IT’S A TRIED-and-true decorating strategy: Paint the walls white, and introduce color via the furnishings. But in this prewar New York apartment, paintings, rugs, and seating aren’t the only things that add pizzazz. Each bathroom is painted a different vibrant hue. “You might not want to use so much color in a living room,” says interior designer John Barman, who was brought in to give the whole apartment a new look. “But in a bathroom, a space you’re only in for short periods of time, strong color is a great idea.”
The bathrooms were anything but colorful when Barman entered the picture. The owners, a couple with two children, had just created a four-bedroom duplex by combining two 2,800-square-foot apartments. The baths—the renovation yielded seven–had been redone; six were white. “Nice but not very exciting” was Barman’s assessment of the classic subway tile on the walls, the floors of tumbled marble, and the pedestal sinks. Because the owners, who’d spent 10 months in a hotel during the renovation, were a tad fired of home improvement, Barman suggested tackling one room at a time.
Powder room off the living room
First came the powder room off the living room. Barman proposed painting the walls of this windowless space the same chocolate brown as the living room sofa and rug. “Dark colors are good for rooms without windows,” he explains. “They’re nighttime colors, and nighttime is exactly when guests will be using this room.” Skeptical at first, the owners went along with the experiment. They were glad they did. When the work was finished, the small space emerged dramatic and glamorous, setting off the couple’s black-and-white Isabel Bishop prints from the `40s–and solving another design problem. Because renovating the apartment had involved taking down so many walls, space for hanging art was greatly reduced; now bathrooms serve as galleries. Dampness isn’t a concern, because showers are rarely used in some, and others are well ventilated.
The powder room was such a success that Barman applied the same formula–bold paint, interesting artwork–in the other six baths, always selecting a color from an adjacent room. The walls in the master bath, for example, are the purple of the bedroom carpet. “We used a strie finish because a solid purple would have been too dark,” he notes. Pink, the color of the daughter’s bath, harmonizes with her bedroom, which is beige with a pink easy chair and pink pillows.
Paint type was just as important as color in producing what the owners now call their “happy bathrooms.” Barman specified Hascolac oil paints from the Dutch company Schreuder; he likes their saturated tones and unbelievable glossiness. Before the new paint went on, the walls were skim-coated and sanded to a fare-thee-well. “Flat paint can hide problems, but shiny paint will show every flaw,” he points out. “We did a lot of prep work, so now the walls are perfect. If anyone decides to change the colors, they can just paint right over what’s there.” Considering how terrifically these rooms turned out, who’d ever want to?
The first time architects Clinton and Diana Grobler inspected this 1880s semi-detached brick cottage, it seemed to have little going for it. Not only did the property sport a poorly conceived extension from the 1960s – which was painted in a violent mix of colours and created the feeling of a rabbit warren – but large trees at the front of the house blocked the light and the sweeping city views, and the backyard appeared to be a mishmash of outbuildings.
However, despite these apparent drawbacks, when Clinton and Diana first walked into the place they could immediately see its potential. And in their capable hands, it was soon transformed. The couple added a new, modern extension constructed of concrete slabs. Although contemporary in design, it was so sympathetically fashioned that the transition between the old cottage and the new space appears almost seamless.
“The generous Victorian room proportions – like the high ceilings – have been continued in the extension, and the vertical proportion of existing window openings have been reinterpreted into floor-to ceiling slot windows on the one side of the building,” Clinton says.
“Contemporary joinery and lighting has also been used throughout the existing and new buildings, which helps to unify the spaces,” he adds.
“And there is also a clear visual connection from the front door of the cottage through to the external terrace of the extension.”
Externally, too, the elevation of the extension is sympathetic to the height and proportions of the Victorian cottage – “Hopefully concealing the fact that the extension is a three-floor addition to a single-storey building!” Clinton says. “Our intention was always to design the extension as a contemporary space that complements the existing Victorian cottage without imitating it.”
As a major component of any space, it’s important to give it the same consideration as the walls and decor when compiling your materials and colour palette. Choosing a rug with a design and colour scheme that works with your exisiting flooring and ties in with your furnishings can make the difference between pulling together a look or having that strange feeling that something in the room isn’t quite right. Here are some suggestions on how to mix and match rugs with six different floors.
1. Hide away High-end coloured cowhide in Spiga (size varies: 4.5 sq m to 5.5 sq m), from $935, NSW Leather Co.
2. Indigo blue Esprit ESP-2324-01 handtufted acrylic rag (1.7m x 2.4m), $899, DecoRug. Also in 1.2m x 1.8m or 2m x 3m.
3. Sweet shades Handwoven screenprinted multicoloured stripe lute rug (1.2m x 1.8m), $176, World Weave. Also available as a runner or “petite” rug.
4. Hand written Obsession “Writing” handtufted embossed acrylic rug (1.6m x 2.3m), $599, Domayne.
Based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, SATRA is primarily a membership-based organisation with over 1,500 member companies spread across 70 countries. These include manufacturers, retailers, resourcing companies and suppliers of materials, components and machinery. SATRA’s aim is to increase the profitability of its clients by giving them exclusive access to research and a wide range of independently accredited testing services and products.
SATRA has an annual turnover exceeding 7 million [pounds sterling] and derives is revenue from a mix of membership subscriptions, testing work for both member and non-member companies, sales of test equipment, and part-funding for a number of European based research projects.
It also offers management services and computerised systems to improve efficiency, and more than 100 items of test equipment for sale are made on site. Ongoing research covers topics such as furniture comfort, solvent-free adhesives, advice on implementing environmental legislation. Added to this is the regular publication of technical and market information.
In 1999 SATRA further developed its existing furniture testing facilities with the installation of a new furniture laboratory, representing an investment approaching 150,000 [pounds sterling] in new plant and equipment.
Today, SATRA’s furniture lab is temperature and humidity controlled and includes all the necessary equipment for assessing all types of furniture for a wide range of world markets, including domestic, hotel, hospital, contract and office sectors.
Extensive laboratories and trained staff evaluate materials and components such as: upholstery covers, cabinet materials, furniture finishes where resistance to liquids, solvents, chemicals, dry and wet heat, mechanical damage, abrasion and the effects of light. Facilities include five conditioned laboratories that allow testing to all relevant ISO, European and national standards.
Additional facilities include technology to measure the resilience and comfort of foam fillings, and several large climatic chambers (which can be set between -40 deg C to +40 deg C) to test the resistance to elevated temperatures for furniture assemblies, such as kitchen and bedroom doors and fascias, and the simulation of conditions inside freight containers.
SATRA also helps its clients with important safety regulations. Advice and full evaluation services are available to deal with flammability of beds and upholstery, entrapment issues with bunk beds and folding furniture, and the toxicity of materials (EN 71) used in nursery furniture.
SATRA’s Furniture Technology Centre
Head of SATRA’s Furniture Technology Centre, John Shipman, explains: ‘Our furniture laboratory has seen significant development in its testing and research capabilities over the last three years. This clearly demonstrates SATRA’s ongoing commitment to expanding its evaluation and testing resources. We can now offer a wide range of exciting opportunities to the furniture industry and provide an unparalled level of service.
‘SATRA is committed to providing the very best services demanded by industry at a price that can be afforded. We already serve a large customer base–including the domestic, contract, office, hotel, and shop-fitting sectors–and further expansion and investment has made SATRA the one-stop-shop for the furniture industry’s technology related needs.’
During 2003 SATRA has invested in a purpose built, state of the art, laboratory at its second site in Kellering. With over 70% of SATRA’s business coming from overseas, customers are keen to ensure that their products meet UK fitness-for-purpose expectations.
The new laboratory, planned for completion in January 2004, will include the largest, dedicated furniture flammability centre in the world. It will also be fitted with a range of SATRA-produced test equipment for evaluating beds, mattresses, bunk beds, office desks, office screens and office chairs etc.
SATRA offers a range of competitive services aimed at improving technology, reducing production costs, ensuring product safety, technical troubleshooting, and increasing technical awareness. Testing of materials, components and complete items of furniture, to UK and international performance standards, is available for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. SATRA’s main services cover:
* Surface finish
The suitability of decorative and functional surface finishes can be evaluated through performance testing, which will determine whether materials are ‘fit-for-purpose’.
* Domestic upholstery
Upholstery cover performance is crucial to preventing complaints. SATRA can help ensure that products perform to customer expectations.
Flammability is a key issue for all types of upholstered furniture. Domestic products must meet specific regulations in the UK. Upholstered furniture and beds for use in hotels, and other contract situations must also meet special UK requirements.
* Cabinet furniture
Cabinet furniture in the home needs to be fit-for-purpose and able to withstand everyday knocks and repeated use.
* Beds and mattresses
SATRA offers unbeatable testing services for bed manufacturers that need materials or complete items tested by an independent third party for marketing, due diligence, or compliance purposes.
* Bunk beds
Bunk beds are recognised as major potential causes of injury in the home and in a few instances can lead to child deaths. SATRA can offer practical expert advice.
* Garden furniture
With the growth in garden furniture sales and the prospect of more products being made overseas, SATRA has created a set of Furniture Guidelines to help retailers, importers or resourcing companies be sure that the garden products are fit-for-purpose.
* Office seating
Accelerated testing techniques, unique to SATRA, are ideal for product development. Chair mechanisms can be tested in a few days rather than several weeks.
* Kitchen furniture
SATRA can ensure materials and methods of construction conform to the latest industry standards and SATRA Guidelines.
* Bathroom furniture
Steamy bathrooms can be potentially damaging to bathroom cabinets. SATRA’s high humidity chambers are used to evaluate wood based items for swelling, distortion and cracking of decorative finishes.
Nursery reclining chair furniture must be safe. It sounds obvious, but there is the risk of manufacturers and retailers forgetting that the finish on the item must not harm users if it is ingested through sucking or chewing. In this reclining nursery chair segment, the company has received the most rated and best reviews from customers.
The processing range of Jet machines is broad, quality and precision standards are high and while most British carpenters and joiners have no experience of Jet standards, the Jet range leads its sector in the American market.
The American woodworking marketplace has well established carpentry and joinery traditions and is roughly five times the size of the UK’s in terms both of user base and machine sales potential. Quality standards also are high right across the US where per capita wealth can afford the best timber joinery and indeed insists upon it at the checkout. Standards are stimulated by a home grown limber resource that is significantly in advance of our own–particularly in terms of hardwoods.
Jet has led the American market for most of the 50 years that the machines have been available there–the manufacturer is in fact Swiss: Walter Meier Holdings AG (WMH Group). And the Jet range encompasses everything that the small carpentry or joinery sheep needs–including a range of bag unit dust extractors, ducting and secondary air filtration for the ultimate in clean working environmental control.
Build standards and performance are so high that many individual machines find their way into small corners of large factories across the USA where they address essential low volume or specialist duties at a fraction of the cost of higher technology specialist machines. Jet is particularly strong in sanding and offers an extensive range of bench mounted and floor standing machines running disk, belt, spindle, drum and edge sanding options in a range of operating formats and many individual machines combine two or more sanding disciplines.
When materials and components are not fit for purpose there is a high risk of customer complaints, product failure and the possibility of claims for compensation. Product specifications are a vital part of the buying process and ensure product uniformity. They assist with the task of demonstrating that due diligence has been exercised and that ‘all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure a product is safe’.
Key areas where SATRA can help retailers who are thinking of resourcing:
* Advice on the content of product specifications
* Up to-date information on product safety legislation including: The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 and 92/59/EEC; glass in furniture; bunk beds; upholstery; wire management in office furniture; the UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
* Detailed performance standards for materials, components and complete items–SATRA’s Furniture Guidelines are useful here
In this article, we introduce about Lamin 8, an innovative tech co. for furniture design from kitchen system to living room furniture and office furniture.
Various manufacturing options for furniture design
The company used to use two manual beam saws, involving hard physical work of lifting heavy boards. The work was very tiring for operators, especially with the increasing amounts of overtime having to be worked to meet orders.
Newco Products has three custom built factories on a 3,200sq m site at the Bridge Road Depot in Stratford’s Abbey Road for furniture manufacturing including kitchen system, chair, recliner, table, …. Of these, fitted kitchen systems manufacture, the focus of the upgrade, is the biggest single employer by volume; bespoke timber joinery and uPVC windows and doors and support services make up the balance.
A new panel processing line by Ortza was installed by sole UK distributor NEY and the primary purpose of the technology upgrade was the assessment, placement and training as well as direct employment, of some of London’s 20,000 disabled people. Kitchen manufacture was originally established by Newco in the early 80s and moved to the new custom built factory complex at Bridge Road Depot in 1994 producing kitchen cabinet furniture for the council housing and renovation programmes but was, by today’s standards, relatively low key technologically.
The Newco name was first established in 1922 to provide employment for victims of the first world war, many of whom had been blinded in mustard gas attacks, and has a proud, long standing tradition in training and rehabilitation.
The three shop floors at Bridge Road Depot between them now employ a full time payroll of around 80 people of which 35 work in the kitchen and joinery factories, around 20 in the uPVC plant and the balance in Newco’s support services administrative offices there. The Newco workforce includes people with a range of disabilities, including blindness, some of whom have been on the team for up to 40 years.
Whereas in the past a large proportion of staff were trained by Newco for Newco, the emphasis is now changing. In 2001 an employment programme was introduced under the government’s Workstep programme which placed greater emphasis on moving people from unemployed and supported employment status to mainstream jobs.
Arch Chemicals acquired the Sayerlack range of ‘Innovative Wood Solutions’, already market leaders in this and many other countries around the world, in year 2000. Now the brand has been repackaged to generate a new and dynamic image and to raise the profile of the products and everything the brand represents across a broad range of market sectors.
Protection and decorative enhancement for furniture materials
The protection and decorative enhancement of wood in all its forms has been the corporate mission of Sayerlack since its establishment as a manufacturing company in 1954 at Pianoro, in Italy–the site where the production base remains to this day. hr fire beginning the focus of the founders was directed primarily towards traditional timber joinery and veneers for architectural and interior fitting applications and for furniture manufacture and restoration.
Now, in the 21st century that remit has been extended to encompass wood based panel materials–not just in their veneered form but also foil laminated and extending to timber and panel materials deployed externally as well as internally. The role of Sayerlack branded materials has been summed up by its current owners as ‘tire ennoblement of wood and wood based materials’.
‘We must now bring together,’ says Arch Coatings managing director Ian Hobday, ‘all of the research, development and product formulation gains that we’ve made during the past three years under the umbrella of a single brand which will encapsulate, for markets worldwide, the range and scope of achievements by Arch Coatings.
In 1995 Burbidge & Son commissioned a far-reaching independent customer survey to help establish the most important supplier attributes required by its target market of small-to-medium-sized kitchen manufacturers and retailers.
The results revealed that the most important competitive edge could be gained by achieving a consistently reliable delivery performance.
Burbidge used the survey to benchmark itself against its competitors and found that while it was recognised for many positive things, particularly the quality of its products, its delivery performance was generally seen as poor.
Managing director Ben Burbidge said: “We had already started looking at transport arrangements. We had been running our own fleet, which operated an inflexible milk round, and were considering using a carrier. The survey showed service was more important to our customers than anything else and our service was bad.
“Our ability to complete and deliver on time was not very good and we were losing share to competitors on that basis. We realised that to improve we had issues to resolve that were deeper than transport.”
This is when Warwick Manufacturing Group, part of the engineering school of the University of Warwick, was consulted. Among the aims of the consultation was to:
Bathroom decoration IT’S A TRIED-and-true decorating strategy: Paint the walls white, and introduce color via the furnishings. But in this prewar New York apartment, paintings, rugs, and seating aren’t the only things that add pizzazz....
Semi-detached brick cottage House The first time architects Clinton and Diana Grobler inspected this 1880s semi-detached brick cottage, it seemed to have little going for it. Not only did the property sport a poorly conceived...
FLOORING. As a major component of any space, it’s important to give it the same consideration as the walls and decor when compiling your materials and colour palette. Choosing a rug with a design and...
Kettering-based Furniture Based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, SATRA is primarily a membership-based organisation with over 1,500 member companies spread across 70 countries. These include manufacturers, retailers, resourcing companies and suppliers of materials, components and machinery. SATRA’s...
The processing range of Jet machines is broad, quality and precision standards are high and while most British carpenters and joiners have no experience of Jet standards, the Jet range leads its sector in the...