Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Hours

In case you're out getting last minute gifts, we will be here on Saturday (weather permitting) from 11:00 til 3:00.  Monday, December 23rd, will be regular hours of 11:00-5:00, and Christmas Eve, December 24th, 10:00-2:00

We still have a few of our cookbooks left and some of the Beatriz Ball serving pieces.  Grab a pretty birch candle for a hostess gift on your way!  Christmas decor is 50% off!

By the way, we've got some news:

Details coming in the next blog post.  Also, catch the most current info on Facebook

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Drapery pleats----who knew it mattered?

I posted this before and after on Facebook last week, but didn't elaborate on any part of it.  Besides figuring the placement of the panels between the windows and the corners, decisions were made on the type of lining, the hardware, and the type of pleats in the panels.  If you look closely, you can see they are not "gathered pleats", but rather smooth folds of fabric, making a nice backdrop for the furniture and other decor.  They basically clean up the sharp edges of the window frames and add a warmth to the room.  This is part  the "look" our client is wanting----not fussy, but not skimpy, either.  Her home is decorated more in a "transitional" style, meaning it isn't contemporary although the lines in the furnishings are straighter than some of our more traditional pieces.

Cartridge pleats by Madison Lane Interiors
Do you fit into this style, or do you like all the bells and whistles?  If you like the look of gathered fabrics, curves and a bit of extra embellishment, we would definitely need to specifiy a more pleated or gathered header for your drapery panels.  There are such things as smocked headers:, smocked header

If you want a formal, luxurious look, a silk, interlined, smocked drapery panel would fit the bill!

A more common pleat, the goblet pleat, is still considered a little more dressy, and is used more in dining rooms or master bedrooms.  It can be made with more fabric inside the pleat, thus giving nice, deep folds all the way to the floor.  To fill out the goblet, we sometimes stuff the pleat to insure it doesn't collapse on itself:

Goblet pleats, From Madison Lane Interiors

For an everyday look, we still do the regular 3-prong pinch pleat panel----it's never a wrong choice.  The amount of fabric inside the pleat and the spacing can be adjusted to fit into any home.  Of course the more fabric inside the pleat and smaller spaces will make a very full panel.  Just the opposite makes for a less full panel, but depending on the lining, can almost appear to be the same.  Oh, so many do you choose??

From Phoebe Howard's blog     
2-finger pinch pleat by Madison Lane Interiors
A pleat we see often in the shelter magazines (Traditional Home, Veranda, etc) is the Euro Pleat.  We might even just refer to it as a pleat, pinched at the top!  And that is the only difference between it and the regular Pinch Pleat.  Just as we do many 2-prong pinch pleats, we do many 2-prong euro pleats.  Still, the most common would be a 3-prong (or 3-finger) euro pleat.  Look through your current decorating magazines and check-out the pleats----do you agree?

3-prong Euro Pleat
 The reasons for 2-prong vs 3-prong, euro vs regular pinched, goblet vs smocked, and cartridge vs grommets is as varied as each person needing window treatments.  Besides the "look" you are wanting, the lining, the face fabric, and the price can all play a part in the decision making.  Truly, our window treatments are CUSTOM, and you might hear more than an earful of information if you decide to purchase them from Madison Lane!

We are more than happy to educate you further on your drapery needs.  Come by and look through our hundreds of fabric books, along with all the information on pleats and drapery you ever thought you needed to know!  It does matter!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Highland House Furniture preview from High Point Market

If you were wondering, yes, we did get to meet Candice Olson, but not long enough for a photo with her.  
 She used a lot of lavender and aqua/blue in her fabrics this time, along with some painted finishes that had a sort of opalescence to it.  

 This coffee table isn't new to her collection, but a piece we have been admiring for awhile.  

 Not all of our favorites were from Candice's collection.  Highland House has used some of her ideas in their regular line of furniture.  Notice how a very traditional mix of furniture looks completely different with painted legs, rather than the usual stain.

 Candice has introduced a line of casegoods that can be mixed and matched in a variety of combinations.  She believes furniture should be able to adapt to life----as kids grow and needs change, so should your home.

We don't usually think of this shape for a coffee table/ottoman, but it works out great!  It would also be a great choice for a bench at the foot of a bed.

 This photo is a good example of Highland House's cottage style of furniture.  This sofa is so comfortable----we have one coming to the shop after the first of the year.  You're going to want to try this one out if you're looking for a sofa that will blend in with your vintage style.  It will be family friendly upholstered in an indoor/outdoor fabric!  The fabric used in the showroom was a great choice if you are looking for an all over pattern.

 Here's some more of Candice's collection including her casegood pieces in the other color choice.  It does make a great entertainment center!

A very traditional, tall back sofa, curved seat, tufted back---paired with traditional chairs that have painted legs.  It's a good idea to keep a mix of finishes---it really keeps a room fresh and not so predictable.  The stained, twist legs on the ottoman keeps the whole room more traditional.  Did you notice how this shape fits so nicely with the curved sofa?

Are you ready to make a furniture purchase?  Come on by and we'll tell you everything we learned at High Point Market!  Our upholstered furniture  is made in the USA, and we have several pieces for you to try out.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Madison Lane Interiors defines "Updated Decor"

We use the word "update" almost everyday.  The meaning probably differs for every customer.  Everyone's decorating taste is different, so the idea of "updating" can mean a variety of things.  At Madison Lane, we tend to go by the saying "less is more" when it comes to updating.  Here's a before and after to show you what we mean:

There was no doubt the original window treatments were well made, but the busy floral print and the miles of tassel fringe was just a heavier look than the client wanted.  She still wanted sheers and drapery panels, but with a lighter touch.  The decorative traverse rods are from the Paris Texas Hardware collection, and have a double rod to accommodate the sheers behind the panels.  The geometric fabric in the panels gives a cleaner look and doesn't compete with the rug pattern or any of the other decor in the room.  

Don't forget that taller ceilings need taller lamps and larger wall art!  It's easy to get used to the same size decor you had when you lived with 9 ft ceilings, but as in this room, the 12 ft ceilings require bigger pieces.

If you are ready for an "update", we will make sure it's personalized to your style.  

We'd like to know your definition of updated decor!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paint colors: Light vs Dark

One of the more common calls we get at Madison Lane is requesting help with paint colors.  Some people have a difficult time seeing the undertones in paint colors.  It can be confusing, and although we feel confident in choosing paint colors, we insist on seeing the color inside the client's home.  Lighting makes a huge difference.

If you aren't even sure about which color to use, let alone the shade or tone, visit Sherwin Williams website for all kinds of great information.  It's a good place to get the ball rolling.

Now, back to the title of this post:  Light vs Dark and how do you choose.  Take a look at a before and after and see how these colors make you feel (warm and cozy vs bright and cheerful?)

 Many of you may not like the after (on the right) as much as the before.  That's what we mean by paint colors being "personal".  There are many shades of "brown", with some of them having a very pinkish undertone to them.  And blues can be difficult to choose without turning your room into a baby boy's nursery!  If you looked at the color chip for the blue in the photo, you might think it was a pale grey (it's Sherwin Williams Sea Salt).

Here are a few things I learned about the dark paint:
1.  Poor light reflection.  Not so great for rooms where you put on make-up!

2.  Brown paint looks good with white trim, not so much with wood.  If the shelf was
white it would have helped, otherwise the 2 "browns" seemed to compete and in person it just looked messy.

3.  Over time, it felt dreary.  Originally it did seem cozy and a fun contrast with the white trim and flooring, but eventually it just wore out it's welcome.

What I like (so far) about the light paint:
1.  Great light reflection.  Maybe more than you would like ;) 

2.   Looks good with white and wood.  This particular color of blue works with the stained wood, but not all pale colors would compliment the shelf and cabinets.

3.  Refreshing and cheerful.  Maybe a "Florida" reminder isn't a good one for everyone, but it is for me.  Again, color is personal.

We'd love to hear your comments!  What is your personal preference when it comes to Light vs Dark?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Remodeling a kitchen takes time (a before and after post)

Don't believe everything you see on TV, a remodel takes more than 24 hours, or even a weekend, as HGTV might have you believe.  You might not remember a kitchen we featured a few years back CLICK HERE.  For many reasons, the final touches take the longest, but we are here to report back that the final touches are done:

Custom cabinetry from Deans Cabinets

Fabric from Duralee  

The moral to this story is:  be patient and don't settle for something you don't want.  It did take us some time to find just the right sized hardware for these cafe curtains.  It was our rep, Kristy, from Fabricut, who walked in with just what we had been looking for!  Our client was excited to see that the scale was just what she had in mind, and also stayed with her plan for the pretty embroidered linen she found almost 3 years ago! 

FYI, just because we can't find exactly what you have in mind today, doesn't mean we won't find it later----and later might just be a few months, not 3 years.

Pantry with new open shelving added.  
It's fun to look at the photos side-by-side:

Although we don't sell cabinets or tile, we're here to help you plan your color scheme and add the finishing touches to your new or remodeling project.  Call us to inquire about our hourly service fees.  Did you know: when purchasing furniture from Madison Lane, we will not only help you choose the best fabrics and finishes, but also make sure the pieces will fit in your room (just one of the services we provide for free to our clients).

It's probably not too early to start making a plan, remember, it can take some time!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tall ceilings could mean big boring walls, but not necessarily

The taller the ceiling, the more wall space for . . . . .well, that's the question.

 How many pictures should you hang on a wall that's approx 14 ft wide by 20 ft tall?  We couldn't answer that question either.  It really comes down to the overall scale of the room.  We thought maybe a set of 3 large framed pieces would be right, but finding a set of three compatible pieces of art proved to be a difficult task.  And on second thought, would something so flat really fill in that large space.  With a beautiful arched window to the right, and several columns to the left, we needed something with a little more "heft".

We did proceed to draw the wall and art pieces to scale (with our handy dandy computer program, Minutes Matter Studio).  That quick rendering was just what we needed to go ahead an place the order.  If you've ever been in our shop, you know we don't have the wall space to keep these sizes in inventory!

Since size was so important, we searched for art that could be purchased in custom sizes.   This one is approximately 50" wide X 70" tall.  We were able to get a frame with just enough detail to blend with the decor, but not overwhelm the beautiful painting.  Thanks to Krista at If Walls Could Talk, that was the easy part.  I found out that transporting the framed piece to the client's home was the hard part!

A closer look at the brackets/shelves we used to hold the vases.  The white-on-white look was just the right addition to the colorful piece of art.  Everyone approved of the final results. 

Walls don't have to be big to be boring.  Call us for an appointment.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Part II Hickory Chair University: Upholstery

Sutton Sofa
One of my favorite photos from our Hickory Chair University visit!  I think I was surprised how much I liked the patterned fabric on such a large piece of upholstery.  We saw this piece again in their High Point showroom, with some minor changes:

By changing the pitch of the sofa, they were able to put two of them back-to-back for a perfect fit.  It's a look we've admired in larger living rooms to divide it into two smaller conversation areas, rather than one very large space.

In reality, your imagination is the only thing you need if you use Hickory Chair to furnish your home.  We have recently had some casegoods made to our specific height, as well as customizing the upholstered pieces to blend with the style of the home.

This photo shows the patterns used for cutting fabric---but that's just the tip of the iceberg!  Even in customization, you have to start somewhere. 

These ladies were cutting the fabric to be sent on over to the upholstery area.  Some cutting was done by machine, but it looked like most of it was done at a few of these tables by some very experienced employees.  

Headphones were necessary to hear inside the factory.
Laura Holland, our fearless leader and the "person-who-knows-everything" is explaining what to know about stripes on furniture.  She also explained how large and small repeat fabrics are figured into the price of furniture.  Hickory Chair will always match patterns from the cushion to the body of their upholstered furniture.  You don't have to worry about anything less than perfect when it comes to the fabric layout.  Pricing can depend on the pattern as well as the content of the fabric.  A very large pattern will take more yardage to match across the furniture, thus making it a higher "grade" when selecting it for your chair/sofa. 

Even though HC has one of the best selections of fabrics in their library, there is always a chance we'll need to order a piece as a COM.  If you aren't familiar with the term it's "Customer's Own Material".  Sometimes there's just a very specific fabric that we are searching for, and we may have to utilize our own fabric library at Madison Lane Interiors.  The photo above shows the aisle of fabric that has been mailed in as COM!  We were shocked, but after seeing how much customization Hickory Chair offers, it made sense.

The day's delivery of COM fabrics.  Can you believe one person unwraps and inspects each bolt of fabric??  She has her work cut out for her, but I like the fact that she has years of experience with Hickory Chair and knows all aspects of their workroom.  If there is a question about the fabric we send in, it's nice to know who we are talking to.

Here's a few of the sewing experts.  I think they are putting cushions together at this area.  The workers were nice enough to stop their sewing to answer a question or two from some of us.  We found them all to be willing to help us learn more about their jobs. 

 Here is the beginning of a sofa.  This worker is placing the springs in the base of the sofa and will be attaching each one with the "8-way-hand-tied-spring" technique.  This is a top of the line method used by higher end furniture companies.  It results in less wear of individual springs because they all work together to support the cushions.  The hand tied method just takes more time, which adds to the price in the end. 

I would have liked to have had a chance to see this chair when it was finished.  The fabric combination was eye-catching!  Actually, the room it ends up in would surely be a treat to see.  This particular chair is a good design to use more than one fabric.  It's a great way to add a little more pizzaz to a room.  With all those great fabrics available, why not take full advantage!

Look closely and see the giant sized needles sticking through the back of this leather sofa.  Talk about time consuming!  As the buttons are pulled through and secured on the back, the upholsterer will be forming folds for the pleats on the front.  Now you know why tufting also adds to the final price--but what a beautiful detail it is. 

Notice this chair's frame:  the legs are one piece with the frame, not screwed into the bottom of the chair.  This is another example of a well made piece of furniture.  The exposed pieces are stained and covered for protection while the chair is being upholstered.  Also notice the solid wood used on the frame and not pressed wood or particle board.  Kiln dried solid woods are used in all the frames of Hickory Chair furniture.  Even though some pressed woods can be strong, they will not allow you to reupholster in the future.  Pulling staples out of particle boards will cause them to crumble. 

If you are in the market for furniture to last a lifetime, come by and see our Hickory Chair furniture.  We have several pieces on the floor, and a lot of information we'd love to share!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kitchens of Historic Murphysburg, see you there!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our education at Hickory Chair: more than just making furniture

Of course we are impressed with the quality of furniture made by Hickory Chair, but what we learned about running a business was just as impressive.  The signage in the photo was one of many found throughout the factory---put up by the employees.  Their program, called "EDGE" is the big reason for their great attitude and working environment.  You just don't always see such positive words in a workplace.  If you want to know more about EDGE, click HERE for the webpage. 

Now, follow us through the factory (this is only a very brief section):

Hickory Chair employees doing finer sanding. 

The inside of Hickory Chair's drawers are solid oak, because of it's strength. 

This employee is applying one step of the finishing process for this table. 

Who would have thought a furniture factory would have the woodworking area in the same building as the upholstery. They are a floor apart, but even at that, the sophisticated ventilation allows the employees to work without a face mask.

This is how Hickory Chair furniture acquires the inlaid designs.

We really enjoyed seeing how the employees were so careful with each detail they were working on for the day.  They are not doing exactly the same thing everyday, however, but skilled at several jobs to prevent carpal tunnel problems and just boredom!  It also increases productivity when employees can move to another job when they're done with one.

Another thing we noticed was how well acquainted the president, Jay Reardon, is with all the employees.  You can tell he enjoys knowing them, personally.  It was a surprise that he was along on our tour of the factory, both days, and jumped in several times to talk to us about workflow and how their EDGE program played a part in their saving of time and money.  Here's a photo of him below:

Jay Reardon, president of Hickory Chair

One more photo from the woodworking part of the Hickory Chair factory that  you might relate to, that is if you have furniture with a carved leg:

Hickory Chair employee/artisan setting up the machine to carve furniture legs
This machine was duplicating the movements of the operator on each piece of wood.  It was basically carving about a dozen or more legs at one time, but following the lead of the man in charge. 

We'll get into the upholstery department and details on the next blog post.  I have about 30 more photos of the woodworking area, but what we want our customers to see is the atmosphere at Hickory Chair.  The workplace is such a positive place, and you can see the pride the employees take in their job.  It's certainly not a "factory", but more of a working studio for their artistic work. 

Now you are asking why you should care, besides the great quality we think you should also feel pride when you purchase a piece of Hickory Chair furniture.  Buying products produced in the USA is important to all of us. 


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