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

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.