Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Uttermost Website

From Home Accents Today, Uttermost, a leading accessory and lighting manufacturer, unveiled an easy-to-navigate virtual showroom on its new Web site at http://www.uttermost.com/.
The new Uttermost virtual showroom is a great example of where art and technology have come together to create the ultimate shopping tool that meets the business needs of today's retailers.

The site has sophisticated yet easy-to-navigate search functionality to enable the user to quickly narrow down and access specific accessory categories and/or product information. They can access specific information such as product sizes or specific finishes and styles.


The Web site also caters to consumers and the company's internal sales force. Consumers can visit the virtual showroom to find out information on the newest home accessory products, and get tips from designers.

Speaking about Tips from Designers, The Uttermost Website has an informative piece about Designer Tips for Lighting and Lighting Fixtures. Some of the topics covered:

My room seems too big/small…. how can lighting help?

How can I use lighting to show off the beautiful decorative objects in my home?

What general rules should I follow to light the master bedroom?

I have a home office… how should I light it?

We carry the Uttermost products in the Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery. Take a look at the virtual Uttermost website. We can drop ship any style lamp or accessory to your home or office.

Bev & Mike

Monday, May 29, 2006

BermanFALK Acquires LDC Design Studio

From FURNITUREToday comes news that BermanFALK has acquired the rights to produce the furniture designs of California-based LDC Design Studio.
LDC, a 10-year-old contemporary bedroom, dining and occasional furniture producer based in Palm Springs, will stay in business, and owner Joel Bessaules will continue to provide input on design, but its collections will be made at the Bermanfalk plant in Langley, British Columbia, said Gary Berman, vice president of marketing and sales for Bermanfalk.

He described LDC as a niche-oriented manufacturer with a regional presence in the U.S. Southwest, whose looks complement Bermanfalk designs.

The company hopes to expose LDC to an international customer base, Berman said. He said Bermanfalk also wants to develop relationships with what he described as LDC’s loyal customer base among designers.

“They’ve obviously got some terrific product. It’s very well styled and works along with our product well,” Berman said.

He said the purchase was completed in late February, and did not disclose a price.

Last year, Bermanfalk acquired Vancouver-based HOM Furniture & Design, a high-end company targeted to metropolitan markets. Berman said the goal eventually is to market the three companies under one brand name.

The LDC Design Studio bed in Espresso finish pictured above is part of the Chandler collection and comes in Classic Finishes of Amber Rift Oak, Chestnut Rift Oak, Dark Walnut Rift Oak, Espresso Rift Oak, and Ebony Rift Oak. In addition, there are Premium Finishes of Birdseye Maple, Zebrawood, Macassar Ebony amd Wenge.

With the loss of Dinec' bedroom furniture line, a result of the discontinuation as a result of Dinec's reorganization from Chapter 11, Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery will be pleased to offer LDC Design Studio as part of the BermanFALK quality furniture offerings.

Bev & Mike

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Palecek Outdoor Furniture

From Copley News Service,
Indoor-outdoor furniture should be weatherproof, stackable,
by Christine Brun.

If your place is small and has little space for storage, look for furniture pieces that work as well inside as out. That way, you expand your entertaining capability for every season.

Shopping for such indoor-outdoor furniture requires patience and restraint because some beautiful garden furniture would look out of place indoors. And the ubiquitous white plastic chairs available at discount and home-improvement stores definitely would not work.

Still, some of the features found in both of those options are worth trying. You need seating that is weatherproof and pet-friendly. Stackability is an added plus.

Palecek's Patio Stacking Chair is one handsome possibility. The body of the cafe chair is woven with high-quality UV-resistant plastic. A special coloring technique is used to create the wickerlike appearance over a frame of bent black rattan.

Investigate your finds carefully so you aren't in for a surprise when they are exposed to the elements. Although the Palecek chair is constructed partly of natural rattan, which gives the chair its genuine look, you might not want to leave it outdoors year-round. This chair would do fine for the season, and you'll get extra use if you buy plastic covers for all of your outdoor furniture.

Alfresco dining is also pleasurable in another Palecek offering, an aluminum-framed chair covered in an all-weather woven synthetic material that mimics the look of natural rattan peel. Aptly named Al Fresco Metro Chair, it is also conveniently stackable and has a more contemporary feel.

Shop with your pets in mind, too. Puppies chew on just about anything, so a metal model might be better for the household with pets.

Try to locate outdoor chairs that will be compatible with your existing indoor pieces. For example, if you already have wicker indoor dining chairs in a natural color, the Patio Stacking Chair would have the woven element in common.

Your eye will read the texture and color first before the differences in design detail hit your brain. In this way, whether you are inside looking out or outside looking in, if the colors and styles are compatible, the visual impression will be that the space is contiguous.

Another way to achieve this connection is to continue the type of flooring from inside to out.

The same rule also applies to your tables. A wood dining surface won't endure the weather, but make sure other finishes are visually similar enough to allow for design flow.

Christine Brun is a San Diego-based interior designer, member of ASID and author of Big Ideas for Small Spaces. cbaintdes@aol.com or to Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery carries Palecek indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories. We carry some items on our showroom floor have many more in catalogs that can be ordered, some in a variety of fabrics and leathers.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Decorating Dead Zones

It's Bridget Otto Thursday and her column today in The Oregonian's Homes & Garden section, concerns those hard to decorate little areas, she calls "Dead Zones".
Every house has one or two. Sometimes there are more.

We're talking dead spots, those puzzling areas that are often not furniture-friendly but look vacant without something. It can be a small landing on a staircase or a transition spot from one room to the next.

Mine's in the entryway. First off, there's no electrical outlet nearby, so a quick fix of adding light is out. Secondly, there is already a table off to the other side of the entry, so an additional table looks redundant and not very clever.

I've had a chair there for some time. Granted, no one sits in the chair, but it fills the void and acts as a catchall for coats and purses -- sometimes a good thing, sometimes not. I've lobbied for a decorative coat rack, but my husband thinks it, too, will become an eyesore filled with coats and umbrellas and purses. He may be right, but I'm not convinced.

A chair with some architectural flair and a tall back might fit the bill, but I haven't found it yet.

"You want something interesting, something different or edgy," says designer Beverly Landfair of Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery in Southwest Portland. Landfair, like many designers, sees these dead areas as great challenges and places to accessorize the home.

She suggests adding mirrors to make the area appear larger or brighter. She's also a fan of chests, available now in every style from traditional to contemporary. The end of a hallway is a great place for a tall chest, which can do double duty as storage as well as pull the eye down the hall, creating a focal point.

Like Landfair, designer Diane Keaton, of Diane Keaton Interiors in Beaverton, likes dead-space challenges.

"These are my favorite areas to deal with," she says.

To bring life to a dull spot, Keaton often adds artwork, from sculptures to paintings to photo groupings. For one client who had moved into a condo, Keaton punched up wall space above the kitchen sink with a large photograph that both harmonized with the Asian-inspired decor and provided an outdoor scene for an otherwise visual dead end.

In the hallway of her own home, Keaton filled a drab spot with two framed photographs and set a small stool with an upholstered seat under them. She balanced that at the opposite end with more framed photographs and a plant in a pretty pot on the floor.

In another client's home, she filled a vacant ledge with a grouping of three large, matching vases.

"It's a wow," she says.

Groupings of little things bore Keaton a bit. She operates on the less-is-more design philosophy -- fewer items, but big ones. "You want something to look at."

If the dead spot can be isolated, go for it and treat it differently from the space around it, says designer Kimberlee Jaynes. Make it pop with paint and/or bright objects or shiny surfaces. If it's possible, paint the ceiling in that area with a bronze metallic paint to reflect light.

If the space is dark and you'd like to hang artwork, Jaynes suggests frames that come with battery-powered lights, available at some Portland-area frame shops.

Jaynes, who owns Kimberlee Jaynes Interior Designs in Northwest Portland, thinks in terms of paint, texture and artwork when faced with "any dingy hole." All good ways to get ideas flowing.

Me? For starters, I'm going to beg my sweet husband to put in an electrical outlet to bring that dead spot to life.

Bridget A. Otto: 503-221-9527; bridgetotto@news.oregonian.com

Bev & Mike

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Synthetic or Wood, How's Your Deck?

It's Bridget Otto Thursday and today Bridget writes about outside decking in a two part article. In the first part, she writes about choosing decking, wood or synthetic?
Synthetic decking, once the ugly stepchild that looked like the plastic used to make it, has grown up and is becoming a popular deck-building material.
One big advantage of synthetic over wood is maintainance
Although not zero maintenance, synthetic decking is very low maintenance -- especially when compared with a cedar deck that needs to be stripped and sealed yearly.
The second part of the article concerns inspecting your existing deck for safety.
Properly built and maintained, a deck will provide years of enjoyment. But as the years go by, weather and use can erode the deck's structural integrity.
Then Bridget goes on to tell us some things to look for that may tell us if we need to replace our deck or make repairs.

Clear debris. Debris acts like a sponge.... Be especially sure that there is no debris buildup where the deck meets the house.

Check for dry rot. Test wood for softness by poking it with a nail or a screwdriver.

Check the ledger board where the deck is bolted to the frame of the house. Bolts should be staggered one up and one down.

Make sure all fasteners are secure by giving railings and balusters a good shake.

Check that support posts are secure in their footings.

Bridget A. Otto can be reached at bridgetotto@news.oregonian.com

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

10 Tips: Carpet Colors

From House Beautiful, 10 Tips: Carpet Colors By carpet and textile designer Christine Van Der Hurd.

1. Go with your gut feeling when choosing a carpet. I think color is more important than design; if you don't love the hue, the pattern, however pretty, won't matter.

2. Consider whether you want your carpet to be a focal point of the room or to blend in unobtrusively. Highly patterned, brightly colored carpets obviously belong in the former category.

3. If possible, choose your carpet before deciding upon paint, upholstery and curtains. The colors in your carpet can provide inspiration for the color scheme of an entire room.

4. Before making a decision about carpets, think about whether dirt is a factor. Do you have small children or dogs? Do you entertain a lot? More pattern can help to hide daily wear and tear.

5. In rooms with lots of pattern and texture, it's generally best to choose a single-color floor covering ‑- but it doesn't have to be beige. Pick out a color you like from the curtains or cushions.

6. If you're trying to find a carpet that will work with fabric and colors already in place, consider custom design. It's not necessarily much more expensive than off-the-rack, and you will have a unique, perfectly matched piece.

7. Runners on stairs can introduce color and texture to the bland environment of a hall or staircase. A cotton dhurrie runner, for example, could be perfect for a beach house.

8. Offices don't have to have wall-to-wall industrial carpeting. An interesting rug that you like to look at can make the workplace far more inviting.

9. Children love color, so don't be afraid of using it in their rooms. Choose a carpet that is soft and comfortable to sit on, as they tend to really use the floor while playing. Sometimes the design on a carpet can even feed into activities and games.

10. If you don't want a pattern, but like a textured look, consider a natural yarn that takes dye unevenly. Another option is to look for carpets that leave the fabric knots looped, or uncut, which can add wonderful luster and texture.

We have many friends in the carpet business at Macadam Carpets, Trinity Carpets and custom carpet designers, to name a few. We would be happy to make introductions for you to insure you get the best service.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

BermanFALK Dining Table with Classic Lines

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery recently added BermanFALK and I was searching for a way to show the stunning dining room table with a four legged curved pedastal.

(Click on Image for larger picture)

You can see the BermanFALK table tends towards the traditional, has classic lines, but is “still modern”. The chairs have contrasting horizontal slats an interesting architectural feature. In this case they have chosen a striped mix of two shades of cream and mocha.

Bev & Mike

Dining Room Furniture Guide

Furniture WORLD has an informative article about Dining Room Furniture. While it is product knowledge for salespeople, it gives a good insight into how to spot quality.

Dining Chair Quality
Quality dining chairs feel heavy, substantial and rigid. Chair quality is easy to see and demonstrate since every rail, post and joint is exposed and easily examined.
Chair comfort is one of the most important indicators of good design. You should demonstrate how the design of the seat, back and arms contribute to seating comfort. Make sure your customers sit in each chair they consider purchasing.

Chair strength is extremely important, since dining chairs often take more abuse than any other piece of household furniture. They get knocked over, stood on, spilled on and balanced on their back legs. Poor construction integrity resulting in loose joints will certainly cause customer dissatisfaction, or injury.

Fortunately, most dining chairs are very well made. Box seat wooden chairs often have mortise and tenon joints or dowel joints joining leg posts, stretchers, back posts and rails. Corner blocks are used at stress points to strengthen the seat and the joint, especially where stretchers are not used. All joints should be rigid and the chair should not wobble.

Sloppy joinery and the use of filler to smooth out joints is an indicator of poor quality, as is the excessive use of nails and screws to stabilize a wooden joint.

Different wood species do not expand and contract at the same rates. This may cause problems at joints where two species are joined - but not necessarily. There are many fine windsor chairs, for example, dating from the mid 18th century which combine Pine, Hickory, Oak, Ash and others in the same piece.

Steam bent parts will generally be stronger than shaped parts or those made from several components joined by finger and laminated joints.
Finish quality can be judged by examining places near joints or carvings that are hard to reach and so require hand sanding - especially on chairs with posts, pierced splats, slats or turned parts. These areas should be smooth, evenly stained and free from excess glue.
Those seeking knowledge about dining room furniture should know that there is a fine glossary at the end of the article. The entire dining room furniture guide contains 16 pages of information on construction, styles and terms. The guide sells for $1.95 and can be purchased by calling FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at 914-235-3095 or email education@furninfo.com.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery