Archive for December, 2013

Cushion Options; What’s Right for You?

Friday, December 27th, 2013

AAAAAlAR5xEAAAAAANSyjAMost people never give cushion options  a second thought when buying upholstered furniture.  We see a sofa or chair we like, we sit on it, and if it’s comfortable we buy it.  The question of cushion construction is rarely asked, and unfortunately most furniture salespeople don’t address it unless asked.  Let’s take a look at cushions so you can make an informed buying decision.

Cushion construction varies with the price of the sofa or chair.  The least expensive ones will have a block of polyurethane foam zipped inside the cushion cover.  As a rule, they won’t hold their shape very long and the welt cord of the cushion cover will “crawl” out of position.  “Crawling” is caused by the backing material of the upholstery fabric gripping the bare foam; every time you sit down, the cushion cover gets pulled toward the back of the sofa.  Over time, the fabric stretches a bit ( it ALL does) and the cushion cover begins to move toward the back of the sofa.  The result is that the welt cord ends up out of place and your sofa looks terrible.  The foam tends to hold its shape, but the cushion covers won’t.

Better sofas and chairs will normally have a poly-dacron or “PD” cushion.  PD cushions have a foam core wrapped with polyester fibers.  The best PD cushions are stitched inside a tightly-woven muslin casing before being inserted into the cushion cover.  This makes it almost impossible for the cushion cover to move; the fabric backing can’t grip the smooth surface of the muslin casing.  Some manufacturers offer cushions in standard or extra-firm versions.

Some PD cushions may have springs inside them.  A pre-formed set of springs ( sometimes called a “Marshall unit”) is inside the foam core.  This is a more expensive cushion that provides a lot of comfort.  Over time, the springs will lose some of their resiliency and the cushion will show contours where it has formed itself to you.

“Springdown” cushions are the next step up in price.  Springdown cushions have a spring unit inside a foam core and a polyester fibre wrap, but an outer layer of down and waterfowl feathers makes up the outer layer.  These cushions are stitched into a “downproof” muslin cover before being inserted into the cushion cover.  The downproof cover is very tightly woven to prevent the down from coming through the cushion cover, but expect to see a bit of down or a feather now and then.  You can’t stop them completely with fabric.  These cushions are extremely comfortable, but down and feathers don’t have the resiliency of synthetic fibers.  You’ll need to fluff them up regularly, and you’ll need to be prepared for the “comfort wrinkles” and contours that will be unavoidable with these cushions.

Lastly, we come to the champagne of upholstery cushions… “blended down” or “blenddown.”  Blendown cushions are made up of polyester fiber, waterfowl feathers, and down.  They are incredibly soft, luxurious, and rather expensive.  They will compress with every use and need to be fluffed up with each and every use.  Since we’re talking about champagne, we need to mention the finest… the Dom Perignon of cushions – pure down.  This is the height of luxury.  Incredible softness and comfort… and the cushion will be almost completely flat every time you get off it.  Be prepared to fluff… and fluff… and fluff some more.

To sum it up… the cheapest cushions are bad.  The “medium” cushions are best for most people… they hold their shape fairly well and don’t require much upkeep.  The premium cushions offer a luxurious feel, but require more work on your part.  If you want your cushions to look new longer with no maintenance, the better quality “mediums” are the cushions for you.

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Southern Motion: America’s Finest Recliners

Friday, December 27th, 2013

southern motion reclinersSouthern Motion produces America’s finest reclining sofas, chairs, and sectionals.  For recliners in Winston-Salem, visit Bowen!

We literally found them by accident at market; we saw the “America’s Finest” sign over their showroom door and thought “Yeah, sure.”  Out of curiosity, we walked in and challenged them to prove their claim.

Three hours later, we walked out of the showroom as believers.  These folks KNOW what they’re doing.  From tiny chairs to fit your grandmother to a chair for REALLY big folks… to loveseats, to sofas, to sectionals, to ottomans that turn into a comfortable chair… they had it ALL.

This product is supremely comfortable with reclining mechanisms that are smooth as silk whether manual or power-operated.  Constructed with an all-hardwood seat frame held together with double dowels, glue, and steel corner blocks, Southern Motion is made to last.  They pride themselves on building a product with balanced comfort – the softness of the backs is consistent with the seats, providing an outstanding level of comfort with plenty of support.

Here at Bowen Town & Country Furniture, we feel really fortunate to be able to offer this fine, American made product to our customers.  You won’t believe the variety of styles and covers than we can offer you – and you really will be shocked at the comfort of this product.  Come in today!  We’ll make a believer out of YOU!

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American-Made, Solid Wood Furniture by Gat Creek

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

gat creek, solid wood, american made

The Gat Creek Story, by: Gat Caperton

Growing up in West Virginia, I lived in a contemporary home surrounded by tall trees and  mountains. My brother and I spent many of our days playing along a small creek that wound through the valley behind our house. Being a year older and four inches taller than my brother, I saw the creek first and quickly proclaimed it mine. My brother protested; I boasted.
Giving in to the fatigue created by chasing two boys under the age of five, our parents simply relented, “Okay, it’s Gat’s Creek.”
The name stuck and actually appears on maps now. My brother eventually and kindly forgave me. Today, Gat Creek lives in our minds as a home of youth, nature and discovery—the essence of furniture that you will find in the following pages.
I began designing furniture in 1996 after purchasing a small furniture manufacturing company. The company, located in my home state, has built  beautiful antique reproductions for over 40 years. Believing that great craftsmanship need not be limited to traditional furniture, I created Gat Creek. While the furniture bears my name, it really comes from the dedicated work of over 175 people that share a passion for woodworking, nature and home.
We build Gat Creek furniture specifically for you. We don’t import, and we don’t run an assembly line. Each piece is hand-made from solid Appalachian Cherry and personally signed by the person who builds it.
Over the past five years we have won a number of design, environmental and workplace safety awards. The award we cherish most is our customers’ trust. We hold home sacred and hope to have the opportunity to share some of our craft with you and your home.

Visit us today at Bowen Town & Country Furniture and browse our beautiful showroom. We are located at 1910 Mooney Street, right off Stratford Road near Hanes Mall. We’ll make you feel at home while you shop and you’ll like living with us.

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How Poor Sleep Can Affect Job Performance

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Source: The Better Sleep Councilbowen121

Employees are paying a high price for too little sleep when it comes to work productivity, according to new statistics from the Better Sleep Council (BSC). Respondents to the BSC’s 2007 Better Sleep Month survey, conducted for Better Sleep Month this May, reported an alarming decline in quality of work, poor judgment and trouble retaining information as the top work-related consequences from lack of sleep. In fact, 44 percent said they were likely to be in an unpleasant or unfriendly mood— all bad news for employers, employees and customers.

“Some believe you can accomplish more if you spend less time sleeping, but limited sleep can affect every aspect of your life, including job performance,” said Dr. Bert Jacobson, Better Sleep Month spokesperson and author of the new study Subjective Rating of Perceived Back Pain, Stiffness and Sleep Quality Following Introduction of Medium-Firm Bedding Systems. “In fact, sleep deprivation impacts your level of alertness, your productivity and your ability to socially interact with colleagues.”

Studies estimate that sleep deprivation currently costs U.S. businesses nearly $150 billion annually in absenteeism and lost productivity. And Better Sleep Month survey respondents reported sleep deprivation impaired their quality and accuracy of work (31 percent), clear thinking or judgment (31 percent) and memory of important details (30 percent).

Survey results also uncovered that tired employees are turning instead to quick-fix performance enhancers to remedy their sleep deficiency problem, including:

– Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks (33 percent)
– Taking a nap (17 percent)
– Going outside for fresh air (18 percent)
– Only 13 percent of Americans are willing to make the commitment to get more sleep in order to feel more awake and productive at work.

Five Tips to Improve Sleep and Work Productivity
As new Oklahoma State University research points out, and as reported in Fortune (May),* a new mattress significantly impacts the quality of your sleep; further suggesting that consumers should regularly evaluate their mattresses for sufficient comfort and support.

To get the sleep you need for a happier, healthier and more productive life, BSC recommends the following:

1.) Pay your sleep debt. Getting even 30 minutes less sleep than your body needs can lead to accumulated sleep debt, which has both short- and long-term consequences for health, mood and performance, both on and off the job. It’s important to schedule 8 hours of sleep each night (7.5 to 8.5 is optimal) and maintain a regular sleep and wake schedule, even on the weekend.

2.) Performance evaluation. Though your mattress may not show physical signs of wear, it loses comfort and support over the years. It’s important to evaluate your mattress every five to seven years to ensure it still provides optimal comfort and support. Research shows that the age of a mattress directly impacts the quality of sleep.

3.) Bedroom business. Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only. The bedroom should be an uncluttered environment that is relaxing, comfortable and conducive to sleep and relaxation. Keep work, computers and televisions out of the bedroom!

4.) Kick the caffeine habit. Research shows that caffeine interferes with getting a restful night’s sleep and waking refreshed in the morning. Avoid tea, coffee and soft drinks close to bedtime.

5.) Make the investment on a new mattress. You spend one-third of your life in bed. Be sure to invest in the best quality and most comfortable mattress you can afford to ensure a great night’s rest for a healthier, happier and more productive you.

Visit us today at Bowen Town & Country Furniture and browse our beautiful showroom. We are located at 1910 Mooney Street, right off Stratford Road near Hanes Mall. We’ll make you feel at home while you shop and you’ll like living with us.

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Lambskin Wool Designer Rugs From Auskin

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Wool Designer Rugs   Auskin Wool Skin ProductsExquisitely crafted from carefully selected sheep and lambskins, Auskin designer rugs add a touch of designer appeal to your home.

Auskin designer rugs are carefully crafted from selected shorn and unshorn New Zealand and Australian lambskins to create striking wool rugs that add texture, colour and style to contemporary homes.

Auskin selects premium quality lambskins for their density and texture to craft into a range of stunning contemporary shearling and wool designer rugs. Carefully processed to enhance their soft resilient wool pile and expertly matched and sewn by skilled craftspeople, these exquisite wool rugs bring style, colour, tactile appeal and natural beauty into your home.


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Nature’s Image…reinventing sleep

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

natures image In the world of bedding, Carolina Mattress Guild “flies below the radar.”  The company doesn’t run expensive ads in glossy shelter magazines and on network television.  Carolina Mattress Guild doesn’t have a catchy name that starts with an “S” or a colorful logo that cost millions to design and promote.
If CMG doesn’t spend money on any of the above, where DO they put their resources?  In the product, that’s where!  Mattress companies can spend money advertising or they can spend it on product development and quality control.  CMG has chosen – wisely – to do the latter
Nature’s Image is CMG’s great success story; a selection of top-quality beds with “green” construction designed to provide the best night’s sleep you can get. The Nature’s Image collection includes beds with innerspring, latex, and memory foam construction – and several that include all three.  Let’s take a look at a few of the features found on these very special sleep sets.
  • Covers are made with organic cotton or bamboo fabrics blended with silk and wool.  The organic cotton is hypoallergenic; bamboo helps regulate temperature to keep you cool and comfortable.
  • Nature’s Image beds feature natural talalay latex and/or soy-based foams to provide eco-friendly pressure relief and comfort.  The all-foam beds feature a special Air Core system to circulate air and keep you cool all night long.
  • Innerspring beds feature “pocketed coil” springs for reduced motion transfer or the Body Response System for maximum pressure relief.  TruFoam encasement gives the beds a firm, stable edge and increases the useful sleep surface up to 25%.

The list goes on and on, but the proof is in the comfort these beds provide to the sleeper.  Thanks to the wide selection available, there is a Nature’s Image bed that is just right for you.  We’ll be glad to show you the other features of these beds, but when you lie down on one all you’ll care about is how good it feels!

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Hancock and Moore – A Passion For Craftsmanship

Saturday, December 7th, 2013


Deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Hancock & Moore started with a vision to manufacture the finest quality furniture that would remain beautiful for generations. This became reality in 1981, when Hancock & Moore was founded. That vision is displayed in each piece of Hancock and Moore furniture through the skillful touch of master craftsmen like Jimmy Moore.

He grew up learning the skills of a carpenter, turning wood into artful creations. The desire to make distinctive furniture was an instilled value and the skill to make it was a gift. He spent hours carving, hand-sanding, sewing and upholstering handcrafted pieces. This, he decided, was the “ideal” way to build a unique brand of furniture. With the help of his fellow craftsmen, he transforms solid woods, soft leathers and fine fabrics into handcrafted furnishings no machine could ever match. Each piece of Hancock & Moore furniture bears the signatures of these artisans that created it. Whether it is crafting custom orders or surveying production, his skilled vision for perfection remains.

Jimmy Moore is one of the last to leave at the end of each work day, assuring that your handcrafted Hancock & Moore piece will result in furniture that you will enjoy and can be proud of for years to come. Tools_2

Visit us today at Bowen Town & Country Furniture and browse our beautiful collection of leather furniture by Hancock and Moore…some of the most exquisitely made sofas and chairs in the industry.

We are located at 1910 Mooney Street, right off Stratford Road near Hanes Mall. We’ll make you feel at home while you shop and you’ll like living with us.

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An Inside Look at American-Made Furniture

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone say “Is there ANY furniture still being made in America?”  There was a time –not too long ago – when I would have probably answered “Yes, but probably not for long.”

I’d have been wrong (a not-infrequent occurrence, according to my wife) if I had said that.  There IS furniture being made in America… and the amount being built here is going UP instead of down.  Let’s take a look at why the trend has reversed…

  • Labor costs in China have risen drastically over the last few years.  The average Chinese worker is no longer willing to work for pennies a day, and he or she prefers to work in a nice clean electronics plant with air conditioning and heat.  Higher wages, better working conditions, a drastically reduced chance of losing fingers – or worse – to a lathe or saw… who wouldn’t want to make that change?
  • Transportation costs have skyrocketed with the price of fuel.  A few years ago it cost roughly $2,200 to send a 40-foot shipping container across the Pacific… I’m told that figure has risen to $5,000 or more today.
  • Environmental issues have come into play as well.  The Chinese government has finally realized that they must take steps to clean up their air and water.  Remember when they had to close all the factories around Beijing months before the Olympics to clear the air?  Did you know that 7 of the 9 most polluted rivers in the world are in China?  The cleanup will cost billions – and those billions will come from increased prices on Chinese products.

While all this was going on, many American furniture companies – especially upholstery companies and smaller wood furniture companies – stuck to their knitting and did what they do best – produce a high-quality product that consumers can trust and use for years.  These companies hung on through thick and thin – tightening belts to survive – and they’re with us today.

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