Cambridge Mills Furniture Debuting at Carolina Rustica

Update Jan 2013:  Now that its in, on the floor, I must say, its even better in person!

Original Post:
Here at Carolina Rustica, one of our favorite market activities is to discover new suppliers like Cambridge Mills. Cambridge Mills is a newer company and was officially founded in the summer of 2010, but the company’s furniture roots reach back more than 150 years through its association with its parent company.  Their mission is to create and distribute exquisitely designed bedroom and media products that are 100% American made, 100% solid wood, and offered at prices that today’s average consumer can actually afford. The founders of Cambridge Mills Furniture believe that American made, high quality, solid wood furniture still has a place in today’s market.
This “new” company has over 500,000 square feet of state of the art manufacturing capacity in upstate New York and they harvest solid Adirondack Cherry used in their products from their own 10,000 acre forest. They are one of the "greenest" companies we have represented here at Carolina Rustica.    Some of their best-selling bedroom collections follow.

North Cove

The transitional style is stronger than ever these days, and it draws inspiration from the styling of Arts & Crafts and Art Deco movements.  This stunning collection of solid Adirondack Cherry and Walnut bedroom furniture features elements from a variety of design categories resulting in a truly unique look that will find a place in a wide variety of transitional to traditional styles.  The traditionalist will appreciate the Arts & Crafts inspired full length posts, inside tapered feet, curved bottom rails and soft concave under-top moldings.  These elements combine to add softness and grace to the contemporary straight lines of the collection.   We feature the Sienna finish on our group here at the gallery, but both finishes highlight the natural beauty of solid cherry and are designed using either bronze or solid walnut pulls.  The walnut accents are carried over to the beds and mirrors as post caps and spindles offering a lovely contrast to the warm cherry finish.  The attention to detail make this bedroom truly one of a kind and stand as the signature of highly refined, handcrafted furniture

Cherry Creek
We bought this collection in the Sienna finish, a lighter option highlighting the deep warmth in the cherry grain.  It really makes this stunning 12 piece bedroom collection come to life..crafted in only the finest solid Adirondack Cherry and harvested from the timberlands of Central New York.  The utter beauty of the timber is enhanced by subtle movements in the design of the bed.  The vertical bevels on the sides and center of the drawer faces and the curved pilasters add a grace and easy flow to each piece.  Two options are available for the bed itself. The Panel bed mirrors the movement and refinement of the cases with its raised panels, floating cap rail, and rounded posts.  The shelter back upholstered bed is a true masterpiece with expert tailoring in the tufted back and curved corner posts that provide a cozy, warm feel.  A gorgeous bench footboard is an option on both beds and adds both supreme functionality and style.  We purchased our floor model with the footboard storage bench, and we are sure it is going to be a popular choice.  Unique saddle brown leather wrapped pulls  are standard with both finishes.

Chambers Street
This group is a personal favorite because of its fusion of clean lines, traditional utility, and a gorgeous finish.  Design elements including clever, under the bed, footboard storage drawers to maximize available space and choices of fabric or leather panels for the upholstered bed offer both style and function for today’s discriminating consumer.  Each piece is handcrafted using solid Adirondack Cherry and carefully finished to highlight the natural beauty and characteristics of the wood.   We bought our pieces in the Caramel finish, which features a rich, light brown tone that reveals the natural grain character of cherry.  The Mocha finish is a deep brown and very rich finish with depth and clarity.   This group features antique bronze-finish pulls for both finishes.

Some other benefits to buying Cambridge Mills furniture:
  • Solid American: All product is manufactured in New York State
  • Solid wood: All product is constructed of SFI®-certified  Adirondack solid black cherry
  • Solid craftsmanship: Time-honored cabinetry techniques are standard in all construction
  • Solid quality: Each piece is designed to provide a lifetime of function and comfort
  • Solid nature: Cambridge Mills is committed to protecting the environment for future generations

Marks of Quality and Commitment by Cambridge Mills:


These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things.....

I've been trolling through our site (again!) finding some extra special favorite items...these are great, one of a kind pieces (we have only one) at some of our deepest discounts possible.   Call and order soon!

Caracole Make An Entrance Chest - SOLD


Floor Sample on Clearance, Sold As Is. Shipping Additional. Caracole Classic Contemporary Collection.
Size: 37.25 in. W x 18 in. D x 34.25 in. H
Lead Time: Approx. 21-42 Days

Century Bob Timberlake Ralph's Porch Rocking Chair - Floor Sample on Clearance- SOLD


Floor Sample on Clearance. Limited Availability, Shipping Additional. From the Bob Timberlake Collection
Size: 40 in H x 32.75 in D x 27.75 in W
Lead Time: Approx. 42-56 days
Century Bob Timberlake Ralph's Porch Rocking Chair - Floor Sample on Clearance

Hekman European Legacy Silver Chest Floor Sample on Clearance


Floor Sample on Clearance, Sold As Is. Limited Availability, Shipping Additional
Size: 38 in. W x 18 in. D x 36.5 in. H
Lead Time: Call for Availability 800-205-7819

This Week's Favorite Floor Items - Two French Heritage Pieces

Life is getting back to normal here at Carolina Rustica after our acquisition by Mattress USA last month.   It was an exciting time, preparing to become part of this great Michigan-based company which is one of the largest online mattress dealers in the United States.   They also have great mid-level furniture business which neatly compliments ours high-end suppliers, allowing us to offer hundreds of product lines accounting for all tastes, styles and budgets.

To get back on track, however, I want to mention two awesome in-store clearance items we have here in our showroom at Gibson Mill.   These are pieces from our soon-to-be-a-supplier, French Heritage, which is one of the most recognized names in French reproduction furniture today.   Started 20 years ago by Jacques and Henessey Wayser, this company is iconic for high-end authentic designs from Louis Phillipe, to 18th Century, to Provencal. In 1993, the company debuted the popular Maison Provence collection, a grouping of antique French country designs. The next year, they introduced their high-end collection, De Bournais, beautifully handcrafted furniture with beeswax finishes. In 1995, two limited edition collections were launched: Camelot, inspired by the French furnishings found in the White House and Country Club, reminiscent of the great country manor homes.

The Beaulieu Coffee Table is certainly one of the most stately pieces here on our showroom floors. This French Heritage Coffee Table features cabriole legs and shaped aprons in a solid wood top.  All these features make this elegantly enchanting cocktail table a hard-to-resist piece, with its well-defined grander and chic French styling.  The medium-tone slightly washed finish is complimented by cast brass feet, which is very unusual.  Its also got a great size, measuring 49 in. W x 32 in. D x 20 in. H..   Best of all, since this is a showroom floor sample, we can offer this item for just $1,100.00, more than 60% off retail.  

The other French Heritage piece is also an heirloom for the future. The French Heritage Twisted Louis Rectangular Dining Table is crafted from Solid Reclaimed Teak with a rustic Natural Finish.  It is absolutely the best of the "French Farmhouse" look, made by the masters themselves.  The table has gentle arched legs a solid wood plank top, with light distressing and a textured top.   This beautiful table measures 79 in. W x 39 in. D x 31 in. H..   You can just imagine how it would look in your Provencal kitchen, surrounded by exposed wood and brick, copper pots, wrought iron skillets and hanging nets of dried herbs and spices.  Of course, since this is a floor model, we are offering this table at  $1,320.00, about 65% off the regular sales price.   We only have one in stock, so once it goes, it goes.   But that is the great thing about our floor sample sales...they are truly one-of-a-kind offerings!

Legacy Classic Furniture Has Arrived!

One of our largest suppliers, Universal, has a sister company called Legacy Classics, which has got as much variety as Universal, but with more of a traditional twist.  The pricing on this group of furniture is pretty incredible, as well.   For example the Davenport collection has a great little pub chair collection that is upscale casual.   This group fits anywhere from a rustic farmhouse to a colonial home or studio apartment. With a welcoming appeal, understated style and practical function, we think the Davenport has definitely got a place  in your home. don't you think?  

Of course, we would be partial to the Concord Collection, this being our hometown.   Its got a great down-home appeal, with two tones of wood available, to be paired with a natural wood top in the case of the dining table.   Although this look has been around in some form for years, it is as popular as ever.   Legacy Classic has taken this design to new heights and some pricing that seems unreal (the entire set is under $1,000 delivered, and that includes the table, six side chairs and server).   The black and natural wood design is also quite nice, but white seems to be coming back in a big way.

I also really like the Larkspur Collection, which appeals to folks who enjoy long walks outside or the feeling of sunshine on their face. The Collection's welcoming. comfortable style comes from the rich caramel finish, graceful shaping, and unexpected detailing. Larkspur's uncomplicated look allows the beauty of the wood to shine in a classic style.  As with other Legacy Classic groups, its also sold at a price that will allow you to decorate the rest of your home.  This group, consisting of the leather sleigh bed, dresser, nightstand and mirror is about $2,500 delivered!   

So if you get a chance, visit us at Carolina Rustica to view the entire Legacy Classic furniture collection, and then call us at 800-205-7819 for a quote.   Happy shopping!

This Week's Favorite Floor Item is Perfect For Almost Any Room

Furniture Chest on Clearance
This week's favorite floor item is a classic beauty from one of our lesser-known suppliers, Sarreid Furniture.   Sarreid specializes in highly customized, hand-built reproduction antique furniture pieces.   Each item has a unique provenance, whether inspired by classical turn-of-the-century design, or reproduced from old European estates.   In some cases, the owners of Sarreid have traveled the world themselves and found these pieces on remote antique shops all the way from France to the Levant.

Rhapsodizing aside, I really love the Five Drawer Chest we have here on the floor at Carolina Rustica.   Its got such a vintage appeal, with stately columns, detailed corner carvings and vintage brass hardware.   The chest, which seems to be one-of-a-kind piece, is crafted from Solid Walnut Cerejera Crotch Veneer in an Old World Walnut Finish.   

One of the things I like most about it is that it can go anywhere in your home...its the perfect piece for a hallway, foyer, bedroom or even as a side table.  I would suggest it go in a spot with plenty of indirect light....the better to appreciate the intriguing patterns of the crotch veneer front and sides, which is unique to each chest.   If you are a designer, I would imagine you could use this as a unique statement piece in a living area or adjoining hallway or foyer.    We only have one of these in stock at $699, regularly $2,000, so it will sell quickly.   Call us at 800-205-7819 for details or just visit the product page to order online!  It will ship immediately via our white glove delivery service.

This Week's Favorite Floor Item - Paula Deen, Of Course - SOLD!

Let me just say, the more time I spend around Paula Deen furniture, the more of a fan I become.  Her designs are so all-purpose, with a design sensibility that works with the vast majority of American homes...whether they are rustic, traditional, coastal, lodge, or eclectic.   Take for instance, this weeks Favorite Floor Item...Paula's Down Home Kitchen Organizer, now on clearance at Carolina Rustica.  

First of all, its a cool vintage design, with aged brass pulls and little organizing tabs in front.  For compulsive organizers like myself, its a wonderful feature to have, especially as you can change out the tabs in the middle of the night when you realize that you've organized your photos by date and THEN region, when really, who travels by date?  So you get up at 3 am and resort your favorite travel photos by region and THEN date, front to back.  Anyway, I digress. 

Besides the organizing drawers, the cabinet space itself has more functionality than you can imagine, with a small bulletin board, a shelf for all of your pens, pencils, crayons (in our home), and most importantly, a key rack.   A key rack!  Finally, you can have one place where you and your spouse agree that the keys belong, rather than floating around on a counter somewhere.   There are also shelves which have metal trays for all of those loose things as well.  Again, in our family, that means "My Little Pony" accessories.

On the other door you've got two shelves for all of those priority bills or important letters.

I think the best thing about this cabinet, besides the accessible design, is the finish.  The Oatmeal finish is a very warm, slightly distressed wood finish that could blend with Pine, Maple, Oak, and light Cherry.   It also has a wonderful feel to it, like an old family piece that has had lots of hands, big and small, touching it over the generations.   

As with most floor items, we are selling this at a great price of $870 plus shipping.   Click here for more details on this Paula Deen furniture piece and then give us a call at 800-205-7819 to place your with all of my favorites, we only have one in stock!

Hickory White Tuscan Bed - My Item Of The Week : SOLD!

Hickory White is one of our industry's true gems - they manufacture almost everything in their facility in Hickory, NC and they approach each piece as a work of art for your home.  As they say in their own words: "Our desire at Hickory White has never been stronger to create the most sought after home furnishings. Our commitment to this desire is the driving force that leads us into the future. We look forward to exceeding the demands of our consumers for many, many years. Today's style statements are hand-tailored and hand-crafted by skilled artisans here in Hickory, NC. Each piece has been curated and selected for inclusion with the goal of empowering your creative spirit through customization finish options that are second to none".   

Whew!  Thats a lot of wording to tell us that they make really high quality furniture that is truly (truly!) an heirloom piece.   We love the fact that they are so close to us geographically, and we can call upon their expertise to answer customer questions at any time.

That brings us to my Item of the Day, the Hickory White Tuscan King Bed in Old World Finish.   This is a stunning floor item we have in Gallery II that has been generating lots of interest, especially with a floor sample price that is 50% off of retail (we can't put it in print, but call us at 800-205-7819 and we can share the price with you).  You can also get more details on the Tuscan Bed by visiting our website through this link.  Remember, we guarantee our showroom floor items to be in perfect condition..since we are so over-protective of them!

This bed is defined by arches and curves and a deeply carved wood molding the lend the piece a true artisan craftsman quality. The bed measures 86 in. W x 88 1/2 in. D x 75 3/4 in. L. The Old World finish is a layered, antique cream color and it is just breathtaking. The Tuscan Home Collection is inspired by the timeless beauty of the Tuscan countryside. Design and styling elements include natural distressing, beautiful carvings and hardware designed and crafted specifically for this collection. These pieces offer you the traditional look of ageless antiques with a more distressed and time worn feel along with casual European attributes.   They are truly carved works of art....just look at the headpiece to the left.   That is the kind of craftsmanship that is rare today, which is why the Hickory White Tuscan King Bed is my Item of the Day

My Favorite Pub Table Right Now! - SOLD

I'm going to occasionally post products that really catch my fancy on our showroom floor.  Today its the ART Furniture West Bay Counter Height Dining Table.   I love this piece because it is so clean in design, but the wood has a lot of depth and richness to it. Simple and clearly defined lines, complemented by the mixed media feel of crushed bamboo and rich exotic veneers gives West Bay a sense of natural beauty, while the inset design suggests warm climates, rich foliage and a casual, relaxed lifestyle. How can you go wrong?  This is a counter-height table for stools with a seat height of 24" to 26".    The table height is 36".

The table is crafted from hardwood solids and Mozambique veneers finished in a warm dark rum finish that has been carefully hand-rubbed to add a rich depth and luster. This is a floor sample marked down over 60%. Some slight imperfections in table surface are present, but at just $450, you cannot go wrong with this table.   How do I know?  I have the very same one, dining height instead of counter height, at home.   With 2 kids banging on it, its held up remarkably well.   The table has one insert, and measures 40" x 60" without the insert, and 60" square with the insert.   The insert has this great mango wood center that really gives this counter-height table an element of cool!   Remember we only have one of these, so click here to purchase this great piece on Carolina Rustica right now!

Return to Henry Link Trading

When Lexington Home Brands rolled out Henry Link Furniture last year, there was much fanfare from both the industry press and the design community.   Henry Link was one of the most far-reaching and innovative design concepts introduced by Lexington up to that point, which is really saying something.   With an homage to the founding company that became Lexington, Henry Link introduced a plethora of exotic and creative pieces that could be used as individual statement items or collectively as an extravagant design mode.   It really worked, catapulting sales and encouraging boutique retailers such as Carolina Rustica to set up mini-galleries within the confines of their own spaces. 

We want to return you to Henry Link just for a moment, as we do have some favorite pieces here on the floor and they are worth seeing.    Our favorite chair is, by far, the Sanctuary Wing Chair, pictured at right.   This is not only an incredibly comfortable chair (which is still the most important thing) but its got this great funky vibe with the leather cover on the wings, the tightly woven body and of course, the most excellent animal print.   It is really a cheerful piece...and for some reason, children who come into the store are instantly attracted to this chair.    They love the "Noah's Ark" meets "Lion King" motif of the fabric.

Another favorite can be seen peeking in the corner of that same photo, and is shown in another room scene at left.  The Henry Link Steamer Trunk is a perfect example of how an actual everyday item (well, not SO everyday) can be incorporated into functional and fun furniture.   It is, of course, designed upon the lines of the old-fashioned luggage that accompanied intrepid travelers on tramp steamers, propeller planes and open air buses packed with locals.    Now, its a creative vintage take on how travel used to be, while gracing your living room.   It has two drawers and is lined, to make sure your storage is safe and protected.  The exterior is leather and the hardware is solid brass.   This is a true heirloom piece.

Lastly we want to mention the Colton's Point Bed, which we have on our floor in a king size.  This magnificent bed has louvered panels in the headboard and footboard, with carved corbel supports on the corners and rails.   The finish is unique to Henry Link, a sort of weathered textured surface that could blend with coastal decor, country French or any lighter-themed design motif.   Its very substantial, and because of its straight lines, has appeal to both sides of the family.
Come by and visit our gallery sometime to enjoy exploring the world with Henry Link..or give us a call for some great pricing on items we have on the floor (800-205-7819)

From A America, Our Newest Wood Furniture Supplier

We are excited to introduce A-America, our newest all-wood furniture supplier.  Though not a highly-recognized brand name like Hooker or Lexington, A-America has a great product made from all wood, with a solid design and really great prices.   We are really looking forward to selling this product, which we are just getting in here at Carolina Rustica.   This information was taken from their website, which is worth a visit (it is not yet on Carolina Rustica).When you buy furniture from A-America, you are making a responsible decision to maintain a healthier planet. The solid hardwoods and time-tested craftsmanship used to build your furniture ensure premium quality, luxury and durability. You can relax knowing that both your new solid wood furniture pieces and the forests they came from will be around to enjoy for generations. American Hardwoods such as alder, ash, oak, cherry and hickory reproduce prolifically. Currently nearly twice as much hardwood grows each year than is harvested, which is why in the last 50 years the volume of hardwood in U.S. forests has doubled. American foresters follow a simple rule: On-going replenishment equals a sustained supply. Hardwood trees are grown through a process patented by nature. They’re not mined or created through a chemically intense manmade process. Trees use the power of sunlight to separate carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen atoms. The carbon is used to grow roots, trunk, branches, and leaves, while the oxygen is released to enrich the air. After a tree is harvested a very small amount of energy is needed to turn it into lumber or other wood products. Our Asian hardwood, mahogany and New Zealand pine are plantation grown and are also legally harvested and certified and controlled under the Lacey Act standards. 



Alder wood has been used in many ways throughout history. Common alder is a member of the birch family, yet the fine, even texture of alder wood makes it similar to cherry. We often refer alder as the “poor man’s cherry” because of its beauty and affordable value. Its appearance and high quality make it a popular choice for furniture and cabinets. Red alder grown in the Pacific Northwest is medium in density and is the preferred specie used to build furniture. Alder trees are a gift from Mother Nature since they replant themselves in the forest by dropping its cones and plentiful.


Birch wood is a hardwood that is extremely strong and durable and so is a smart choice for solid hardwood furniture. Birch wood has a beautiful appearance; it is fine grained and has a pale color giving it an elegant look to clean line furniture designs. In recent years, solid birch is finished in dark espresso color because the heavy density in the lumber makes it harder to dent and scratch, therefore, keeping it looking newer longer. Birch trees used for furniture come from Europe and Russia fin colder climate regions. 


Real Solid Cherry wood is perhaps the most prized furniture hardwood in America.  In fact, some of the highest valued antiques in the world are made of cherry wood. Our craftsmen typically use natural solid cherry that is grown in sustainable forests in Pennsylvania region, as that is home to the finest cherry wood in the entire world. For each piece of furniture, natural cherry boards are carefully selected for excellence in grain match, color and width. When you own solid cherry furniture, you will experience the “metamorphosis” of this wood by watching its beautiful glowing patina deepen and become more beautiful with age.


Solid Hardwoods are primary milled from rubber wood trees which are plantation grown and responsibly harvested in Southeast Asia. Trees are cut down once they have aged and have completed their latex sap production cycle. Amazingly, the rubber wood tree species is fast-growing, yet also very high in density and provides a hard wood material, excellent for furniture production. Today, the most well-known American furniture brands use solid Asian hardwoods because of its durability and can be finished in to beautiful high-end looks.


A-America is proud to claim to be the only manufacturer who has successfully produced and imported Solid Hickory furniture. Why? It is because solid hickory is an extremely difficult material to use in building furniture with. Hickory is part of the pecan and walnut family and is usually from the Pennsylvania region. Hickory wood is very hard, stiff, dense and shock resistant. There are woods that are stronger than hickory and woods that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness, and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood. Only the most experienced craftsman can make beautiful our “Amish Quality” hickory furniture.


Why will you love Solid Mahogany furniture? Because it is affordable value and have exceptionally beautiful stature. With growing concern for our environment and the deforestation of the rain forests around the world, it is significant to inform our customers that none of the wood used in the crafting of our furniture stems from the Indonesian rain forest. The farmers carefully grow the trees in distinctive patterns, each field displaying trees in various stages of growth. Once the mature trees are harvested, the fields are re-seeded to maintain a healthy reforestation. The government controls and regulates all wood cuttings. Mahogany is a medium density wood that has color variances combining white, pink, peach, grey and brown wood tones to create a more exotic look with stunning with unique patterns that adds character to your home.


A top trend in home d├ęcor is furnishings made of Solid Mango wood. Yes, the very same trees providing us with delicious mango fruits can age and when they are done giving out fruits, they can be made in to beautiful furniture. Mango trees are fast-growing and plantation grown in Southeast Asia region. Mango wood has unique “Tigard” stripes and multitudes of grain and color variations. Perhaps its best character would be the “Glow” in the wood once finished. It is a hard wood which will provide durability even with everyday usage. Mango lumber is best used in a rustic finish and craftsman designs. It is easy to love this beautiful, exotic wood that is also an affordable value.


Red maple, which is also called Soft Maple is a medium-high density wood, from deciduous trees in eastern North America. Soft maple takes any finish colors well, though like all maple, its grain and color varies from white to grey tones with mineral deposits. These natural wood characteristics are becoming more and more sought after because it adds an “Organic” feel to furniture. Soft maple can be mixed in production of furniture with birch wood to create a better value. 


Beautiful Solid Oak wood adapts well in a wide range of light to dark finishes to create modern or traditional designs. The oak wood is durable and long lasting because oak trees take their time to grow slowly to produce high density material. It is no wonder that some of the most treasured American antiques are made of oak. If fact with proper care, you can continue using this oak furniture for even a century so what you buy today will be your children’s heirlooms. Oak wood is known to be scratch, stain and dust resistance; hence it does not need regular cleaning like other woods.
See more all-wood furniture suppliers on Carolina Rustica!  And thank you A-America for this great information!

High Point Furniture Shopping Tips

Every once in awhile, we run across some furniture tips so common-sense, we must share them!   Here are some basic furniture shopping tips from our friends at High Point Furniture Directory, one of our lead referral services: 

1. You can buy furniture, rugs and accessories from the stores on this website without coming to North Carolina. However, if you are planning to come to North Carolina remember to bring swatches or color samples of furniture, drapes, fabrics, paint or wallpaper that you will need to color match. If swatches aren't available, take good color pictures on your phone or Ipad and bring them with you.  Better yet, upload them to a photo sharing site that you can access at the store (our suggestion)

2. If you are buying furniture for a whole room or entire house, bring a floor plan of each room (include window, door & ceiling measurements) to help you select furniture with the correct dimensions. Measure other pieces of furniture in the room to ensure that your new furniture will be compatible in scale. (one  example is AICO furniture's Hollywood Swank Collection, which is very large scale, like many AICO groups)

3. If necessary, take hall measurements, door measurements and ceiling measurements. If you are buying furniture that will go upstairs in a two or three story house, bring measurements of the hall and stairway so that you can make sure any furniture that you buy can be carried up your stairway.  This is really important for both you and the retailer!

4. Decide on the furniture style that you like. You can bring pictures of furniture that you like from your favorite home furnishings magazines.  Take pictures on your phone of items you like in other homes, offices, or stores (but ask permission first)

View Larger Map

5. With todays eclectic styles of decorating, many people use different types and finishes of wood in the same room. Select interesting pieces of furniture that complement each other and reflect your taste. If you have oriental and/or decorative rugs that you will be using, make certain that the fabric that you choose for upholstery will complement the colors and design of your rug.

6. To make small rooms look bigger, select furniture and accessories with colors that closely match the walls and floors. Also, reduce the number of pieces of furniture in the room and add reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass-top tables.

7. To make a large room look smaller and more intimate, position furniture away from the wall and use taller pieces such as an entertainment center, armoire or screen. Use rugs, patterned upholstery fabrics and printed wallpaper to give the area a warm and more comfortable feeling.

8. When shopping for upholstered furniture, try to get the facts about the basic construction: springs, frames, padding, cushions and fabric. Always test furniture that will be used for seating by doing just that: sit on it! Consider how well the chair fits your particular body build. The height of the arms, the pitch of the back and the support under your knees should feel right for your body.  Use customer reviews of the product to determine how long it may last and any issues (our suggestion)

Another suggestion we have here at Carolina Rustica: Call or email ahead!  Give the store or salesperson a chance to get some information together beforehand, and your visit will go that much smoother.   It is sometimes easier to work with one professional who can learn your design style or preferences.

Happy Shopping!

Summer Time Means Paula Deen Furniture!

Its really amazing how quickly Paula Deen furniture has become iconic in the furniture industry.   Introduced about 5 years ago, this group is manufactured by Universal Furniture and strictly distributed through authorized dealers like Carolina Rustica.   The collection has a huge, cross-market appeal for two simple reasons: accessible design and price.    Lets face it, Paula Deen is not going to design furniture for Manhattan lofts...that is the job of licensees like Donald Trump or Jane Seymour.   Paula designs for comfort and simplicity.   Her collection features a limited number of finishes, such as Tobacco, Linen, and Sea Oat.   They also feature designs that can be used in any number of decor styles, such as transitional, cottage, and coastal (just to name a few).    Some of the most popular pieces are here on our showroom floor, such as the Sea Oat Utility Cabinet, which has a wonderful arched louvred door and lots of great storage.   The light finishes available also make this a great collection to feature during the summer, since it reminds us of porchfronts and warm breezes.

Paula Deen is a beloved personality, and Universal has really tapped into that appeal with their whole marketing approach to this group.  There are plenty of first-hand stories from Paula about what inspired each individual piece, such as the Down Home Bubbas Chest, designed for that Southern Guy who absolutely needs a place for everything (and this has it!) This gives the group a warmth and depth that is sometimes missing in furniture introductions.   It is  an extra step that creates a bond between the homeowner and Paula...similar to how she seems to reach out to you personally when she is on her cooking show.    The warmth of the finish seems to echo the warmth conveyed by Paula herself.

The other aspect of Paula Deen is that the furniture crosses generations...some of her pieces have a bit of the old Pottery Barn look and feel, and thus appeal to a younger consumer.   Simple designs have always done best (at least for us), and certainly first-time homeowners lean towards less ornamentation and more functionality.   Take the Kitchen Organizer Pantry in Oatmeal finish, for example.   Practical storage but very very fashionable as well.   We especially love the vintage style hardware and faceplates for keeping track of everything.

In our business, you know a line has been successful when other manufacturers introduce new collections and tell you "its just like Paula Deen".   Why not just buy Paula Deen?   Give us a call at 800-205-7819 and we will be happy to assist you in this endeavor!

American Drew Barrington House & Essex Collections

We have been selling American Drew Furniture here at Carolina Rustica for many years, and it is a perennial best-seller.   Not only becuase they are one of the few remaining furniture companies that still maintains some manufacturing here in the also the case that American Drew has such a broad selection of styles and price points for owners of  fresh new homes to upscale second homes.  We find this line to be incredibly easy to sell, because they offer more value priced collections in their stylish Profiles group (like Camden Light and Camden Dark) and they have some very upscale collections that would look great in traditional upscale homes as well as country estates and mountain retreats.   Perhaps their single most popular collection is the Cherry Grove 45th Anniversary Group, their all-cherry solid wood line that finds a place in any traditional home across the country. 

The Essex Collection

American Drew knows that casual living is more about self-expression and less about traditional expectations.  Essex is a moderately-priced new group that features materials such as wood, metal, leather and glass to create that casual self expression you have been longing for.   These elements come together in a perfect blend of classic styling with a crisp look, with a Warm Mink wood tone.  This features hand selected American Walnut veneers with Ebony inlays. Reversed diamond patterns are showcased on the beds, table tops and doors, a detail that creates a subtle geometric design. The Satin Nickel finished metal on hardware and select pieces; along with Black Leather accents exudes a collection of finesse and beauty.  You can visit the American Drew site to view this new collection and then call us for a quote!

We were particulary impressed with American Drew's new introduction, Barrington House.  Featuring the charm of an Old World manor house, Barrington House offers a fusion of traditional
European styles and inspirations mixed with the practical needs of today’s lifestyles. We love the subtle rustic overtones that lend a casual interpretation of this traditional styling.  This group would look great in every home from a suburban retreat to an empty-nester's condo.  The Heirloom Cherry color finish is completed with gentle distressing, warm burnished edges and subtle highlights .  Other elements include matched cathedral pattern veneers with maple and ebony.  All in all, Barrington House is one of our new favorites from American Drew, and that is saying a lot! 

You can find information on both of these new groups, as well as Americana Home (introduced this Spring of 2012 but not available for several months) on our website at

New Lexington Furniture Collections

Lexington Home Brands is indisputably our most popular manufacturer.  With over a dozen fresh, innovative collections to choose from, they consistently offer high-end styling that sets the standard for fresh design.  At this year's High Point Furniture Market, we visited their spectacular showroom and saw their new Quail Hollow Collection.

Quail Hollow offers an inspired approach to New Traditional style - an innovative take on the familiar. Crafted in Quartered Mahogany, the burnished finish has the warm rich patina of an antique. The group does not skimp on reeded molding, distinctive raised panels, and graceful turnings add to the collection’s timeless appeal. Lexington Furniture also introduced new upholstery designs that feature exceptional tailoring with an elegant layering of patterns and textures.  This new look of traditional style defines Quail Hollow and is guaranteed to be placed in many homes across the region.

Of course, Lexingtom Home Brands is known wide and far as being the manufacturer of Tommy Bahama Furniture.  Tommy Bahama has been celebrated world-wide as embodying the idea of upscale leisure time, a globe-trotting carefree soul who lives surrounded only by the finest.   His newest group is Inspired by Australia’s rugged beauty and indigenous style, Road to Canberra from Tommy Bahama blends Aussie attitude with distinctive contemporary design.  The unique look of woven veneer is accented by a remarkable blend of natural elements – honed travertine, woven lampakanai, rattan, aged metal, woven leather, and petrified wood   This unique group is also one that has a light natural tone with a soft linen-white glaze that highlights the grain. Beauty from half a world away will make you feel right at home

bungalowDon't forget that Lexington acquired Sligh Home Office furniture last year, and they have been bringing this quality line to new heights, in a way only they could.   They are also bringing out new coordinated groups to match both their lifestyle collections and their home office and entertainment offerings, such as Twilight Bay, one of Lexington's most popular groups introduced 2 years ago.   We are lucky to have extensive sales experience with both of these lines, and can help you pick out the perfect, coordinated home office grouping to go with your lovely home decor!