Archive for the ‘Howard's Furniture and Decorating Center’ Category

Blues Traveler, Sister Hazel to play at High Point Market

Friday, February 12th, 2010

WonderBread 5 will entertain on opening night
Larry Thomas — Furniture Today
HIGH POINT — Three rock bands – Blues Traveler, Sister Hazel and the WonderBread 5 – will headline the evening entertainment during the spring High Point Market, which opens April 17.

The WonderBread 5, a San Francisco-based party band, will perform on opening night, while Grammy Award-winning Blues Traveler takes the stage on April 18. Sister Hazel, an alternative rock band, will perform on April 19.

The WonderBread 5, whose members use the names Michael, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Action Jackson, perform a wide range of rock-and-roll music that includes songs from the B-52s to The Beatles.

Blues Traveler, whose sound combines blues with psychedelic, folk, Southern rock and soul, has recorded eight studio albums and four live albums that have sold more than 10 million units. The group’s best-known single, “Run Around,” was the longest-charting radio single in Billboard history.

Sister Hazel has recorded 10 albums and had its music featured in several movies, including “Major League: Back to the Minors,” “The Wedding Planner,” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” The group’s best-known singles are “All For You” and “Change Your Mind.”

All three bands will perform under the tent on the Showplace parking lot as part of the market’s “Stars Under The Stars” series.
“Beyond these exciting headliners will be an outstanding line-up of additional live entertainment across the downtown area, along with an abundance of complimentary food and drink options to ensure that our guests will find something for everyone while they are working here this spring,” said Market Authority President Brian Casey.

Hastens bedding aims to expand presence in U.S.

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Swedish producer has new program for designers
David Perry — Furniture Today
 Hastens executive Janet Stein, in the company’s new High Point Market showroom, hopes to expand Hastens’ presence in the U.S. market. 

HIGH POINT — This mattress horse is looking to gallop in the United States.

Swedish luxury bedding maker Hastens, whose logo features a horse in full stride, is aiming to put more bounce into its U.S. business. The company recently made its first U.S. showing at the October market here, introducing new high-end lines, rolling out a new program for interior designers, and unrolling a welcome mat for U.S. retailers.

“We are trying to get the word out,” said Janet Stein, country manager for the United States, who introduced the new lines in High Point.

Hastens already is well known in mattress circles. The company says, accurately, that its name “is synonymous with luxurious beds.” Hastens is famous for its blue-and-white check patterns on its ticking, unique to the company, and its all-natural story.
The producer, based in Koping, Sweden, was founded in 1852 and is Sweden’s oldest manufacturers of beds and mattresses. The company started out primarily making saddles and carriage furniture, using horsehair. Mattresses were a sideline at first, and the company stuffed them with horsehair, too. As demand for those cushy mattresses grew, the company focused on that business.

Hastens (”Hast” is Swedish for horse) now specializes in the use of layers of horsehair in its mattresses.

Horsehair, once a common filling material in mattresses, is seldom used these days. But Hastens officials say they continue to make their beds by hand using only natural filling materials, including horsehair, cotton, linen, wool and flax. The company says the beds “are free of all harmful chemicals and other materials that could in any way be detrimental to either the human body or the environment.”

Hastens adds that the natural materials in its beds maintain ventilation, allowing the mattresses to breathe and thus creating the perfect environment for a restful night of sleep.
The beds are pricey: Retails range from $4,850 to a cool $69,750. But Hastens officials say they are worth those prices.
“My aim is that Hastens should provide as much benefit for the end user as possible,” said Jan Ryde, the owner and CEO of the company. “A good night’s sleep gives a better day and in the long run a better life.”

The company made a stylish debut in High Point, using its trademark high-quality photography and attractively dressed beds to stand out. This wasn’t just another mattress showroom.
“We are reaching out to the entire country for potential business partnerships,” Stein said. “We are also reaching out to the interior design community with our new ID program. We would like to gain a greater presence in the U.S.”

Hastens currently sells through 15 U.S. stores, including ABC Carpet and Home in New York, and stores in cities including Los Angeles, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Madison, Wis.
The company’s new ID program was created in response to what Hastens says were

requests from architects, interior designers and stylists. It entitles members to preferred pricing on Hastens beds at participating retailers.

“For decades Hastens has been favored by design professionals looking to integrate both beauty and a beautiful night’s sleep into their work,” CEO Ryde said. “With the introduction of the Interior Design Program, we hope to show our immense appreciation.”

Hastens also is introducing three new beds:
 The Hastens 2000T II is a three-part sleep set that features six layers of 100% natural cotton and wool and four layers of horsehair. It retails from $23,000 to $27,000.
 The Excelsior II features two additional layers of cotton, wool and horsehair, replacing the need for a layer of flax. It retails from $13,000 to $15,000.

 The Luxuria, retailing for about $8,000, is a new bed design that features the company’s patented spring system, padded by two layers of horsehair and four layers of 100% natural cotton and wool.

ASFD creating Pinnacle Award for green design

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

This year for the first time, the American Society of Furniture Designers will recognize sustainable furnishings with a Pinnacle Design Achievement Award for excellence in green home furnishings design.

Entries for the award will be vetted by the Sustainable Furnishings Council before they are presented to judges, said furniture designer and ASFD President Steve Hodges.

Pieces will be considered across a spectrum of categories. Sustainability benchmarks are likely to apply to product features such as wood, finish, cushioning, textile, leather, metal, glass and plastic content, Hodges said.

But the item also must be a good value and well designed, he said. The award has not yet been named, he added.

Hodges said last year’s Pinnacle judges were enthusiastic about a green design award.

“Everyone is very excited about it. It’s not just an adjunct award to be trendy. We see the category as becoming increasingly important,” he said. “It also helps the Pinnacle Awards widen its net.”

An entry deadline for this year’s ASFD Pinnacle Awards has not yet been set. Winners will be announced at the fall High Point Market. More formal criteria for entries will be announced over the next several weeks, Hodges said.

Retailer Andy Thornton of LaDifferénce in Richmond, Va., which touts its own green standards through its stores, said that green product is a good idea for the Pinnacle Awards. He said the winning product should be innovative, and “really needs to wow you.”

The Pinnacle Design Achievement Awards were created in April 1995 by the ASFD board to promote design quality and encourage the recognition of furniture designers within the retail home furnishings industry.

By Heath E. Combs — Furniture Today
NEW LONDON, N.C.