A New England Village

Nichols and Stone, Thistle Bed by Stickley Furniture

The Wayside Inn

In a charming colonial New England Village, a coach and four would deliver its tired passengers to a wayside inn. Hungry guests were served hot food and hearty ale, then sent to sleep in a Thistle Bed.

The Thistle Bed

The original designer of the Thistle Bed is unknown, but a few hints as to its origins have been scattered along the way.

The tenacious Thistle plant grows in fields and thickets, blossoming in late summer and early fall. With its long taproots it is drought resistant. With its prickly barbs unpalatable to deer; yet, its purple cushioned flower welcomes bees and butterflies. Known as a Celtic symbol, it was adopted by the hardy Scots more than 700 years ago as a national symbol, a suitable symbol to accompany the Scottish motto:

Nemo me impune lacessit”, “No one harms me without punishment”.

To strangers it says “tough.” To fellow Scots men it says welcome. To bawdy Scots, a metaphor for flowers and the bees, a flower that pricks, beauty and the beast.

Eighteenth century furniture designers like Chippendale, Sheraton, and Hepplewhite introduced ornate carving skills on four poster beds. Popular motifs included the colonial pineapple, a symbol of “welcome” and the Scottish thistle.

By the 19th century, British Arts and Crafts designer popularized the thistle in his wallpaper designs.

The Wayside Inn Thistle Bed

Today, Nichols and Stone presents the Wayside Inn Thistle Bed. It features a scrolled headboard with a rolled top rail. Thistle finials top the handcrafted solid cherry turned posts.

The thistle finial on the Wayside Inn Bed by Stickley

This bed is an enduring classic, like Oliver Goldsmith’s poem to an English country village:

Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheared the labouring swain,…
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill,…

These round thy bowers their chearful influence shed,
These were thy charms—But all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant’s hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green…

Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place;
The white-washed wall, the nicely sanded floor,
The varnished clock that clicked behind the door;
The chest contrived a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures placed for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
The hearth, except when winter chill’d the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay…

And, even while fashion’s brightest arts decoy,
The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
The rich man’s joys encrease, the poor’s decay,
‘Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land…

But when those charms are past, for charms are frail,
When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land, by luxury betrayed:
In nature’s simplest charms at first arrayed;
But verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprize;
While, scourged by famine from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms—a garden, and a grave.

Note. A shortened version of Oliver Goldsmith’s poem, The Deserted Village. Goldsmith’s Auburn is not a specific place, but an ideal, a small rural village now deserted. New England has its own Auburn. Auburn, New York lies at the north point of Owasco Lake in the Finger Lakes District in Cayuga County. It flourishes.

Where is Manlius?

Stickley Furniture, Manlius, New York

There is of course New York City with its tall buildings, its traffic congestion, its throngs of busy people.

But beyond the Big Apple lies New York – up the Hudson River, past West Point, past storied Sleepy Hollow; west across the Catskills to Upstate New York. There you will discover the beautiful Finger Lakes. Visit quaint towns like Cazenovia, Skaneateles, Seneca Falls, and Cayuga. Pick apples if you like, drink wine from local vineyards. Most of all, relax.

Here where the pace of life is a little slower, you will find the small town of Manlius, and the Stickley Furniture factory where craftsmen and women make beautiful furniture, by hand, one piece at a time.

Stickley FurnitureMission, Highlands, Finger Lakes, Harvey Ellis, St. Lawrence, Nichols and Stone, made in Manlius, New York where craftsmanship still matters.

Available in Overland Park and Wichita, exclusively at Traditions Furniture, your neighborhood homefurnishings store. Still beautiful and friendly after all these years.

Up the Creek

Up the creek without a paddle, or, in this case, without an oar. It is meant to indicate that you are in a serious predicament, as in there is a waterfall ahead and I’ve got no way to get to shore. This slangy saying conjures up the image of a panicked canoeist or struggling row boat with no way of getting to shore.

We would like to think of it as a hazy summer afternoon afloat on a lazy river or a peaceful pond with nothing to do and nowhere to go, whiling away the minutes and hours, dreaming of nothing, but watching the clouds in the sky and composing poems.

Every year he’d drag the rowboat out

Tip it over and clean it out

Plug the holes with some cork

And patch it with some tar

So, it might float.

Every year he’d dream

Of going down the stream

To the mighty Miss’i’sip.

Every year he’d start

And stop

When Aunt Polly said,

Tom, it’s time for lunch.

lazy days

Two Ways to Get Stressless

It is Tuesday, back to work, after being closed Sunday and Monday. Closed because we can.

Why not?

When one offers the best products with the best service at great products, people beat a path to our door. We see other businesses and services doing it. It serves our employees better, it serves our customers better. Staying focused on what matters.

Getting Stressless in a hurried up, hectic world. Mind you, it is what matters most. There are of course more than two ways to get Stressless. But our new approach is an old one — KISS, keep it simple Simon.

Get out of the house and enjoy life on a scooter

One way is to get out of the house and enjoy life on a scooter. Go for a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone. Feel the wind on your face, hear the sounds of the neighborhood. Better yet, stop and talk to your neighbors and learn what’s new.

Second is the comforting knowledge that waiting at home is the Arion sofa by Stressless. Stressless offers feature you don’t find in other recliners and sofas. These patented features include the Glide system that follows your slightest movements, to the Plus system for correct neck and lumbar support in every position. Within the sofa, feel Ergo Adapt that allows each sofa seat cushion to tilt down automatically the moment you take a seat placing your body in the perfect sitting position.

Available at two locations in Kansas — Traditions Furniture in Downtown Overland Park, and Traditions Home in Wichita.

Just remember, we are closed Sunday and Monday, because we can.

At home with the Arion sofa by Stressless

Lifelong Friends


Everyday, you drive down Douglas by the imposing two story white brick building at Douglas and Hillside. The cute red flower cart stands to the side. The yellow awnings are bright as the afternoon sun. The flowers are in bloom. “TRADITIONS” in gold lettering is emblazoned over the bright red doors.

How inviting. Now, open the door, come in, and we will share the time together as lifelong friends.

Join us at Traditions Home in the College Hill neighborhood, part of the growing number of exciting places to shop and dine. Also, discover Juliana Daniels for beautiful antiques, Reuben Saunders Gallery for beautiful original art, The Kitchen Place where remodeling your kitchen with the best in kitchen appliances. Take in a show at the Crown Uptown. Dine on the terrace at Vora on the corner, or at The Belmont up the street. Finish the night with a frozen custard from Andy’s Frozen Custard.

Traditions Home in the College Hill Neighborhood, a livable place to shop and dine. And to walk the dog.

Tile — Arts & Crafts

Stickley has joined with North Prairie Tileworks to create Tile Top tables in two colors of green — Celadon and Juniper.

The Juniper Leaf design comes from Stickley’s Director of Design Marissa Brown. The Arts & Crafts design is inspired by the works of Gustav Stickley and Elbert Hubbard. Each table is handcrafted in Upstate New York of sustainably sourced solid cherry or quarter-sawn white oak. A custom-selected, hand-applied Stickley finish makes it unique.

Mission collectors will love this modern interpretation of an Arts & Crafts motif in five occasional pieces, each featuring an inset tile top in your choice of Celadon or Juniper.

North Prairie Tileworks is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. These tiles are hand carved before glaze is applied in a double-dipping process. The light, organic leaf motif, is paired with the simple diagonal design. The possibilities for creating unique patterns are endless.

Rock and Roll — 1907

Gus Rocker

1907 — America was not ready for Rock and Roll. No, not yet.

But Americans were Rockin’ in their living rooms and on their porches listening to the likes of the “Kansas City Rag” by James Scott and the “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin. Women wore full length dresses, men wore coats and ties. What passed for air conditioning was a glass of lemonade pressed to the forehead or cheek and a feathery fan keeping time to the piano keys.

Based on a 1907 Gustav Stickley design, this roomy rocker features exposed through-tenons and corbels supporting the sturdy arm rests — hallmarks of Stickley craftsmanship and Arts and Crafts design. This is the original Rock and Roll chair. Still rocking after all these years. Available in dozens of leathers and hundreds of fabrics.

Visit Traditions Furniture in Overland Park and Wichita for End-of-Summer Sale savings on Stickley, America’s favorite brand.

Gus Rocker and Prairie Settee

Windmills of My Mind

What is the experience of sitting in a Stressless recliner like?

To some, it is never ending always there, an ever spinning wheel in the wind. Yes, like a windmill in the wind, like a gentle summer breeze. You too can experience the comfort of a Stressless recliner.

the never ending windmills of my mind

Kids ask where the wind comes from is difficult, for which we have no answer. But understanding the reclining motion of a Stressless chair is easy. It comes from the patented Stressless Plus System. This glide system has a wheel that lets the chair move freely, allowing you to move the chair effortlessly, naturally adjusting as your body moves, like a windmill in a gentle breeze

The rocking motion on a Signature Base is called BalanceAdapt and will make you feel weightless, like a cloud in the wind

Your Stressless Recliner has a sleep mode! Fully recline, now take the headrest and pull it towards yourself, release it and it and your Stressless recliner will flatten out, allowing you to float like a feather in the wind

Experience Stressless today at Traditions Furniture in Downtown Overland Park and Wichita, and in other fine retailers nationwide.

Open Tuesday though Saturday (10 to 5:30 pm, 5pm on Sat.). Closed Sunday and Monday because we like to rest.

Stressless sleep mode