Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Looking at Love Seats in the Month of Love

From our Garland Collection, the stylish and natural
 hemp fabric loveseat from EcoSelect Furniture.com
What better time to talk about love seats than the month of February, when Valentine’s Day is smack in the middle of the month.


Ironically, although this piece of furniture is the prototype of a romantic seating arrangement, its beginnings actually have nothing to do with courting or love.


The design concept was developed to accommodate women’s voluminous clothing during a period that included hoop skirts and yards of fabric. A woman needed a seat all to herself, in order to spread out her couture while she was at rest.

The terminology of “Love Seat” didn’t come about until the 1800s, when many pieces made replicated an S-shape. It allowed a couple to face each other for personal conversation. That’s where the intimacy began and ended. There was the safety and propriety of an arm rest to physically divide them!

Today, the Love Seat has evolved into a piece of furniture that is multifaceted in both use and design.

Many of our customers in urban areas, especially New York City, look to this construction as the perfect solution to get more seating into their apartment’s limited square footage. In houses in suburban areas, we have created Love Seats specifically to suit a bedroom setting.

Most frequently, the Love Seat is an alternative to the traditional L-shaped configuration of sofa and chair. When facing each other, with a low table in between, they become a perfect duo for formatting an entertaining unit suited for conversation and get-togethers.

We offer ten styles, matching all of our collections (except the Malibu). Nine of them can converted to sleeper sofas. With a pull-out bed frame and ecofriendly mattress, the problem of where to put the overnight guest is solved!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Green and Durable Furniture Begins with a Solid Foundation

Savile Sofa - EcoSelect Furniture

In every conversation I have with customers about how we make our sofas sustainable and without toxic elements, I always begin at the very beginning with our frames. Like a house, the design and durability of our product depends on a good foundation.

In the January 2017 issue of Southern Living, there was an article by Deb Schwartz outlining, “Sofas Deconstructed.” There is a sidebar feature on page 103 titled, “The Anatomy of a Sofa: The Frame.” Schwartz noted, “The most important part of any sofa is the frame.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Having spent four decades in the furniture business, I have always believed that a superior frame construction is essential to the longevity and comfort of a chair or sofa.
It all starts with solid hardwood frames with a lifetime guarantee.

At EcoSelect Furniture, we begin by using top quality lumber from locally certified sources. One and a quarter inch (5/4”) kiln dried maple or poplar hardwood are our woods of choice. Both are abundant in the eastern forests of the United States, grow relatively quickly, and are “straight grained” which allows them to resist warping. One of their top qualities is their density, a plus for holding screws and adhesives well.
To ensure security and strength, we double-dowel the joints and secure the connections with a non-toxic glue. Every element is important!

Furniture can take a beating, and we build ours with an eye to that inevitability. To ensure that corners and high stress areas are exceedingly resilient, we use hardwood corner blocks. For increased strength, both glue and screws are applied to secure them.

A drill down is given to the issue of what Schwartz calls “the second-most important construction consideration.” That is the “sofa’s suspension system,” otherwise known as the springs. I was thrilled to see the reference to “eight-way hand-tied springs” as the definition of a “quality product.” This method of tying springs in eight directions is a cornerstone of our production methods. In addition, we put a second set of springs inside our seat cushions for added comfort and durability.

Just like the article outlines, I always ask potential buyers about the situation that the chair or sofa will be placed in. Is it a formal setting? Will it be a family room with kids and animals as regular users? This helps them pinpoint the best choice.

There was no specific mention of flame-retardant materials in the run down, but by now, you know that is non-toxic materials is the key feature of an EcoSelect piece of furniture.

Oh, and by the way, if you check out the magazine, I would say that our designs fall into the category of Classic and Handsome!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy 2017 from Ken and EcoSelect

Another year has come to an end…

As I look back over 2016, I am grateful for the new friends and clients who have become a part of the EcoSelect community.

EcoSelect, in turn, has continued to welcome support and allies among those who share our belief that furniture can and should be both beautiful and safe.

Regardless of what transpires in terms of national regulations, EcoSelect is pledged to continuing to stand by its commitment to toxic-free sofas and chairs.

That means no fire retardants or formaldehyde glues. It stands for using sustainable materials including hemp and certified lumber. Equally important, we support the expertise of local craftsmen and women, who carry out the individualized labor that goes into making each piece of our furniture.

We couldn’t do it without you!

We appreciate your letters and your acknowledgment of our work through a five-star rating on Facebook. Your engagement, through ongoing interactions about the importance of environmental matters via Twitter, continue to inspire and inform us.

We are part of a larger picture is a given. It’s a mutual relationship. That is a given.

We create furniture that protects the health of families and the planet. You, as a consumer, choose to make a difference by purchasing our product. Thank you for all you do to make a positive impact on the environmental landscape.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Are These Furniture Items on Your Radar?


Our solid hardwood frames are designed to last
I always enjoy getting calls and e-mails from customers who are excited about the delivered items they have ordered.

Recently, “Jackie” wrote: “We received our loveseat today and it is fantastic. Thanks for making our third sofa for our home.”

“Joseph,” another repeat buyer, informed me about the sleeper sofa he was purchasing. He wrote, “I bought the exact same one in May 2015 for my studio apartment, and it held up so well I am getting another one to fill out the living room in my first house.”

Ironically, our loveseats and sleeper sofa are two items that customers are not always fully aware of as options.

Loveseats are designed to complement the seating of a sofa with an additional two seats in an “L” shaped setting. It creates the feeling of a sectional, but is more flexible in terms of placement. Most are about 65 inches long compared to the 85 inches of the average sofa.

In apartments, where space is at a premium, loveseats can be paired, by situating them directly facing each other. This allows for an intimate seating and conversation setting.

Note to Urban dwellers: The Savile sofa is our “apartment” size sofa at 74” long. It comes with two generous seating cushions.

Sleeper sofas also fulfill the function of space saver. All of our styles can be ordered as sleeper/sofas, except for the Malibu and Georgetown – due to construction constraints.

Sofa lines take a queen size mattress, with the exception of the Savile, Central Park, and Highland models which accommodate only a full (double) mattress.

The folding frame mechanism is top quality and weight. It has an anti-tilt function to ensure that contact with the floor is maintained at all times. A double-locking TV headrest position is included, to raise the head when desired. To guarantee no-sag support there are heavy duty tubes and wires, and the legs are one piece units for enhanced stability and strength.

Our mattresses are 5 inches thick, with a 312-coil spring unit encased by a damask cover. The mattress is hypo-allergenic.

And in case you missed it…

The Arlington, Central Park, Highland, Logan Square, and Presidio models can be ordered as recliners. Options include a swivel base or a tilt swivel base. No handle is needed to get to a comfy position! The recliner mechanism is a “push on the arms” style. The chair has up to a 350-pound weight capacity. The mechanism is a three position (sitting, TV, full recline) unit with excellent extension and elevation.
Store your remotes and magazines in the Club Ottoman


We also do a series of ottomans for folks who enjoy putting their feet up after a long day. Our multi-function Club Ottoman does well with city dwellers always looking for any extra inch of space. It is equipped with lift-lid magazine, newspaper and book storage, and a tilt-out tray for a television remote or other electronic controller storage. We all have plenty of those! The lift lid features “toy-box” spring loaded hinges which close slowly and under pressure, to prevent pinching and finger injury.

The Club Ottoman is sized for the club chairs in our line at 28 inches wide and 18 inches high. The height is a few inches lower than the seat height of chairs, designed for maximum comfort.

When it comes to choosing ottomans, don’t be afraid to mix and match. You can do a hemp covering even if you have a leather sofa or chair.

Our goal at EcoSelect is to create a variety of potential ensembles so that all your furniture can remain free of toxic chemicals!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why are you waiting over a month for a sofa?



I ran across this article in the New York Times and it obviously speaks to the EcoSelect customer mind-set. While it might raise an eyebrow to promote my competitors, the small furniture owners featured share a common vision of the future we're trying to create and we face many of the same challenges mentioned throughout the piece.
 
There is definitely one statement an owner made near the end of the column that is part of our company’s mantra: Building furniture that is meant to last a lifetime and be passed down through generations.

It also speaks to the spirit of the individual who want to express themselves, not just with words, but with action -- it's important for shoppers to be part of the process of the products they buy, as it gives a greater understanding of the kind of environmental and economical impact caused before making a purchase.

It's a promising outlook for the conscious, younger shopper that wants to do business a better way,  moving away from the mega stores that represent a homogenized consumer economy with limited choices or too many choices (not quite right for you). Customization is part of our identity and sense of being, just like the type of shoes we wear to the apps we arrange on our smartphones – and when you think about it, many of us wait months for the next smartphone to be delivered after ordering it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Witches, Goblins, and Toxins

October is the month of scary witches and goblins! Unfortunately, it’s also turning out to be more frightening than usual. With the extreme weather brought by Hurricane Matthew, here in Charleston, South Carolina, we were on guard, unsure of what the shifting patterns would bring to the area. All turned out pretty well here, though some clean-up was needed. The factory in North Carolina was not affected, despite the $1.5 billion in damage state officials estimated the storm caused. Our thoughts and prayers go out to families that suffered losses.

Climate change, chemicals in our homes, and toxins in our furniture are all pieces of the environmental picture. Ramifications connected to the disruption of nature may seem unrelated to our daily lives until we feel the results either directly or overtly.

We're experiencing the circumstances of disrupting and polluting our ecosystems as it becomes more evident the balance of our earthly cycles is increasingly upset.

Rising temperatures impact these natural cycles. The habitats and behaviors of birds and insects are a reflection of this fact as they try to adapt to new conditions and challenges. As a result, swaths of American forests are being infested with beetles, with trees suffering defoliation and dying. Forest fires have also become prevalent.

It’s all interrelated.

Toxins in sofa materials negatively damage the health of kids, adults, and pets. This can include skin, eye, and respiratory reactions. For our youngest children, harmful contaminants taken out of infant clothes but still remaining in fire retardants can translate into lower IQs, cognitive, and learning disorders. Among firefighters, who are on the front line of contact with the chemicals released in home fires, cancer is on the rise.

As Halloween approaches, remember that the ghouls and goblins we don’t see can have consequences. EcoSelect believes that each of us, whether as individuals or as a business entity, play a role in keeping the planet safe. When you enjoy your candy and treats this October 30th, know that when you sit on our furniture, there will be no hidden surprises lurking like ghosts!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why EcoSelect is an Online Only Furniture Company

Solid hardwood-frame construction,
proudly made in the USA.
I want to answer a specific question that many of those new to EcoSelect have asked.

For some consumers, initially, purchasing a larger ticket item on the Internet may be a new experience. In the case of furniture, there may be some trepidation about not being able to sit on an actual chair or sofa.

However, particularly with the latest iteration of our website, we have found that clients are extremely pleased with the ease of navigation through our “Collection” styles, and in depth information on our back story and values.

As a family-owned business, we enjoy the personal contact we have developed with those who have connected with us via a search for toxic-free furniture, social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google+), in the green space, or direct shout-outs from the blogosphere (Check our kudos from Greenwake!).

Every day, I conduct conversations that morph from answering a few simple introductory inquires, to a deep dive on the story of how flame retardants got into our furniture in the first place. The dialogue inevitably becomes more personal and specific. What kind of household do you have? Are there children or pets? How big is your living space?

A walk through on these issues gives me a picture of which collections would best suit an individual’s taste and sensibilities. (Full disclosure: I’ve been in the furniture biz for 40 years!)

I understand how a sleep sofa can create additional options for an urban dweller, and why a sectional is a perfect centerpiece in a large, suburban living room. Accents and details are key, so I make sure that purchasers feel secure about their choice of foot styles, wood colors, and whether they really want nail heads.

We send out samples of fabric and leather in potential color considerations, so that you can experience how they feel and look in your d├ęcor. Every item is made to order, so if you are exceptionally tall folks, we will also factor that into the equation. Once you have been through that process, read through our testimonials to see what actual buyers have said.

Finally, big advantages of not owning a showroom and inventory warehouse allow us to keep our carbon footprint low and pass savings to the customer by eliminating high overhead costs. And, while the factory is located in Hickory, N.C., our office headquarters is based in South Carolina, thereby allowing all out-of-state orders to be purchased without sales tax. This combination allows us to deliver luxurious, high-quality furniture at very competitive prices.

We are always a phone call (843-737-5701), or e-mail away. We're available Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST). If you leave a voice message, please tell us how we can help and preferred contact, and we'll always get back to you!