Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Leave a comment

Holly Markham and David Hacin talk: Design | Baked Goods | Modern Fireplaces

Welcome to Flour Bakery in Cambridge, MA.  When you walk through the door your senses are pleasantly lulled into submission by the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls, the sight of reclaimed wood, and the warmth rolling off a 4-sided modern fireplace right in the center of it all.  This space was designed by David Hacin and his team at Hacin + Associates.   In this short interview, David and Holly Markham talk Scandinavian design, Joanne Chang, and modern fireplaces.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 4.38.04 PM

Who are the key players?

Holly Markham: Founder of European Home — a design-forward manufacturer and distributor of modern, luxury fireplaces.  European Home has been a thought-leader and taste-maker in the hearth industry since 1999.

David Hacin, FAIA: Founder of Hacin + Associates — an architecture and design studio located in Boston’s South End.  H+A’s dedicated team of design professionals has built a broad portfolio of projects that have received regional, national and international recognition.

Joanne Chang: Chef and restaurant owner of Flour Bakery.  In 2016 Joanne was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Most Outstanding Baker.

Holly: We heard about this project about a year ago, and I said Flour, as in Joanne Chang? And without hesitation, we were all on board. Can you tell us a little about the project?

David: The project is a new location for Flour, in Cambridgeport. It is in more of a tech-community part of Cambridge, which was lacking in places to go and hangout. BioMed Realty contacted Joanne Chang of Flour, and us, about creating a new cafe area to serve the community. They had a fantastic space available and we were all really excited about this opportunity. We got to work with Joanne and her partner Christopher Myers to develop a concept of how this space could feel.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 4.39.21 PM.png

H: What were the iterations along the way for the concept?

D: From the very beginning BioMed Realty was really interested in creating a warm cozy place, in what was generally more of a corporate environment. He was excited about putting a fireplace in to make it almost as if it were a living room for the community, not just a Cafe. We wanted it to be a casual place you could just hang out, spend some time reading a book or on your laptop. Our goal was to make it as much of a community center as it is a Cafe.  As I speak, you can hear voices of kids and coffee all around me. We were very interested in creating a focal point for the space. We worked with not only art consultant groups finding artwork for walls, but finding a fireplace became essential to the idea of making a living room in this area.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 4.39.36 PM.png

H: I love all of the accessories. The furniture, neutral colors, how did that all come together?

D: It was all part of our design aesthetic. Flour has a particular palette, that I would describe as a little bit Scandinavian. The woods, pale blue, whites — we worked off that to select floor colors, stone colors, the wood wall that surrounds the pastry cabinet and black accents throughout.

Click Here to see a video of the conversation.

Leave a comment

Infinity Canopy at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

NEW YORK, NY – This year’s MET roof garden commission, The Theater of Disappearance, by the Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas, includes Infinity Canopy as an integral part of the exhibit’s visual design, and to provide shade and protection against the elements for the rooftop bar.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 9.33.42 PM.pngThe exhibit features replicas of hundreds of museum artifacts arranged and fused together to form new pieces with the Infinity Canopy in the background.

​The 40’x34’ Infinity Canopy featuring Sunbrella Firesist fabric was fabricated and delivered within a week from the order date to meet the deadline for installation and subsequent opening of the exhibit. However, after the canopy was installed, it was discovered that in one area the canopy was two feet short due to a conflict between the submitted plans and the actual trellis size.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 9.36.53 PM“Originally, MET museum officials were looking for a cover for their new pergola extension and they were looking for the canopy with the scalloped look,” explained Alan Shargani, founder, Infinity Canopy, Los Angeles. “They had contacted many local companies but when they learned about the modular design of the canopy, which allows it to be modified and re purposed later, and our ability to deliver the canopy to them on time, they selected Infinity Canopy.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 9.34.03 PM.png“They love the canopy’s looks,” continued Shargani. “They were thrilled and relieved that we were able to lengthen a canopy that was ordered short by mistake, and do it quickly and easily.”

Visiting the museum this summer? Take pictures, tag @infinitycanopy and post to your social media to receive a special discount. The exhibit will be on display until October. The installation was provided by the local Infinity Canopy dealer, GSS Awning.

Leave a comment

New Collections From South Sea Outdoor Living

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.50.56 PMThe NICOLE Collection

The Nicole collection brings together unexpected textures and lines to create a beautifully uncommon look. Nautical nylon rope is wrapped over powder coated, extruded aluminum framing. Sling suspension for each individual seat offers maximum comfort that is equally durable. The Nicole is available in any of the stocked and special order fabrics available at South Sea Outdoor Living. Available in both conventional seating and sectional configurations with coordinating occasional tables.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.46.22 PM.png

The RYAN Collection

The Ryan collection showcases an open and airy aesthetic that is equal parts elegant and bold. The extruded aluminum framing is hand-brushed in a tonal, dark gray finish. A stained concrete veneer on the table tops creates the compelling look of a solid slab without the weight and bulk. All Ryan seating comes with individually wrapped sling suspension under each seat for maximum comfort and durability.

 Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.46.44 PM

The FARLOWE Collection

The Farlowe collection marries au courant design with construction quality to uphold its timeless style. The extruded aluminum framing is hand-brushed to create a lightly weathered gray-white finish that is profoundly popular today. Farlowe features individually wrapped sling suspension under each seat for maximum comfort and performance. South Sea offers hundreds of stocked and special order upholstery fabric options for cushions, providing dealers the freedom of options for retail programs.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.47.02 PM

Leave a comment

Transparent and Top-Notch — Thermo-Rite Adds to its Legacy

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.06.44 AM.pngRoy K. Allen bought Thermo-Rite Manufacturing in 1985, taking the reins of the respected Ohio-based company that began in 1942. Back in the 1940s, Thermo-Rite Manufacturing originated the tempered glass fireplace enclosure. In fact, Thermo-Rite was awarded the first United States Patent for tempered glass fireplace enclosures—a patent they held exclusively from 1946 to 1963.

Since 1985, Roy Allen has preserved and grown the company’s considerable legacy. Patio & Hearth Products Report sat down with Roy to discuss the company’s past and bright future.


Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR): What are some other key elements of the company’s success and longevity?
Roy K. Allen: The founder, John Lydle, was creative, and a very high quality minded person. He not only invented the product, but it was a product that was in the finest homes in America. For many years, the glass doors were made out of solid brass, mostly using clear glass, although later on, bronze glass and gray glass came into play. But it started out as all solid brass.

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.36.31 AMP&HPR: How have tastes/preferences evolved?

Allen: Back in 1990, we were still 90 percent solid brass. But the buying public changed, and solid brass became not so popular. Today, we are about 85 percent aluminum—mostly painted with earth tone color. We have 15 heritage colors. Then we have about 12 percent quarter-inch steel, and the balance is a combination of solid brass and aluminum.

P&HPR: What are some of the key products that are selling well and design features that are popular?
Allen: First of all, we are about 60 percent custom doors. We make one of a kind, and we make them from a template that is sent in by our customers. We sell these doors all over the United States, Canada, England, Spain, and Norway. What makes us unique is that we have a high-end custom line of door products, and we have about 24 different SKUs of products featuring different types and models.

Empty classic interior of a room with fireplace over black wallP&HPR: How has the company managed to stay successful for all these years?

Allen: One of the things that has allowed for the longevity of Thermo-Rite has been our creative and new designs and new products. For example, about 20 years ago, all glass doors had a frame around the glass. We created what we call a clear view door. We took all the frames off of the glass so that the homeowner would be able to see the fireplace without seeing any of this metal around the glass. That was probably one of the major changes in the glass door industry in the last 40 years.

Heritage 2 DayMore recently, for example this past year, we added a group of doors to what we call our Artisan series, and here again we’ve done something completely different. We’ve created a door that has rounded corners on the top. We sold doors with arches on them for years, and that’s a complete arch. This is a door that softens the area in a room with the rounded corners.

P&HPR: When did dealers get a chance to see that?

Allen: We introduced it at the show this past year, and it was an instant hit. So we’ve done that, and then we’ve also come out with a new door that kind of has an old world gothic type look. Both of these doors are quarter inch steel type doors. And all of our custom quarter inch steel doors are painted one of 15 different heritage colors, so customers can select a color. In fact, they can go on our website, pick the color, and transpose it onto a doorframe of their choosing. That’s something that we just updated on our website. We upgraded it in a big way.

Vintage living roomP&HPR: For dealers who are considering carrying your products, what are some benefits that dealers would enjoy?

Allen: Our creativity and new products is something that dealers like to show their customers and a new dealer is going to look to us for that. We’re the only glass door company in the industry that actually has three different doors that we carry in inventory at all times. And we carry those in six or eight sizes, depending on the door. They can call us and in less than two days, and we can ship that product to them. So there’s a major interest level for our dealers and for prospective new dealers.

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 11.15.46 AM.pngWe’ve been around, and I guess you could call us the grandfather of the industry. We’ve been around so long, and we have so many skilled people internally. For example, we have a great customer care department on the phone that can literally tell someone how to install a glass fireplace door. That’s invaluable to dealers and installers around the country, and we are known for that. Our reputation is one of being above average in that regard. All of this is a credit to our invaluable employees.

Leave a comment

Star Treatment – Gyrofocus: The Life of an Icon

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.14.07 AMI promise you, now that you’ve seen the Gyrofocus and put a name to its iconic design, you’ll start to see it pop up everywhere.  It’s like a celebrity that just can’t shake the papparazzi.  It has recently made cameos on commercials for BMW, Samsung (South Korea), and Microsoft (France).  Of course it’s also a regular on HGTV (check out the video posted below).

That’s a lot of jet-setting so we caught up with the famed fireplace on a well-deserved vacation at a sun-soaked resort on Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of Australia. Click Here to link to the original Australia Blog Post.

 Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.15.59 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.16.46 AM

Dwell on Design (L.A.) + ICFF (New York City)

Come see our products at these world-renowned design shows.

European Home prides itself on being a design forward company.  We are excited to announce that our products will be displayed at two of the most well respected modern design shows in the world this May and June.  Come check us out alongside some of the best innovators and designers working today.

 Click the logos below for more information Dwell on Design and ICFF. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.18.09 AMNext Week!

ICFF 2017 Dates – Trade Only

Sunday, May 21 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m

Monday, May 22 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Trade and General Public

Wednesday, May 24 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

(11th Avenue at 38th Street)

New York City

Dwell on Design: Once again we are collaborating with Method Homes, a CSA certified builder of green, prefab structures in the US and Canada, and showcasing our outdoor gas fireplace: J Series in their full scale modern show home designed by Chris Pardo Design.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.20.41 AM

June 23rd through 25th, 2017

Los Angeles Convention Center

1201 S Figueroa St.

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Leave a comment

Mont Alpi Helps Dealers Capitalize on Hot Trends

John Hartwig, founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif-based Mont Alpi, has strategically positioned his company’s outdoor cooking products to cover niche areas of the marketplace that are currently not supported, or at best are unsatisfactorily supported. “We strive to produce quality products that make aspirational trends accessible,” he says.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 8.38.03 AMMont Alpi can help dealers capitalize on hot market trends, thanks to the right products and the right philosophy. Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR) chatted with Hartwig to get a sense of those products and philosophies, and how they can help dealers.

P&HPR: What features, and/or relevant accessories set Mont Alpi grills apart from the competition?

John Hartwig: Starting at the top, our 805 Island offers all of the joys of a built-in outdoor kitchen without any of the hassle. It is pre-assembled using 304 Stainless steel and granite. It is strong and elegant, will not break the bank, and needs zero construction. It comes ready for propane or natural gas, which is another difficult inventory solution for retailers.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 8.39.02 AMOur other unique product is the Mont Alpi Pizza Oven. Pizza ovens have become a hot trend. However, in reality they are big and cumbersome—not to mention the cost. Our insights led us to believe that consumers only use pizza ovens occasionally, and as such we have developed a stainless steel table top pizza oven, ideal for standing next to or even on the grill. It is a secondary outdoor appliance. It’s high quality, well priced, and great for patios, homes, and camping. To supplement our niche products, we also have a built-in/drop-in range, which is pre-prepared for natural gas or propane.

P&HPR: How was Mont Alpi started, and how do you handle distribution?

Hartwig: After 30 years in the Grill industry, my son and I have noticed saturation and commoditization and felt that this opened an opportunity to sell solution-based products, rather than follow the masses. We rely on distributors to sell our product to retailers. We are building a good network of distributors, but some states still need attention, and we are seeking distributors.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 8.38.29 AMP&HPR: If you’re at liberty to say (or even hint at)…What products are you most excited about that are on the drawing board?

Hartwig: Our innovation pipeline is looking strong and we are eager to launch our range of outdoor refrigerators in the next 6 months. Again, these are focused on solutions for consumers.

P&HPR: What is your prediction for consumer demand in the short and long term? Why do you think it will be that way?

Hartwig: The grill industry will continue to grow in volume, but sadly the growth in volume will continue to drive quality and price down. As a grill manufacturer, distributor, and retailer, innovation/point of difference will be the place to win (Big Green Egg is a good example of this), followed by strong and moral brand principles. Consumers are entering the category daily. People love grilling! It is aspirational.

P&HPR: What marketing and dealer support programs do you offer to support dealers in their efforts?

Hartwig: We believe that online merchandising is critical in an age where influence is driven by reviews rather than ads. We will be building videos, blogs, and other smart engagements to build trust and excitement about Mont Alpi.

P&HPR: What is your target demographic?

Hartwig: Millennial families.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 8.37.33 AMP&HPR: What is your best selling line of grills?

Hartwig: 805 Island is our best seller.

P&HPR: How was the reaction to Mont Alpi at HPBExpo in Atlanta?

Hartwig: It was overwhelming. We feel honored to have received such great reviews and responses from the attendees. It is our humble intention to surpass expectations as we grow.


Leave a comment

Experience and Expertise Set Erwin and Sons Apart

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.25.48 AMAfter more than three decades in the competitive world of outdoor furniture, officials at Erwin and Sons Direct Imports, Woodstock, Georgia, have come up with significant innovations, all while helping their dealer partners succeed in business. Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR) sat down with Erik Dych, vice president, Erwin and Sons, to get a sense of the company’s history, as well as what dealers can look forward to in the future.

P&HPR: How does your company’s considerable experience benefit consumers and/or dealers?

Erik Dych: Erwin and Sons has been in business for more than three decades. We began our business in the 1980s with indoor rattan furnishings, but in the late 1990s, we pioneered the manufacture of HDPE resin into all-weather furniture. So that’s some two decades of experience in the outdoor industry.

We have the track record and expertise it takes to offer consumers high quality, design innovation, a wide selection of finish and style, custom Leisureluxe™ cushions in over 400 performance fabrics, and a solid warranty, all at competitive pricing.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.26.50 AMP&HPR: What furniture and/or relevant accessories have been particularly successful in 2017?

Erik: Contemporary sectional deep seating collections have been quite successful, judging by dealer reports. New finishes, weaves, and frame styles continue to be well-received and in high demand. We have begun incorporating mixed media within a number of collections, which is what the high-end consumer is seeking.

P&HPR: How are you balancing your product line offerings between traditional and contemporary offerings?

Erik: In the past few years, we have begun offering more contemporary designs and new materials to meet the fashion needs and wants of consumers. I’d say we are now at about a 50-50 split between contemporary and traditional. And out of our traditional offerings, about a third of them are considered more transitional in design.

P&HPR: What products are you most excited about for 2017?

Erik: We are venturing into more cutting edge modern design such as padded woven wicker, new weathered wood-like tabletops, and a new line of contemporary table bases.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.27.34 AMP&HPR: What sets you apart from the competition in terms of product development?

Erik: It is the diversity and long term experience of the Erwin team and our vendor relationships working together to achieve the best products and service that value everyone’s best interests.

P&HPR: How do you support specialty retailers?

Erik: We serve such a wide diversity of our retailers that, for all intents and purposes, we consider every one of them a “specialty” retailer. We cater to single- and multiple- specialty stores, pool, patio and hearth shops, online dealers, garden and hardware centers. Each of them have unique consumer demographics. Geography, weather, locale, cultural style, and pricing each play an important role in their merchandising decisions.