Hooker Furniture Offers New Collections

Hooker Furniture is a third-generation company and one of the few furniture firms today that is still led by a member of the founding family. Opening in the heart of furniture country in Martinsville, Virginia in 1924, Hooker Furniture has been making stylish, beautiful, well-made furniture which has propelled the company to become one of the nation's premier importers and manufacturers of furniture. Today, Hooker Furniture is a complete home furnishings resource that offers one of the greatest selections of quality home entertainment, home office, accent, dining and bedroom furniture, as well as leather and custom seating.
Never content on resting on their laurels, Hooker Furniture is consistently offering new and exciting collections based on the latest design trends. From the contemporary to the eclectic, these two great new collections from Hooker Furniture offer you two very different styles and is offered to you at great prices at Carolina Rustica.

Felton Collection


The new Felton Collection by Hooker Furniture brings a softer, warmer life to the contemporary style by blending soft shapes with strong vertical design elements, concave case fronts, chrome hardware and a warm finish on walnut veneers.
These contrasting motifs come together harmoniously to create the unique design of the Felton collection of bedroom, dining, home office and entertainment furniture. Chrome hardware in a circle-within-a-square shape and concave cases are signature elements for Felton, which may be the most contemporary collection in Hooker Furniture's recent history. Chrome hardware in a circle-within-a-square shape and concave cases are signature design elements for Felton. Sophisticated but down-to-earth, Felton promises quality, comfort and style to welcome you home time and again.

Mélange Accents Inspire Owners to Be Creative


Transcend time and trends with one-of-a-kind furnishings. Unexpected pieces in unexpected places tell a personal story. Come closer to Mélange, and you will discover something unexpected, something far more than a 40-piece accent furniture collection. An eclectic blending of colors, textures and materials in a vibrant collection of one-of-a-kind artistic pieces, Mélange is meant to inspire you and fuel an experience of self-discovery. Mélange is a collection of artistic pieces, each with its own story. The product mix centers on three specific design themes:
  • Modern/Classic - Refined, Sophisticated and Sleek
  • Pretty/Feminine – Elegant, Graceful and Charming
  • Eclectic/ Multicultural – Dramatic, Whimsical and Bold.
The themes provide a venue of expression meant to help the shopper identify and define their own individual style. While each piece stands on its own independently and clearly represents one of the distinct design themes, all the pieces have the capacity to mix seamlessly together for a shopping experience to delight the senses, intrigue the mind and touch the heart.

Wood Furniture Construction Basics by Stanley Furniture

Every once in awhile, we find some great advice or nugget of information from our suppliers that we like to share.  Here is some great basic information from our friends at Stanley Furniture, regarding wood furniture construction.   We have found that, while these terms are thrown around a lot by salespeople, there is an assumption that we all understand what the terms actually mean.   Stanley explains it all with some helpful diagrams, and of course, you can find all of this information on their website

From Stanley Furniture:

Construction: Since wood is sensitive to heat and humidity, floating joints must allow for expansion and contraction. For the same reason, all joints are not only glued but are held by glue and nail.


Floating joint systems allow wood to expand and contract with humidity. All joints are glued and nailed.
Mortise and Tenon
Two pieces of wood are joined at right angles. One is a rail and another is a post, or solid end panel. Rail ends are prepared on a tenoner, or cut to fit a socket, usually square, that has been cut into the post or panel. The joint is glued.

Dovetail joints tightly interlock, creating a sturdy connection. Woods with minimal expansion characteristics generally are used for dovetail joints.
Used frequently on bonded case and tabletops, miter joints connect pieces of wood with glue, reinforced by hidden wood or metal wedges, or by wood dowels.

This joint performs a function similar to the mortise and tenon. It uses a wood or composition peg that fits into borings to join the two pieces of wood.

Tongue and Groove
The joint is so deftly constructed that it is barely noticed by the untrained eye. These are generally used as corner blocks for chair seat frames.

Solid versus Veneer

The term “solid” as used in the furniture industry may be confusing because both types of processes - solid and veneered - are of solid wood construction.
Solid Wood Furniture
describes furniture with drawer fronts, tops, panels and other like surfaces made of whole wood, or of one piece, without plies of veneer.
  • Composed of narrow solid wood planks, bonded permanently together, side by side. These planks serve to prevent splitting and warping when temperatures change and when the wood naturally expands and contracts. They also provide decorative variation.
Veneered Wood Furniture
layers of woods are permanently bonded to a center core on a solid wood frame.
  • Veneering permits matching and repeating grain patterns that are impossible in solid lumber.
  • Veneering is used in about 80 percent of wood furniture, from the least to the most expensive, because of its strength and added versatility.

Stanley Furniture Craftsmanship

Here are some of the hallmarks of Stanley Furniture craftsmanship:
  • Mortise and tenon joints
  • Heavy-duty center drawer guides
  • Drawers dovetailed front and back
  • Durable dust panels between drawers
  • Durable drawer bottoms held rigidly in grooves
  • Strong case backs recessed into end
  • Well mounted top and sides

We are excited about carrying Stanley Furniture!  Give us a call at 704-788-3952 or visit our two showrooms here in Concord and we will be happy to show you the diverse collections and styles from this outstanding manufacturer.

Home Essentials for Keeping Order in Child-Filled Chaos

You've lived your life in a state of child-free cleanliness for much of your life. You knew the day would eventually come when a miniature, DNA-mixed version of yourself, and your significant other, would enter this world and set your life into disorder. It may seem like a home strewn with toys, clothes, partially ingested food and mud is the inevitable outcome of life as a parent - but it doesn't have to be that way. Here are a few home essentials for any modern parent looking to keep their home from descending into child-filled chaos - while still keeping the child(ren).

1) Toy chest. A plastic, rectangular savior for any home with a plethora of toys and not much space to keep them all. Place a toy chest in the designated play area (you've got one of those, right?) and sternly encourage your little monsters to return their used toys to the bin when finished. The beauty of the toy chest, beyond keeping your home organized and strewn-toy free, is that these simple boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, not just florescent blues and reds with princesses and mutated turtles on the side. Plenty of toy chests don't look like toy chests, which is perfect for those looking to maintain a certain decor. A perfect example of this is like the full width pull out drawer incorporated into the bunk bed at the right. That's a lot of storage!

2) Bunk beds. You've successfully raised your children to the age where they can finally manage to sleep in a room, and bed, of their own. The downside? You've only got one room for them. What may look like a design and space nightmare, has a quite simple solution. Today's modern bunk doesn't carry the same sort of "awww, mom" stigma that they one did. There are fun, modern, and most important of all, space saving, bunk beds for all room sizes and budgets. It will buy you some time to figure out a solution for when they are teenagers, knocking down your door for their own room.

3) White board organizer. This is a popular trend for modern parents today - and for good reason. Teaching your children the importance of staying organized with not just their possessions, but with their time, can't be stressed early enough. A white board where the day's activities, meals, etc. are spelled out in a way that children can understand will go a long way toward minimizing surprises (and surprise tantrums). Let the children have some input in areas you feel they are ready, slowly giving them experience in planning out their own lives. Size and location of the white board is up to you, but a central location is key, making the board an important part of the home.

Color Your Home

If you have just moved into a new home that's in dire need of some TLC, why not redecorate?
Ok, let's wait until you have unpacked all of the boxes from the removalist shall we? That way you will have a clean canvas to work on. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't start thinking about how you want to redecorate.

For those who don't have a designer's bone in their body, redecorating might seem like a difficult task, but it really isn't. Why not start by injecting a little bit of color into your home? It's a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

Having a good color scheme throughout the house which reflects your personal style and taste is extremely important. Don't limit yourself to colorful cushions, artworks and other accessories, pick up a paintbrush and be brave. Feature walls are a great way to add a little pop to an otherwise dull room. But be careful, just because you like the color on the swab at the hardware store, doesn't mean it is the best color for the room. Keep in mind that dark colours usually work better in large rooms which attract natural light; while, light colours will create the illusion of space and bring light to a dark room.

Let's take a look at how to decorate with some of the more popular color schemes.

Pulaski Accents-ChestDespite being extremely popular, yellow can be quite difficult to use. It is easily influenced by light and can easily appear brighter or less intense depending on the amount and intensity of light entering the room. The best way to test out this color in your room is to buy a sample tin of paint in the yellow shade you intend to decorate with. Regardless of if you plan to paint the walls yellow or just opt for yellow accessories like pillows, lamps or even a chest like this oval Pulaski Accent Chest, this will give you a good idea of whether this color will suit your room.

Meyda Tiffany Calla Lily WindowPink is an extremely versatile color. Yes that's right, it's not just reserved for girly girls. There are so many variations of pink, with shades ranging from blush to coral or raspberry to fuchsia. No matter what shade you decide on, this color will have a powerful calming and relaxing quality on your home.

Thayer Coggin Design Classic Swivel Tub ChairBelieve it or not, orange is a popular choice because it succeeds in adding vibrancy to tired or dark rooms. Having said that, decorating with orange isn't always easy. Because it is a bold and sunny color you should use it sparingly. A couple of ways to do this is to;
  • Use orange accessories throughout your room – think lamps, pillows, vases and picture frames.
  • Incorporate it into your fabrics – a single side chair, window treatment or small upholstered piece in orange can look extremely effective.
  • If you are brave enough to paint your walls a shade of orange, make sure you temper the room with simple and calming accessories and furniture.
Redecorating can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. Introducing a few key pieces of furniture and some well placed accessories in a groovy new color might be all you need to revitalize your home. However you decide to go about redecorating, make sure that you take out contents insurance to cover your new purchases. If you already have contents insurance, you are in luck – all you need to do is update your policy.

New Designs & New Finishes From Our Favorite Manufacturer!

Any of our customers familiar with Carolina Rustica know we have a deep affinity for Charleston Forge, our premier supplier of hand-forged wrought iron furniture.   Crafted just 2 hours up the road from us in Boone, North Carolina, Charleston Forge has a storied history of crafstmanship that is now rare in the country.  Started by Art and Susan Barber a few short decades ago, Charleston Forge has become the industry lead as far as fashion-forward designs crafted from iron and wood.   We are proud to represent them in our gallery and on our website.   We pick up at their facility once a week for both our store and our online customers, and deliver direct via white-glove delivery nationwide.

This information is direct from Charleston Forge's own website, www.CharlestonForge.com: 

Charleston Forge is excited to be introducing Driftwood, a new finish recently added to our already extensive line of wood finishes.

The finish replicates the almost colorless, sun- and salt-bleached look of wood found washed up on the seashore. It was specifically developed to be used on distressed oak tabletops in order to further capture the nature of driftwood. In fact, unlike most of the company’s other finishes, Driftwood is only available on oak because the density, texture and grain of the wood works best with the finish’s very subtle coloring.

“When we come up with a new stain or finish we start off with an idea of what we want to get to in the end,” says Art Barber, CEO and co-founder of the company. “And then we figure out what we need to do to get there.”

The wood top itself is carefully prepared in order to further the feel of an actual piece of driftwood. Pockmarked, hand-planed and showing various irregularities, the tops embody a sense of age and weathering.

“Imagine a piece of driftwood down on the shore,” says Barber. “It’s bleached, it’s not perfect, it’s been banged around, it’s got holes in it.

Shown at right is the new Heritage Table, which is a modification of the popular Charleston Forge Legacy Dining Table,  The opposing curved legs add a dramatic element to the piece, and the Heritage Table is new with pull drawers and hand-forged hardware.   This is part of the 2011 new introduction collection, which we will be posting to our website this week (October 10).   We love the direction Charleston Forge is going, concentrating on the high-end design-oriented market, and making these outstanding products available in finishes that are so in demand.   This Driftwood finish is a great example...although it is seen at many high-end furniture lines, only Charleston Forge has really interpreted it with forged iron, providing a compelling contrast to the gentle finish.   Please call us at 800-205-7819 if you have any questions about ordering this product.

Simple but Fun Ways to Decorate Your Home

Wouldn’t it be great if, among your friends, your home was the one everyone loved to visit the most? Everybody has that one friend whose home is always pristine and beautiful, and we visit and we ooh and ahhh and wonder how on earth we can make our boring, uninspired home into something more welcoming and creative. Here are some tips to do this that won’t break the bank or require you to do some major redecorating.

1.      Provide inspiration in the kitchen with word magnets.
We all have fridges, and they aren’t typically the most exciting looking feature in the home. One way to remedy this is with magnetic poetry: you’ve probably seen these kits around, or you have friends who already have these on their fridge. They can be a lot of fun, especially if there has been some drinking involved. Take it to the next step though: make creative use of printing services and get your own personalized poetry or phrases made up. Favorite quotes you like, friends and family’s names, and funny anecdotes can all be immortalized and add a cute, personal touch that visitors will remember your home for.

2.      Wacky plants
Shake things up and create a great conversation starter by getting a wacky plant. Everyone goes for roses and lilies and, beautiful as they are and a nice touch they may be, your place will be the one remembered for the venus fly trap (functional as well!) or that crazy cactus. As an added bonus, observing your plant before and after watering is a great way to relax the mind. If you don’t have a green thumb, artificial plants have come a long way over the years and now look just like the real thing.

3.      Go visit your local arts and craft markets.
There are heaps of vendors and creative individuals out there who are making quality and original handmade goods. Not only will you get to have hours of fun looking at and buying unique gifts and decor for a decent price, you will most like also be the only one you know who has it! Maybe it’s something as simple as a cushion with a mustache sewn on the front. Maybe it’s a nice wooden chopping board with an unexpected image engraved into it, or it’s a super cute clock that doesn’t look like a clock at all.

4.      Surf the internet for cool, stylish prints.
You don’t need to spend $300 a piece on paintings or artworks to liven up those bare lounge walls. There are so many websites and blogs out there now that have a large selection of nice photography, inspirational quotes or interesting illustrations. It usually doesn’t take too much detective work to find out where to purchase it. You can always try and contact the author of the blog or page if you get really stuck, or look into printing something similar yourself.

5.      Visit your nearest secondhand store.
You never know what you might find: pick up some vintage plates and teacups to add character to your next dinner party or Sunday brunch. Maybe you’ll find an old dress you can cut up and use to cover your chairs or cushions. Make a day of it and go with your friends on a “Secondhand store only” shopping trip: it can be a really amusing, surprising and fun way to spend a free afternoon.

To our Friends "In The Trade": Saving Your Order with White Glove Delivery Service

About 20% of our business is direct to the interior design community, or "To the Trade" as we say.  Here is a special guest post that discusses some of the challenges that the design community faces when ordering on behalf of customers.  This is written with the designer perspective in mind.

Saving Your Order with White Glove Delivery Service
How many of you have had this experience? You've done all the legwork, spent hours with your client, and finally you agree on a large furniture order. A few weeks later, the item is ready to ship, and off it goes via the manufacturer's preferred carrier.

Three days later, the dreaded phone call. Your client is hysterical, the furniture has a chip/scratch/broken leg, but she has signed off on it, and you are stuck with the piece. Oh yes, and you must re-order all over again!

It can turn out to be a nightmare scenario, especially if the client loses patience and goodwill, which reflects back on you. Here at Carolina Rustica, we ship all over the country, and if something can possibly go wrong, we have probably experienced it before. As our business has evolved into more high-end home furnishings, we have slowly made the move from common carriers to white-glove delivery services. We have found that this service has saved more than a few orders, and as our partnerships develop, we find our trucking partners increasingly anticipate our needs before the furniture is ultimately delivered.

As a designer, chances are you will not need these services on a daily basis to the extent that we do. However, even occasional use of white glove carriers can save you headaches. Common carriers absolutely have their place in our industry, for inside, residential "white glove" service, its best to go with the specialists. Here is what they should do for you:

1. Pick up furniture from the manufacturer
2. Unbox and inspect furniture
3. Call your client (or you) to set up a reasonable delivery date (usually within two weeks, if it is a local delivery)
4. Inspect the furniture on the truck prior to delivery
5. Bring the furniture inside and set it up.
6. If needed, they should store the furniture for up to a month (this may be negotiable)

Wow, that looks like a lot of service, doesn't it? These should be par for the course, though, with an established white-glove delivery service.

There are many white-glove carriers to choose from, and it is your responsibility to ask all the relevant questions. Whomever you consider, they should be able to refer you to other designer customers or high-end retailer like Carolina Rustica. Remember that if you work with us, we take all of these delivery headaches away from you and assume responsiblity for safe delivery of your order from start to finish! Visit us a www.carolinarustica.com.

3 Popular Interior Design Styles From Around the World

When looking at designing the interior to your house or just a single room it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin. You have to think of what colour to paint the walls, what kind of flooring to use (do you use carpet or tiles in the living room?) and what kind of furnishings to buy.  Often choosing a particular interior style or theme can help you make such design decisions.

But which style to choose?

These days there is an array of different styles, ranging from traditional style, to country style, or to the psychedelic style of the 60s and 70s. So, to help anyone thinking about interior design, the current 3 most popular interior designs, inspired by different parts of the world, shall be outlined below.

Tropical Island Interior Themes

Many people these days want their home to look and feel like they are on a constant vacation on a tropical sunset island.

With tropical influenced interiors, wall colours are usually a contrast of sandy beiges and soft brown tones to create the effects of a beach environment, with hues of green (for foliage) and blue (for the ocean). You essentially want to create light and airy feelings with a sense of warmth.

Wood or tiled floors (with natural fibre rugs) are the best kinds of flooring to use, as they look really great in a tropical interior.

When it comes to furniture, anything that is wicker, rattan or bamboo suits the tropical theme. Combined with bright sunny coloured pillows and bedspreads can add a real tropical island warmth to the place.

Other accessories can include:

  • tropical indoor plants
  • bamboo or wooden blinds
  • wooden carvings
  • shells
Tuscan Interior Themes

The look of the “old world” still enchants many.  If you want to create an atmosphere of Italy’s lush fields and vineyards, then the Tuscan style is perfect.

When painting the walls use olive greens, yellows and wine hues – you want a combination of natural and warm colours. If you are going to use a paint finish, go for a look that creates the impression of stucco or venetian plaster. This will add a feeling of authenticity to your Tuscan theme.

When considering flooring materials, use hardwood and stone tile covered floors. These do really well in establishing that Italian country feeling.

As for furnishings, choose chairs, bed frames and lighting fixtures that are either wrought iron or scrolled metal looking. This will contribute to the rustic appearance and feeling of Tuscany.

Other accessories can include:

  • fruit displays
  • Italian styled urns or vases
  • Hanging wall tapestries
  • anything that harks back to the old world

Asian Interior Designed Themes

Asian inspired interior designs embody the rich tones of China and Japan and can inspire Chinese opulence or Japanese minimalism.

When it comes to the colours used in you oriental styled rooms, if you are going for Japanese minimalism, use soft whites and parchment colours or mellow greys and stone colours. As the Chinese style is more graphic, it’s good to go for ruby and gold colours or sapphire and emerald colours.

With flooring, wooden floorboards are conventionally used, however, many designers are also opting for ceramic and stone tiling. Asian styled rugs also add a nice finish.

Furniture made out of wood or bamboo is a good choice to creating an oriental atmosphere.

Other accessories can include:

  • blue and white porcelain jars
  • Red vases
  • roll up blinds
  • oriental decorative objects i.e. statues, fans etc.

Expansion at Carolina Rustica Now Has an Official Date!

We've been teasing you for several months now that we were expanding and now we have an official date, Saturday, October 8th. Carolina Rustica in Concord, North Carolina, officially announces to add an additional 5,000 sf of retail showroom space at its Gibson Mill location.
Carolina Rustica grew 50% in business over the past two years. The expansion will allow the store to carry new manufacturers of furniture and lighting and have more space to showcase their existing product lines.
“We are excited about this opportunity to show more high end home furnishing and lighting from other manufacturing partners. With furniture stores closing elsewhere, customers are making longer drives to visit Carolina Rustica. Our expanded showroom will make their drive worthwhile,” said company president Richard Sexton.
Carolina Rustica has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a platinum member of the Interior Design Society. Over the past 11 years, the furniture and lighting store has been known for offering an honest and positive selling experience to their clients.
“We believe in brick-and-mortar retail and are delighted to expand our current showroom to offer more choices to the consumer,” said Sexton.
The expansion will also give Carolina Rustica the opportunity to team up with the owners of the historic Gibson Mill as they expand their flagship location. The expanded space will also give partnering manufacturers more room to showcase, in an economy where many furniture manufacturers are struggling.
“Retail has not exactly enjoyed growth the last few years, especially in our industry. Our valued manufacturing partners will have a greater floor presence with our new expansion, something they have seen less of in this economy,” said Sexton.
The expansion will occur later this month, giving Carolina Rustica over 10,000 square-feet of showroom space.

If you are local to our showroom and would like to be invited to our Furniture Showroom Expansion Event on Oct 8, please send us an email with your mailing address and we will send you an invitation.
Join us as we celebrate the opening of our second furniture gallery at our Gibson Mill location. There will be give-aways throughout the day, along with demonstrations of North Carolina furniture making from some our our valued manfacturers. We are also honored to announce special appearances by Congressman Larry Kissell (NC-08) and our own Mayor of Concord, Scott Padgett. Additionally, we will have a strong designer presence from our own staff and the local chapter of the Interior Design Society (IDS), a great opportunity to get your burning design question answered!
Enjoy refreshment and lots of coffee while you browse our two showrooms. Gallery 1 features the fine brand names we have become known for, such as Century Furniture, Hickory White, Bernhardt, Lexington and Habersham. Gallery 2 will highlight many of our best-selling upholstery and furniture lines such as Hooker, Stanley, Bradington-Young, Schnadig and many many more.

Best Flooring Options for New Commercial Building Projects

Commercial builders, interior designers, building project management and developers are invariably faced with one basic design issue when it comes to commercial buildings- commercial flooring. Whatever the building, and whatever the type of occupiers, these extremely large spaces have to be functional and cost effective for building managers. Office buildings need people-friendly flooring in offices for a good workplace environment and health reasons. Retailers and hospitality industry buildings need top quality presentation and décor as well as these factors.

Core business issues- Functionality

The new best practice flooring option for these spaces is carpet. Not just any carpet, but modular carpeting. This is a new type of commercial flooring, designed to provide a range of cost benefits for building operators, and it’s also actually a new type of carpet. It’s far superior to hard surface flooring, which can be an extremely expensive option in terms of maintenance and it’s also the low-maintenance option for budget purposes.

These carpets are very heavy duty flooring. They’re tough, long-life products. They’re also easily customizable, with a huge selection of designs and textures to choose from. Unlike broadloom carpet, the new carpets don’t use underlay. This carpet is actually made of carpet tiles, each with their own backing and glued, not stitched to be seamless, increasing the strength of the carpeting and eliminating weak structural points.

Design issues- Finding the right combinations

The other big issue is design. In any commercial building, there will be as many designs as there are occupants and types of business. It’s not uncommon to find that interior design is a primary selling point to tenants. Restaurant interior design, for example, is a primary issue for restaurant managers. Office design can be an issue for high value corporate tenants. Leases may or may not allow tenants to create their own interiors, but best practice for building managers is to set and enforce standards.

For property development purposes, the issues are much more straightforward- Top quality flooring isn’t an “optional extra” in commercial buildings. It’s best practice. Good quality flooring reduces costs for the developer, as well as improving presentation values. The new modular carpets have become popular in commercial building and design simply because they’re so cost-efficient.

Cost effectiveness

There’s another factor in selecting the modular carpets for commercial buildings.  Unlike most top of the range flooring products, they’re comparatively cheap.  Relative to their long product life, they’re significantly cheaper than other types of flooring. This is “value for money” on a measurable basis. Taken in context with large square metre areas in commercial properties, the cost of modular carpets is a fraction of conventional carpets and other types of flooring.

Add to this the facts that:
  • The modular carpets can be easily repaired in minutes without the “major production” issues involved in broadloom maintenance and repair.
  • The modular carpets don’t have underlay. This fact alone represents a major saving.
You can see why these new carpets are reinventing the whole idea of commercial flooring. Contact a supplier and ask a few questions about these modular carpets. You’ll be amazed. 

Once you have your commercial flooring down don't forget a few accent rugs to brighten your company's entry and welcome space. After all, you only get one time to make a great first impression with your visitors and clients, why not make it a stylish one!

If You Can't Go to the Beach, Bring the Beach to You

During these times of economic uncertainty, more and more people are choosing to take time off and discover the virtues of their own town. Stacations, as these are now called, offer you time to invite family and friends to your home to gather together and save some money in the process. To make this more enjoyable you should consider bringing the beach to your backyard and/or home. There are many different types of indoor and outdoor furniture and garden items that are available but you do not have to purchase these products at one of those big box home improvement stores. After all, why should your backyard look like your neighbors?

If you like the beach and can't make it there this summer then turn your backyard into a beach paradise by purchasing products with some bright colors, not just your standard teak brown. Uwharrie Chair is a great manufacturer of outdoor products that are extremely high quality and built to last. They design and build products anywhere from the classic adirondack chair, to rockers, swings and tables and even complete outdoor groupings. Their products are crafted from thick, kiln-dried southern pine and are available as Natural or finished in 27 lively different colors. These finishes are also available in a "wash" finish, if you prefer to start with a look that appears more translucent and "weathered".

When transforming your home into a coastal retreat, the inside of your home is often overlooked. Many people don't realize there are many high quality indoor furniture options for every room in the house. These furniture styles will offer you sophisticated casual living featuring natural materials such as bamboo, rattan, leather wrapped corners, pineapple carvings and bright cheerful colors. These pieces are definitely not your typical patio styles that tend wear out in a few years.

No manufacturer captures the essence of refined coastal living with effortless style any better than Tommy Bahama by Lexington Home Brands. With collections named Beach House, Ocean Club, Royal Kahala, Island Estate and Kingstown, you'll be certain to fall in love with one of these five uniquely designed coastal styles that will keep you in an island state of mind year round.

Bernhardt Furniture - Crafting Quality Furniture for Over One Hundred and Twenty Years

Carolina Rustica is proud to have recently become an authorized dealer for Bernhardt Furniture. You can find the new product introductions shown below on our website, as well as their entire line of Casegood and Upholstery offerings. Visit us today on the web, at www.carolinarustica.com, or call us to learn more. 800-205-7819.

The Bernhardt Furniture Company was founded in 1889 in the small town of Lenoir, located in the foothills of Western North Carolina by John Mathias Bernhardt. It is one of the largest family owned and operated marketers of fine wood and upholstered furniture in the United States. Committed to high business standards and the principles of fine craftsmanship, the Bernhardt family has led this American enterprise to its current ranking among the top U.S. furniture companies in annual sales worldwide.

John was destined for adventures and left Lenoir as a young man and landed in territory that would later become the state of Oregon. There, he found a job as a government surveyor assisting settlers in the wild frontier. After three years he returned to Lenoir and found work as a logger and timber cutter, though a hard way to make a living his diligence paid off, as he became supervisor at the Caldwell Land & Lumber Company. John’s vision was apparent then as he was able to convince his company to build the first railroad into the mountains, so that it would be easier to harvest and transport the abundant timber in the area.

His entrepreneurial spirit took hold and he began starting his own companies. First, he started his own sawmill and began buying timber. Then in 1889 he organized a company to manufacture furniture out of the native white oak. Bernhardt's vision ultimately led him to connect with distributors and merchants in large cities such as Chicago and New York City in order to supply sturdy oak bedroom furniture to people who lived as far away as the Rocky Mountains. This eager North Carolina entrepreneur began making an impression on the urban businessmen who would ultimately come to know his reliability and integrity.

Bernhardt’s grasp of possibilities outside his locality and his willingness to work hard enabled his young company to survive and grow. As Bernhardt honed the skills of its craftsmen, the company earned a reputation for making high-quality furniture that was both durable and beautiful. Known for intricate oak-grain finishes, Bernhardt sold thousands of sturdy chests and tables costing less than $4 each. Cabinets and cases were stacked like bricks and loaded into freight cars for transport to cities across America.

Bernhardt Today

The Bernhardt Furniture Company remains a strong presence in the furniture sector and still places high value on old-fashioned intangibles such as perseverance, loyalty, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. Known for its design excellence, Bernhardt has garnered a host of prestigious design awards from industry experts and the media. Among the more notable achievements, the American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD) has recognized the excellence of Bernhard's designs with multiple Pinnacle Design Achievement Awards. Continuing in its tradition of associating itself with quality partners, Bernhardt was selected by Martha Stewart in 2001 to produce a line of licensed furniture, “Martha Stewart Furniture with Bernhardt”, a selection Martha based on Bernhardt’s sound reputation in the trade, and its long history of integrity and quality.

New Product Introductions for 2011


Never one to rest on its name or laurels, Bernhardt Furniture continues to design and craft new and exciting collections of beautiful quality furniture. For 2011, there are two new collections.

Artisan Estate is a sophisticated approach to classic Tuscan design. It has hand-planed and distressed plantation grown mahogany veneers in a Burnished Sage finish of warm earth tones. A timeless blend of rich, patinated iron and leather lends a refined air.

Somerset Hill captures the refined charm of 19th century design. A highly distressed French wax lends an antiqued look to the plantation grown mahogany veneers in a Clove finish. Natural rattan, leather and bronzed metal adds an air of authenticity.

Five Things to Look For in a New Home

When buying a new home there are certain things that you should look for, depending on your situation. Singles or career minded couples would be looking for different things than a family would, for example, but there are a few general things that everybody should look out for. When buying a home to start with it is easier to enlist the help of a conveyancing company who will handle all the legal issues. You will have to pay conveyancing fees but it is well worth it and saves you handling complicated legal matters yourself.


Probably one of the most important things is the location of your potential new home. The first thing to consider is whether it is convenient to your workplace. If it is some distance from where you work then how easy is it to get there. Make sure that the house is close to either public transport or the travel time by car is not unachievable. If you have children you will have to consider the proximity of the house to schools and you will also need to be able to access supermarkets, healthcare centers, sporting facilities and community centers. Singles or couples may also be interested in the location of the home in regards to entertainment and restaurants.

Floor Plan

Have a good look at the floor plan of the home and make sure it is a good fit your family or other members of the household and that it will offer enough space for your belongings. The other thing to check is whether the home will suit your lifestyle. If you entertain a lot you would be looking for a home that has a great entertaining area outdoors and a large open plan living area inside. A big kitchen works well for both families and those that enjoy entertaining. Finding great quality dining room furniture for your entertainment and family needs is easy when you can browse hundreds of options using an online retailer. Check out the many options that you can find at Carolina Rustica. If you have children, having more bedrooms would be important and perhaps having the master suite at the other end of the house away from the kids.


Check out the neighborhood and make sure it is safe and that you would be happy living there. You might want to find out what your neighbors are like. For a family, it would be appealing to live in a quieter neighborhood and one that has other families living in it. Singles might prefer a more busy and lively area, close to a city center.

Up Keep

Look at how much work you will need to do to up keep the look of the home. If it has a large garden then you will either need to be prepared to maintain the garden, which can take a lot of work, or have the money to pay a gardener. If you spend most of your time at work and out with friends then you could prefer to live somewhere that requires little maintenance, such as an apartment, condo or town house.


Something to consider when looking for a new home is how much storage space it has. Having plenty of storage is a valuable asset and as most people accumulate a lot of possessions it can mean a tidier home if you have somewhere to put things away.

New Collections From Linwood Furniture

The Linwood Furniture Story - Real American Beauty

When everyone was moving manufacturing to China for the cheap labor, they said no, we're staying in North Carolina. At Linwood Furniture in Lexington, North Carolina, bench-made furniture is still the standard and not the exception. All of their solid wood bedroom and dining room suites are made the way they’ve been made in the USA for years-with pride and durability in every piece.

Their quality story starts with the solid wood they use and ends with some of the most beautiful finishes in the industry. When you purchase Linwood, you are getting furniture built the way they think it’s supposed to be built.

With a completely vertically integrated production facility that allows for unprecedented product quality and with a commitment to promoting sustainable timber practices, Linwood’s furniture uses only locally selected American hardwoods sourced within a short distance of Lexington, North Carolina, by Kepley-Frank Hardwoods.

At Linwood Furniture, they are very proud to say that they are an American made furniture manufacturer.

Common Features

  • Mortise and Tenon Joint construction
  • Corner Blocked for strength
  • Fitted back panels framed by the top, sides and bottom
  • English dovetail drawer construction on front and back
  • Smooth drawer interiors are sanded and each drawer features 7/16’’ sides and back with a 3-ply wood bottom
  • Headboards on all sleigh beds have finished backs
  • Each piece reflects a multi-step-finish process that includes a final method of hand rubbing and waxing that achieves a rich finish
  • Hardware is designed and selected to enhance the attitude and style of each collection
  • Wood bed rails are shipped with all beds as well as hardwood bed slats

Key Attributes

  • Fully framed dust proofing
  • Solid wood-on-wood treated drawer guides
  • Touch hinge lighting on select pieces
  • Finished tops on all Armoires
  • Case levelers on select pieces
  • Drawer stops on all drawers
  • Cedar lined bottom drawers in select pieces
  • Felt lined jewelry drawers in certain pieces
  • Solid wood mirror supports
  • included with all mirrors
  • Hidden storage is featured in several pieces
  • Felt lined silver tray on select pieces

Introducing the New Collections

The Baisley Park Collection

The Baisley Park collection is influenced by the Arts & Crafts design movement a hundred years ago that was a backlash to the mass production of the Industrial Revolution. This design era was a celebration of true craftsmanship and reflected simple, elegant lines without heavy ornamentation. It’s crafted in solid cherry, from locally grown Appalachian hardwoods and updated for a new generation. It's finished with a hand rubbed, not sprayed on like most imported furniture, warm brown finish and style changes now include dramatic angles, subtle curves and bold straight lines.

The Keswick Manor Collection

Inspired by the graceful lines from a 19th century English dressing chest, the Keswick Manor collection is simple elegance brought to life. These bedroom pieces have been designed with a timeless simplicity and easy styling from European architectural moulding. Smooth corners and moldings, doors and drawers all give Keswick Manor its relaxed, yet classic feel.
Crafted of solid American Maple hardwoods by the expert craftsman at Linwood, the collection is available in two distinct hand rubbed finishes – Aged Lined, which is a painted cream with brown distressing and English Tea, a warm soft brown finish and includes antique European brass styling hardware.

Sustainable Forestry

Linwood Furniture, Inc is proud to be a certified Appalachian Hardwood Consumer by the Appalachian Hardwood manufacturers, Inc (AHMI). Linwood Furniture, Inc manufactures its products from a hardwood forest that is verified as meeting present needs without compromising those of future generations, as defined by AHMI.

A Good Nights Sleep is Hard To Find

As a terrible sleeper, I can appreciate (with a dollop of irony) articles promoting a good night's sleep.  Although this condition has long eluded me, it is essential to your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.   Fortunately you can compensate with exercise, a good diet, and loads of caffeine.

Experts say that most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night, but I would argue you can train yourself to live on 6 1/2 hours comfortably. While your ability to sleep can be affected by a number of factors, one of the most important components of a good night's rest is to create a sleep environment that promotes sound sleeping.  Always start with the bed itself, and then work your way around the entire sleep space.

How to Create the Perfect Sleep Environment (from Fashion Bed Group)

  • Evaluate your bedroom environment including lighting, color, and accessories. Is it an oasis - a soothing space conducive to relaxation and indulgent comfort?
  • Create a calming and personal environment in which you can begin and end each day.
  • Comfort is the key to getting a good night's sleep. Select a mattress that gives you enough room to move easily - especially if you're sharing your bed.
  • If your mattress is more than five to seven years old, it may not provide the proper comfort and support needed and you should look at a new purchase
  • Protect your mattress from unwanted invaders – encase your mattress in a mattress protector to keep dust mites and other microorganisms from invading. This is particularly important with the recent bedbug outbreak.
  • Choose top-quality pillows to keep your spine properly aligned and to cradle you in comfort. Pillows are designed for different sleeping positions – remember that how a pillow feels when you touch it in the store display is different than how it feels when you rest your head on it.
  • Make your bed extra inviting and uniquely yours with high-thread-count sheets and a plush bedding ensemble.
  • Keep your sleep environment dark, quiet, and cool, between 60 degrees and 70 degrees.
  • Schedule time for sleep. When the quality of your sleep improves, so does your mood and the quality of your life. Tonight's rest helps determine how your tomorrow will be, so it should be at the top of any daily agenda.
  • Wind down before bed to ease your anxious mind. Take a bath, meditate, or do whatever it takes to relax and wipe away the day's stress.
  • Is your mind racing while trying to go to sleep? Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and jot down what's on your mind. If you still can't sleep after 20 minutes, get up, go into another room and engage in a calming activity until you feel ready to sleep.
  • It's one day at a time. Changing your schedule and attitude about sleep requires lifestyle changes, dedication, and practice. Remember that the return on the investment will be a happier, healthier life.

Redesigning our Showroom

We have been discussing our expansion for several months now, and while we fully intend to expand our current location, we've had a great opportunity arise at a High Point furniture venue, Gates on Ward, in the very heart of furnitureland.   It going to be exciting, as we are looking at expanding into 7,000 s.f. of space, more than doubling our total square footage!   This is in response to both our customers, and our manufacturers, who continually request that we place more product on the floor.  With 80+ manufacturers, we can only do so much, so this is a great opportunity to satisfy those demands.   So many of our customers want to touch and feel the product, which is completely understandable, but quite a challenge with almost 50,000 products online.

Yesterday, Gary Pigg, one of the owners of Gates on Ward, and Debby C., who helps him manage the place, came by our showroom to start moving inventory over to the new location.  We filled up a truck and still barely made a dent on our own floor!   Here are some shots of how the floor looks now.

We intend to have complete showrooms at Gates on Ward for Lexington Home Brands, Century Furniture, Bernhardt Furniture, and Hickory White.   There will be other pieces there, of course, but we are trying to keep our manufacturers grouped together for customer convenience.

In our Concord, NC location, we will (of course) also have representative samples from those groups, but we will also be focusing on Hooker Furniture, Bradington-Young, Universal (which includes Paula Deen, Better Homes and Gardens, and Pennsylvania House), Schnadig, AICO, and whew!  The list goes on.

It is a delicate balancing act when the business is growing.   On the one hand, you want to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.   On the other hand, we just went through a gut-wrenching recession and its going to be a bumpy ride for the next few years.  The reason we are still here is because we are very very careful about our overhead (I never used to admit to being cheap, but these days, its okay to come out of the closet).

We will post pictures of our new High Point showroom as soon as it is filled.  Meantime, take a look at our somewhat-chaotic Concord showroom as it looks this morning.  I did not take pictures of any staff members because they all run away when I am stalking them with my camera.   Just because I post them on our blog, Facebook, and anywhere else for the entire world to see!

Nothing About Furniture

Those of you who follow us through this blog, or Twitter, or Facebook...know that on many of my posts I talk about personal events of great significance ("I ran this morning"..."My parrot bit me"...etc).  While I am always happy to talk about Furniture and Carolina Rustica, since I think it is such a topic, I realize this can be repetitive sometimes.   So I won't expostulate about the new, great furniture lines we have brought in recently, or how we are busier than we ever have been in June.  What I would like to announce is that we will soon be expanding our retail footprint, doubling it to over 10,000 square feet.   This is the first part of a three-part expansion that will make Carolina Rustica one of the largest high-end furniture retailers in the region.  

Expanding in an uncertain economy can be scary.  We have not truly emerged from the recession, and homeowners are all feeling the pinch.  Where the market goes from here is anyone's guess (and don't let them tell you otherwise!).  So we feel particularly honored that so many of our great customers have placed their trust in us by continuing to order, again and again, resulting in over a 25% sales increase over last year to date.

We will continue to strive to bring you the best value for our high-end furniture lines that are available today.   More importantly (and since I said I wasn't going to talk about furniture) we will continue to work our hardest to exceed your expectations in every way, and live up to the trust you have placed in us.  This is the most competitive environment I have ever seen in my 16 years in the business, so earning your business is something we are proud of, and take extremely seriously.

Now, have I ever told you about our new bunny......?