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Call for Design Excellence Awards

By Home Furnishings Business in Casual Furniture on May 22, 2013

Companies interested in entering the 2013 Design Excellence Awards competition for casual furnishings products have until June 21 to submit entries. 

The annual awards competition is coordinated by the International Casual Furnishings Association and is the only design recognition for home furnishings and accessories produced for outdoor living. 

This year, for the first time, the competition is open to companies that are not ICFA members. However, entries in all categories except for fabric must still come from companies that are exhibitors at the September 17-20 International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago.

Entries are now being accepted in 11 categories: dining or bar table, dining or bar chair, chaise lounge, lounge seating - cushion, lounge seating - non-cushion, shade product, outdoor lighting product, heating/firepit, fabric, complementary casual product and outdoor carpeting/rugs/ flooring.

Competition rules and entry guidelines can be found online. The entry fee is $100 for each product entered by an ICFA member and $500 for each product entered by a non-member company.

The Design Excellence judging will take place Thursday, Sept. 5. The 11 category winners will be announced prior to the market, and the awards will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 17, in company showrooms. 

All companies submitting entries are urged to attend the ICFA Awards Gala Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Chicago Field Museum, where the Lillian B. Winchester "Best of Show" Award will be presented from among the 11 category winners. Additional awards to be presented at the gala include the ICFA Manufacturer of the Year, Sales Representative of the Year and the Apollo Awards for retail excellence. In addition, the annual tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be included in the evening's program.

Ticket information for the ICFA Awards Gala will be available soon.  


Boyles Readies Grand Opening

By Home Furnishings Business in Furniture Retailing on May 22, 2013

Boyles Furniture & Rugs will be holding a ribbon cutting and community event Thurs. in its remodeled flagship in Mocksville, N.C.

The event, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., marks the relaunch of the home furnishings brand in North Carolina. The weekend long event is open to the public and continues through Memorial Day weekend with fun activities for the community, along with sales on furniture and rugs.

"We're excited about the rebirth of the iconic Boyles brand and our new vision of 'Imported From North Carolina' which is a testament to Boyles' long history within North Carolina and the State's storied reputation of producing the world's finest furniture" said Gene Rosenberg, a veteran of the industry and a driving force behind the renewed company.

"We're thrilled and honored to relaunch the Boyles brand that for over 60 years has been renowned for its quality furniture at great values and unparalleled customer service," said Mark Bannon, president of Boyles. "With our new retail format, we expect to improve on Boyles' fine reputation. We appreciate and cherish the tremendous support that we've received from the community, the North Carolina furniture industry, the State, regional and local government, and Boyles' loyal employees and customers. We look forward to being an anchor in the community and to contributing in many ways."

The Boyles brand has been associated with the Mocksville location for decades, having maintained a large showroom on the property until the spring of 2008. A positive reaction to Boyles hiring and creating jobs in Davie County and the North Carolina furniture industry in general is expected.

"There's a lot of negative news out there about the economy in the U.S. but we feel like things are really beginning to turn around in North Carolina and particularly for Davie County with the recent economic developments that have been taking place in our area and Boyles rebirth is a clear indicator of those positive developments," said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Commission.

Chad Hendricks, executive vice president of sales for Boyles, said the Boyles campus is an extension of the N.C. furniture industry. 

"We have a very large, centrally located showroom with a world-class designer center for special orders and thousands of other in-stock items at steep discounts ready for immediate pickup or delivery," he said. "This is part of the new experience that today's customer is demanding from furniture retailers and we are in the forefront of this movement, along with everyday savings and deals. We look forward to serving our clients at the new Boyles showroom during our grand opening and for many years to come."    


Mark Brunetz to Host ASID Celebration

By Home Furnishings Business in Special Events on May 22, 2013

Television host and interior designer Mark Brunetz will host the American Society of Interior Designers' annual celebration design awards gala in Los Angeles June 21.

Brunetz 's influence within the design industry is far reaching with his work in makeover television seen in more than 30 countries worldwide. At the creative helm of Mark Brunetz Designs, he has launched a line of home furnishings on the Home Shopping Network, wrote a book on living clutter free and founded Design Without Borders, a non-profit initiative that conducts makeovers in developing areas of the world. He currently serves as the spokesperson for the International Design Guild's Designer Program and is the face of its Design For a Difference program, $20,000 design competition benefiting local charities across the U.S.

Celebration - The ASID Design Awards is an annual, black tie, red carpet gala honoring the best in design. This year's theme pays homage to both the legacy and future of design with an evening of Roaring '20s live jazz, an open bar and seated dinner.

Celebration also supports the ASID Foundation partnership with The 1 percent program of Public Architecture through a live and silent auction. Attendees will have the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind experiences and products dedicated to celebrating design, such as one week at an Italian villa, lunch and a NYC design tour with Jamie Drake, a KnollStudio Wassily Chair and more. A full listing of auction items is available online.

Tickets to Celebration are available for both members and the general public for $200.

Linda McDougald Design Gets Award

By Home Furnishings Business in Furniture Retailing on May 22, 2013

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home, a full-service interior design firm and retail furnishing boutique in Greenville, S.C., has been selected as one of the national and international regional winners of Sub-Zero and Wolf's 2012 kitchen design contest.

The company was selected from more than 1,660 entries. Representatives from the firm will attend the national winners gala in Wisconsin this month where six global winners will be awarded. The kitchen design was also included in Sub-Zero/Wolf's Designer's Choice Awards and People's Choice Awards.

"Being selected as a regional winner of this contest acknowledges the achievement of a smart balance of creativity and elegance in this kitchen design, and we couldn't be more proud," said Linda McDougald, principal and lead designer at Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home. "Sub-Zero and Wolf are industry leaders in premium refrigeration and cooking equipment with designs that are both stylish and highly functional, making their products ideal for many of the kitchens we design." 

Design critiques were based on the entrant's use of space and application of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. The recognized kitchen is part of a home that was designed to achieve the LEED for Homes Silver rating and includes such green features as solar thermal water heating, solar shading, low-e clad windows, Energy Star appliances. The kitchen is integrated into an open floor plan that maintains visibility through the home to mountain views and includes interior features of rustic oak floors and interior doors stained to a warm gray, stained T&G ceilings paired with heavy timber framing, natural stone and wood countertops, and natural stone and ceramic tiles.  

"This marks our 10th Kitchen Design Contest and it has become the most highly regarded award program in the kitchen design industry," said Michele Bedard, vice president of marketing for Sub-Zero and Wolf. "This contest is our way of honoring the design community and the significant role they play in making Sub-Zero and Wolf a household name when it involves beautiful kitchen design. These regional winners truly represent achievement in kitchen design."

Designers McDougald and Adrienne Fulmer , architect Scott Johnston and David Anderssen of Johnston Design Group, and builder The Berry Group worked together on this home.

Highlights From High Point

By Home Furnishings Business in on May 22, 2013

As the Las Vegas Furniture Market becomes more dominant in the bedding sector with each passing year, things were relatively quiet on the bedding front at the April High Point Market.

That doesn€™t mean there weren€™t interesting bedding products on display, however. Mattress manufacturers€”both majors and speciality providers€”were at the show in force, including some that don€™t exhibit in Las Vegas. And, while some companies were more focused on marketing initiatives and promoting€”and sometimes expanding€”existing lines, others did, in fact, premiere new product at High Point.
Here are highlights from what we saw in bedding at Market.

Sealy€™s major High Point announcement was the introduction of gel memory foam into its Estate Innerspring Collection, marked under its Stearns & Foster brand. The new beds combine ClimsSense gel memory foam with individually encased IntelliCoil Titanium-alloy springs. The Estate Innerspring Collection will be available by late spring/early summer and starts at a $1,799 MSRP.

Sealy also spoke of the company€™s new advertising push for these lines, which offers €œB-Roll€ product footage to retailers that can be used by retailers in their local TV spots, as well as new spins on its successful €œWhatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it€ campaign.

Serta laid low on new introductions at this Market, opting to promote its iComfort Directions collection, which was announced at Las Vegas Market in January but is currently hitting retail, and retails from $1,999 to $2,999 in Queen. The company also emphasized its new iComfort line of pillows, sheets and mattress protectors, which are selling in the $99 €“ $199 range.

Product-wise, Simmons also focused on product launched at the January Vegas Market€”in their case, the Beautyrest Recharge and Recharge World Class lines. The Recharge models, which combine 800-density pocketed coil with Aircool foam, memory foam and GelTouch foams, are priced from $699 to $1,299. Recharge World Class ups the coil to 1,000-density, and adds Trutemp gel, with 14 models ranging in price from $1,399 to $1,999.

Simmons also showed new versions of its humorous ads based around its €œRecharge€ theme showing the effects of not getting sufficient€”or healthy€”sleep.
FXI displayed its Bios line (rolled out at Las Vegas in January), which offers pillows, toppers and mattresses in color-coded packaging to indicate one of three consumer appeals€”relief, support or performance. The company also showed its POS display for the line.

Independent manufacturer Gold Bond debuted its new Classic Collection, which is geared to customers seeking lower price points. The eight-model line, which will retail from $399 to $549 in Queen, features coils, steel edge support, and layers of foam for different feels.

It will be available in firm, plush and pillow top feels.

Gold Bond also showed its revised Chelsea Collection, adding three new models€”the 13-inch pillow top, 13-inch plush and 12-inch firm€”which add layers of foam to achieve the unique feels. The Chelsea Collection starts at $699 in Queen. The collection€™s three Back & Body beds (13-1/2-inch pillow top, 13-inch plush and 12-inch firm) have been updated with new aesthetics.
Jamison Bedding rolled out its English Garden Collection, an eight-model line that, while inspired by the botanicals, symmetries and colors of traditional English gardens, is targeting budget-minded consumers with price points of $499 to $999 in Queen. The beds will be offered in choices of firm, plush or Eurotop styles. The beds have the company€™s proprietary Palladian Smart Coil technology, and are made with varying densities and combinations of JGel memory foam, other foams, and fiber and cotton-poly layers. Jamison premiered a posh new TV spot crafted to promote the line at High Point Market.
Specialty vendor Pure Latex Bliss€™ big news at Market was the introduction of its World€™s Best Adustable foundation€”the industry€™s first adjustable base  to feature latex according to the company. The added four-inch layer of Talalay is intended to create a weightless sensation in any position, even when lifting a user. The World€™s Best Adjustable foundation is available in three sizes€”twin XL, Queen and Split Cal King.
Pure Latex Bliss also showed its newly expanded collection of ActiveFUSION Climate Control pillows. The new line doubles the company€™s previous pillow selection, and, according to the company, can €œcool a warm sleeper and warm a cool sleeper in the same bed.€ The line€™s five pillows will retail from $129 to $149, and are available in Fast (with a plusher latex feel) and Slow Response (with more of a memory foam feel, even though it€™s also latex-based) versions.
New Jersey-based Shifman doesn€™t exhibit in Las Vegas, so the old-school, made-by-hand manufacturer used this Market to announce its big news: the reboot of its Pure Comfort Collection, which is now a double-sided latex line. The new collection€™s three models range from 7-1/2 to 10 inches of Talalay latex foam, and will retail in Queen from $2,899 to $4,999. The manufacturer believes these are the only two-sided latex beds currently available in the industry.
Therapedic International promoted the successful results from recent durability testing of its re-engineered Agility Collection€”reportedly, the tests showed just a three-percent reduction in firmness and zero-percent reduction in compression over 100,000 cycles of testing.
Therapedic also showed four new models€”the Trianon Palace ($1,299 €“ $1,399), Tranquility ($1,099 €“ $1,199), City Harmony ($899 €“ $999) and Waikola Beach ($799 €“ $899) €”added to its popular licensed Kathy Ireland Home line, which features a five-zone support innerspring system using seven-inch coils, and is styled with grey, blue and white stretch-knit ticking.

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