full of character.
  • District: The District collection blends slate gray and white tones with angular, artistic shapes. The concrete used for District products like accent tables is made of natural granite stone powder, natural jute fibers, and cement, and includes natural variations in color and texture.
  • Essentials: The Essentials collection is all about fabric, and includes seating from ottomans and stools to armchairs and sofas. Each finish is in neutral, calm tones, and includes natural wood and comfortable woven fabric.
  • Traditions: As the name suggests, the Traditions collection takes particular influence from the “traditional” aspect of the transitional furniture style. Like the other Essentials For Living collections available, natural materials are used and natural variations present. 
  • Meridian: Ceramic-topped dining tables and stylish leather dining chairs exemplify the modern sophistication of the Meridian collection. The Bonded Leather of this collection is an ethically-produced alternative to real leather, with a realistic finish and durability.
  • Orchard: If you prefer something a little different from the dining chairs available in the other Essentials For Living collections, the chairs available in the Orchard collection are designed to go with any other products from the brand.
  • Ritz: The Ritz collection is comprised of the stylish Trave sideboard and the stunning, unique design of the Crackled tabletop (available in Clear and Smoke colors).
  • Stitch & Hand: The Stitch and Hand collection features an impressive selection of upholstered furniture, from coffee tables to sofas and beds. Each product is clean and comfortable while incorporating tastefully-chosen ornamental touches.
  • Vivente: With straight lines, smooth angles, and monochrome colors, the Vivente collection takes perhaps the most influence from the modern aspect of the transitional style out of any Essentials For Living collection. Each Vivente product evokes class and sophistication.
  • Woven: The combination of sturdy, natural wood tones and woven rope backrests makes the dining chairs and armchairs in the Woven collection some of the most distinctive Essentials For Living products. The tables, sofas, and other pieces of furniture available in this collection also provide the same functional yet warm feel.

Essentials For Living Product Categories

The wide range of Essentials For Living products available at House and Hold can be separated into three broad categories; Dining, Living, and Bedroom. 

  • Dining: The Dining category includes products such as dining chairs, benches, and tables.
  • Living: The Living category includes sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, chaise longues, and more.
  • Bedroom: The Bedroom category includes beds, dressers, nightstands, and more.

    A living room with various Essentials For Living furniture products.

    Commitment to Customers

    Essentials For Living has built its reputation not only on high-quality products but also on excellent customer service, when purchased through a reputable retailer. While delivery times vary based on items ordered, each product comes with a one-year limited warranty covering manufacturer defects.

    Make sure to purchase through a reputable retailer. A good retailer will honor damage claims by working to repair or replace a damaged item and work to uphold the manufacturer warranty if there are any issues that arise with shipping damage or defects.

    Brands that Work Well Alongside Essentials For Living

    Essentials For Living products are designed to work in a variety of spaces and with a variety of other products. Here are a few brands that pair particularly well alongside Essentials For Living furniture.

  • Four Hands: Four Hands is another brand that exemplifies the transitional style, with a wide range of trend-setting products from designers all around the globe. 
  • Ferm Living: Danish furniture brand Ferm Living specializes in the Scandinavian design style, which blends functional minimalism with natural materials, and pairs perfectly with transitional furniture such as Essentials For Living products.
  • Menu: Menu is another Danish brand inspired by Scandinavian design. The minimalism of their products makes them suitable partners for transitional furniture products.
  • Cutting-Edge Furniture Design With a Traditional Feel

    Essentials For Living specializes in furniture that is aesthetically and functionally versatile. The brand’s range of styles available is extensive, and each product is designed to work well alongside those from other collections or brands. 

    Whatever your expectations, the Essentials For Living furniture product line is bound to exceed them. House&Hold is an authorized retailer and stocks the entire line of Essentials For Living for you to shop.