Welcome to Inspirations
Nothing pleases us more than offering quality, elegant name brand furniture and accessories to our customers, and ensuring their satisfaction for years to come. At Charlton Furniture we are proud to have such a loyal customer base, and we love to see you when you visit. Of course, we also love to meet people who are new to the Charlton experience, and to see their expressions as they view our incredible selection for the first time!
The Charlton Furniture experience, however, is about more than sales, service and delivery. We have a passion for furniture and design. Talking shop is one of the great joys of working at Charlton Furniture.
That’s why we are pleased to announce our new blog Inspirations. It provides an inside glimpse at things we love, offers tips on decorating and designing your home, and lets you in on new products, special deals, and upcoming discounts going on at Charlton Furniture. In short, you get the inside scoop from us! Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to complete that perfect room in your home – and that is why we are adding this new feature to our website!
So let this new blog be your official welcome to the virtual version of Charlton Furniture. We cordially invite you to check back for updates and tidbits, and to learn about the latest trends that inspire us!
We are half way through February in Massachusetts – winter’s most drab and serious month – the time of year when everyone you talk to is wishing for a tropical beach vacation or simply for the sun to stay out from behind the clouds for more than an hour at a time. Towards the end of these cold, short days I find myself retreating earlier and earlier to my cozy bedroom surrounded by warm blankets, pillows, and soft lighting. One of the things I love most about my room, and what I feel makes it so inviting is my upholstered headboard.
Out of all the items in your home, your bed is probably the most personal of the investment pieces. This is the room where you begin and end your day, and where you technically spend almost half of your life. When deciding what kind of bed suits you, there are a few things to consider: How do you truly use your bed; Is it solely a place where you sleep, or do you like to spend time reading, using your tablet, or watching TV? Style plays a big role here as well. Fabric allows you to infuse your room with a pop of color, a splash of pattern, or a sumptuous texture. Compared to hard wood, an upholstered headboard creates an entirely different feeling in the room. Upholstery, is comfortable to lean against, has a luxurious feel, and looks beautifully tailored in a large or small space. Those who enjoy their pets close to them at night may have concerns about the longevity of a fabric headboard that is exposed to fur, dirt, and claws on a daily basis, but the emergence of performance fabrics have checked a lot of those boxes with upholsteries that are engineered to be easier to maintain and are generally more durable. Leather is also an excellent choice for those who want a more traditional and classic look but want the comfort of something soft. Come in and take a look at some of the models we have in our design center and decide for yourself if your ready to make the switch!
For many months now, we’ve had a small problem here at the store: There is a large, online retailer (we don’t name names 😊) that markets a line of goods with a name that is similar to ours. Their poor customers are so confused by this, that they continually call and/or email us here at Charlton Furniture for answers to their questions and (many) problems. The truly sad part is, the name they are using is entirely JUST A NAME. Consumers are led to believe that the item that they purchased online was manufactured by a company that doesn’t exist. As we have learned, each of the items has a different manufacturer that is not (usually) listed in the description. It’s heartbreaking for us to explain this to their customers.
So… who made YOUR sofa? What is the name of the person who sold it to you? When you shop locally and buy American-made furniture, you know the answers to these questions. It’s very convenient to buy online (just click and it’s done), but if you have any problems (shipping delay, incorrect size/color, damages, addition pieces) who are you supposed to call? The customer service department at that large online retailer has even told customers to Google search the “manufacturer” for themselves, instead of assisting them as they should.
Here at Charlton Furniture our staff is ready to help with YOUR furniture needs. Most of us have been here more than 10 years (some are at 20 years!). It’s very likely that you can work with the same designer or sales consultant that you were comfortable with the last time you came in: How many “big box stores” can say that? And chances are good that you’ll meet one of our 2 owners (brother and sister) while you are here. What’s even better is that we often remember YOU too!
When you #shopsmall and #shoplocal , you get the care and service that you deserve, you support your community, and get a quality product for your hard-earned money. Put down your laptop/tablet and come in to Charlton Furniture so that we can prove it to you!
That is the question!
Looking back at the last year, there is a category of furniture that seems to have experienced a surge in popularity and that is the highly personable swivel chair!
Knocking down walls in favor of a large open floor plan has been a major remodeling trend for a while now. When walls disappear, our beloved New England Colonial and Cape Cod interior architecture transforms into a multi- functional, family friendly space ideal for entertaining and leisure. Sight-lines are expanded and allow conversations to take place between two major seating areas and this is where the swivel chair gets to shine. You can spin yourself around with ease from your Monopoly game and chat with the person working in the kitchen. You can attain the perfect TV viewing angle one minute, and in seconds that little swivel chair can be put right back into showroom ready position. Now add a rocker, glider, or reclining feature with maybe a little power head tilt action and you’re practically at Six Flags!
Swivels chairs look great in pairs or in a conversation “pod” with a table in the center. They can provide a fresh seating option for those who are tired of the traditional sofa and love seat configuration. Swivel chairs also work nicely in the bedroom where many people have reading nooks and a second television or maybe a beautiful view that they’d like to take advantage of. So much style…so much function! Find your swivel chair with us today!
The fabrics were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that the perfect choice soon would be clear!
Word continues to travel that if you buy new pieces for your home from Charlton Furniture, you probably won’t need to replace them for many years, if not decades to come. Our furniture is engineered and built for endurance and sustained good looks. Thinking your investment through and feeling confident that the colors and the styles will remain interesting to you for the long haul is all part of the furniture buying process, but it can be challenging. We never want our customers to feel silly for taking the time needed to make the choices that are best for them. It is rare for someone to come in and make up their mind about a custom sofa on their very first visit. One of the best ways to choose your favorite is to take some fabrics home with you for a couple of days to see what they look like in your personal environment. Watch how the shades of the fabric may slightly change from morning to night, from natural light to lamp light. Pay attention to the other finishes that are already in the room so that you may create harmony between your new and existing furniture. This is also a good way to get the rest of the family involved in the decision.
This topic was inspired by my own Mother who is trying to buy a swivel chair for her living room. She has literally taken out about forty-five fabrics and has changed her mind at least seven times because she wants to make certain that she is making the right choice (Love you Mom). The thing to remember about decorating is that there may be several options that work nicely. It’s easy to weed out the ones that don’t make sense but narrowing down to the winner and actually pulling the trigger is the goal.
The staff at Charlton Furniture excels at guiding people to the finish line. We offer several levels of design service from simply steering you in the right direction in the showroom to house call appointments with fully executed floorplans accompanied by suggestions for frames, fabrics, rugs, art and accessories. We will give as little or as much input as you desire. The best rooms come together when there is a happy collaboration!
November is in full swing and Thanksgiving has come and gone! Everyone is gearing up for the holidays and it feels great! This is the time of year when you can sense a little extra energy in the air! This wonderful season of happiness and gratitude is upon us and we have so much to be thankful for here at Charlton Furniture! There have been major awards, fascinating trips, and spirited design sessions that help our customers cozy up their homes for the long winter ahead. We’ve been watching the handcrafted dining room tables and chairs being delivered to their new homes all month with the promise of festive family dinners right all season long. These are the quality pieces that memories are made and passed down around. These are the heirlooms that your children and grandchildren will inherit and enjoy for many years to come! We are so thankful for all of our customers!
Earlier this month, Lisa and I were invited to jump on a plane to visit the furniture capitol of the United States - North Carolina! While there, we were enriched with fabric and furniture knowledge from a premier upholstery company, Taylor King! Located about an hour North West of Charlotte, Taylor King’s facility calls the small town of Hickory its home. We were treated to a private tour of the factory where we got to meet the people we speak to on the phone every day, then we witnessed the entire process of how their beautiful furniture is created from early concept and fabric design all the way to how it is packaged up for delivery and we even found out how they come up with the names of their frames and fabrics! Seeing the genuine care and intense labor that goes into making a Taylor King piece has solidified why our customers have their sofas for 20 plus years, only to visit us because they got tired of the fabric – they are truly “Heirloom Quality.”
We were also lucky enough to visit Highpoint, N.C. which boasts the semi–annual Furniture Market! For those of you who aren’t familiar, attending Highpoint is akin to going to the SuperBowl or the World Series except it’s for furniture people! Here in New England, we can relate to the excitement of having our team involved in such an event! We were able to see the very newest and freshest looks not only from Taylor King, but from the amazing Hancock and Moore leather company, as well as the extensive collection of chairs by Jessica Charles. Each of these companies are showcased here in our Charlton Furniture showroom! You’ve heard the expression “Kids in a Candy Store?” – well, that was the perfect way to describe how we felt surrounded by the best that the industry has to offer! It was a playground of colors, textures, and pure luxury unlike anything we had ever seen! We took home samples of all the new fabrics so our customers can have them before anyone else!
There is an expanding class of upholstery fabrics in the furniture world that is ideal for embellishing the hardworking spaces of your home. These fabrics are easy to clean, and are also fade, mold, and mildew resistant. They are engineered to retain their good looks even after being abused by your children and pets. We refer to these powerhouse textiles as “Performance” fabrics.
What’s the point of having a gorgeous room if you are afraid to use it? Many families are opting for the functionality and peace of mind that a performance fabric provides. There was a time when these materials could only be found on awnings and patio furniture, but now designers have created stylish, high end weaves and patterns that have the luxurious textures of traditional upholstery. Companies like “Sunbrella” and “Crypton” are making it so much easier to feel confidant about ordering a new piece of furniture. Relaxing on your beautiful custom sofa with the game day snacks or a glass of red wine won’t be a concern when you know it is protected with the armor of a Performance upholstery fabric.
Most of these materials can be cleaned with a bleach solution which seems unbelievable! The fibers are dyed all the way through instead of just on the surface. This technique not only holds the color, but also stops the sun’s damaging rays from deteriorating the fibers over time. At Charlton Furniture, we represent many quality, American-made furniture manufacturers and they have all incorporated Performance fabrics into their selections.
There are so many things that cause worry and stress in our lives, but using your furniture like it was meant to be used doesn’t have to be one of them!
After almost 50 years of furniture design projects, our staff has observed various comfort levels when it comes to choosing rugs. For many customers, the rug buying process is a welcome chance to add a pop of color or some lively pattern: a touch of personality to accentuate the style of a brand-new room. We’ve worked with some people who swear by choosing the rug before the sofa or the table, allowing it to be the main inspiration for the entire design. For others, this layer may be the source of sleepless nights and second guessing. Rugs can be the icing on the cake; a piece of jewelry to compliment the other furniture, or simply a necessary foundation to better define a conversation area. There are a million reasons to include a rug in your floor-plan and here are a few of our favorites:
- The Cozy Factor
- Anchors the furniture
- Ties the room together
- Provides warmth and texture
- Defines the space
- Shows off your personality
Selecting a rug is not an exact science, but here are some guidelines to keep you on the right track!
Charlton Furniture would like to announce that we are proudly representing “Company C: Designs For Colorful Living” - an absolute breath of fresh air in the home furnishing industry! From handmade, humanely produced rugs to sustainably sourced custom bed and bath specialties, Company C satiates your desire for color and adds spirit and style to your room! We rolled out a few new rugs around the showroom and we are in love with them! We are rug confident, let us boost your confidence too!
We love this article on using classic design without being too trendy. If you need more help, call us!
An eye for (classic) design: How to decorate your home without falling into trends
By Nicky Zamoida / GateHouse Media Homes
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at 12:01 AM
Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, from the foundation to the roof, from the front porch to the backyard. It’s built to last, so it makes sense that you want the interior design — everything from the furniture to the decor — to last, too.
Whether you want to ensure your dining room set is timeless instead of trendy, or that a work of art could be passed down as an heirloom, finding that classic, ageless addition to your home can be daunting. No matter what your decorating tastes are, there are some pieces of design advice you can follow to ensure your space never goes out of style.
To Debra Zinn, the principal designer of Debra Zinn Interiors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, classic design means a “sense of balance, proportion and symmetry.” Have you ever wondered what it was about a room that made it especially beautiful or comfortable? “A well-designed timeless space just feels right when you walk in, even if it is not your particular style,” Zinn explained in an email.
Those key elements of interior design — balance, proportion and symmetry — refer to the shapes, sizes, positioning and colors used in the room, all in relation to both the architecture of the space and to each other. You wouldn’t hang a massive chandelier in a dining room that barely fits a table for four, and you also wouldn’t place all of your furniture on one side of the room.
Another key element is the use of lines, which bring simplicity and cleanliness to a space. Lines are a subtle, almost unconscious aspect of a room’s aesthetic. In a modern kitchen, lines are straight and corners sharp to produce a sleek and productive feel; in a mediterranean style kitchen, the curved lines of arched doorways and other elements contribute to the overall warmth and comfort.
As a guideline for interior design pieces, lines also contribute to the timelessness of a piece, which Zinn recommends, instructing her clients to “purchase pieces with simple lines” to avoid “falling into too many trends.” A smooth, streamlined couch with minimal curves is an example of this, as opposed to the “giant puffy furniture from the ’80s,” warns Zinn.
Another way to avoid fleeting fads is to curate. Sonya Allen, owner and principal designer of Sonya Allen Interiors in Rochester, New York, recommends creating a “collective mix of styles, thoughtfully put together.” Mixing artwork, furniture or decor in a thoughtful way can help make it look less dated by “showcasing and creating a well-designed space,” says Allen.
Allen also suggests using as much natural material as your budget allows. “If you use marble,” she says, “use real marble, not fill marble.” Zinn also emphasizes natural items as classic must-haves for the home. “I love trying to incorporate something from nature into every room,” she says. To personalize your space with natural elements, she suggests decorating with plants, flowers or even branches from your own yard.
Another ageless decor idea? Great art, says Allen. It can be a small sculpture on a pedestal or a huge 7-by-7-foot piece of art on the wall, she says, but art can also be a piece of furniture. “I find that people who buy great art, they never get rid of it,” Allen says. “It always applies and it always works.”
Function is an additional must-have that will never go out of style. Zinn lists comfortable seating, a table to put down your drink and multiple layers of lights as some essentials that make a room feel “warm and welcoming.” She says that it’s “the simple things that can make your room a special place.”
Those simple, essential details are important to the overall feel of a room. Those details, says Megan Dent, a kitchen and bath designer for Mingle, a home design showroom in Plymouth, Minnesota, “can take a mediocre space to a visual masterpiece.” If you’ve ever thought a room was beautiful but couldn’t put your finger on why, it’s likely the small details in the space that played a role in its “aesthetical success,” Dent said in an email.
Dent also emphasizes the importance of elements such as the millwork, windows, flooding, moldings and light fixtures. “When you start with good structure or ‘bones’ of a space,” she explains, “the rest of the design is much easier.”
While good structure is important, however, it does not mean that you have to spend huge amounts of time and money overhauling your entire house to achieve successful interior design. Something as simple — and relatively inexpensive — as giving a single room a fresh coat of paint is one way to refresh your space or create a whole new look and vibe, advises Dent.
If you only have the resources for one room, choose a room to decorate that will have impact. Allen recommends the entryway, saying “it can set the tone for the space, [since] you pass through it.” She also suggests the powder room — also known as the half-bath, usually off the living room or kitchen — as another place that is worth a makeover, as it tends to be a high-traffic spot.
The kitchen is another high-traffic space in the house, says Zinn, and as such is a smart investment if you have to choose just one room to make shine. “It tends to be the most important room of the house and where families spend the most time,” she says. Marble and subway tile are two materials she sees as good choices that never go out of style. Zinn also suggests using quartz as a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance material for creating durable countertops.
The guidelines for interior design, combined with the use of natural materials, artwork and functional furniture, can help establish a classic, timeless space. But if you find a trending piece or technique on social media or television and fall in love with it, you don’t have to pass it up for the sake of longevity. Allen even recommends embracing a trend in a small space, so if you need to change things up later, it doesn’t impact your entire location.
Ultimately, Allen recommends everyone have one thing when working on designing their home: a point of view. “How do you want to live and feel in your space? When you walk in, how do you want to feel?” she asks. All of this drives how you buy, what you buy or what colors you use, and creates a unique space that reflects the tastes of only one person: you.
So, whether every room in your house could pass the test of time or you are a frequent fad follower, let your home be a reflection of who you are. “I always recommend you surround yourself with things that you love and make you happy,” says Dent, “regardless if they are trendy or classic.”
We love this article from the Washington Post:
Why the dining room is due for a revival
By Jura Koncius / The Washington Post
For many overscheduled families, “dining” has been reduced in recent years to grabbing a plate of food at a kitchen island or on an ottoman in front of a screen. Even in homes that have a separate dining room, the table is regularly commandeered for homework or, at this time of year, as a tax-prep command center.
But there are signs that we are heading back to the dinner table, designers say. Their clients are tiring of grabbing meals in the “great room,” a more informal, open space that often accommodates drive-by eating and lounging. Or they’re annoyed with noisy restaurants and want to do more entertaining at home. Many young families are looking for a more structured family dinner hour around a real table.
“Everything is so casual these days, it’s nice to be a bit more formal in a room where you entertain or gather your family,” said designer Erica Burns of Bethesda, Maryland. “The room sets the tone, since there’s no TV in there and hopefully no cellphones. It’s a space focused on conversation and eating.”
A separate dining room is on many homeowners’ wish lists. In the January 2017 Home Buyer Reference survey, 73 percent of those who responded said the dining room was “essential or desirable,” according to a spokeswoman for the National Association of Home Builders.
But how do families turn the dining room from a stiff backdrop for elaborate Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations into a warmer and more approachable space?
“Dining rooms sometimes give people the chills with memories of their parents’ dining rooms filled with brown furniture,” Washington designer Josh Hildreth said. “If you want to bring a room like this back, you have to make it useful and fun.”
Lots of memorable moments occur in the dining room, yet it’s a space that’s often at the bottom of the list for refreshing or redecorating. We asked designers to share some of their strategies on making this somewhat formal room, often full of inherited furniture, come alive.
Go for drama: A dining room is a good place to do something dramatic, if that’s your style. “If a client said, ‘I want glazed turquoise walls,’ I’d say we probably should not do that in a room you’re in all the time,” Hildreth said. “If you want to be wild or crazy, a dining room or powder room is a good place to do it.”
Break up your dining room set: Many dining rooms have too much furniture. Why not put your buffet or server in a different room? Hildreth moved his sideboard to the living room to use when entertaining. He arranges appetizers on it before dinner, then serves dessert and coffee on it afterward. “It’s nice not to be tethered to your dining room table and to move into another room after dinner to talk with other guests,” Hildreth said. “And now my sideboard has found a new life.”
Soften it up: New York designer Katie Ridder said window treatments and carpets are important in a dining room: “There are usually brown tables, chairs and sideboards. That’s a lot of hardwood surfaces, so it’s nice to soften it with carpeting, curtains and maybe a wallpaper.”
Pay attention to light fixture height: Chandeliers are often hung too high in dining rooms. Washington designer Thomas Pheasant said he likes lighting 30 to 36 inches above the table: “You want to sit across the table and not have the fixture in the way, but you want to bring the light and attention down to everyone’s faces.”
Install sturdy seat covers: On traditional dining chairs, it pays to use indoor/outdoor fabrics. Burns said she often uses Sunbrella or Perennials for young families. “There are so many great options now that are soft and don’t feel like the slippery outdoor fabric of days past,” she said. Additionally, you can take any fabric and get stain treatment applied before upholstering chairs.
Up your chair count: If your dining room is small but you want additional matching chairs available, you can display the chairs in other rooms. Ridder said: “Buy extra chairs and if you want, do different seat covers for them so you can use them for the living room, family room or bedroom yet still bring them in for a large dinner around your table.”
Liven up brown furniture: Hildreth updated the traditional mahogany china cabinet at his mom’s house by lining the back with a neutral grass cloth that has a bit of coral in it. “It lightened the whole look up,” he said. Because china cabinets are going for very affordable prices in auctions and vintage markets, he suggested buying one and lacquering it with a bold paint color.
Supplement lighting: Ridder said she advises clients who are renovating a dining room to add down-lights around the chandelier. “It’s nice to have light pointing down on the table as well as chandelier light and candlelight,” she said.
Mix it up: Don’t be so matchy-matchy. A different look for the host chairs at either end of the table can make a statement., Burns suggested. Instead of the usual chandelier over the center of the table, try two pendants.
Make it pull double duty: Urban clients like having separate dining rooms but are sometimes short on space, Pheasant said. “What do we do if someone will only use their dining room two or three times a month?” Pheasant said. “We might create a library there using a center table and lining shelves with books and photographs.”
Rethink your china: If you have a glass china cabinet or hutch crammed with porcelain and crystal, separate what you really use from what you might want to de-accession. Display only a few special pieces; it will give the room a cleaner look and feel more modern. And don’t be afraid to set a nice table with your best china and cloth napkins, even if it’s just for a weeknight family dinner. Pheasant said, “Use your good stuff and enjoy it.”