Bedding, pillows from the High Point Furniture Market

Eastern Accents shows its Spring 2011 introductions at the High Point furniture market, beginning this weekend. The company has partnered with Barclay Butera to create a new collection of bedding and pillows. Barclay Butera Bedding was designed to create the icing on the cake for the already successful Barclay Butera Lifestyle home furnishings line.

Inspired by trips to Europe, the company’s designers created three additions to the Eastern Accents line: Gallagher features a beautiful earth-tone crewel, Ceylon a blue and white ikat and Daphne the latest of French and Belgian mode.
Playing off the travel theme, Eastern Accents has introduced several pillows in its Studio 773 line. Bon Voyage and Destination are two new collections featuring beautiful map fabrics and block-printed burlap. Jet Setter is a pillow in the shape of a suitcase.
The six new Niche Bedding & Living collections and a pillow program are inspired by fashion trends; the designers paired yellow and gray earth tones and metallic to create transitional bedding.
De Medici Fine Linens will display its new jacquard called Lunetta. Available in the subtle pearl, biscotti, and truffle tones, this introduction is a 560 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton sateen. Pairing perfectly with Lunetta is the Deluca collection, which includes three new solid sateen colors.

Eastern Accents has supplemented the richly elegant Marquise line with more decorative pillows. Embroidered silk, burnt-out velvet, and faux leather pillows are the perfect finishing touches to any Marquise bed. They have also expanded the faux leopard textiles collection Congo to include upholstered ottomans and table runners.

Classic plastic boxes in 5 new colors

AMAC has been producing the classic M Series boxes since 1960. This year, the company exhibited at the Housewares Show for the first time. It introduced five new colors: Ember, Olive, Pink, Slate and Marine. They will only be available packaged in retail friendly "Consumer Packs." The smallest three sizes are wrapped in sets of three, the two medium sizes are packed in sets of two and the four largest sizes are wrapped singly. Together, this colorful collection of jewel tone boxes adds a splash of color to any retail environment.

Company founder Gene Hurwitt designed the boxes in 1960 in the bohemian enclave of Sausalito, Calif. AMAC boxes joined the permanent collection of New York's MoMA in 1966.

Webinar for retailers this Friday

press release

The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA), whose mission is to lead and transform the gift and home industry, ensuring its long term health and viability, has announced a new educational benefit for its members: "First Friday" webinars. The monthly webinars will feature industry veterans and experts speaking to a variety of industry-relevant issues and content.

The inaugural "First Friday" will be held on Friday, April 1, 2011, at 12:00 PM EST. Betsy Harrington, Senior Vice President of Sales at Woodstock Chimes, and John Keiser, CEO of OneCoast and GHTA board member, will present "How to Conduct Effective Business Reviews Between Sales Agencies and Vendors." The content covered in the webinar includes the importance of doing a monthly review, components of a monthly review, and what sales agencies and vendors can do to contribute to the review. This webinar will be offered to non-GHTA members this month only at no additional cost.

"This new membership benefit allows companies to start and continue significant conversations regarding relevant topics to our industry," says Cindy Henry, Executive Vice President of Wellspring and GHTA board member. "One of the greatest benefits of GHTA membership is the opportunity the Association provides to network and talk with other industry participants, sharing knowledge and best practices. This benefit provides an excellent platform for this type of interaction."

"First Friday" webinars are designed to enhance GHTA membership by offering a platform to share content and concepts relevant to the gift and home industry, as well as share thoughtful and meaningful discussion. "First Friday" is named for many of the industry's retail communities, which offer special events and opportunities on the first Friday of the month.

May's "First Friday" will address issues related to doing business in China. The presentation, "China – A 'State of the State' and Implications for the Industry," will be led by David Moses, with Next Step Strategies, Inc., Rick Contino, President of Midwest-CBK, and George Kacic, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ganz.

To learn more about the Gift and Home Trade Association, its membership opportunities and programs, visit

About the Gift and Home Trade Association
GHTA is the gift and home industry's non-profit professional trade association comprised of vendors, sales agencies, retailers and industry affiliates work together to improve relationships. The GHTA's mission is to lead and transform the gift and home industry to ensure its long-term health and viability. The GHTA can be reached by email at For more information on the GIFT AND HOME Trade Association visit

Dining trays for indoor and outdoor use

Lappers are ergonomically designed dining trays with indentations fitted with an anti-slip silicone mat to keep plates and glasses in their place. The trays have large, comfortable handles for easy carrying. The trays nest into each other for convenient storage. Made of melamine, they are dishwasher-safe. The mats can be custom-printed (see insert photo for examples).

Stylish plastic wine, cocktail glasses

Swirl 6-ounce wine tumbler by Takeya
Swirl premium plastic wine and cocktail party tumblers are suitable for around a swimming pool and parties when glass is not an option. The built-in swirl ridge on the glass is at the 6-ounce pour line. The ridge is also positioned to give the hand a grip on the glass.
The tumblers are made of BPA-free plastic. They hold 16 ounces. The glasses are sold in two-packs, six-packs and 72-packs (for institutional buyers). There is a four-pack mail order box option, too. Swirl is sold by Takeya.

Bill Clinton to give keynote at Las Vegas market

Press release

LAS VEGAS—(March 25, 2011) —World Market Center Las Vegas is rolling out the red carpet for President Bill Clinton, who will be the keynote speaker for the Summer 2011 Las Vegas Market, Aug. 1-5.

President Clinton’s speech, “A Conversation with Bill Clinton,” will focus on the challenge of globalization, emphasize our growing interdependence, and point the way toward a common future based on shared goals and values. Following his keynote address, President Clinton will participate in a moderated question and answersession. All registered Las Vegas Market attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to attend the keynote, sponsored by World Market Center and the iComfort® Sleep System by Serta®.

Complimentary and exclusively for registered attendees of Las Vegas Market, the private event will take place during Market’s opening night, Monday, Aug. 1 at 6:45 p.m. on the World Market Center campus and will be accompanied by a special reception for all attendees. Online registration for Summer Market opens next month and will offer attendees the opportunity to reserve their spot at the keynote event.

“Globalization has changed the furnishings industry more significantly than anything else in our time,” said Robert Maricich, World Market Center Las Vegas president and chief executive officer. “It indisputably has created new challenges as well as opportunities for our industry. Thanks to Serta, the event’s co-sponsor, we can provide our attendees with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear directly from President Clinton, a world leader and one of the foremost experts on globalization and the economy. Home furnishings professionals at Las Vegas Market will benefit from President Clinton’s insights and solutions on the most pressing economic and social issues in the U.S. and abroad.”

Retailers, designers, manufacturers and industry professionals planning to attend Las Vegas Market this August are encouraged to plan in advance and register online in order to receive their badges before the show. When registering, attendees are also encouraged to book their hotel rooms through World Market Center’s online hotel block to ensure discounted rates.

For more information, please visit

The blog celebrates its 2nd anniversary

Thank you, readers. You have been supporting Gift & Home Today for two years now. My first post on March 25, 2009 was about color and design trends for the year.  I started this blog as a way to stay connected to the gift and home furnishings industry after the demise of Home Decor Buyer magazine. I was the founding (and only) editor.
Gift, furniture and home accessories sources have been generous with the information and photos they provide me. You, the reader, have been generous with your time to visit this site, and to return. This blog outperforms blogs of similar size on most measurements (including visits, page views and time on the site).
Use the archives or the product cloud (on the right) or the find box (in the top left) to look for items that have been published. You might find a new source or a new idea.
I hope that what you see here inspires you to create a beautiful environment in your home. And, if you find something you wish to own, I hope that you buy it from a locally owned bricks-and-mortar retailer in your town.

New Retailer Members Can Receive $150 Discount

Press Release

Throughout the month of April, (HFIA) Home Furnishings Independents Association will offer a $150 discount to retailers who register as new members of the organization.

Mary Frye, president of HFIA, will welcome prospective and current members to the association’s booth in the atrium of the Furniture Plaza building, 210 South Main Street, High Point, NC, during the High Point Market. Frye will be available to answer questions and provide details regarding the organization’s many benefits Saturday, April 2 through Thursday, April 7.

HFIA offers a comprehensive range of business services dedicated to providing solutions to meet retail back office needs. Acting as an extension of store staff, HFIA manages the behind the scenes store services that allow owners to focus on their top priority, customers.

“We’re not able to sell furniture on your floor,” notes Frye, “but we offer personalized business services to make sure you can.”

Member services include discounted bank card processing, consumer financing, low-cost freight programs, competitively-priced business insurance, on-line furniture sales training and sales aids.

“In nearly forty years spent as an independent furniture retailer, we have been members of many organizations and associations,” states Louis S. Casey, CEO and President, Casey's Furniture, Inc., Temple, Texas. “The one we appreciate the most is HFIA.  Teamwork is vital to our business, and as a member of HFIA we have even more teammates working on our behalf.  Check out the benefits, join HFIA, and put their team to work for you.”

To print an application or for more information about HFIA, visit the association’s website at

Cook set for fruits and vegetables

The Apple Cooker set from Mastrad is said to be a better way to cook fruits and vegetables. Fruits cook in the microwave or a conventional oven.

The set includes two non-stick, BPA-free silicone apple cookers, one corer with scoop and a recipe book. The scoop has a slight tip, which helps pierce the fruit flesh and enables swift removal of the core and seeds in one clean motion. The scoop is also marked for one teaspoon and one tablespoon measures to make food prep easier. Sets are available in candy apple red, apple green and black.

Under-bed storage products

Evriholder Products’ patented Rise ‘N Stor bed risers are said to be “the perfect solution” for cramped dorm rooms and living quarters. The risers lift the bed 6 inches for under-bed storage of mobile phones, TV remotes, keys, notebooks and other items. There is a large compartment for magazines, books and papers while the slits in the storage pod accommodate chargers and cables. The storage pod even spins for easy access.

The Rise ‘N Stor five-piece set includes four bed risers and one storage pod which comes in lime green and gray colors.

Keith Haring art livens up mops and brooms

Dust pans from the Keith Haring collection
The Keith Haring Cleaning Collection from Casabella uses the late artist's imagery on mops, broom, dust pans and microfiber dusting cloths. Casabella's cleaning tools, kitchen and bath accessories and organizing products have received numerous design awards and industry recognition. It also markets the BE Gourmet line of food prep.

Tagine in new colors holds 4 quarts

The Emile Henry large tagine is now available in fig and olive colors. Introduced at the Housewares show in Chicago this month, the large tagine is 12.5 inches in diameter and holds nearly 4 quarts of food (enough to serve six people).

It is made from an innovative ceramic technology that allows the vessel to be used directly on a heat source or stovetop (for browning meats and vegetables) and then can be placed in the oven for a gentle, flavor-producing simmer. The traditional tagine lid allows the steam to rise, condense on the walls and then moisten the food below.

Create a French bistro at home

Picardie tumblers
The Picardie Tumbler is a popular drinking glass used in French bistros, cafeterias and homes. Duralex offers multiple sizes of the stackable tumbler. The glass is extremely tough and durable and will last for many years without breaking or chipping. Eight sizes range from 3.25 ounces to nearly 17 ounces.

The Duralex For Kids collection of glass, bowls, tumblers and plates are BPA-free, 100% recyclable, dishwasher and microwave-safe and an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Made in France, the collection is said to be 4 to 5 times stronger than standard glass.

The “le Gigogne" (below) is an iconic drinking glass used in cafeterias for half a century. It is considered to be a national treasure.

le Gigogne, an iconic drinking glass from France

Home decor people in the news

Mike Mebane
Mike Mebane is chief executive officer of Linwood Furniture and Jeff Schwall has been named to the new position of executive vice president of sales and marketing, reporting to Mebane. Linwood was founded six years ago as a dream of artist and furniture designer Bob Timberlake to keep and create furniture manufacturing jobs in North Carolina.
For many years, Mebane worked for chemical fibers company UNIFI Inc. as the company grew from $350 million to over $1.7 billion in sales. His positions included director of industrial engineering, vice president of strategic planning, vice president of international operations, division president and a member of the company’s executive committee. Mebane has worked in 25 nations throughout the world, and as a consultant he has helped a number of large and small companies through challenging periods.
He say his goals for Linwood are clear cut. “We have the opportunity to become known for customization of our products and of our finishes, and for providing short runs when quick delivery is needed,” Mebane says. “We want to augment the global supply footprint as we strengthen national distribution and expand our dealer base.”
Jeff Schwall
Schwall, a 26-year industry veteran, will be responsible for developing sales and marketing strategies for the Linwood brand, Linwood—Carolina Furniture Artisans Collections, and OEM opportunities, along with managing all aspects of product development, creation of marketing materials and activities, and supervision of public relations.

Dallas Market Center said Laura Dumas has been promoted to vice president of creative services. In the position, Dumas will promote the Dallas Market Center through the strategic management of all creative services including advertising, special events, visual merchandising and the company’s custom publications.

Weekend special report: Outdoor furniture trends

The following report was submitted by the American Home Furnishings Alliance, High Point, N.C., which represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors of residential furnishings, including nearly 100 producers of outdoor furniture. Consumers seeking more information should go to

Lloyd Flanders Great Lakes collection
Fresh Color, Improved Function, Maximum Value Await Furniture Shoppers This Season

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Daylight-Saving Time not only signals the onset of longer days, but also the beginning of the outdoor living season. Homeowners shopping for new outdoor furnishings this year will find stores stocked with fresh color, surprising new motion furniture and maximum value in all categories.

Alfresco Home's Blue Hawaiian Margarita Bistro set
“Once we change our clocks, we know the first day of spring is right around the corner. That causes a lot of us to take a long look out the backdoor at our outdoor living spaces. It’s time to begin planning improvements for the warmer days ahead,” observes Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

After the long gray days of winter, the first thing many homeowners want to add is a splash of color to their porch or patio. “Crisp shades of blue and green are expected to be favorites this year, but for those who already have cushions in neutral earth tones, a pop of red or orange is a quick and easy way to brighten your space,” says Hirschhaut.

Blue this season is more tropical than nautical, with shades of aqua waters and azure skies more popular than marine navy. Forest green remains a staple at popular prices, but softer shades of sage and celadon are a better complement to this season’s new neutral: gray.

“Gray rolled into the outdoor living palette this year like a fast-moving summer storm,” Hirschhaut notes. “It is the trend-forward choice in every major material for outdoor furnishings.” From polished steel to hand-forged iron, weathered gray teak to driftwood shades of synthetic wicker, gray is the backdrop for all other outdoor color directions this season. Stripes, geometric prints and florals large and small pair gray with everything from butter yellow to poppy red to those tropical blues.

Agio's Haywood fire pit chat group
Whether shopping for dining or lounge furniture, homeowners will find it’s increasingly difficult to sit still this year. Dining chairs bounce and swivel, while lounge chairs rock, recline and rotate. “And two old-fashioned favorites are making a strong comeback this season: rockers and gliders,” Hirschhaut points out.

Villa Bistro set from O.W. Lee
Finally, in all price points and in all styles, the added attention to small details is hard to miss this year. Design flourishes – from detailed scroll work in chair backs to shaped table bases to those ubiquitous motion features – mean added value for outdoor furniture shoppers.

“It’s a great time for sprucing up outdoor living spaces,” Hirschhaut notes. “Even shoppers on a limited budget will find a lot of style and a lot of function without a lot of looking.”

Acropolis collection from Woodard
Telescope Casual Furniture's Adirondack Sling collection

A set of 3 nesting birch bowls

The new Family Tree bowl set from The Great Alaskan Bowl Company includes 7-inch, 9-inch and 11-inch birch bowls. The set comes with a display stand, a bottle of block oil, an instruction card and wood chips.
The company was a first-time exhibitor at the Housewares show this month in Chicago.

The classic French press coffee maker

Bodum says its Chambord French press system is the greenest way to make a cup of coffee. A user pours in just as much water as she needs. There is no metal, plastic or paper waste. The coffee grounds are compostable.

Moreover, the company says the materials of the press (glass and stainless steel) are completely taste-free "so nothing comes between your ground coffee beans."

View a Bodum commercial (below).

Dinnerware in stripes and solids; paper goods for Halloween

Trade Associates Group, better known as simply tag, exhibited more than 600 new items in a wide range of materials at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago this month. tag says many of the introductions are in stock and ready to ship.

Highlights included:

The new Sonoma Stripe
6 1/2" appetizer plates in 10 Sonoma dinnerware colors, with a handy new iron plate caddy (upper left). The company introduce new Sonoma Stripe in two colorways, Celadon and Chocolate, that complement the entire assortment. In addition, a rich, new Sonoma Navy colorway was shown (below).

• Handmade mosaic glass in Halloween (below); Jardin; Fall Flora and Harvest; and tag’s Christmas collections Mistletoe, Holiday Elegance, Christmas Holiday, and Hope, Peace and Joy.
An owl motif on mosaic glassware

• Colorful new paper tabletop products including plates, cups, bowls and napkins in Halloween, Fall Flora, Harvest and Hope, Peace and Joy.
Paper goods from tag

Fiesta dinnerware in fresh, new colors

At the Housewares Show this month, Homer Laughlin China Co. celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Fiesta dinnerware line. It was originally designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead in 1936. Discontinued in 1973, Fiesta made a resurgence in 1986. The line is popular for bridal registries and with collectors. The company continues to introduce new colors and retire older ones. The March 7 Gift & Home Today post featured the company's soup tureen in the new Marigold color.

Fiesta blue
Diner Bistro

Fiesta Marigold