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 Furniture – Mission, 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.
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.
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.
It is raining. It has been raining for a week. Rain, rain, and more rain, and in Kansas no less, not Portland or Seattle where they could use rain to cool things off. I am lying in bed, thinking about Irving Berlin’s patriotic WWI song, Oh! How I Hate to Get up in the Morning. I am thinking about Independence Day, July 4th, 2021. There are a lot of good reasons to get up in the morning.
This one is the Stickley Independence Day Sale. 40% off Stickley’s msrp on Mission, Park Slope, and Highlands collections.
We are closed Sundays and Mondays because five days a week is enough to shop for the Best Home Furnishings in Overland Park and Wichita.
Oh, I did get up. Grumpy and cross, walked downstairs. When the wife yelled, “Let the dogs out!” So, in my T-shirt and shorts, I let the dogs out, and we all got wet in the morning.
Next week is the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina.
For a change, we are driving instead of flying. It is a trip of a thousand miles that will take us several days instead of several hours. Then, I noticed that we are going through Memphis, that’s right, Memphis, Tennessee. Just like Johnny Cash, Memphis, Tennessee. Why, in 1954, Johnny Cash moved to Memphis, where he sold appliances, while studying to be a radio announcer. And yes, was discovered at Sun Records, and where he recorded, Going to Memphis.
Not his most memorable song, but a good one.
If you want to stay in Memphis, then you need go no further than your living room.
That is, if you have the new Memphis sofa by Stickley. Did you see that coming?
It makes a dramatic statement. Rich, distressed leather, specially made in Savoy leather in Royal or Tobacco. A broad six-inch track arm and block feet give it modern lines and a commanding presence, while deep, ultra-plush seat cushions invite you to sink in and stay home.
The Harvey Ellis Console Desk, classic style, well suited to your work-at-home world.
This versatile piece is crafted of solid quartersawn white oak with an elongated Harvey Ellis worldly inlay embellishing both side panels. It features a 48 x 20-inch surface, plus a shelf for a laptop or cable box that’s accessible from both sides and accommodates cables.
Plenty of room for a laptop and monitor. The piece also functions beautifully as a console behind a sofa, beside a bed, or in an entryway.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. John Keats, 1818
That goes for the stylishly and strangely contemporary Tuxedo sofa that has been around since the start of the 19th century.
The Tuxedo sofa traces its beginning to the tony village of Tuxedo Park in Ramapo mountains just north of New York City. New York, the same place that created the formal suit. Credit for the suit is given to wealthy tobacco manufacturer Pierre J. Lorillard IV, who swapped a summer estate at Newport called “The Breakers” for a luxury estate of 13,000 acres around Tuxedo Lake. Lorillard would combine with William Waldorf Astor and other wealthy friends into building a get-away 40 miles from New York City and hired architect Bruce Price to design the clubhouse. Notable residents of the fashionable Tuxedo Park included banker J.P. Morgan, railroader John Insley Blair, and writer Mark Twain. Later residents who graced the grounds included Emily Post, the grand dame of good manners, and colorful interior designer Dorothy Draper.
Simple and clean
Who deserves credit for designing a sofa where the arms are the same height as the back is lost to pages of history. The style is modern, the lines geometrically simple and clean. There is some similarity in the Big City architecture of Bruce Price whose buildings combined classical Greek forms with modern construction techniques. But there is no evidence that Price was a designer of furniture.
The style reminds us of the more opulent Chesterfield sofa, but the Chesterfield is grander in scale. The Tuxedo is more in line with the distinctively American designs of Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright, or with Scottish designer Charles Rene Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald. But all these designers prominently featured the wood frame.
No, I think that we will have to accept he idea that the Tuxedo sofa sprung fully formed like Athena from Zeus.
A scaled back sofa, straight and slim, one that suited “modern” times. Following the lead of the flappers of the 20s, a new generation of liberated women who wore short skirts, sported short hair, listened to jazz, and redefined what was considered acceptable behavior.
The Tuxedo sofa continues today as a fashion statement. It may be eclectically casual as this sofa by Rowe Furniture. Like the suit, sported at Hollywood by the likes of George Clooney and Bradley Cooper.
Or to the manor born, like debonair Daniel Craig, as this Tuxedo sofa designed by Stickley Furniture. Either way, the Tuxedo, sofa or suit, is a great conversation piece, and at home a great way to celebrate the joy of family and friends.
A joy forever
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” is the opening line from John Keats poem Endymion which goes like this:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing...
Cool colors, like all shades of blue, are considered tranquil colors; use blue in those spaces designated for relaxation, conversation, and reflection.
How blue depends on you. Are you bold or subdued? A tried and true test is given below.
Soft Blue, as calm as the desert sky, blue like a Periwinkle, as tender as a Robin’s Egg; it’s a color that emphasizes youth, innocence, and kindly adoration, making it a soothing color year round.
Bold Blue, as deep as the evening sky, as mysterious as the sea, as rich as a Blueberry in summer, as pretty as an Oregon hydrangea, making it excellent for conversation, relaxation, and contemplation.
If you are wondering which blue you are, try this: go into your closet and look at your clothes. Are the dark or soft?