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What sets Smith Brothers furniture apart?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

smith brothersBy BreeAnn Cook:

Even though I’ve sold furniture for years and understand quality, there were a few stand out things during the factory tour that really set Smith Brothers apart.

Fabric vendors provide fabric performance ratings to manufacturers, but Smith Brothers has found it crucial to do their own in-house testing. They do not just take the mill’s word for it, they test each fabric added to their fabric offering for abrasion and durability. They rate it one through five, and if they find the fabric has significant abrasion or piling issues, it doesn’t make the cut. This also helps the company determine which fabrics are sturdy enough for use on recliners. In addition to abrasion testing, they also test for seam slippage using a weighted wheel which is dropped on either side of a seem over and over. After five hundred times, they check to see if the fabric shows pulling at the seams. If a fabric shows slippage, then they will reinforce the seams by adding a bead of glue along the seam line.

Smith Bros. uses a pre-engineered heavy gauge spring coil unit under each seat cushion, providing independent suspension for each person on a sofa. The front edge on the unit is bent upward, except where prohibited such as curved shapes. This provides extra support and durability at the front end of the cushion, a high stress point. What I did not realize is that the entire coil unit is dipped into a protective coating to prevent squeaking over time.
Seat cushions feature a 2.5 density Qualux foam that holds its resiliency better over time, and back cushions are filled with fiber blown into chambers to reduce settling and sagging.

Smith Brothers constantly reevaluates its products and processes to make sure they are producing the best quality product for the end consumer. It may not be the most cost-effective way to do business, but their dedication has paid off. By the end of this year they will complete a large expansion that will allow them to ramp up production, including an ample staging area to streamline the shipping process. Speaking of shipping, did I mention that they deliver to our warehouse on their own trucks? These are custom built trucks with special shelving, so they never ship a sofa on end potentially damaging the arms.

Smith Brothers produces quality from start to finish. The workers take pride in making it, which makes us proud to sell it, and will make you proud to own it. Visit our Winston Salem showroom today to see and experience the difference for yourself.

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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Introducing Serendipity by Smartstuff

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

smartstuff

By: BreeAnn Cook

Our favorite kid’s furniture company has done it again. Smartstuff by Universal debuted a new collection called Serendipity at the Spring High Point furniture market and it’s one of their most versatile groups yet. Made with wire brushed, quartered oak veneer and select hardwood solids in an alabaster finish, it mixes well with other wood tones or even gray tones. The lines are clean and simple, with classic detailing, so, although it’s part of the children’s furniture offerings, it is also well suited for adults in a guest bedroom or master bedroom. For that reason, Universal decided to expand bed offerings, typically available in twin or full size only, to include queen size. There are two different bed styles; the panel bed with hidden reading light, and a unique upholstered bed with a broken pediment design. The panel bed also features high/low rail positioning to accommodate a trundle, which can be used for extra sleeping space or storage. The nightstand is well proportioned, with cool features like a built-in night light and power outlet for charging. Case goods are well built with English dovetail construction, soft, self-closing full extension metal drawer glides and a great safety feature called the smart stop drawer system that prevents more than one drawer opening at a time. For additional safety, all dressers and chest will come with an anti-tip device to be secured to the wall.

Specialty case good pieces add distinct personality like the cheval mirror and narrow drawer chest both with hidden jewelry storage, and the new fifty-six-inch dresser which is ideal for rooms with limited space. Since most of us use laptops and tablets, Universal also scaled back the desk to a more open writing desk style. This is furniture that can grow with your child and transition from teen to adulthood without going out of style. We hope that you will visit our Winston-Salem showroom to see the collection yourself and experience the individual features that make it fun to own and use. Can’t wait? Start shopping HERE.

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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Staff Pick Series: Holly’s Pick

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

bowen furnitureWe see furniture day in and day out. We’ve seen styles come and go, and then come around again in a new way. With all that change, it can be challenging to pick a favorite, but we do tend to have pieces that we fancy more than others. We thought it would be fun to share each of our staff’s favorite picks and why.

Holly’s Employee pick…

If you’ve had the opportunity to meet our newest team member, Holly, then you know she has a vivacious personality. So, it comes as no surprise that her employee pick is a chair that truly allows her to express her individual taste. The Bradstreet chair by C.R.Laine has classic appeal, that can take on a bold twist when upholstered in one of the many fashion forward fabric options in the line.

Pair that with any custom matched Benjamin Moore paint color of your choice, and finish the look with custom trim options like nail-head, contrast fabric or decorative banding, for a look that is uniquely you. Not only does the Bradstreet chair make a killer style statement, it’s also incredibly comfortable. What’s not to love? Check it out HERE, or visit our showroom to see the fabric selections.

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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Leather

Monday, September 11th, 2017

By: BreeAnn Cook

Leather can be a beautiful and durable option for your home, but it’s important to know which the best choice for your lifestyle is. Here are few leather definitions that will help you make the right selection:

Aniline refers to leather that has been dyed all the way through with a transparent dye. Only the highest quality leathers are used for this process
because natural markings will show through the transparent dye. The natural softness of the leather is preserved but it is more susceptible to staining or soiling, so it is a good choice for furniture that will have light to moderate use.

Semi Aniline is an aniline dyed leather that has an added top coat of pigment creating more uniform color and protection . This type of leather is a good option for upholstery that will be used regularly.

Pigmented (protected) leather is first buffed to a uniform surface and then coated with pigment to create uniform color. This provides durability and
hides natural blemishes, making it more resistant to staining and fading, and thus lower maintenance. Consider protected leather for heavily used
upholstery.

Grain is a term used to describe the wrinkles, markings, texture, and other natural characteristics of a hide.

Top Grain is the outermost layer of a hide and is the most durable.

Full Grain is that leather that has not been altered other than the removal of hair. It is the most genuine type of leather, and retains its original texture
and markings.

Corrected Grain leather has been buffed to remove blemishes then covered with a new, artificial grain created using pigments and other finishes.

Split leather is made of the lower layer of hide that has been “split” away from the upper grain. It is more fragile than full grain leather and is often
used for suede.

Suede is split leather that has been buffed and brushed to create a fuzzy surface feel.

Nubuck is leather that has been buffed and brushed to create a soft, velvety effect. It is created from the out grain of the hide, unlike suede which is
created from the inner side of the hide, making it stronger and more durable.

The most important factor when shopping for leather furniture is the intended use. Be sure to consider how you will live in the furniture, and
select a leather type appropriate to that use. Unprotected leather can feel luxurious and exude natural beauty, but its not the best choice for an active
family or pets. To learn more about leather options or to see our selection, visit our showroom today.

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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Labor Day Savings Event

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

smith brothersBy BreeAnn Cook:

Do you ever wonder when is the best time to buy furniture? Manufacturers typically offer promotions throughout the year, and every furniture store will have their own sales as well, but, as a general rule, Labor Day is a great time to save. With kids heading back to school, and minds shifting to the approaching holiday season, people are preparing their homes for all those guests. Furniture manufacturers know this and strive to entice you with additional savings. Here’s a list of our upcoming Labor Day Savings to help you find exactly what you need:

Hancock & Moore– 5% off Upholstery. We love them for their top quality leather and exquisite detailing. Aug.1 st – Sept. 5th

Tempur-Pedic– Save up to $500 on select adjustable mattress sets. If your looking for a great night’s sleep, you owe it to yourself to try a Tempur-Pedic. Aug. 21 st –Sept. 17th

Stressless– Receive up to $1500 toward the purchase of Stressless seating or accessories, or Save $500 on any Stressless Signature Base recliner and
ottoman or LegComfort Recliner. Check out the latest and greatest from the innovators of comfort. You will love the gentle rocking motion of the
signature base.

IMG– 5% off all relaxers, wall savers, and home theater seating. They swivel, glide, recline, and best of all, they are compact, so they work well is
small spaces.

Smith Brothers– 10% off upholstery. Quality upholstery is made with quality components, and Smith Brothers prides themselves on using the best
materials. We’d love to show what sets them apart.

Bradington Young– 10% off all luxury motion products. Bradington Young has you covered when it comes to reclining sectionals, sofas, or
chairs. Available in fabric or leather, power or manual, they’ve got the options you need.

Universal – Back to School Savings 10% off Smartstuff (Aug. 25 th -Sept. 4th ). Labor Day sale on Paula Deen Home (Sept. 1st – 12th ) Smartstuff is our go to source for kid’s furniture, with “Smart” features.

C.R.Laine – Save an additional 10% off upholstery (does not include MatchMaker). If you’re looking for a well tailored sofa with designer
details, look no further than C.R.Laine. They offer several customizations options that allow you furniture to stand out from all the rest. (Aug. 30th
–Sept. 6th ).

Kincaid – 10% off

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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The bed that goes great with anything….

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

By: BreeAnn Cook

When it comes to flexibility, nothing gives you more options than a metal bed. They come in a variety of styles and finishes, making them complimentary to all design aesthetics, and best of all, they can be mixed with any wood finish, no “matching” required. With over 40 years of experience, Wesley Allen, a Los Angeles based manufacturer, has perfected the metal bed. Here’s what sets them apart:

–  Over 30 multi-layered hand applied finishes to choose from, so you’ll find a color you love.

– High end fabric options for upholstered headboards, including Sunbrella fabrics.

– Configuration options like complete beds, headboard only, headboard with surround, canopy beds, day beds and beds with return posts.

– Unibody Construction that yields uncompromising strength.

– Powerbond finish for superior durability, that doesn’t chip or flake easily.

– Patented Millenium Frames made of high gauge steel for superior mattress support; it’s strongest in the industry.

– Hand poured decorative castings over welded iron creates a solid, one piece bed.

– Lifetime warranty, so you can purchase with confidence.

Whether you’re mixing with family heirlooms, or just want to add a bold statement to your master bedroom, metal beds are a great solution. Shop our selection of Wesley Allen beds, or visit our showroom today.

Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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The Rocking chair…a Southern staple with health benefits.

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

troutman chairsBy BreeAnn Cook

The front porch rocker is practically a Southern icon and is synonymous with a laid back lifestyle. From birth, we are familiarized with that soothing, rocking motion that seems to melt your cares away, but could there be more benefits than just relaxation? Various studies suggest that simply rocking in a rocking chair can have real health benefits. Late 90’s research at the University of Rochester showed that dementia and Alzheimer patients improved balance, strength and mood from rocking about 20 minutes three times a day. It resulted in happier patients with less anxiety. A teacher in Washington State discovered that his students with ADHD/ADD were able to stay more focused and on task when rocking in a chair, resulting in improved grades.

Rocking therapy has also increased recovery time and reduced the amount of pain medication needed for abdominal surgery patients and women who had C-sections. Of course, mothers instinctively rock their newborns as a means to calm them; therefore, rocking chairs have become common  fixtures in most maternity wards. Rocking not only soothes both mom and baby post birth, but can help relax the mother and reduce pain during labor. Rocking has been used to help with back pain for years, perhaps most notably by President John F. Kennedy. The gentle rocking motion relaxes and stretches the back muscles and it’s been reported that Kennedy had over a dozen rocking chairs, one everywhere he went, included his oval office and Air Force One. The “Carolina Rocker” then made by P& P Chairs became known as the “Kennedy Rocker” and can still be purchased today from Troutman Chair Co., who purchased P&P Chairs in 2008.

We are proud to carry Troutman Chair Co. rockers, made right here in North Carolina. Their superior comfort and construction earned them the title of “World’s Best Rocker”. They feature an arched back rail for shoulder comfort, and steam bent back slats for lumbar support. The seat is sloped in
two directions for extra comfort and the front of the seat is rounded down so as not to restrict circulation. They also use stair stepped side rungs to create just the right pitch for ease of rocking.

To learn more about the health benefits of rocking chairs and the information shared in this post, visit www.rockingchairtherapy.org. To try rocking chair therapy for yourself, visit our showroom today.

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Cool new finds from the High Point Furniture Market

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

By BreeAnn Cook

The High Point Furniture Market is the showplace for manufacturers to debut their latest and greatest in new products. Since technology has become an integral part of our lives, manufacturers seek new ways to impress us with their tech tools. Let’s talk about some of the hot new features.

Southern Motion introduced us to the articulating headrest that provides perfect neck support while optimizing the television viewing angle. They also gave us full power recliners and a built in USB port for charging our devices while we relax. Now, they are offering an app that controls your recliner. What???? Well since you already have your cell phone handy, why not use it to recline your chair. The app also allows you to set your favorite chair position with memory settings.

If you own an IMG Comfort Relaxer, you already know that they are extremely comfortable. They swivel, glide, recline and have an adjustable headrest, all without taking up much space. They are also available in both power and manual models. Now, IMG has added a power headrest and power lumbar support option. So, instead of a single motor to recline the relaxer, there are now three motors, one for each function. This option is currently available on the Chelsea model only, but should be available on more models soon.

You may remember our blog post a few months ago on the health benefits of a standing desk. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Now, you can have a desk that adjusts to your desired height at the touch of a button. Gat Creek introduced the Sullivan lift desk that transitions from a seated height to standing height with ease. It can move from a minimum 28” height to a maximum 47” height, and can carry up to 165 pounds of office equipment. It also features programmable memory buttons allowing you to adjust to four different height preferences. It comes in two lengths, 48” and 60”, and is available in a variety of finishes on Ash, Cherry or Maple. Watch their video here.

These are just a few on the new introductions that you can expect to see on our showroom floor in a few months. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, so you can be one of the first to know when the new products arrive! Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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The Art of Upholstery…a labor of love.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

By BreeAnn Cook

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the C.R.Laine upholstery manufacturing plant in Hickory, North Carolina. I’ve sold furniture for years and I’m familiar with quality construction, but what I saw and learned during my visit had me asking “How can they sell it for so little?”

The entire experience was a complete delight. I joined a group of other designers and retailers from across the US to get an inside look at what makes C.R.Laine different. It is amazing the time and effort that goes into a single piece of furniture. The tour began in product development and planning, where conceptual drawings are created using a CAD program. The drawings are tweaked and optimized before being sent to pattern development, where patterns are created based on the drawings. The patterns are used to cut out the individual components of a piece of upholstery, such as an arm panel, a back panel or seat cushion. Each piece requires a pattern. Before cutting, the pattern must be laid out on the fabric to determine print placement. Once fabric layout is determined, it proceeds to cutting. During this time, the frame is also being prepared for upholstery. It starts with frame assembly, then moves on to finishing. After the frame is finished (stained or painted), the springs, webbing, and other support components are added. Back on the other side of the plant, the fabric cutting is complete, and the process has moved on to sewing. Each cushion and pillow casing is sewn, adding the welts, decorative trims and zippers. Now the fabric and frame come together in the upholstery department, where skilled artisans have spent years cultivating their craft. It was evident that this is not something one just picks up over night. It takes time to learn how to fold and tuck the fabric in such a way that it “flattering” to the piece. One must pay careful attention to make certain that the fabric is applied symmetrically, not pulled too tightly, so as to skew the pattern. Tufting is particularly challenging, and we learned that a single tufted ottoman can take two hours or more just to tuft properly. This doesn’t include the time spent in framing, sewing, finishing, etc… Once a piece is complete, it’s inspected for quality workmanship, and if approved, moves on steaming/pressing, then packing and shipping. The average piece of furniture leaving the C.R.Laine factory has been touched by at least seven, most likely more, individuals who take great pride in the products they produce. Every piece has a tag that reads “We are proud to put our signature on the work that we have crafted for you” and it is signed by each worker that helped create that piece of furniture along the way.

During the short two days spent with C.R.Laine team, I witnessed such passion. They were excited about their products, their leathers, their fabrics and their devotion to quality. They could make cheaper; they could use less foam, less springs and support, lower quality materials, and inferior construction methods, but they choose not to. That is what makes C.R.Laine different.

We are proud to carry their quality products, and we know that you will be proud to own it. Visit our showroom today to see it and try it for yourself. Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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Furniture built like it used to be…

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

smith brothersBy: BreeAnn Cook

“They just don’t make furniture like they used to.” It’s a phrase we hear too often, and in some cases it’s true. In an effort to stay competitive with the ever changing marketplace, some upholstery manufacturers have opted to value engineer their products; meaning they have reduced the cost to produce my reducing the quality of materials used. In the small town of Berne, Indiana, a company called Smith Brothers Furniture has made it their mission to produce heirloom quality upholstery using only top grade materials.

There are three key quality features that make Smith Brothers product different. First, each frame is made of kiln dried, solid maple wood. The wood is kiln dried to remove moisture, making the wood more stable and less likely to split or crack over time. Then the frames are double doweled, corner blocked and screwed in the assembly process to strengthen the joint and ensure longevity. Secondly, they utilize a superior spring system. A machine tied coil spring system is affixed to the wooden frame with a helical suspension system, similar to those used in the automotive industry. The machine tied coil system is liken to eight way hand tied in that the coils are linked together to provide better support. The only difference is that instead of being tied by hand, which allows for human error, it is tied by machine. Each seat has its own coil unit, allowing for independent suspension and individual comfort. As a result, when sitting on the sofa, you will not fall into your neighbor. Thirdly, they use a better cushion core. Industry standard is 1.8 density foam, but Smith Brothers uses a 2.5 density foam because it offers better support, and breaks down less over time. To prove their dedication to quality and craftsmanship, they back all their products with a lifetime warranty on the frame, springs and cushions.

Beyond the framework of the sofa, Smith Brothers also flow matches all patterns, so that pattern motif will match from back, to seat, to the front of a piece and even across the arms. They even feature self decking, which has long been abandoned by other manufacturers to cut fabric cost. Remember your grandmother told you to lift the cushion to see if the fabric was the same underneath? “That’s how you can tell quality furniture” she said. Well, it’s definitely quality like your grandmother’s sofa, but with 1000 fabric choices, and 100 leather choices, it doesn’t have to look like hers.

Visit our showroom today to learn more or check out the selection on our website. .Questions? Give us a call, or email us for more information at 336-765-1360, info@bowenfurniture.com.

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