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Archive for June 2014

Craftsman makes local diner furniture from old factory beams

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Mark Jupiter creates his furniture pieces from reclaimed wood and other materials from old construction sites in his New York neighborhood.

The Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, finally saw its Shake Shack open on June 17, with handmade tables and lounge furniture from a local craftsman.

Mark Jupiter, a furniture maker, created tables and lounge furniture from factory beams salvaged from old buildings in the neighborhood. Jupiter, a fourth -generation NYC builder, handcrafts furnishings out of the legacy of his quickly transforming Dumbo neighborhood. As his surroundings shift from industrial hub to hip residential neighborhood, Jupiter sees the beauty in the discarded. His artful pieces are created from reclaimed wood, metal and other raw materials sourced from Dumbo construction sites. All of his furniture is custom-made in his newly expanded showroom located on Plymouth Street right in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

Jupiter’s custom pieces feature 400-year-old heart pine joists and beams from local construction sites, which were once home to the Brillo Soap and Arbuckle Coffee warehouses.

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Written by cabinettrends

June 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

NAHB Housing Market Index: Builder confidence up four points

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Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose four points to 49 – still below positive confidence for the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.”

According to the index, builders are increasingly confident despite the slowdown in current sales and the increasingly mediocre outlook for future purchases and prospective buyer traffic. Builders seem to have faith in historically low mortgage interest rates and believe the job market is strengthening. They remain optimistic in spite of the contraction in the gross domestic product in the first three months of 2014.

Notably, the Northeast region, believed to have pent-up demand based on extreme winter weather, saw a decline to a 33 on the HMI, while the three other regions remained around the 50 mark.

“After several months of little fluctuation, a four-point uptick in builder sentiment is a welcome sign and shows some renewed confidence in the industry,” said NAHB chairman, Kevin Kelly. “However, builders are facing strong headwinds, including the limited availability of labor.”

“While we’ve made improvements, we’re still well off of what would be considered maybe average or more of a normal basis,” said John Stephens, CFO for MDC Holdings. “We need to see improvements in consumer confidence and job growth, really, which is really going to drive homebuilding at the end of the day.”

“Consumers are still hesitant, and are waiting for clear signals of full-fledged economic recovery before making a home purchase,” said NAHB chief economist, David Crowe. “Builders are reacting accordingly, and are moving cautiously in adding inventory.”

Written by cabinettrends

June 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

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Corecon Technologies integrates Intuit’s QuickBooks Online

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Corecon Technologies Inc., a provider of Web-based estimating and project management construction software, now has data integration with Corecon V7 and Intuit’s QuickBooks Online.

This new offering was built to take advantage of Intuit’s IPP v3 platform to sync contact and project data seamlessly with QuickBooks Online. A new sync wizard in Corecon V7 is designed to minimize mouse clicks and identify all data required to be updated or exported between the two cloud-based systems. This includes customer, vendor and employee information, as well as project financial transactions such as bills, progress invoices and timecards that need to be exported. A preview function in the wizard identifies and displays the information that will be synced before the actual data exchange occurs, and sync logs provide a history of modified/ added records with the date and name of the person who made the change.

Corecon subscribers using QuickBooks desktop versions (Pro, Premier, Enterprise 2010-2014) will continue to use the existing CoreconLink for QuickBooks utility for accounting integration. This utility makes a dual connection: one to Corecon’s servers via Web-services and the other to the local QuickBooks database/file via Intuit’s qbSDK. However, since the existing link utility requires separate export functions for each type of record (e.g. customer, vendor, project, bill, etc.), accountants will likely prefer the seamless integration of QuickBooks Online with Corecon V7.

“Intuit is committed to creating a powerful ecosystem of integrated apps for our millions of QuickBooks customers,” said Ronny Tey, Intuit Group marketing manager for QuickBooks Apps.com.  “Seamless connection between QuickBooks Online and Corecon Technologies will provide construction firms and accounting professionals with a streamlined back-office solution for more efficient business operations.”

“Our company has a lot of expertise when it comes to estimating, project management, and job cost control systems, and we are very excited about our new accounting integration with QuickBooks Online,” explains Corecon President Norman J. Wendl. “Since there is no software to install, integrating the two cloud-based systems has significant advantages. Project accounting staff will simply login to Corecon V7 and make the connection to QuickBooks Online, and they are off and running. This will truly expedite accounting functions raising the bar in terms of project management and accounting integration.”


Written by cabinettrends

June 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

OFM introduces three new soft seating series

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OFM, the office and school furniture manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler, says that “soft seating” is gaining popularity in a variety of commercial and educational settings nationwide. Defined in the industry as fully upholstered chairs and sofas with little exposed metal or plastic, soft seating feels like furniture you would find in a home or other personal setting.

“We’re seeing a demand for soft seating in larger offices, libraries, break rooms, lounges and reception areas,” said Blake Zalcberg, president and CEO of OFM. “Companies are looking to make these areas more comfortable, casual, and modern as they move away from conventional wood furniture, which can seem stuffier by comparison.”

Soft seating is typically fully upholstered in either a cleanable fabric or medical-grade vinyl that allows them to be easily cleaned. They can also be made in a wide variety of colors and feature modern touches such as fixed table arms or built-in electrical and USB outlets to allow people to charge their devices while sitting. OFM says it is seeing soft seating offered among higher-end manufacturers, but that could change in the coming years as it continues to gain in popularity.

At NeoCon, OFM introduced three new soft seating series, including tables and electrification features, both modular and with casters. These new series will be in addition to the Recoil Lounge Chair and InterPlay Soft Seating Series OFM currently offers. All the new series will be in stock by the end of 2014.

“Companies on a whole are looking to design space that’s more collaborative, adaptive, and creative,” added Zalcberg. “Using soft seating is a way to encourage people to work and interact in a kind of free-flowing and casual environment that encourages those qualities.”

Written by cabinettrends

June 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

Grass Vionaro system honored with Red Dot Design Award

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Grass was recently presented the Red Dot Design Award for its cubist drawer system, Grass Vionaro.

This design solution for living areas and kitchen storage impressed judges with its minimalist overall system design. This is the fourth time that the movement systems company won the international design prize.

The jury, made up of 40 design professionals from 25 nations, praised several features of the Vionaro drawer system: its functionality, innovation, formal quality and ecological compatibility, as well as its slim drawer side that only measures 13 mm. The drawer sides, available with a height of up to 185 mm, are available in either aluminium or steel.

“The latest studies on the future developments in furniture design were used as the basis for the design of Vionaro, that does full justice to the trend towards minimalism in all respects,” said Ronald Weber, chairman of the Grass executive board. “It is very important for us to combine functionality and design on the highest level in our products. This succeeded really well with the very slim, fully joint-free Vionaro drawer side. Both aluminium and steel Vionaro versions can be mounted on the same slide system as a wooden drawer, which has great additional benefits for customers, as they are able to offer completely different price or design lines with one single slide.”

Written by cabinettrends

June 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

La-Z-Boy hurt by restructuring changes, discontinued operations

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La-Z-Boy Inc. reported a decline in fourth-quarter profit, hurt mainly by restructuring charges and a loss from discontinued operations. With sales up marginally, the furniture maker’s earnings beat expectations, while revenues fell short.

La-Z-Boy, which had announced restructuring measures, said while it expects the strategic initiatives to deliver growth, uncertainties over the economy, especially housing, still exist. The company will shut down its plants for one week in the current quarter amid seasonal weakness in the furniture industry.

La-Z-Boy posted fourth-quarter net earnings of $12 million or $0.23 per share, compared with $18 million or $0.33 per share the previous year. Results for the quarter include $2 million loss from discontinued operations and $3 million of restructuring charges. Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.33 per share.

Sales for the fourth quarter grew 2 percent to $353 million from $345.8 million a year ago, while analysts estimated $368 million.

Same-store written sales for the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store network fell 0.9 percent for the quarter, compared with an 11.2 percent growth in the prior year.

In April 2014, La-Z-Boy indicated restructuring its casegoods business, which represents about 10 percent of revenue, by transitioning to an all-import model for its wood furniture. The company will discontinue casegoods production at its Hudson, North Carolina, facility during the second quarter of fiscal 2015. It will also exit the hospitality business, which is also manufactured at the Hudson facility.

Written by cabinettrends

June 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

Herman Miller Healthcare, Living Office repeat winners at NeoCon 2014

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Herman Miller Inc. added to its Living Office launch, unveiling new tools, information and dynamic new furniture designs to help organizations address the new landscape of work at NeoCon 2014. Living Office, the company’s holistic approach to creating more natural, efficient and desirable workplaces, is a culmination of research on how people actually do work.

For 2014, Herman Miller demonstrated the concept by creating a real Living Office designed to meet the needs of its own Chicago-based employees. The Herman Miller Showroom and its execution of a Living Office earned distinction by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and Contract magazine’s Showroom and Booth Design Competition as the best large showroom for the second consecutive year.

The annual Best of NeoCon awards for product are judged by interior design and facility management professionals who review more than 400 entries this year. Herman Miller Healthcare was again recognized for its healing spaces and furniture as Nemschoff’s Palisades earned the Silver Award for the Healthcare Furniture category. This marked the fifth consecutive year Herman Miller Healthcare has received an award.

The Best of NeoCon awards, now in the 25th year, are sponsored and organized by Contract magazine, Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., IIDA, The International Facility Management Association and the McMorrow Report.

Written by cabinettrends

June 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

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