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REPOST: 9 good ideas for small spaces at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
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Space is always an issue for homeowners or apartment renters – no one wants to be hindered by bulky furniture or bump into misplaced fixtures. This recap shares some of the best space-saving home furniture and pieces shown at the recently concluded International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York last May.

ICFF 2014

Image Source: treehugger.com

Hanger chair

TreeHugger wrote about this clever chair by Philippe Malouin back in 2008, but now the space-saving design is part of the new Umbra Shift collection. Now available in gray, yellow, orange and blue, these folding chairs can be stored away in a closet when not needed, and even serve as a place to hang your coat.

Umbra Shift is an extension of Umbra that’s aiming to appeal to smaller, independent retailers. They worked with both emerging and established designers to create a collection that’s both practical and visually appealing. “It has a surprise factor that’s quite charming,” said Umbia designer Matt Carr.

Cycloc

Cycloc's newest design, called “Endo,” is a vertical storage option for your bike. It's perfect for a household looking to store multiple bikes in a narrow space. Their collection also includes the “solo,” a wall mount that stores your bike flat against the wall.

Bambureau

Kai Venus designed this desk/bureau for a performance art project by Cross-Collabrations. The project involves traveling from place to place and inviting people to write letters to their future selves. The desk, which is made of bamboo ply, can be easily reconfigured into five different modes, including a compact travel arrangement.

Wardrobe and room divider

This cool piece is so simple yet so smart. It serves at once as a place to hold your clothes, a room divider, and a mirror. There are even small pegs to hang accessories on. Vera & Kyte designed this piece, which was shown at the ICFF as part of the Inside Norway exhibit.

Swithy

Portuguese firm Two.Six designed this little piece, which doubles as a table or a seat. The 100 percent wool cover makes it more comfortable for sitting, but can be removed when you need a place to put your glass.

Semainier

Do you ever wish you could open all your drawers at once? The compartments of this piece by Christopher Gentner swing open to the side, instead of pulling out forward. “It really opens up and becomes completely different from a chest of drawers,” said Gentner, who created the piece with a sculptural approach. The piece is called a semainier, which refers to an 18th century style of chest that had seven drawers, one for each day’s clothing.

Urbio

Urbio’s modular wall organizer can be used for myriad functions, from creating a vertical growing system to organizing all the cutter on your desk. At this year’s ICFF, Urbio introduced new colors and a little divider that adds even more options to how you can use these wall-mounted compartments.

Frame table

This cool transforming table by Lim + Lu can be configured to suit each individual’s needs, with different types of panels that can be fit into the table’s two grids.

Kid seating and desk

This fun piece from Iglooplay by Lisa Albin transforms in many ways. Folded up, it can be a small table. Unfold the bottom cushion, and it’s a child-size desk. It can be unfolded the whole way out, so that little ones can lie on their stomachs to draw and write. The hard top even comes off, making it into a nap-time mat. Or you can fold it into a squishy seat.

Virginia-based Schewels has been helping homeowners and home dwellers make the most of their living spaces with finely designed furniture, appliances, and design items at prices that fit every kind of customer’s budget. To view the retailer’s full list of available merchandise, visit this website.

REPOST: How to score vintage home decor that looks like new
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Buying vintage home accessories could be a daunting task for the uninitiated. This Martha Stewart Living article provides some handy tips when shopping vintage.




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Vintage barware -- and vintage bars -- are easy flea market finds.| Image source: cnn.com

(Martha Stewart Living) -- The creative team behind One Kings Lane knows a thing or two about unique interiors. Discover your own eclectic vintage and flea-market finds with the help of these tips from Andrea Stanford, One Kings Lane Vice President of Designer and Vintage Sales, and General Manager of Hunters Alley, the shopping site's just-launched vintage- and handmade-home-goods destination.

Have Fun!

Never be intimidated by shopping for vintage; it should be fun! Start by educating yourself. I love learning from people who are experts in their fields and truly passionate about their collections. Always ask questions about an item's maker or history. Visit flea markets and antique shows and browse online. As you become more familiar with certain eras or categories of decor, shopping will become so much more fun --- and you can truly enjoy the hunt!

Start Small

One of the easiest ways to start collecting vintage is to buy catchalls, vases, and books. They're inexpensive and easy to find. Starting with smaller accents is a low-risk way to get a sense of what styles and eras you're most drawn to.

Get Art Smart

Art is another great way to incorporate vintage into your home! Learn the basics about differentiating between an original and a manufactured piece, a limited-edition print, or a great giclee reproduction, so you can begin to understand value and collectability. Browse art from the 19th and 20th centuries and take note of the artists you like. I love finding original works from lesser-known artists, as the prices are much more approachable! And I adore vintage fashion sketches, especially from designers who are still important today.

Embrace the Imperfect

Normal cracking and warping of wood from shrinkage over time is a great indication that you have an original wood piece. Look for maker's marks, high-quality materials (hand-forged nails and dovetailed joints), and great patina. Buying an original design, even if something is not perfect, is far more interesting than bringing a reproduction home!

Sets and Pairs

Pairs of great-looking vintage lamps are hard to find; if you find the perfect pair, be ready to pounce! Focus on the bases of lamps, as shades are often in poor condition but can be easily replaced. Similarly, full sets of glassware are rare. The great news is that mixing a variety of vintage barware makes cocktail hour even more fun!

Measure First

When ordering online, don't be fooled by how large (or small) something looks in a picture! I still have a set of vintage French kitchen cabinets in my garage that were too large to even fit through my front door (I'd thought they would be the perfect addition to my daughter's petite room) and a wicker elephant meant as a toy chest that stands just 10 inches tall.

Always check the measurements online and bring your measuring tape when hitting the flea markets. Some vintage coffee and side tables are too low when placed alongside contemporary furniture. By contrast, many midcentury lamps are more than three feet tall and can be tricky to incorporate into today's interiors. But most important of all, buy what you love! Regardless of the provenance, if you have a special place for it and the price works for you, buy it!




Schewel Furniture Company’s collection of home furniture and accessories include contemporary and vintage designs. Click here to view some of the retailer’s offering.

REPOST: 10 Questions with Interior Designer Erin Gates
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Known for her blog, Elements of Style, Erin Gates has been an authority in interior design, including choosing the right furniture and their proper placing in the home. Read this article from Boston Magazine as she answers ten questions about herself and her career.


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With a determined spirit and eye for aesthetics, interior designer Erin Gates creates unique, personal spaces for her clients. Her blog, Elements of Style, has been her claim to fame and the designer opens up to us about her career, her blog, and what’s led to her success.

1. Your blog focuses on interior design, fashion, and pop culture. What came first and how did it lead to the other areas?

It started as a design blog, specifically. I was working in another industry, and blogging was my means of filling a creative void. It started as a way for me to bookmark stuff and have a bit of a discussion. I never expected more than a handful of readers. Then I started wanting to talk about things in my life, fashion, celebrity stuff. I thought I should try to focus on one topic. But then I thought, why? It’s very of-the-moment for me. If a red carpet show happens and I want to talk about the dresses, I’m not going to write about a bathroom—I’m going to talk about the dresses. But I never stray too far from interior design.

2. Was interior design always a passion?

My dad was an architectural designer, so I grew up around blueprints and swatches and samples. I spent a lot of time looking at homes. My former babysitter was an interior designer. And my family owned a women’s fashion store. I had a foot in each world. I knew I wanted to work with homes or fashion. I tried fashion in New York, but didn’t have the killer instincts like the designers there. I later got a job with an art gallery on Newbury Street, then I interned in the South End and found it more my speed. I discovered a love of writing, and now, I get the best of what I grew up loving: fashion, writing, interiors.

3. How would you say you fit into or stand out from the design world?

My specific style stands out in that I don’t have one signature style. I like to help a client make the best version of their home. You won’t go into a space I’ve created and automatically know I have done it. In my portfolio, every space is different. I like to talk to clients, look through their closet with them, talk about their kids, and about what they love. I want my clients to feel like they are looking at their house, not like they are looking at mine.

4. How did you become so self-made—what inspires that drive?

I was super shy and not confident growing up. I wanted more to be on a team, not the leader. Then I transferred to an all-girls boarding school in Farmington, Connecticut, and that changed my outlook on being a leader and taking charge. It was very girl power. My husband also pushed me. He is an entrepreneur, and when my blog started getting attention, he encouraged me to give it a year and see where it went. That way I would have no regrets about not trying, and if it did work out, awesome! I took that year, quit my job, and never looked back.

5. What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Internships are super important! They are hard to come by in this industry, but they make all the difference. Networking is important. Look up events happening in the industry you are interested in—make business cards, and be brave, and go there. And blogging, you can’t ignore blogging. Even if no one reads, keep at it. It’s the best form of marketing. It shows potential employers what you can do.

6. What tips do you have for getting a fun, sophisticated look that won’t break the bank?

Definitely do not do all your shopping in one store or catalog. Don’t order a couch, coffee table, and bookshelf all from one place. Have patience. Take your time, and look at different sources like flea markets and antique shops. You can’t do it all in one day if you want the space to look like you and reflect your life. Move slow—wait for what you love. People rush, then feel uninspired and wonder why. That’s why.

7. When should someone DIY, and when should they seek a professional?

“Do it yourself” is good for smaller decorative projects like sewing a throw pillow or painting a picture frame gold. Bigger projects, especially structural, should be left to the professionals. I’m not a big DIY person. People tend to get frustrated and start rushing and make mistakes. If it’s not expert, it will show, and it will be a bummer.

8. Do you have any quick design tricks that change a space but don’t involve completely redoing a room?

Paint is the easiest and biggest change you can make. If you paint a room black, then hate it, you can change it, and it won’t break the bank. (You’ll just be tired because it will take like six coats to cover.) Rugs also make a difference. You can put down something made of seagrass in the summer, and in the winter, more of a wool, Persian rug.

9. What is one design element you can’t live without?

I have a really ridiculous obsession with leopard. It’s kind of my signature by default. In clothing and in home, I use it all the time!

10. What’s up next for you?

I have my first book coming out in October with Simon & Schuster. It’s a new hybrid—memoir meets design bible. It’s set to be released October 1.


Schewels Furniture Company is a Lynchburg, Virginia-based furniture house founded by Elias Schewels in 1917. Already an institution in the industry, the company boasts of more than 100 years of continuous operation under the same name and family management. For more information, visit this website.

REPOST: Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto made using Japanese shipbuilding techniques
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Wooden ships are made to be sturdy enough to face the huge waves of the sea. The same technique to build these ships is used by Jin Kuramoto to build his furniture. This article from Dezeen.com has more about his creations.

Stockholm 2014: this collection of wooden furniture by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto is built using traditional techniques derived from shipbuilding (+ slideshow).

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

Pieces in Jin Kuramoto's Nadia range for his new brand Matsuso T are constructed using a particular interlocking technique known as kumiki.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

"The heritage of many of the woodworking techniques used by Japanese carpenters originates from Japanese shipwrights," said Jin Kuramoto.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Sources: dezeen.com

"Inherent in its position as an island nation, it is unsurprising that the maritime industry has been a driving force behind the innovation of wood construction for centuries."

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

Curved sections of wood form grids for the chair backs, which flow into supports for the thinly padded seats. The chairs come in natural wood or bright red.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

Frames of interlocked struts cross beneath the coloured table tops to support the surfaces. Rounded legs splay outward from where they join the under frames, nestled into the corners where the beams meet.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

The circular tables have three legs and rectangular designs are supported on four.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

Coat stands are created using three poles with branch-like offshoots at the top that fix onto each other to make the structure sturdy. These are available in a set of light colours.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

The collection will be unveiled at the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair, which opens tomorrow as part of Stockholm Design Week.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramoto for Matsuso T
Image Source: dezeen.com

Matsuso T is also launching a range of pentagonal wooden furniture designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune.

Nadia furniture by Jin Kuramotofor Matsuso T

Image Source: dezeen.com

Photographs are by Takumi Ota.

Schewels Furniture Company is a Lynchburg, Virginia-based furniture house founded by Elias Schewels in 1917. Already an institution in the industry, the company boasts of more than 100 years of continuous operation under the same name and family management. For more information, visit this website.

REPOST: Save Big on New Furniture: Veteran Salespeople Share Their Secrets
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Are you looking for a quality leather sofa that doesn't cost too much? This DailyFinance article provides tips on saving money while buying new furniture.


(Alamy) Image Source: dailyfinance.com

Are you a budget-minded buyer willing to spend a few hours with an Allen wrench constructing your desk or bed frame? Then IKEA is a good place to shop. Sure, the quality won't be anywhere near that of Ethan Allen (ETH). But not everyone can afford to drop $3,000 on a new leather sofa, as nice as it may be.

Let's assume you don't want cheap furniture, but you can't afford top-of-the-line stuff, either. Don't fret: For those shopping for something that falls in between those two extremes, there's no need to pay sticker price -- especially when you know the insider tips and tricks.

These tips come from conversations with veteran furniture salespeople, and would-be buyers who follow them might be able to save themselves hundreds of dollars.

Buy the Floor Samples

Even if you don't see a "for sale" tag, floor samples -- the individual pieces of furniture sitting out on the showroom floor -- are often sold at a steep discount to the smart customers who ask for them.

Admittedly, those discounts are sometimes warranted, as the furniture left on display can suffer from some slight wear and tear. But if the object looks to be in reasonably good shape, buyers should ask their salesperson if the floor sample is available. When it is, buyers can save themselves 30 percent or more.

Timing is everything, since it may be a while (or never) before a store swaps out floor samples of their newer designs or staple pieces that the store always has on hand.

Pick It Up Yourself

Getting your furniture delivered costs money. But if you have access to a truck, a strong set of hands, and a spare afternoon, you could save yourself $100 or more simply by picking up your purchase yourself.

Even when delivery is offered "for free," the cost has likely already been factored into the price of the item. So, if you're offered free delivery when you buy your furniture, tell the salesperson that you're willing to pick it up if he or she could shave some money off the final tab.

Even if It Isn't Already on Sale, It Can Be Negotiated

If you pay attention to their ads, most furniture stores seem to be running a sale almost every week. These companies can offer such great "deals" because their furniture is often marked up significantly: Industry analysts put the average around 40 percent.

If you happen to go shopping on one of those rare weekends without a sale, be ready to negotiate with your salesperson. If the item in question isn't already marked down, the price can almost always be negotiated. Experts say that getting 20 percent knocked off the top shouldn't be difficult. Granted, this won't apply to closeout items dumped in the clearance section. But for most pieces of furniture, never willingly pay the sticker price.

Avoid Niche Warranties

When buying furniture, expect to have your salesperson pitch you an extended warranty. Those warranties can sometimes be worth the asking price, depending on the cost and your circumstances. But furniture shoppers should be skeptical of any niche offerings.

For example, buyers of new sofas are often offered extended "fabric protection" policies. The damage these policies claim to cover is often already accounted for under the normal warranty or the store's extended warranty. Buying fabric protection in addition to an extended warranty may be nothing more than a total waste of money.

At any rate, take the time to carefully read over any warranty policies offered -- don't just take the salesperson's word for it.

Saving Money on Your Furniture Purchase

Of course, there are many other ways to save on furniture -- heading to a cheaper store, buying used, or even building your own. But if those options aren't on the table, and you're just looking to save a few bucks at your local furniture store, keep these tips in mind.


Schewels Furniture offers a wide range of affordable and quality furniture from America's leading furniture manufacturers.  Visit the company website to check out the latest designs and compare prices.

REPOST: Should Americans Fear Their Furniture?
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In their HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” directors James Redford and Kirby Walker reveal that some upholstered furniture in the home actually contain dangerous flame retardants. Hence, homeowners should buy items with extra precaution and must seek advice only from the most trusted in the furniture industry.


In the documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” James Redford and Kirby Walker, shown a few days ago at the Napa Valley Film Festival in California, explore the chemical-laden flame retardants contained in much of the furniture foam used today.
Image source: nytimes.com



The pet hairs and red wine stains on sofas across America, it turns out, should be the least of our concerns. The real issue is what is in the foam cushions we curl up on every day: up to two pounds of flame retardants.In their HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” scheduled to be aired on Monday, the directors James Redford and Kirby Walker disclose that these chemicals, as used in home furnishings, do not stop fires. They do, however, whoosh out of seat cushions when we plop down, hitching a ride on airborne dust and ending up in our bodies. They have been linked to cancer and other health disorders.

The film explores how a 1975 California law requiring retardants (Technical Bulletin 117) became widely adopted. And it follows the firefighters, scientists, health advocates, state legislators and investigative journalists who brought attention to the chemicals, leading to a recent reform of the California mandate — which the directors, who spoke from their homes in the San Francisco area, applaud. (This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Q. After watching your documentary, I looked around at my own sofa and felt a little panicky. Should Americans be afraid of their furnishings?

A. Mr. Redford: Well, I think you’ve got to look at it with a new set of eyes. Any upholstered furniture in your home, unless it’s 40 years or older, is going to have these flame retardants in the polyurethane foam, which is what most upholstered furniture is made of. What we do have, moving forward, is the ability to stop buying furniture that has these chemicals in it.

Ms. Walker: The chemicals are not banned. But it’s now legal to make furniture without them, and starting in January 2014, consumers can demand that their retailers carry it.

What about people who aren’t buying new furniture? They already have a sofa. The label says it complies with government laws.

Mr. Redford: If you have O.C.D., congratulations. That means you’ve been vacuuming a lot, and washing your hands. You’re not going to see us starting a campaign to collect millions of couches and set them off on container ships into the ocean. But these chemicals do collect in household dust. The practical solution is to keep the dust in your house to a minimum.

One of the eeriest scenes in the film is of a little girl frolicking on a sofa. Sunlight fills the room, highlighting the dust particles swirling in the air.

Ms. Walker: There was nothing nondocumentary about that scene. That was absolutely what was coming up off of the couch when she was jumping on it. That wasn’t us sprinkling dust.

Is all this an argument for buying antiques? After all, wouldn’t furniture made before the 1975 law be free of these chemicals and, therefore, safer?

Mr. Redford: Yeah, go antiques! I mean, there’s a never-ending list of concerns — then you’re into lead paint or whatever. The great irony is that this law was considered, in 1975, to be a reform to protect us, but it’s just not.

Does furniture decline in toxicity?

Ms. Walker: No, it gets less safe over time, because the foam breaks down. The older the foam gets, the more of it is released into the atmosphere.

Would furniture filled with something besides polyurethane foam be safer?

Ms. Walker: Down- and wool-filled furniture is unlikely to contain added flame retardants. Wood and wicker also don’t have them.

At what point in this project did you start rethinking your own furnishings?

Ms. Walker: When I first learned about this, I came home and lifted up every piece of upholstered furniture in my home. And everything — except for a couple antiques that I got from my grandmother — had the TB 117 label in it. I still live with my furniture, but I am not going to give my furniture to my children, who are in their child-rearing years. The greatest effects of these chemicals are during pregnancy and nursing.

Mr. Redford: Of course, I did a whole round of furniture upgrades right before Kirby turned me on to this topic.

Oh, no!

Mr. Redford: Yep. My wife was thumbing through the magazines diligently for months, and we settled on some stuff, and next thing I know I’m having lunch with Kirby.

What are you sitting on right now?

Mr. Redford: I’m sitting on my toxic couch as we speak. One of the things we did do — and I would think it would keep the dust down — was my wife took this really cool French linen sheet thing that she had and put it over the couch. That was her response. As for me, I have a new appreciation for the ringing noise of a vacuum cleaner.


Founded in 1917 by Elias Schewel, Schewel Furniture Company continues to be a household name in the furniture industry. Check out this website and browse the company’s extensive furniture designs.

REPOST: Custom-built furniture for a kitchen remodel
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Custom-built furniture may be the enhancement that completes one's dream kitchen. Marcus Pickett of Home Advisor shares some tips on how to have a custom furniture piece built for a remodelled kitchen.






Any full kitchen remodel usually begins with the major installations, floors, countertops, walls, and plumbing fixtures, but the end result of your kitchen remodel can often depend just as much on the less substantial, final touches. Part of good kitchen design is exploring the possibilities for kitchen furniture, often custom-built furniture. Whether you're just starting to plan out your kitchen remodel or are already under way, consider how custom-built furniture might enhance your new kitchen.

Generate Kitchen Ideas Now
Start looking early, especially during the design phase of your kitchen remodel. If you have an idea of the theme or style that you want to do in the room, finding the right piece should be fairly easy. You'll also want to have an idea of the size of the furniture piece. It's a good idea to take measurements of the width, height, depths and any door swings or pull-out drawers that may need clearances to open.

Kitchen Design and Furniture
When possible, include free-standing or unfitted piece of furniture into your kitchen design no matter what theme you are trying to create. It adds character to the room and also gives the design an open and airy effect because every cabinet is not built-in and mounted to every wall in the room. Before you commit to a piece of furniture, make sure you know how that piece works within your kitchen design, whether it's an accent piece, a functional aspect of the design, or both. If you have the resources to hire a kitchen designer, have that designer go and visually inspect the furniture so that they also have a vision of how you would like that furniture to fit into your design.


Read the rest of Marcus Pickett's article here.

Schewels Furniture has a wide variety of furniture pieces for any room in the home. Check out its website to see a preview of its products on offer.

REPOST: New trends in outdoor furniture
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Design experts agree that outdoor furniture call for striking colors and refined shapes. TheAge.com discusses the latest trends in outdoor furniture pieces.


There's no doubt that the popularity of relaxing outdoors during the warmer months is driving the demand for outdoor furniture. Here's our round up of the new trends for the coming summer season.

Image Source: www.theage.com.au

Colour clash

At recent design fairs both here and overseas, such as the recent Spoga gafa held two weeks ago in Cologne, bold hues rule. Safe colours are definitely out as explosions of colour in contrasting blocks or in geometric patterns dominate outdoor furniture designs.

Adam Robinson, a sought-after Sydney landscape designer and a canny outdoor stylist says colour is the most significant trend in outdoor decoration this summer.

“It seems that as the weather warms up, we have more confidence to embrace colour,” he says. “Bulky brown synthetic wicker settings with a combination of taupe cushions have well and truly slipped from being a top trend and there is certainly a move towards colour.

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“We are not afraid of combining colour and pattern either,” says Robinson. “And just like in fashion we are seeing colour blocking outdoors. This is evident in soft furnishings, in particular. Due to improvements in textile technology we can leave our cushions outdoors all year round, without major moulding or fading.”

There are edgy tints and tones, too: “Lovely soft pastels and nature's gentle earthy tones are coming into play,” says Robinson. “Think mint green, soft pink, peach, lavender, powder blue, as well as army green and burnt orange.”

Multitalented pieces

As an international landscape designer, television personality and a designer of both indoor and outdoor furniture, Jamie Durie, knows a good sunbed when he sees one.

He says we'll be seeing a lot more modular furniture: “Outdoor modular lounges are a great versatile design idea that allows you to create different configurations to suit your lifestyle and the size and shape of your outdoor room. The new Fremantle modular in my Patio range at Big W is really clever. Each piece is available separately and features an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table.”

Having furniture that performs more than one function is making sense indoors so why not outside? Just like Durie's Patio ottoman, there are benches and sofas that provide storage as well as comfortable seating.

Other popular pieces of multifunctional furniture include fire pit tables or chairs and benches that incorporate places to grow plants within the seating design.

Robinson suggests you get inventive about furniture use. “Think about how you might find a double use for some product. For example, a low stool might double up as a side table when not required for extra seating. A decorative timber screen might hide a solution for storage.”

Shape shifters

There's a trend towards more refined silhouettes. A sleeker, lighter look is particularly enhanced in the soft curves of wire furniture or in the detailed cut-outs of powder-coated aluminium pieces.

Wooden outdoor furniture is showing up in slimmer shapes, too, echoing mid-century style, no less, especially in dining settings.

“This season we are seeing less bulky furniture pieces coming through,” says Robinson. “We are moving away from chunky dining chairs and seeing seamless light chairs, which are often stackable. They have a lovely sculptural quality and don't clutter up an outdoor space.”

Motion furniture is also trending well. Swing seats and hammocks have always been popular, but now there are new versions, which boast very stylish, luxurious designs, such as pod chairs and swivel seats. In fact, creating one's own outdoor spot in a cocoon-like hideaway, swaying in the breeze, is becoming the ultimate chill-out zone.

Favourite things

There's no reason why your outdoor space shouldn't boast furniture that's just for you.

Robinson currently prefers retro: “I have always loved the butterfly chair. It's been around commercially since 1947 and is still in production. It has beautiful clean lines and is the perfect outdoor chair.”

Durie says that if he could buy just one statement piece for his garden, it would be a sunbed. “It just gives you that instant sense of luxury and resort style living. It's perfect for relaxing outside on the weekends, or piling onto with friends and family when you're entertaining.”

Looking to the future, Robinson says there will be a bit of a revival on old styles and materials that come into play. “I'm quite in love with cane furniture at the moment. Its old charm has a relaxed Palm Springs vibe to it,” he says. “They are very comfortable with deep cushions and the best part you can customise the fabrics to suit your space. Being cane they really need to be undercover to ensure durability. A verandah is ideal.”


For more than 100 years, Schewels Furniture Company has been the authority in the furniture industry. Visit this website to access its diverse collection of furniture pieces.

REPOST: Student entrepreneur uses hands to build furniture business
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While most college students have yet to start their own business after graduation, Everett Butler does it before he even walks up the stage to receive his diploma.  The Red & Black features his career in the furniture industry:




University of Georgia students frequently start their own successful businesses, but only a few happen before the students receive their diplomas.


Everett Butler, a junior environmental economics major from Clermont, designs and creates all of the furniture for Butler Built, an Athens-based furniture company he began with his partner and fellow UGA student, Adam Tenny.

“When I was a kid, I played with Legos a ton, and sometimes I would follow the instructions and sometimes I wouldn’t,” Butler said. “We did a lot of fort building as kids, and I always headed up the construction of that. It’s always been something that’s clicked in my head, building with my hands.”

If you’ve ever attended a Phi Slam party, you may have seen some of Butler’s work in person.

“I’m involved with a campus ministry called Phi Slam. I help build all the stuff for that, so that’s been another way I’ve developed building skills — building party props and giant castles and stuff like that,” Butler said.

Butler found the inspiration for his business — and his medium of choice, pallet wood — after a request from his girlfriend.


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“The way that it started was my girlfriend asked me to make an outdoor patio chair out of pallets, and I made it and it was pretty good,” Butler said. “A lot of people saw it and said I should start selling it, so I just kind of started collecting pallets and started building. My partner was away for the summer, and when he got back the business had sort of taken off.”

Butler and his business partner Tenny, a junior from Roswell majoring in business management, operate a warehouse, a Facebook page and an Etsy page where they sell a variety of Butler’s designs, which have progressed beyond patio furniture.

“I would say our most popular thing is we make a side table that kind of looks like a crate, but we make everything from interior to exterior furniture,” Butler said.

While the chair that started it all is still available, Butler Built also sells side tables, coffee tables, desks, headboards, bookcases and shelves through their multiple internet venders.

Products range in price from $45-$175 and have been sold to customers all over the country.

“We have shipped to six different states — that’s gone through Etsy as far away as California and soon Hawaii,” Butler said. “A lot of those customers are all women in big cities. New Orleans, Burbank, Brooklyn. Women in big cities are our online customer base, and in Athens and stuff it’s been people we know, but every single order except for one, my friend, has been a girl.”

Butler and Tenny have become well-acquainted with the pros and cons of running a successful business while still in college.

“Because we’re already making money with the business, it seems counter-intuitive to go to school at the same time,” Butler said. “It kind of feels like a waste of time almost. We obviously understand education is important, and [it's] probably going to take us to bigger places, but that’s one negative. One positive is I only have class on Tuesday and Thursday, so I’ve been able to balance it out well.”

While operating the business has been beneficial to Butler and Tenny, the duo has also seen a positive outcome come to others that goes beyond supplying them with chic deck furniture.

“As I meet more people in school and get to talk to them about what I’m doing, it can be inspiring to people who want to start businesses and stuff,” Butler said. “It’s been a success.”



Established in 1897, Schewel Furniture Company has been a leading provider of a wide array of furniture and home decor.  Homeowners who are looking to update the look of their homes find comfort in the company's standalone shops in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.  For more details, visit the company's official website.


Mix and match: Eclectic sensibility for the home
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Homeowners who love to inject various design styles in one room could take solace in Oscar Wilde’s famous maxim: "You can never be overdressed or overeducated." Gone are the days when over decorating one’s home is considered a major interior design blunder. These days, a growing number of designers is mixing and matching furniture pieces and home accessories, coming up with a space that is "more liberating than limiting," writes Kim Cook of The Associated Press.



Image source: The Maisonette

Indeed, rooms that were once defined by a purely traditional, modern, or country style have been replaced by spaces with more eclectic sensibility. This emerging interior design trend focuses on "combining decorative elements and mementos … and arranging them artfully to create a stylish, beautiful, lived-in space," explains New York-based interior designer Elaine Griffin to Cook.

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Thus, a homeowner’s substantial collection of tribal treasures, when mixed with contemporary furniture pieces, reveals a genuine expression of eclectic taste. Same goes for combining "Chateau Marmont-Hollywood-style glamour … with a reinterpreted ‘kitsch-free’ Moroccan themed layered with Japanese influences and 1940s French drama," which, according to Elle Decoration is a "testament to the joys of individual, personal choices.".


Designers believe that the emergence of "inspirational media" has helped drive the shift toward eclectic home decoration. However, for Schewels, credit goes to homeowners who are confident about their design styles and ideas. To learn more about mixing and matching design styles, follow this Twitter account.


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