Monday, July 25, 2005

PowerBlog Reviews Landfair Furniture

We have been away enjoying Oregon. We visited Crater Lake and a restaurant out in the middle of the desert, The Cowboy Dining Tree. (See Mike's blog for a description of their menu and the experience.) We got back and discovered that Anita Campbell's Small Business Trends had posted the interview of Mike and I about using our blog for promotion of our business, designers and local businesses. You can read that interview, PowerBlog Review: Landfair Furniture, conducted by Lynne Meyer on the Small Business Trends site.

Thank you for the asking us for the interview!

Bev & Mike

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Are Women Accumulating the Wealth?

From China Daily, Women getting rich faster than men in UK

Research published last month by Investec Private Bank showed that there are now an estimated 360,000 women in Britain who are worth half a million pounds (US$ 900,000) or more each.

Women are now living longer, inheriting valuable properties and other assets from their spouses and receiving generous divorce settlements. They own assets worth almost 300 billion pounds (US$ 540 billion) and their numbers are expected to increase rapidly. It is estimated that by 2025, women will own 60 per cent of the nation's personal wealth.

Is this trend taking place in the US? We may soon have a woman elected President. There are a number considering a run or actually running;

Hillary and Condoleeza come to mind.

Bev & Mike

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Business of Weightloss

Is it a coincidence that after writing two posts about obesity in America, that I start getting spam about MiracleBurn , the weightloss pill and an invitation to link to a website that prescribes Phentermine online, a prescription weight loss medication, used as a personal appetite suppressant?

I expect, next, I will hear from the fitness clubs, the sellers of exercise machines, and makers of cookbooks.

Bev & Mike

Landfair Furniture Adds Duralee Furniture

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery has carried Duralee Fabrics since we opened in 2001. In 2003, Duralee added furniture, and in 2005, Duralee purchased a huge plant in North Carolina to manufacturer all its furniture, some 550 items, under one roof.

Duralee offers unique Design, fine Quality, value Pricing, and fast Delivery. The materials used, the methods of construction and the finishes are among the finest available in the industry. The ease and simplicity of their catalog presentation makes choosing from their collection an enjoyable and profitable process. If you are a designer you can feel confident when specifying Duralee Fine Furniture that your client will always be pleased with the end result.

As a consumer or a designer, you have a single source for frames and fabrics that is more than just upholstered furniture, but includes dining tables and chairs, beds, benches, storage ottomans, cocktail tables, consoles and more. From traditional to contemporary, from transitional to retro, the collection was created so that you and your designer, have at your fingertips, a wealth of furniture products unlike any other. There are hundreds of standard items and an endless ability to customize them that can meet any design requirements, and limited only by one's creativity.

Duralee stands behind their products and their customer service is unsurpassed. We invite you to review their line in our showroom and see for yourself the strength of their collection and the merits of selecting Duralee Fine Furniture for your home or next design project.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

The Other Side of Obesity-- A Follow-Up

Ruben Bailey of Your Average Horseplayer has opened a whole new world for Mike. Yesterday, in a note to my post about obesity, Why has obesity become such a problem in America? Bailey said...

You should check out this blog:

And also read this article from the cover of The Portland Business Journal about a local company on this subject: A man with big ideas (Portland Business Journal)

It's interesting for everyone to be able to step back for a moment (or two) and look at issues/ideas/topics from the "other side," then we can truly begin to develop educated, informed, rational decisions.
At Big Fat Blog, you can register, only after you read and agree to these rules:
Big Fat Blog is a site devoted to fat acceptance. BFB provides a strong, supportive environment for those interested in issues related to fat people. But it is important to note that BFB is not a weight loss site of any kind; in fact, weight loss talk here is prohibited. Promoting weight loss and weight loss surgery is prohibited!
On July 12th, BFB posted about The Fat Business saying
It's always seemed so simple to me: there are a lot of fat people in this country, and we need the same goods and services that everyone else has. Yet the perpetual Forum threads on how x is so hard to find attests to the difficulties that we still face.
Which leads me to the Portland Business Journal Article and picked up by MSNBC. After Timothy Barry ballooned to 365 pounds,
"At every turn we are bombarded with news about how people are getting bigger, but nobody is accommodating the needs of these people."
Barry started SuperSizeWorld carries an amazing amount of merchandise that Mike or I hadn't given any thought about.
Things like:

Mega sized watch bands
headgear and bicycle helmets
bicycle seats and toilet seats
Mike liked Hangerzilla™

- this big hanger is special. With its 100 pound capacity, 23" width and 5" depth it can hold heavy leather coats, fur coats, full length lined top coats, diver wet suits or pretty much anything else that you can hang up on a hanger (the average hanger is 15-16 inches).
Even the funeral industry is recognizing that Americans are getting larger and the old caskets do not accomodate our sizes, so they came out with "double-wides".

I think the main thing that Mike takes away from Ruben Bailey, Big Fat Blog, and Timothy Barry is that there is a whole other world out there many are running from, and others are embracing. BFB really rants against the promotion of thin-ness that leads to unhealthy behavior, especially by young girls, who can't see their true selves when looking in a mirror.
Bev & Mike

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Top Designers of 2004:
Interview with Sue Ziehler

Resuming our interviews of Top Designers for 2004, we are pleased to speak with Sue Ziehler of En Vogue Interiors

LF+DG: Sue, thank you so much for making time to answer some questions about your design practice. What is your background and what are your credentials?
Ziehler: Interior Design has always been instinctual for me. Since childhood, I have been designing all my living spaces with great effect. Five years ago my position as a corporate vice president was downsized. I took this opportunity to define interior design as a new career. I attended Heritage School of Interior Design in Beaverton and started Sue Ziehler, Inc., Interior Design. I had been blessed with several years of experience with a startup company so I understood the importance of business plans, marketing, execution and maintenance of client loyalty. My clients are impressed with my professionalism and ability to communicate their style into their living spaces. In July, I joined the design team at En Vogue Interiors in Beaverton. It is a vibrant design environment guaranteed to produce some remarkable things.

LF+DG: Who or what has been an influence in your design?
Ziehler: As a young woman, I had the privilege to work for a few old-world wealthy families. I also had the fortune to live in Europe for a time. These experiences fostered my appreciation for architectural detail, art and fine furniture. Don't get me wrong, I do not like stuffy old things. But I appreciate classicism and believe all spaces should have at least one piece of antiquity, something with a past. I am influenced by quality materials and craftsmanship. My favorite designer is Naomi Leff (member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame and responsible for the Ralph Lauren store image). She can make an apartment look like an ocean liner.

LF+DG: How do you define good design?
Ziehler: All the principles of design notwithstanding, good design works like a magnet to the homeowner, moving them to desire to be in their living spaces more than anywhere else. I am a true believer in the adage that "form follows function". Get the function down and the feeling right and you have a winner.

LF+DG: If I were to hire you to decorate my home, would people who visit say, "Ah, this is a Sue Ziehler home?"
Ziehler: Doubtful. But there are definite similarities. "Ease of care" is important to me. Therefore my designs tend to be uncluttered. This gives my clients the opportunity to easily keep their spaces the way they always want them to be, whether they are a slob or not.

LF+DG: Do you come up with a presentation board?
Ziehler: Not in the traditional sense. I use computerized tools to help sell a concept, both two dimensional and three dimensional. Accompanied by samples or photographs, I use these tools to build a project binder.

LF+DG: How do you charge for your services?
Ziehler: After considerble self-debate, I choose to charge a design fee based on square footage. Clients are often skeptial of open-ended hourly charges and clients do not understand how much time it takes to consider a design. My flat rate covers room layouts and choice of any hard surfaces. In addition, I take a standard mark-up on all purchases and I surcharge anything that is purchased at retail.

LF+DG: What other creative things do you do?
Ziehler: Creative? Not sure that describes what I like to do. I am an avid sports fan. (Thank God for TiVo.) I love to cook, garden, collect art and read.

But most of all, I love a pop opera quartet called IL DIVO.

LF+DG: Sue, where can people reach you?

Ziehler: Bev, they can reach me at En Vogue Interiors, 503-504-9175 or

Bev & Mike

Landfair Furniture Adds Calligaris

You've seen their ads in Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor! Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery is proud to announce a new line: Calligaris. Calligaris firmly believes in its mission: to offer contemporary and functional furniture with Italian design, great prices and good service.

We have posted here and here about Green Design. Calligaris works in tune with the environment.

• they select the wood through ecologically aware replanting processes;

• they monitor industrial emissions;

• they recycle processing waste;

• they minimize scrap

Here are some examples of the style of Calligaris:

Bev & Mike

Why has obesity become such a problem in America?

Michael Higgins at Chocolate and Gold Coins has an interesting take on obesity with this question:
Why has obesity become such a problem in America and other countries in the early 21st century?

The easy explanation is: we can afford to be obese.

We might think differently about our food choices if each calorie cost us 10 cents. At that rate 2000 calories is $200 per day. You sure might think twice about buying a big Mac and fries for $160, leaving you only $40 for the rest of the day!

Higgins asks a second question:

So why haven’t markets emerged to help pace people to lose weight?

In order to be sucessful at weight loss, people need to have a long-term goal broken down into many short-term goals. The long term goal is to lose the weight and maintain that weight for a long period of time. Too many of us yo-yo.

The key is to develop an easy to use inexpensive technology that measures fat content and not just weight.
Bev & Mike

What's New in Fabrics at Summer Showtime

One of the purposes of these posts is to provide you with the latest news out of High Point, NC. FURNITUREToday is a good source for that kind of information. At Summer Showtime in High Point, much of the textile industry has changed radically in the past five years.
Some fabric sources that sold entirely U.S.-made lines just five years ago, for example, now source exclusively from offshore, and familiar domestic mills are moving steadily toward a business model in which they serve more as marketing and sales agencies than producers.
Some favorites emerged with buyers; in fabric design strong black-and-white presentations accented with brights, menswear patterns like houndstooth and argyle in all sizes from mini to enormous, and performance fabrics.

In color, orange tones are still important, as are the soft spa blues with chocolate brown, interesting greens, including an emerald at LaFrance Inds. and a clear kelly as well, which was also important in prints at Duralee and Richloom.

One straw in the wind: Although prints still haven’t returned in force to upholstered furniture, there was some movement in the category.

Brian Gallagher, a partner at fabric supplier HomCraft, said, “Our Magnolia print line did better than ever before, so maybe that’s a sign prints are starting to come back. They make an inexpensive way to get color on the floor — and this market was all about color and performance.”
Bev & Mike

Monday, July 18, 2005

Upholstery prices may climb!

FURNITUREToday, has an article Upholstery prices may climb, in which it is revealed that retailers may see rising wholesale upholstery prices of $15 to $20 per sofa due to rising prices to manufacturers. Most have absorbed higher costs in the past, but are now being forced into price increases.
Passing on extra costs is, for most factory execs, like cutting off their own legs. They say increases are likely to bring static from customers and, in some cases, force vendors off retail floors where stores don't want to carry higher price points.
In the past six months, costs have increased 18% for foam, 12% for steel, 10% for chalk used in marking fabrics.
Greg Hefner, president of Friendship Upholstery, a midpriced upholstery maker in North Carolina, said the hikes are the worst he's seen in 35 years, with steel taking an especially big chunk of his margins.
Bev & Mike

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Can Your Accent Tables Do Tricks?

Today’s bigger homes demand bigger living room tables to match the large rooms and large upholstery pieces. Height has stabilized at 20 to 21 inches, but the length and width are broader. A rectangular cocktail table at 50 by 72 inches or a 60-inch round table are examples of the needs in a larger home.

Hammary created this Prairie collection in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With white oak veneers and leaded glass, this cocktail table and other pieces take their design cues from the Mission-style homes that are part of the National Trust’s historic sites.

At the same time more condo living and baby boomers' downsizing demand smaller occasional tables. A sofa in the 70 to low 80 inches demands a smaller cocktail table or ottoman.

Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery carries all sizes, but more than that, we like our tables to do "tricks". How about a coctail table with hidden drawers for those remotes or games? How about a leather ottoman that doubles as a cocktail table and an extra seat?

Remember, too, that accent tables can change the feel of the room without the cost of changing the more-expensive upholstered items.

Bev & Mike

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rowe: Change Can Be Painful!

From FURNITUREToday, Rowe chips away at backlog

Rowe Furniture, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of custom upholstered furniture in the United States. Established in 1946, Rowe Furniture offers a wide range of styling in sofas, sectionals, chairs and ottomans with over six hundred fabric selections.

The bad news: Rowe was operating with a number of proprietary and home-grown computer systems. Their deliveries to retail customers swelled to 8 to 10 weeks from order date. Backlog jumped to $23.5 Million and an inability, developed, to get internally produced frame parts to the right place at the right time for assembly.

The good news: They recently switched to SAP AG Enterprise Resource Planning software designed to make it competitive with overseas production.
They were having a problem with fabrics, but the company has made progress in bunching large batches for more efficient cutting schedules.

The upshot: with the changeover they will be able to provide delivery to retail customers within 10 days. "I feel we've come a long way," Gerald Birnbach, chairman and president of The Rowe Companies said. "We should have most things pretty much under control this quarter. As far as manufacturing the product, selling the product, and delivering the product, we're there

Change can be painful. Here at Landfair Furniture we are proud to carry Rowe. Our clients have experienced the frustration of longer than normal delivery times. We thank you for your patience and are excited to be able to offer short delivery times at the completion of the software changeover.

Monday, July 11, 2005

"More" from Decker Marketing

Mike and I like to visit sites that visit us. We are curious about what brings someone to our site and can we learn something from what the visitor is doing?

Today we were visited by Decker Marketing and we found a number of interesting marketing ideas. What really caught Mike's eye was this piece written on February 06, 2005. It reminded Mike of his stockbroker days when after a great year the managing partner visited their office and announced they were awesome! "Just wait until you reach your potential." The next year business was up 100%, he visited again and announced, "You guys are awesome! Just wait until you reach your potential."

From Decker Marketing Defining "More"

Is your mission statement "More"? There is always more you can do in work, and there's always more you can do in life. How to balance? Consider this perspective...

An American consultant was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while.

The consultant then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The fisherman said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked the Mexican how he spent the rest of his time.

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American consultant scoffed, "I am a business consultant and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

"You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American consultant replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?" asked the fisherman.

The consultant laughed, and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public. You'll become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions, senor?" replied the Mexican. "Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
It is easy to get caught up in "more". When Mike and I go to dinner we tend to talk about business and marketing and how to deal with problems. So we say enough, after awhile, and talk about family, health, the dog, plans for vacation, books we are reading, and how much we care about each other. It is too hard to relax when all you want is "more".

Bev & Mike

Carnival of the Capitalists 7-11-05

Carnival of the Capitalists is up and Landfair Furniture is proud to be included. It is hosted by Multiple Mentality.

Bev & Mike

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Christopher Bates of fauxcade

Was it really April that we introduced you to the artist Darryl Ware in Interior Design Event with Darryl Ware? Yes!

Now meet Christopher Bates of Lake Oswego. Sometimes we are just amazed at art and the subjects that artists choose. While in Napa Valley early in our marriage, Mike and I came across an artist that made miniture bricks and then formed those bricks into large vases. In places the sides were broken to reveal the unique brick structure underneath. Truly exceptional work. What does this have to do with Christopher Bates?

Chris came into our shop and showed us his portfolio of sculptures. His work at fauxcade is a result of the fusion of his interests in art, architecture and the manual crafts. From one who is fascinated by architecture, these scuptures are unique. Rrom his website, fauxcade

"We are creating large-scale architectural sculptures in a way that pays homage to great architectural styles from the past, but at the same time plays with classic color and texture formats."

"It's a synthesis of the way an artist may have made an architectural model, by hand, 400 years ago, with modern concepts of art and decoration." The result is a beautiful sculptural object that is absorbing and visually dramatic in a way that is unique to our artform.

The molds for each sculpture are hand-formed using traditional methods, then cast with architectural grade plaster. Finally, each sculpture is colorized individually, so each is unique

The pieces range in size from a foot high to 7 1/2 feet tall, in the case of a full facade. Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery may be offering these sculptures in our store in the near future.

Bev & Mike

Thursday, July 07, 2005

16 Master Bedroom Mistakes to Avoid!

The July-August Oregon Home is on the newstands. This highly readable magazine has an article by Ken Logan titled 16 Master Bedroom Mistakes to Avoid.

Ken was gracious enough to allow me to quote from the article. If you want to read the complete article, you can go to their website to see where it is sold.

Here are the 16 Mistakes:

1. Not springing for a mattress that's going to maximize your chances of getting a great night's rest.

2. Not considering the size of your bedroom when choosing furnishings.

3. Letting your master bedroom drift off to the bottom of your building or remodeling budget. It's too easy to focus on the public spaces and neglect the area where you may spend a third of your day.

4. Assuming that knocking out the wall between two small bedrooms is the best way to create a master bedroom during a remodel. Don't rip out the thing you are paying for.

5. Not keeping a consistent design between the master bedroom and the bath. Work for "visual coherence".

6. Not making the most of storage options. Clutter is not restful.

7. Underestimating the effect lighting has on your bedroom. The spectrum of natural light that comes from the sun is best.

8. Skimping on finishes or decor in the bedroom because "no one's going to see it." You deserve a beautiful, restful space.

9. Letting a large space tempt you into using the master bedroom for functions that are better suited to other parts of the house. Mike and I do not have a TV in the bedroom.

10. Assuming you can't add a master bedroom just because you don't have-or can't create-a big plush space.

11. Passing up the chance to have your morning cup of coffee waiting for you when you step out of bed.

12. Neglecting what's outside when planning your restful retreat.

13. Forgetting to allow for lifestyle changes in your sweet design. We are all getting older.

14. Working so hard on the look of your bedroom that you forget that quiet is also crucial.

15. Opting for flooring that's too cold and hard.

16. Minimizing how huge a factor color is in the feel you're trying to create in a master bedroom.

In each of the 16 mistakes, Ken Logan has consulted local resources to offer solutions and has those suggestions in the article.

Also, remember Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery has an onsite color expert in Carol Cornwell and can recommend a number of interior designers we work with that are knowledgeable in helping you avoid these mistakes or providing solutions.

Bev & Mike

What's "Room in a Bag"?

From FURNITUREToday, out of High Point comes news of "Room in a Bag"
The “room-in-a-bag” concept, with seating, occasional, rugs, lamps and other decorative items merchandised as a package, is gaining steam with upholstery and multi-line manufacturers, especially those offering branded collections.
The underlying premise: Such packages will increase a store’s ability to attract customers, relieve consumer anxieties about making decorating mistakes, and thus boost sales.

One company featured at High Point, was Rowe, which linked up with pottery maven and hip designer Jonathan Adler, the first venture into a collection backed by a well-known name.

One reason companies are offering "room in a bag", it is a way for higher-end companies to distinguish themselves and maintain their identities. In other words, packaged concepts are harder to duplicate (or knockoff by competitors or foreign manufacturers).
Another reason, consumers are looking for help in decorating. Some want the confidence that their purchases work well together.
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery proudly carries Rowe.
Rowe Furniture is a leading manufacturer of custom upholstered furniture in the United States. Established in 1946, Rowe Furniture offers a wide range of styling in sofas, sectionals, chairs and ottomans with over six hundred fabric selections. The Rowe Furniture collections include Rowe, Robin Bruce, Jami L and Earth & Elements. Rowe Furniture is available at major home furnishings retailers and better independent home furnishings retailers across the United States and around the world.
In addition, we offer onsite design help and can refer you to a number of interior designers that are familiar with the many offerings of furniture and accessories in the Portland area.Bev & Mike

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More About "Green Design"

In May when we interviewed interior designer Marcie Harris, she talked about "Green Design", a concept Mike didn't know about.
My (Marcie's) interpretation of Green Design is that designers and architects need to be educated about the 'lifecycle" of the products they specify. This is not only the recycling capability of products, but thinking about what it took to make the product in the first place.
Today in Interiors Quarterly, there is a broader discussion of Green Design as it pertains to leaving a better planet for our kids.
The interior designer and the architect play a special role...with the power to create, the designer has responsibilities beyond others. We are obligated to practice sustainable design, in other words, to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We must recognize that the things we do and the choices we make have long-term effects, from choosing woods that are not in danger of extinction to assuring that the materials we specify don't contribute to exacerbating a sick child's asthma.
Bev & Mike

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Phillips Collection at Highpoint

From Highpoint, last week, Lisa Casinger, Home Accents Today retail editor says The Phillips Collection kicked butt!

From their contemporary:

to Yuri Zatarain who created some magnificent pieces and the displays were powerful.

Retailers she talked to at market were "excited about fresh looks they were seeing. Some said it was like there’d been nothing exciting for a while and they came to the April market and found it."

The Phillips Collection is carried at Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery.

Bev & Mike

Friday, July 01, 2005

What are Performance Fabrics?

According to FURNITUREToday, the new buzz is about "performance fabrics". What are performance fabrics? In the Police department think Kevlar, a fabric that stops bullets. In the furniture arena think fabrics that protect from stains and spills, think durability for motion furniture, think light-fastness for outdoor furniture, think anti-microbial for damp regions of the country.
For upholstery manufacturers then, performance can fall anywhere on a continuum from a simple durability story to a highly engineered product that is touted as impervious to liquid, bacteria, mold, mildew, stains, sunlight and bleach.

We have had Scotchguard and Teflon for fabrics that can be applied at the factory or in our warehouse before delivery to our clients. It protects against dirt and stains.

And if spills are an ongoing cause of concern, then just knowing that water- and oil-based liquids will bead up on the surface while you grab a napkin can make a consumer feel better about a fabric choice.
We have a dog that lays on the sofa with us at night when we watch television. Ralph, doesn't mean to forget to wipe his feet or doesn't intentionally drool at Baconbits, but Scotchguard has added life to this piece of furniture. At Landfair Furniture, for an added charge, Sherrill, one of the best values in upholstered furniture, will teflon coat (their name for a protective sealer) pre-production. Sherrill will be offering new fabrics that are geared to the clients demands for performance fabrics.

Two points to remember about about a protective spray. First, make sure the company applying the product is a professional. We use Ray-Burt's Inc., a company that has been in business for 25 years! Second, applying a protective product may cause you to lose any warranty on the fabric, especially if applied after it left the factory.

Bev & Mike