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John Cunningham joins Jonathan Charles and Wildwood Lamps as creative director

English antique furniture manufacturer Jonathan Charles and lighting and accessories manufacturer Wildwood Lamps have named John Cunningham the new creative director of showroom design and product development.

According to a press release, "Cunningham's background in showroom design and visual merchandising will help highlight the eclectic, inspirational lifestyle elements of both Jonathan Charles and Wildwood Lamps."

Cunningham's experience in visual merchandising includes roles with department store giants JC Penney, Dillard's and Filene's. Since 2003, he has been the director of visual merchandising for Furnitureland South and Guildmaster Inc., where he oversaw all design aspects of the companies' branding.

In October 2012, Cunningham was recruited to revamp Jonathan Charles' 20,000-sq.-ft. showroom, which is shared with Wildwood Lamps, to reflect a lifestyle-oriented environment. He will continue to oversee showroom designs at future High Point Markets, as well as product development for both brands. Cunningham's new role also includes traveling to Jonathan Charles' prominent domestic and international retailers to ensure a consistent visual display on a sales level.

Jonathan Sowter, CEO and head designer of Jonathan Charles, and Russ Barnes, president of Wildwood Lamps, are both thrilled to have Cunningham join the team: "His design aesthetic mirrors that of Jonathan Charles - mixing contemporary, artistic elements into historical period furniture - and believes their shared philosophy will result in a great marriage that bolsters the brands' images," the release states.

"I envision our showroom space in a way that is more inspirational than sales-oriented," Cunningham said. "We will merchandise the line not only as purveyors of fine furniture and lighting but also as trendsetters for modernizing classic pieces for today's living."

For the April High Point Market, Cunningham plans to infuse an expansive color palette into Jonathan Charles' new collections and reference more au courant trends into Wildwood's showroom.

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