Palmer Industries is a Rhode Island-based architectural metalwork company that specializes in manufacturing luxury metal components for various rooms of the home, in the most beautiful of ways. Founded in 1976 by Anthony Palmer after he purchased a painted brass bed at a yard sale a few years prior for $10, and resold it for $100 after it was refurbished; Palmer Industries soon became renowned for its specialty in selling brass beds and other refurbished metal pieces. At the behest of a sales rep they were working with, the company began expanding into other metal components for furniture – but ones that were more specialized. Today, Palmer Industries is known for its niche expertise in metal and are sought out by the nation’s top interior designers, hoteliers, architects, and other professionals looking to create specialized metal components or structures for high-value projects. We worked with the company to create something truly special for a specific space.
We worked with Palmer Industries to design the custom stainless steel hanging metal structure to float over a living room dry bar inside a 1,800-square-foot loft in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The piece was designed to house glass shelving and hold everything from wine glasses to bottles of alcohol and even objects of design. The process was easy and seamless as we worked with the design team at Palmer Industries to settle on the exact measurements and design to complement the bar, which included a soft, desaturated blue cabinetry in Benjamin Moore’s Porcelain Glaze and quartz countertop by MSI Surfaces.
We sent mock-ups of what we had in mind to the company and they helped flush out the idea to help it reach its fullest potential. Palmer Industries combined both matte and high shine stainless steel components to create the structure and gave us specialized instructions for assembling and hanging. The quality of materials Palmer uses is the highest in the industry and there are no shortcuts taken in their process.
We spoke to the company’s CEO, Mark Tanzi, about what makes his company so special and successful in this specialized sect of the world of interior design and architecture.
IC: What makes Palmer different or unique within the custom metal fabrication landscape?
MT: Palmer’s ability to develop a design concept from initial customer contact consisting of a phone call, email, simple sketch, or inspiration image, through to a formal proposal and ultimate custom fabrication is truly unique in the modern era of commodity manufacturing. We are heavily vested in design, engineering, sales, manufacturing, and full project management – all under one roof.
IC: What is Palmer’s mission or ethos when approaching each project for customers?
MT: Palmer’s goal in approaching every project is to provide our clients with a professional and gratifying experience, offering personal interaction, extraordinary service, immediate follow-through, flexibility, openness to change, unwavering commitment, technical expertise, and of course a product of unparalleled quality.
IC: What has been the most challenging yet rewarding project Palmer has worked on to date?
MT: Palmer recently participated in the restoration of The Beekman, a downtown Manhattan-storied landmark (originally Temple Court, circa 1883). Working with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Palmer developed custom washstands for over 250 guest rooms and public spaces, addressing myriad needs for unique architectural metalwork.
IC: When a customer is working with Palmer, what is that experience like from concept to completion?
MT: Despite our tremendous growth, Palmer still conducts business “the old-fashioned way”, offering every client a genuinely personal and interactive relationship. Project managers, all very technical and well versed, are assigned to custom projects, and partner with a client upon first contact. A specific draftsperson is brought on, and will remain on the project through completion, presenting initial design concepts and ultimately formally approved shop drawings. Our process removes much of the anxiety for first-time clients, as we hand-hold and educate as we move forward, always attentive to and understanding of the many needs in working through a one-of-a-kind development.
IC: What limitations do customers have when choosing materials for their project with Palmer? Is anything possible?
MT: Historically, Palmer has worked in solid brass, offering all architectural finishes. We do not offer steel fabrication. Brass, with its rich color, malleability, and innate beauty, can be made into many useful and visually stunning objects. You often see brass in jewelry, sculpture, and practical household fixtures. Brass is also tough and strong, and makes for exceptionally functional and decorative architectural pieces. Brass naturally casts an air of sophistication to any home. Additionally, the metal is impervious to the elements and can naturally resist corrosion, allowing you to enjoy years of problem-free service. Chances are, it will even outlast the rest of your home.
IC: What does the future look like for Palmer…are there any exciting plans for the near future?
MT: In the Fall of 2021 Palmer relocated to a brand-new, greatly expanded facility outside Providence, RI…our hometown. We have increased our production capabilities to meet a growing demand for our products, and have commenced with active development of many new architectural products to satisfy the requests of our ever-growing designer/architect/dealer market.
Palmer Industries is special and specialized – a truly unique company that values their customer and the quality of products they produce above all else. This is seen in the piece they created for this Manhattan loft space and in their incredible array of projects past and present. If you’re seeking truly custom, beautiful and high-quality metalwork, there’s simply no one better to turn to.