Award Presentations at the Casual Market

2007 Design Excellence Awards

The winners of the 2007 Design Excellence Awards competition were announced this morning during an Industry Excellence Breakfast, held here at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

A record number of outdoor products were entered in this year’s competition — 142 — within nine categories. The categories are Cast Metal Furniture, Tubular Materials Furniture, Wrought Iron/Wrought Aluminum Furniture, Resin/Fiberglass Furniture, Rattan/Wicker/Woven Materials Furniture, Wood Casual Furniture, Shade Products, Complementary Casual Products and Outdoor Lighting Products. 

Of the nine winners, one will be chosen to receive the Lillian B. Winchester Best of Show Award, which will be named Thursday evening during the Apollo Awards ceremony at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. Tickets are required for the event, hosted by the Summer & Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association and Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

Judges for the competition included Johnene Adams, principal designer with AHA Designs; Laura Barnett, principal designer with Laura Barnett Designs; Morlen Sinoway, principal designer with Morlen Sinoway Ltd.; Jim Carper, associate editor of Home Decor Buyer; Deborah Donvan, editor for The Daily Herald; and Romy Schafer, executive editor for Furniture Style.

Winners are: Cast Metal - Pride Family Brands, Extendable cast table; Tubular Materials - Agio International / Fred Doughty, South Beach cushioned lounge chair; Wrought Iron / Wrought Aluminum - Kettler International, Landhaus club chair; Resin / Fiberglass – Laneventure, Terrace Collection 60-inch round dining table; Rattan / Wicker / Woven Materials – Brown Jordan, Zephyr lounge; Wood Casual – ScanCom North America, Pinoi Double Lazy Susan table; Shade – Wanda Technology / Wanda Li, U938 Primo Sing 2 U; Complementary Casual – Laneventure, Leeds Castle large Planter Box; and Outdoor Lighting – Woodard / Kichler, Oriental Garden floor lamp.

The Casual Furniture Retailers Association also presented its annual Manufacturer Leadership Awards. The awards in Furniture and Accessories divisions recognize excellence in product quality, design, merchandising, customer service, ethics, communications and trade relations. CFR President Petey Fleischut said, “As I stand here before you, what I recognize is pride in the casual furniture industry.”

Telescope Casual Furniture was named the overall winner in the Furniture division. “We’re 105 years old and it’s our family’s business,” President Henry Vanderminden IV said as he accepted the award. “We’re an old company but thanks to this award, we feel very new.”

Telescope had been named a finalist in the extruded aluminum category.

Other finalists were: Hanamint – cast aluminum; Kingsley-Bate – wood; Lloyd/Flanders – wicker; Meadowcraft – iron.

Treasure Garden was named the winner of the Accessories division, marking the umbrella maker’s fifth year of winning the CFR Manufacturer Leadership award. “Thank you very much for your unconditional support,” Margaret Chang said as she accepted the award.

Other finalists were: Classic Cushions; Galtech; NDI and TUUCI.

Exhibitors also were recognized for Merchandising Excellence in their showrooms and temporary spaces. For the first year, second- and third- runner-ups also were recognized for their visual display efforts.
 First-time exhibitor Hunter Fan won the Merchandising Excellence Award in the Accessories category for temporary exhibits under 1,000 square feet. Runner-ups were Two Dogs Designs (second place) and Couristan (third place). The HammockSource received the award for temporary exhibitors over 1,000 square feet. No runner-ups were named in that category.

 In the Furniture category, Three Birds Casual was awarded for its space, over 600 square feet. Outback Chair Company and Poly-Wood tied at second place. For furniture exhibitors located in a space under 600 square feet, Eon Outdoor Living received first place, and Sifas and Jensen Jarrah second and third place, respectively.
 In the Showroom category, O.W. Lee was awarded for showrooms under 5,000 square feet. JANUS et Cie received second place and Tommy Bahama, third. Finally, Brown Jordan received first place for showrooms more than 5,000 square feet. Runner-ups included Lloyd/Flanders (second place) and Winston (third place).

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