Tips & Trends: Designer benches
Collected short subjects.
MacKenzie-Childs offers the Ridiculous Bench. Photo courtesy MacKenzie-Childs.
High-style designers are branching out into the furniture market.
MacKenzie-Childs, made famous by its quirky tableware, crafts equally high-quality and whimsical furniture, such as the Ridiculous Bench ($3,850).
Viewing this bench is like peeking into a fairy tale, with its odd combinations of patterns and accents. The kooky designs hand-painted onto the wood seem to be mismatched, yet join together in harmony alongside a fringe of handmade glass beads, brass buttons and silk roses. The reversible seat cushion toggles between a dark floral print and tomato and ochre stripe.
Other MacKenzie-Childs furnishings and accent pieces include beds, cabinets, chests, mirrors, tables and more seating. The new Courtly Campaign collection features signature MacKenzie-Childs embellishments such as the checkered pattern, combined with natural woven fiber. Furnishings and other products are available at Occasionally Yours at Easton and at mackenzie-childs.com.
Tommy Bahama, the clothing line iconic of lazy summer sophistication, also is expanding its classy island charm to a furniture line, part of Lexington Home Brands.
The exotic Serengeti Bench is certainly a conversation piece, and adds funky flair to any room. The bench is included in Tommy Bahama’s Kingstown collection, inspired by British Colonial design and punctuated by a hint of safari.
The comfy cushion features an adventurous zebra-patterned, hair-and-hide cover and decorative nail trim. The bench, along with other furnishings are available online at lexington.com.
Not too hot, not too cold, the ChiliBed mattress, which debuted earlier this year, hopes to get it just right.
More than just a pad that goes under a spring mattress, the ChiliBed is a foam mattress with a network of pipes embedded throughout its center. A remote control sets the temperature and then water heats or cools in a pump and flows through the bed’s interior coils.
The mattresses have been marketed as helpful for consumers facing insomnia, menopause, chemotherapy and other conditions that affect sleep. Caution should be applied to the uncomfortable extremes the bed can cool and heat to—the lowest it can go is 48 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest is 118.
Heating and cooling can be done in two zones for double mattresses. Prices start at $1,499 for a twin and go to $3,049 for a dual zone California King.
The mattress can be found online at chilitechnology.com and the websites of Target, Amazon, Mattress Giant, DriNights, Beyond Beds and QVC.
And here’s some company pillow talk: The Chili Technology co-founder Todd Youngblood is the nephew of inventor Charles Hall, who created the waterbed in the 1960s.
Mirror mirrorThe modern furniture designer Porada, based in Italy, has created a variety of mirrored pieces that have a distinctively mid-century look. Available through eurotrendusa.com, the Empire credenza ($9,600) and the Queen chest of drawers ($6,000) add a dash of reflection to any room.
—Sherry Beck Paprocki
Don’t miss this
An appearance by HGTV interior designer Frank Fontana, star of “Design on a Dime,” and other special events will mark this year’s Building Industry Association’s Parade of Homes, July 24 through Aug. 8 at Ackerly Park in New Albany. Fontana’s appearance is scheduled for 11 am July 25.
Homes featured on the tour are loaded with design tips, ranging from cutting-edge appliances to landscaping trends that feature outdoor rooms that incorporate water as well as fire.
Despite an industry hit hard by the recession, eight builders will have completed elaborate homes by the Parade’s preview party on July 23. “With the size of these homes I don’t think anyone will be disappointed,” explains Patty Sobiech, BIA assistant executive director. At least one home is larger than 5,000 square feet, and two of the homes were sold by early June. Prices range from $400,000 to more than $800,000.
Tickets to the preview party, which offers a tour of homes from 6-10 pm July 23, are $75. The tour is open noon to 9 pm Monday through Thursday, 10 am to
9 pm Friday and Saturday and 10 am to
6 pm Sunday. (There is no admittance one hour prior to closing.)
Tickets are $12 and parking is $2. Information regarding Fontana’s appearance and other special events can be obtained at biaparade.com.
—Sherry Beck Paprocki
$1,225,000 3898 Baughman Grant, 43054 Andrew Fox Bohutinsky and Elizabeth M. Siemer from Donna M. Turlinski
$1,150,000 29 Wiveliscombe, 43054 Thomas H. Mallory Jr. from Kimberly A. Danosi
and Lisette M. McVey
and Patricia L. Shaw