After two years and more than 16,000 interviews, America's Research Group thinks it's discovered why people buy high-end furniture. The leading consumer survey research firm in the industry found that the more frequently consumers entertain at home, the more they spend for furniture.
"Shoppers with high levels of disposable income and expensive homes do not represent the best prospects for upper-end furniture purchases," said founder and chairman of the firm, Britt Beemer, at the International Furniture Market at High Point, N.C.
More than 95 percent of the people who entertain at home most often plan to spend more next time they shop for furniture, while only 65 percent of those surveyed with a high income will spend more. "The richest folks in town are lousy furniture prospects if they don't entertain often," Mr. Beemer said.
It's more fun than cleaning
I'm not sure what I think of "How to Avoid Housework" (Simon & Schuster, $10), Paula Jhung's new book of tips on keeping your house clean with a minimum of effort. Her "secrets" include "Shuck the shoes," because 80 percent of the dirt in our homes comes in on our soles, and "Serve clean drinks" like white wine and clear soft drinks in the living room. (How do you tell your guests they can't have coffee because they might spill it?) I also think including a chapter called "Hiring a Pro" is cheating.
But in its favor, "How to Avoid Housework" is an entertaining read, with quick hits, witty remarks and more than its share of useful tips. And reading it is a lot more fun than cleaning out the
Now you can have louvers on the deck
The line between exterior and interior design continues to blur with products like the new LouveRail, a sort of vertical blind for your deck. The fence slats open and close in tandem, like louvers. Besides giving you the choice of privacy or a view, the fencing also moves 180 degrees to adjust exposure to sunlight and wind. You can also use it as a canopy for a patio or a hot-tub enclosure.
For the LouveRail dealer nearest you, call (610) 558-3515 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.