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!

The Newest AICO Furniture Collections Have Arrived!

Michael Amini, the creative and business force behind AICO Furniture, has an obvious flair for the dramatic.   His furniture designs over time have consistently proven to be industry leaders in the fashion-forward industry of home d├ęcor.   He is not subtle…instead, he uses oversize design elements, unusual materials, and fashion concepts that other furniture designers would not dare contemplate.   This is what makes him so popular...what he does is simply not available anywhere else. 
Upholstered & Crystal Luxury is an Amini Furniture hallmark
His partnership with Jane Seymour on several collections has only reinforced his position as an industry leader.   Their most popular group has literally taken the furniture industry by storm…the indubitable Hollywood Swank, now featured in Architectural Digest and other high-end fashion publications.  Nobody else has married “bling” to classic design like the team of Amini and Seymour.  Their bedroom group must be one of the most popular in the country.   Certainly when our customers come into our store, this is the very first bedroom they gravitate to.   The bed features a wing shaped headboard that is adorned with a crystal button tufted upholstery, unique drawer fronts, and a swivel lingerie chest that makes it a showcase piece for any home.  The finishes (Metallic Graphite, Creamy Pearl, Pearl Caviar, and Platinum) of the collection are enhanced by the alligator vinyl wraps, such as the dark “Amazing Gator”, “Crystal Croc” or “Black Iguana”)

The Latest & Greatest Michael Amini - Jane Seymour CollaborationThe newest High Point Market introductions include a combination of Michael Amini original designs and several collections that build upon his collaboration with Jane Seymour.    One of the most dynamic groups in this latter category is the Beverly Boulevard Collection, a striking contemporary contrast of colors and materials.   It is a West Coast post-modernist fantasy, but accessible in its ability to blend in certain pieces to existing Amini collections.

We will be presenting the new Beverly Boulevard Collection on line at Carolina Rustica within the next week, and like so many of the other collaborative groups, we are positive it is going to generate a lot of interest.   The other new Amini/Seymour introductions include Overture, an eye-popping collection featuring ultra-modern materials, and Cosmopolitan, a worldly-inspired collection with a rich wood tone, subtle designs, and a moderate scale.   We have ordered floor placements for both of these collections.   Also forthcoming is Wembley Estate and Tuxedo, the latter being another contemporary-inspired grouping that will blend with a number of AICO modern stylings.

We will also be featuring online the best of the Toledo Platinum Collection,  an upholstery grouping that has gorgeous flowing lines, a large scale with configurable options that includes a sensual sectional and ottoman grouping that beckons you to relax!

The Ultra-Luxurious Amini Bedroom Group, Villa Valencia
Of course, the most popular groupings also continue to grow with us here at Carolina Rustica, such as the AICO Cortina Collection, which occupies a large part of our floor, and the Villa Valenzia group. Both of these furniture collections are large scale.  They demand a space of significant proportion in order to be truly appreciated.   They also create a sense of security and well-being….imagine curling up in the monstrous AICO Villa Valencia canopy bed, with its towering, massive columns and intertwining sculpture…it is truly a masterpiece of construction and design, a majestic piece of furniture that we have found with no other suppliers.   It is one of AICO’s most expensive groups, since it uses many different elements and combines stone with wood in a Classic Chestnut finish, but it also continues to be a best-seller.   Critics who thought that the scale was simply too grand are now reconsidering this best-seller!

The Most Popular Amini Bedroom Group, Cortina
The Cortina bedroom is an Amini furniture design that also shares some of that large scale, but it is more flowing and features a gentle Honey Walnut finish.    The Cortina Sleigh Bed is also on our floor and it gets tremendous response…the striking design flows in a gentle arch, to cradle you in its embrace.   It is a solid collection with lots of detailing, including stone detailing on the headboard and stone tops on many of the bedroom pieces.   

There are so many other wonderful AICO furniture groups to choose from…as one of the most dynamic and innovative designer, Michael Amini continues to build his global presence with furniture collections that exude an upscale, dynamic lifestyle.  And after all, doesn’t that describe you?