Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

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Product Launches at Homecrest

September 2015 marks yet another dynamic product launch at Homecrest. The company’s deep seating complement is expanded with the introduction of Liberty, a timeless collection featuring mission styling and luxurious DreamCoreTM cushion comfort.

In Sling and Woven Dining, the new Elements is a transitional collection that brings together clean lines and elegant contours. The popular Grace collection is expanded to include a full range of modular pieces, while the Lana spring collection includes exciting new seating surfaces, and Havenhill Cushion has grown to include the ever-popular specialty pieces. 

A number of dynamic introductions to dining and fire table collections turns up the heat for inspired outdoor spaces. 

Grace_ModularNew Introductions For 2016 
Grace Modular
New for 2016, Homecrest is pleased to introduce the Grace Modular collection. With a wide selection of modular units in different orientations and sizes, Grace can be scaled to your space, and pieces can be freely moved to suit the needs of the moment. Perfect for entertaining and yet beautifully suited to quiet relaxation, the luxurious comfort of Grace Modular combines with elegant styling and exceptional utility to create a welcoming atmosphere of gracious outdoor living.

HavenhillHavenhill Deep Seating with DreamCoreTM Cushions
Echoing the gentle flares and subtle curves of the fashion-forward Havenhill dining collection, Homecrest is pleased to introduce Havenhill Deep Seating collection. Generously proportioned and exceptionally comfortable with its new DreamCore™ cushion, Havenhill allows for luxurious relaxation even in smaller spaces.

Liberty_DeepSeatingLiberty Deep Seating by Homecrest
Drawing inspiration from the beautiful craftsmanship of an earlier era in our country’s history, Liberty’s timeless design and unparalleled comfort will enhance outdoor spaces for generations to come. Create an environment of relaxation and serenity with a full complement of deep seating pieces, and carry design themes through to your dining area with Liberty Barrel Chairs.

Liberty_Barrel_ChairThe Liberty Barrel Chair
This iconic introduction hearkens back to early days in Homecrest’s history. This richly updated piece features the wraparound comfort of our traditional barrel chair and the unsurpassed comfort of Homecrest’s industry-leading coil spring swivel rocker, while incorporating timeless design elements of our Liberty Deep Seating collection. As a front porch vignette for two, or elegant dining for a crowd, the Liberty Barrel Chair will create an engaging ambiance that celebrates the past and the future.

Elements_SlingElements Sling Seating Collection
Uniquely transitional and highly functional, Homecrest is pleased to introduce the Elements Sling collection. Subtle curves and simple angles combine to create a collection that can be artfully classic or freshly modern, depending on your design sensibilities and your outdoor space. Available in low back, high back and balcony seating, Elements has the added versatility of complementing a wide range of deep seating styles with ease and grace.

LanaMetalSlatNew for 2016 Lana Metal Slat & Mesh
The contemporary lines of our Lana collection have a fun-loving appeal that suits the décor of any backyard or patio. This collection is enhanced by its durability and ease of maintenance, yet maintains unexpected comfort. Check out the entire Lana collection at

Aurora_Fire_TablesNew Aurora Fire Tables | Check out the new Timber Series
Aurora Natural Series is available in Homecrest’s Stonegate and the new Timber Table Series for 2016. Available in 19” coffee and 24.5” chat table heights with a powerful 65,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend your outdoor season while Aurora’s beauty creates an atmosphere of relaxation and conversation.

Valero_FirepitsValero Fire Pits| Natural Series & Woven | New Heights for 2016
Homecrest’s Valero fire table is now available in the intimate 19” coffee height for 2016, along with 24.5”chat, dining and balcony heights. Valero fire tables are available with all Homecrest Natural Series table tops; and softly curved side panels are available in aluminum, which may be powder-coated to match or contrast with your frame, as well as in 5000-hour resin wicker in Coco or Hampton, according to your design preferences.

Timber_TablesYou Love the new Timber Tables by Homecrest
Cast from beautiful reclaimed wood tables, the Timber collection is at once on-trend and timeless. Using the same technology we use in all Natural Series tables, we are able to achieve a look that is marvelously realistic while retaining the outstanding outdoor performance characteristics you expect from Homecrest. Available in Sequoia and Drift colors, choose from a wide range of sizes in dining, occasional and balcony heights, or warm up fireside with the new Aurora Timber 42” square fire tables.

Mode_TablesMode Tables –Contemporary Dining at a Variety of Heights
With clean lines and contemporary inspiration, Mode sets a new standard in casual chic. Aluminum panels in Onyx float over a base frame in the color of your choice, creating a space that is elegant in its simplicity and fresh in its styling. Select from a wide variety of heights and sizes to complement the fashionable seating of your choice.

DreamCoreTM Cushions by Homecrest
Whether traditional, transitional or contemporary in design, Homecrest’s deep seating collections are at once beautiful and incredibly comfortable. We use innovative techniques and top-quality materials to ensure that beauty and comfort last for decades.

The DreamCore™ cushion core begins with High Resilient furniture grade foam for the interior of the cushion. High Resilient foam provides exceptional durability and longevity, while offering an outstanding level of comfort. Unlike Viscoelastic foam (memory foam), the cell structure of High Resilient foam is less uniform and more random than conventional foams, which creates stronger structure, excellent elasticity and increased supporting force, thereby providing support, resilience, and ultimately, unparalleled comfort.

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The Boys of Summer are Heading into the Home Stretch

by Martin Roberts, Martin Roberts Design

Imagine all that would have to change if baseball became a year-round sport across the country. For one thing, peanuts, hotdogs and Cracker Jacks wouldn’t sound particularly appealing in December in any stadium located beyond the South. For another, players would probably have plenty to say about lost down-time, and increased risk of injury caused by continual play. Clearly, for such a game-plan to work, plenty about America’s pastime would need to be rethought.

Impulse buy glassware.

Impulse buy glassware.

It’s the kind of conundrum currently faced by our industry’s own boys of summer: Patio stores. Once a purely seasonal business, with retailers either closed half the year or morphing into purveyors of holiday trees and decorations, the outdoor market has been radically changing into a year-round undertaking. Not because of anything the players have done, but because of the fans.

Stressed-out, over-worked consumers today seek the lifestyles they experience on vacation (on the off-chance they can actually take one), or the relaxed environments they see in the movies or on TV, or even while surfing their iPads and magazines while awaiting a doctor’s appointment. They long to escape from sitting behind a screen all day, to literally stop and smell the roses. They want to experience the mouthwatering aromas they remember from childhood cook-outs, to squeeze toasted marshmallows between chocolate and graham crackers, to remember the sweet-tart zing of ice-cold tea and lemonade on a hot day.

Striking Out

Food stuffs in Garden Patio Store.

Food stuffs in Garden Patio Store.

Frankly, we’re failing them. When it comes to the outdoor category, retailers have not been keeping pace with consumers’ needs and desires. “She” loves the idea of gathering family and friends together in a manageable and healthy way, whether by the pool, in the sunroom, or around the outdoor kitchen on the patio. “He” enjoys assuming the role of bartender and barbeque chef, but seeks more recognition and creative ways to perform with his peers. But, nowhere can they find all they need to make their ideal outdoor space a reality.

Certainly, garden centers offer some products, but are typically populated by diminishing numbers of older consumers and are closing at alarming rates. Big box operations mainly focus on cheap imports, and the local furniture retailer doesn’t understand how to offer something different from the mass merchants. Meanwhile, the appliance store can only fulfill part of the need. No one yet knows how to compete with the Internet, and astoundingly, many patio stores are still closed for half the year. So what’s a shopper to do?

Events Calendar for winter traffic in Patio Store.

Events Calendar for winter traffic in Patio Store.

This opportunity to rethink and reshape an entire category of consumer products is similar to the challenge my team faced in the early ‘90s, when book stores were not providing consumers with the experiences they desired. We changed the game at Barnes & Noble back then by adding seating areas and cafés, essentially creating “a third place,” that wasn’t home or work, but a relaxing escape. It’s a form of retail that has worked well for more than 25 years.

As I see it, we’re standing at much the same place in the indoor/outdoor category now. The solution is to create a branded web and retail store that provides a seamless shopping, browsing and entertaining environment that provides consumers with products, services, a fulfilling visit in a year-round “greenhouse.”

Cafe in Garden and Patio Store.

Cafe in Garden and Patio Store.

Knocking it out of the Park
Visualize, if you will, a building retrofit from a distressed retail space or converted industrial space. Even a ground-up steel pre-fab building would work with minimal finishes and concrete floors, and roller shutters for transition space. Picture a stimulating environment with salvaged architectural pieces, repurposed woods and metal objects with innovatively displayed products. Add an indoor/outdoor café or coffee house to encourage morning and lunch traffic, and longer “dwell time” in-store, with offerings that speak to the specific season (all of them!).

Inside, merchandise ranges from indoor/outdoor furniture to appliances and outdoor kitchens with built-in wall ovens for year round use along with products for sale from key luxury brands. Gift items could include spa products, planters and pots with terrariums and appropriate tools. And oh, the services! Shoppers may choose from interior and exterior design, garden planning, outdoor kitchen design and consulting, project management and certified suppliers, and a host of classes and exciting events aimed at all age groups and demographics. All are continually touted via the online blog and social media. Can you already see the post focused on teaching kids how to build terrariums? How about the class on setting outdoor pavers or cooking the Thanksgiving turkey outside, or the garden tea supporting a local charity?

It’s a vision for a new kind of outdoor store, an innovative place offering everything under one roof, year-round. In many ways it will require changing the way we look at the outdoor category and it will take committed management to implement. It’s also an idea whose time is come that could change the way the game is played entirely. All I can say is, “Swing, batter, batter, swing!”

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The HammockSource Offers Comfort With a Commitment to the Environment

Fiberfill is recycled plastic soda bottles.

Fiberfill is recycled plastic soda bottles.

GREENVILLE, NC – Long known for its gorgeous hammocks, The HammockSource has also quietly kept a sustainable business model that seeks to get the most out of its materials. John D. Powell, marketing manager at Greenville, NC-based The HammockSource, says the environmentally-friendly efforts started when company founder Walter R. Perkins, Jr, simply could not afford to waste resources.

Light in the company warehouse production facilities comes courtesy of ultra-energy efficient bulbs.

Light in the company warehouse production facilities comes courtesy of ultra-energy efficient bulbs.

Walter Perkins III, his son, says he loves the outdoors and wants it to be around to fish and enjoy nature with his sons so the tradition is carried on,” says Powell. “This mindset has infused itself into the corporate culture. Part of it is economics, stemming from the earliest days of the company, and part of it is to try and make sure the world’s resources are around to enjoy.”
Minimizing waste, conserving energy, and recycling are now built into every facet of the company’s operations, and it’s something that dealers and consumers are proud to support. “While we have been doing this for many decades, it is rewarding that in this day of increased ecological awareness, our efforts are being received favorably by consumers,” says Powell. “It [environmental awareness] is a constant corporate directive. The daily business model is to continually search for opportunities to repurpose and minimize waste.”
Shavings from HDPE lumber are recycled.

Shavings from HDPE lumber are recycled.

The company’s original Pawleys Island Furniture is an example of this philosophy—constructed of HDPE lumber and the line is growing. According to Powell, five new pieces have been introduced for the 2016 season, and “the word from our R&D department is to expect a project to be ready for the Chicago Casual Market later in September.”