Want Affordable Custom Furniture? Check Out "the Inside

Finding furniture for your home isn't hard. From high-end showrooms to no-money-down-easy-payment outlets and thrift stores, the sources certainly abound. The only problem is that you rarely find the color or style you secretly want and just end up settling on a nice neutral color that's only somewhat comfortable - until now.Shopping at The Inside is a dream come true, allowing you to choose styles and fabrics that perfectly match your tastes. And the best part? They make it especially for you! Most of the brand's pieces and accessories are well under $1,000, and shipping is always free. In just two to three weeks, you'll find your custom-designed piece delivered straight to your door: a wonder to unwrap, and a precious gift you can hardly believe is yours.How It WorksInstead of visiting a brick-and-mortar showroom, you just go to The Inside website and leisurely start shopping. First, you choose a style from one or more categories, whether it be beds, headboards, benches, chairs, cocktail ottomans, traditional ottomans, removable wallpaper (very cool, especially for apartment dwellers), screen room dividers/accents, or throw pillows. Next, you can choose the upholstery fabric, or order swatches at $1 each so you can examine the texture and colors up-close before placing your order.Once you've decided on that, all that's left to do is complete your order and wait for your custom furniture to arrive!Important Things to KnowAll the furniture sold by The Inside is made from scratch in the United States. The frames are made from hardwood pine and the filling is comprised of polyfoam and fill. The fabrics are all fire-resistant (OEKO-TEX certified) and free of VOCs. They are also child and pet-friendly, woven with "double-rub" count synthetic fibers, which equals the softness of 10-plus years of use combined with maximum durability. All items have a one-year warranty and are returnable during that time, with terms clearly outlined on the company website.Wondering how The Inside keeps prices low? It's actually quite simple. They don't keep a costly inventory on hand since every item is custom-made. Subsequently, they have no need for big warehouses or showrooms, which means they're spending far less than almost all of their biggest competitors.Money MattersIf you subscribe to The Inside newsletter, you get $45 off your first order. And if someone you refer makes a purchase of $199 or more, they get a $50 discount and you get a $50 Visa gift card. Talk about some serious savings!The Woman Behind It AllChristiane Lemieux, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, is the co-founder of The Inside and serves as the company's CEO. She also created DwellStudio, which was eventually bought by Wayfair. She wrote two well-received books on design, The Finer Things and Undecorate, and hosted both iconic talk show host Ellen Degeneres' Ellen's Design Challenge and HGTV's popular show Overhaul. As a world traveler, Lemieux gathers epochal fabrics that often inspire the prints available on her site. She also works closely with SF Girl By Bay, Peter Som, Clare V., Scalamandre, Christene Barberich, The Everygirl, and Katherine Carter from Homepolish on designs and fabrics for The Inside.

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Better Sliding Door Room Dividers and Patio Doors
These newer sliding door room dividers are far better the older designs which were hung from a top track and ran on cheap rollers. These doors are tasteful and offer an option that is cheaper than the price it would cost to have a contractor come in and build a wall to divide two rooms. Plus by installing a sliding partition you give yourself the option to one day take it down and have an undivided living area again. This is another reason that these doors have become the automatic first choice for those looking to divide areas of their home with something better than a gate.The old and poorly made sliding glass doors used for patio doors have recently been made over by many door manufacturers. Now many of these doors can be found featuring designs which are not only better made but cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Sliding glass patio doors care being made from materials that are not only friendly to the environment but they also offer energy efficient. Design options such as double paned glass make it easy to be green while also saving on your monthly utility bills for the heating and cooling of your home.Sliding Doors for the Kitchen?One of the newest trends on kitchen redecorating and construction is sliding cupboard doors. These doors come in designs that have clear glass and frosted glass panes. There are also designs for these cupboard doors where their panels soils and made out of wood, aluminum, or plastic. These doors also come in several different colors. Some even have special designs printed on their panes which range from ornate designs to those which are more whimsical. It is just a matter of finding the right designs to match your dÃcor. All of these newer designer are easy to install and most even come in do it yourself kits at your local home supply store.Design Options for Sliding Doors?Whether you are looking for sliding door room dividers or sliding doors other rooms in your home, you can find designs to suit almost any taste. These are door designs which come in everything from wood to mirrored designs. All you need to do is find the design which best compliments the interior of your home and you are on your way to making a dramatic and cheap home improvement. When you couple with the fact that many of these doors are energy efficient it is to how they are a great investment for your home.
Room Divider Ideas That Can Be Used in Apartments and Condominiums
When many people think of room divider ideas they think of erecting a wall or placing a sofa in an area to help split it up. Fortunately room dividers have come a long way in the past decade or so. There are many options and choices that makes your space not only private but functional as well. If you live in a dorm, apartment or condominium with other people it is sometimes difficult to find privacy. With some well placed dividers, you can maintain your privacy without installing doors or losing space. You can choose the sizes you need for your partitions and even purchase some that help absorb sound.Room dividers can be very modern with a sleek contemporary appearance. Many have the smooth, clean lines that are evident with contemporary styles yet they are made of more modern materials such as plexiglass, fabricork or acrylic. Many classroom or office partitions are made of sound absorbing materials that prevent noises from emanating from either side. In the classroom they help prevent students from being disturbed from another teacher on the other side of the partition. In an office setting it keeps your conversations private.Some room dividers are actually moveable walls that can be folded up along one wall or stored out of the way. These walls typically operate on their own track systems or are free standing on locking wheels. They can be used in a garage, gym or large open spaces where people might gather for events. They come in glass, wood, plexiglass, bamboo and vinyl materials that can either be folded or rolled up for easy storage. These types of dividers do not require doors as they can be left ajar for ease in entering and leaving the area.Free standing screens are another great room divider idea that is relatively inexpensive when compared to other dividers. They can be shoji screens that allow diffused light to filter through rice paper and gently illuminate your space or they can be picture frame screens that let you display your favorite photos from both sides. You can use screens to cover up a laundry area, enclose a sleeping area or simply show two separate living areas. You can find this type of room divider that is made from bamboo with a design painted on the bamboo reeds or solid wood panels.When you are considering room divider ideas, consider all possibilities for your space. Determine what you want to use the space in your house for, whether you want freestanding, sliding or folding dividers, your budget and whether they will be used as a replacement for an existing structure. Once you have determined all of this, contact local retailers to see what is readily available in your area. Not all types of room dividers are available in all areas and it may require the retailer to special order your purchase. Some room dividers may need to be installed by a professional so you may want to contact a general contractor to do the work for you.
The Retro and the Restless: Two Milans
By JULIE V. IOVINEAPRIL 17, 1997With the same upstart exuberance displayed at this year's Academy Awards, independent furniture designers won the day at the 36th Milan International Furniture Fair, the world's premier annual furniture showcase. And even though the macrame chairs, inflatable room dividers and snowboard divans may never see the light of a mass market furniture store, these conceptually daring, intentionally raw furnishings -- the brainchildren of Dutch, English and Finnish designers mostly in their early and mid-20's -- came to stand for the way this nomadic generation will be living and designing into the next century.Last week, the sheer energy powering through the side streets of Milan, where some galleries were so makeshift that their most permanent feature was a cellular-phone number, contrasted vividly with the monumental calm, cool minimalism and retro-style sophistication that reigned at the contemporary manufacturers' booths at the fairground.A theme that many of these talented upstarts had in common was the use of sophisticated engineering to make unusual marriages of materials and function -- flower vases made of beach-ball plastic, cushions shaped like Smartie candies but made of wet-suit neoprene.It's true that many of the pieces were prototypes (and some defied the physics of large-scale production), but so what? If the whole world was ready to look, design collaboratives with names like Droog, Snowcrash, Loungecore and Inflate were ready to show.AdvertisementThe mavericks of just a couple of fairs ago, designers like Antonio Citterio, Philippe Starck and Ron Arad have already become the Old Guard and have settled into comfortable production schedules with big manufacturing firms, where they are doing some of their finest work. Acknowledged masters that they are, the show was not about them. They are the upstarts who made good.AdvertisementFrom the opening-night party of the manufacturer Driade, where 100 gigantic incense coils burned over the heads of elegantly dressed Milanese (all keeping one watchful eye out for dropping ash), to a final disco party called ''Death by Plastic'' on Saturday, it was six nonstop days of primary and secondary chain-smoking, ubiquitous cellular phones and the growing realization that the gulf between the design establishment and its young renegades was widening.The Old Turks, many of whom are mostly adding pieces to existing collections, offered plenty of elegant well-considered furniture. Call it the Four Seasons style (after the 1958 High Modern shrine and restaurant designed by Philip Johnson in the Seagram Building in New York). Adam Tihany, the designer who has just completed the new interiors for Le Cirque, said it best when he called this look of high polish, unremarkable forms and overscaled proportions ''sophisticated American corporate retro.''At the booth of the Italian manufacturer Edra, the look took the form of a gigantic extra-deep red vinyl daybed large enough for a family of four to crash onto. Mr. Starck did the same shape for Driade with a practical white linen slipcover and lots of poufy pillows.The Italian designer Antonio Citterio gave the look a natural spin at B & B Italia. His oversize armchairs (recalling classic English club chairs) were covered in a woven recycled raffia.One high-profile designer, Ross Lovegrove, made his fair debut with a polypropylene chair for Driade.The oxymoron ''techno-craft'' might best describe the alternative look merging high technology and synthetic materials with a glancing hint of the past and a ready ability to get up and go.At its best, it took the scare out of the avant-garde: Marcel Wanders, one of the Droog designers, carried it off in his dip-strengthened resinated macrame chair. (''I liked macrame even when it was so out of fashion I had to hide my macrame books between the sex manuals,'' he said.) This year, Cappellini is putting it into production, and it will be sold at Limn in San Francisco for $1,990, and at Adesso in Boston.AdvertisementDroog Design, a loose confederation of more than 20 Dutch industrial designers and architects, led the way with fresh ideas (some formulated during a car ride weeks before the fair).With pieces like a table made of lace dipped in epoxy, a polyurethane sink that bends for people squeezing out of small bathrooms, and floor tiles covered with glass droplets that prevent slipping while also massaging the feet, Droog (it means ''dry'' in Dutch) melded an appreciation for simple acts and humble craftsmanship with a determination to surprise.Murray Moss, the owner of Moss, the design store in SoHo, said: ''Droog is all about material, not form. They take something simple like a plain white tile and make a big deal out it. That it's just a prototype isn't the point. The point is that everyone who looks at it goes, 'Ah!' ''Rosenthal, the German porcelain manufacturer and wedding-registry favorite with a history of design patronage, garnered its share of ''Ahs!'' with an exhibition featuring nine experimental porcelain designs from Droog, including a vase by Mr. Wanders made from fired clay molded around a sponge (an endangered species, unfortunately) and a teapot by Gijs Bakker with an alumina-boria-silica fiber handle.While Droog is a foundation supported in its explorations by universities and government grants (the macrame chair was developed with help from the Aviation and Space Laboratory at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands), young British designers are doing it for and by themselves.One standout was Tom Dixon of London, with his chair fashioned from highway-cone plastic into the shape of the notched barrel stools found in working-class English pubs. Mr. Dixon founded his own production company, Loungecore, to make his plastic chairs and tables, whose clustered shapes are modeled after biological cell division.He showed together with another London company, Inflate, whose four designers -- Nick Crosbie, Nitzan Yaniv and the brothers Michael and Marc Sodeau -- make blowup furniture and furnishings (including even egg cups). The company's most successful designs are small, cheap and clever; its latest inflatables, which the designers brought in themselves by truck, are room dividers made of giant tubes that can be arranged in groups or singly, and a slipper chair made of individual tubes.Snowcrash from Finland was another collaborative that spoke directly to a young audience and impressed others in the process. Its collection was aimed at those adept at net surfing and snowboarding. One seat, called Swinging Divan, looked like a warped snowboard meant for rocking and sat directly on the floor (for the limber only).AdvertisementThe Flying Carpet chair was made of a single piece of thick felt stuck on stiff metal pikes. It is meant for relaxation, a term that its young designer, Ilkka Suppanen, defined as ''downtime off the Internet.''The Flying Carpet also collapses and rolls up for easy moving, to make it appealing to urbanites on the move. ''I wanted something that I could take up and down narrow staircases really easily,'' said Mr. Suppanen, who moved seven times one year. ''This is nomadic furniture for people who are not ready to invest in the furniture that's on the market.''A few designers and manufacturers transcended the schism with designs that achieved a rare balance between the fantastic and the mundane. Ingo Mauer, the German lighting designer, who makes and sells his own fixtures, never fails to impress.One of his halogen lights had an old-fashioned light bulb as a hologram; the ghostly green image hovered below the light source. It awed crowds who managed to press past the fray to see it at a party that Mr. Mauer sponsored with Ron Arad.Mr. Arad's F.P.E. chair (as in fantastic, plastic, elastic) for Kartell, made of an extruded aluminum frame fitted with a pliant thermoplastic seat and then bent into a stacking-chair shape, also straddled both worlds.Romeo Gigli exhibited the work of Jacopo Foggini, an industrial artist, who had learned from his father, a designer of car parts, the art of spinning the most unpoetic of materials: taillight plastic. His magical spiral forms -- flying saucers, sand castles and snails chasing their tails -- were in the gemlike colors of Murano glass and lighted from within.His art was all the more impressive for being installed in a dark old garage, where the floor was piled high with sand, suggesting either Moroccan nights or a gigantic ashtray.As the fair began to wind down, and exhilaration and exhaustion became one, a singular moment stood out. It was the first night of the fair, when more than 100 people were gathering outside the locked doors of the Mauer-Arad party near the Piazza Cavour.AdvertisementIt was an only-in-Milan scene. Just as the mass of mavens started to get restless, a truck arrived delivering the stars of the event: new molded metal stacking chairs by Mr. Arad, which were swaddled in bubble wrap against the crush of design-hungry humanity. As the camouflaged chairs passed through the gates, cameras started whizzing and the crowd went politely wild.Adding Sensuality To Everyday ObjectsWHEN the Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove wraps his fingers around a glass of Champagne, you can almost see his appreciation of the way the stem meets the slim liquid-filled cup.Mr. Lovegrove, 39, who is based in London and was in Milan to introduce his first chair for the Italian manufacturer Driade, has built a career on taking the sensuality of sculpture and putting it into people's hands, literally -- whether in a hairbrush, a razor or a computer mouse. He has designed for a wide range of manufacturers, including Sony, Apple, Olympus (in the works for them is a latex-skin, squeezable camera that looks like a pocket-size Henry Moore sculpture), Knoll International and Samsonite.His Bluebelle chair for Driade pays homage to the classic molded chairs by postwar American industrial designers, but Mr. Lovegrove adds his own sense of biomorphic myth-making. With a squint, the swooping lines of the translucent polypropylene back and arms look part mask, part primodial fish. ''My designs are 100 percent personal,'' said Mr. Lovegrove, who wore a pistachio green suede jacket. ''I hope if someone digs one of my designs up 100 years from now in some garden, it will be instantly recognized as coming from right now.'' JULIE V. IOVINEWe are continually improving the quality of our text archives. Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to .A version of this article appears in print on April 17, 1997, on Page C00001 of the National edition with the headline: The Retro And the Restless: Two Milans. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Using Room Dividers for Bedroom Decorating
Decorating your bedroom can be a great way to express yourself and get a great place to lounge and sleep in but coming up with interesting ideas can be a challenge. One way that I like to create interesting spaces is by using items that you might not normally find and using room dividers for bedroom decorating is an ideal way to create a unique look and maybe even gain some extra storage space too!Room dividers or folding screens come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and even shapes. You can get then min metal, fabric, plastic and wood and they can be found with beautiful motifs ranging from antique to modern to Asian so you are sure to find one that matches with your bedroom decor.There are many interesting ways to use room dividers for bedroom decorating. The thing about a divider is that it covers a wide area and, thus, makes a big statement. One traditional method of using them is to place them in the corner. This helps to soften out the harsh edges of the room corner as well as add a decorative touch in a spot that may be lacking. But, perhaps the best part of this method is that if you place it kitty cornered it leaves a space between the divider and the corner and you can use this space for extra storage!Another way to use a divider in the bedroom is as a headboard. This can make a great focal point to your room and many room dividers are quite decorative so this can really make your bed seem unique and appealing. To do this, simply spread the divider out flat and slide it behind the head of the bed. You might want to secure it properly with feet or to the wall just to be sure it doesn't fall. Try to find a one that is the same width as your bed, but if it is a little longer or shorter that will be OK too.If you have a large bedroom, you can use a folding screen to divide the space into a sleeping and sitting area. Simply place the divider jutting out from the wall at the point where you want the space divided. You 'd be amazed at the visual effect this creates and how it separates your large room into 2 smaller cozy spaces.Another great use for room dividers is to simply add a focal point or some color to a wall. This is quite useful if you rent and cannot change the wall color from the typical bland eggshell color. To so this, simply open the divider up and stand it flat against the wall. This adds a large area of decor to the room without taking up any space. To make it look best, place some plants and maybe a chair in front of it. You might also consider adding some custom made feet to keep the divider stable against the wall.When using room dividers for bedroom decorating, the key thing to keep in mind is to be sure to buy a room divider that is in keeping with your rooms colors and style. You must choose carefully as the divider will be a large element in the room, but if you pick it out properly it will blend right in and add a unique and unusual look to your bedroom.
Kids Room Dividers for the Safety of Toddlers and Babies
If you have kids and they share a bedroom, then you know the problems that can arise from the lack of privacy. The older child never wants the younger one touching their things and they feel they have no privacy when it comes to dressing in the room. Space can also be a problem with smaller children like a baby, infant or toddler and safety is always a concern with them. Kids room dividers can help you solve some of these problems. They can be educational, fun and colorful and can serve multiple purposes.When you have kids you usually set up play dates for them so they learn to get along with other children. Kids room dividers allow you to set up a playpen area where multiple children can play without the worry of their safety. They can create up to a 41' area for them to play in, in a freestanding divider. These are the most modern way of caring for your children's safety yet are contemporary in style. They are portable and can be taken with you to the park or the beach to provide safety there too. The prices are very reasonable when consider the safety of a child.Older children constantly bicker over whose is who's when it comes to toys and other belongings. Kids room dividers can settle that age old dilemma by keeping each child's belongings on their side of the room. They also allow older children to feel as if they have some privacy from the prying eyes of younger siblings. The dividers can be sliding dividers, rolling or on wheels, a screen, bookcases or activity and tack boards. In some cases you can have double sided activity boards allowing both sides to see the same thing. In the case of bookcases, they allow each child to keep track of their own books by sorting them and storing them.IKEA is one of the leading manufacturers of room dividers including kid's room dividers. They are available at many local retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. The prices will vary depending on the style of dividers you choose as well as the retailer you purchase it from. In some instances, you can find the exact same product online at a discount with a discount on shipping as well. All kids room dividers are intended for interior use only. It is not recommended to use them outdoors where the elements can affect their looks and functions.There are many ideas that can be used as kids room dividers as well as many options that are available. Some may simply need partitions without the frills and thrills that some of the dividers offer. Others may need a replacement for their current method of dividing the space of a bedroom up. Whatever the reason, there is a divider to fit your needs. Make sure to set and keep a budget as some of these can be rather pricey.
Using Office Room Dividers As Decorative Walls
Office room dividers are typically thought of as cubicles that are both too short with no privacy and too expensive to implement. This is not so in the case of today's models. They provide the privacy you need, are less expensive than construction and can be used with a number of different ideas. Construction can be time consuming as well as expensive causing your company to lose money in two directions. It is a partition that creates cubicles which do not provide privacy and can be expensive to use. They do not allow for a more stationary office space nor do they offer the benefits of office room dividers.Some are mobile meaning they are on wheels that can be moved to what ever position you choose to put them in. When you want a more stationary setting, simply lock the wheels so the panels cannot be moved. Many offices are opting for this style of room dividers because it is easier when it comes time to clean the floor or replace carpeting in the office. At the same time, some of the dividers are equipped so that you can add doors to each section or leave them open for a friendlier atmosphere.Office room dividers are a modern way of using decorative walls in an office without the expense of building materials. The materials and prices of these make them perfect for almost any setting including attorney offices, school offices and the small mom and pop business. The prices vary depending on the styles, sizes, materials and manufacturers of the dividers but they are much more economical than rebuilding or restructuring an area. They make great replacement walls for wide open spaces and can be installed in as little as 4 to 5 hours.Some dividers can have a sliding door attached to them instead of a swinging door. Of course there are also sliding dividers that can be used in situations such as a classroom or instructional area. These generally span the entire width of a room dividing a large space up into two smaller areas. These too are sound absorbent providing for more privacy than other types of dividers. There are many varieties of the office room dividers that are available. You have only to choose what is right for your office setting. Many retailers carry these contemporary yet modern office fixes that are reasonably priced in comparison to the time and money spent on renovations.Before visiting retailers in your area, you must be sure to take accurate dimensions of the space you want to transform into multiple offices. This gives you a better idea of the size of panels you will need to make the number of offices you intend to create. Some dimensions concerning height will be necessary in order to provide you with dividers that span from the floor to the ceiling. Also the desk size will need to be estimated unless you are purchasing sets that include desks in them.
Cut'n'paste
Confirming the adage that everything old is new again, wallpaper is enjoying a resurgence on the home decorating front. Once considered a relic from the 1960s and '70s, wallpaper is now hot, hot, hot, having caught the eye of a new generation that appreciates its retro look and subtle elegance.Interior designers are finding more renovators want to decorate their homes with wallpaper - from once daggy boldly coloured flocks to stunning woven bamboos. James Marks, sales and marketing director for Radford Furnishings, which imports fabrics and papers from the US, Britain and Europe, says wallpapers are one of his company's fastest-growing areas."It's been a well-kept secret, but wallpapers are making a big comeback," says Marks, whose clients include British companies Cole & Son (which makes flock papers using traditional techniques), the US design house of Ralph Lauren and British company Zoffany. As of September 1, Radford Furnishings will also be handling wallpapers from Designers Guild and British designers William Yeoward, Cath Kidston and Jasper Conran.Zoffany and the National Trust in Britain collaborated to create an exclusive range of wallpapers based on historical documents and architectural decoration.The result is the National Trust Collection of wallpapers, named after three of Britain's finest stately homes - Knoll, Oxburgh Hall and Fellbrigg House - and are pictured on this page.Marks's comments are reinforced by decorative artist and wallpaper hanger James Stephenson, who agrees there is a "huge resurgence" in paper."All my retail, commercial, entertainment and domestic clients are wanting wallpaper that offers the 'wow' factor. People who dismissed wallpaper as something old-fashioned from the '60s and '70s cannot believe the range of papers available, and what is achievable using them. It really is an awakening."Popular wallpapers today include chinoiserie styles in red and gold, woven fibres, reeds, bamboos, metallics and psychedelic retro looks.Interior designer Isabella Emerson has always been a wallpaper fan. "A wallpapered room says 'this is my home, I've put my mark on it and I'm not moving'," says Emerson, who believes paint cannot reproduce the luxury and elegance that wallpaper creates. Emerson says there is a big demand for using wallpaper in new and creative ways."Don't limit it to walls - think about making screens or room dividers with it, make a feature wall with a beautiful, bold patterned paper. Enjoy it and the colours and patterns it provides." Fiona Baker, from Designers Guild, says wallpapers were once more commonly used to decorate children's bedrooms, but these days are highly sought after to decorate dining, lounge and living areas."We're seeing a lot of young people who have just purchased their first home and are wanting to really make a statement with their interiors and are looking at wallpaper to do that," says Baker.And the application isn't confined to papering all four walls, she says. "Customers are using interesting papers to do just a feature wall, a chimney breast or using a couple of panels in place of an art piece." Stencilled or hand-painted paper was first used as wall decorations in Britain and Europe in the 15th century. Wallpaper was popular among the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries, with block printed or flocked papers featuring myriad designs, including imitation architectural motifs, Chinese and chinoiserie styles, panoramic scenes and delicate florals.It fell out of fashion between the two world wars, only to return in the early 1950s, perhaps influenced by people such as Queensland born Florence Broadhurst, before really coming into its kitschy own in the 1960s and '70s.Broadhurst, whose career spanned music and fashion design, ran an arts academy in Shanghai but returned to Australia in 1949 to design wallpaper using paper and inks from Europe.Her work spanned classical, contemporary and geometric designs - about 800 in 80 different colour ways - which were highly sought after, until her untimely death (she was murdered in her Sydney showroom) in 1977.Her wallpaper designs are now being interpreted into rugs by Customweave carpets and rugs in collaboration with Signature Prints, a leading distributor of Florence Broadhurst designs.
New Uses Found for Fiber Glass; Foreign Markets Stressed by California Company
JAN. 2, 1964 This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to . HAWTHORNE, Calif. A California fiber glass panels concern is learning some striking new uses for its products from its customers abroad.The Filon Corporation, a pioneer in production‐line manufacture of fiber glass plastics, in the last two years has put increasing emphasis on foreign markets. The results include:Carports in Japan, race‐track canopies in England, tenniscourt domes in Italy, greenhouses in Switzerland and France, and, in several other countries, unusual architectural uses in homes, office buildings and even churches.Fiber glass appears to be gaining in acceptance wherever a tough translucent material is needed, according to David S. Perry, president of Filon.Process Licensed Through its subsidiary, Filon A. G., in Zurich, the company makes its process available to Canada, France. West Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan and Spain. It is completing arrangements for production in Belgium and also negotiating with an Australian company.AdvertisementFor a 12‐year‐old company, Filon has moved briskly in the new highly competitive plastic construction field. In March, 1962, it became a publicly held company. Its 1963 report is incomplete, but last year sales and royalty income grossed $8,125,891, or 98 cents a share for 870,275 shares of common stock.AdvertisementAt its plant here and nearby El Segundo, Filon manufactures fiber glass panels in 70 shapes and sizes and about 100 colors. The company supplies building companies and contractors. In the United States, the panels are especially popular for fences, industrial skylights, greenhouses, room dividers and shower doors.The material's versatility also is evidenced in sign and display facings, garage doors and church windows. One of the better examples of the lastnamed use is found in the St. Louis Priory Church in Creve Coeur, Mo.Mr. Perry's foreign‐market outlook comes naturally. He was born in Russia, operated a zipper business in Italy before coming to the United States in 1939 and subsequently manufactured sportswear and was a construction contractor in California.He formed Filon's forerunner, the Flexolite Corporation, in 1951, and changed the name to Filon in 1953 after acquiring an automatic production system for plastics invented by Calhun Shorts of Bellevue, Wash.Production‐line techniques have cut the average retail price from $1.20 a square foot in 1951 to less than 50 cents now, Mr. Perry says. The topline brand of the fire‐resistant material is guaranteed for 15 years against cracking and discoloration.In 1862, the company set up the Silmar Chemical Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, to manufacture and distribute polyester resins, an integral component of the finished panels.This year, Filon opened new regional warehouses at Seattie, Dallas and Kansas City, Mo. Other warehouses are in White Plains Skokie, Ill., and Atlanta.A version of this archives appears in print on January 2, 1964, on Page 45 of the New York edition with the headline: NEW USES FOUND FOR FIBER GLASS; Foreign Markets Stressed by California Company. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Sound; Novelty Powers a Speaker
By HANS FANTELOCT. 10, 1982 This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to . The quasi-Faustian quest for the perfect loudspeaker has lately led into strange but promising directions. Innovative emphasis now seems focused on the patterns of sound dispersion, with new approaches to this problem prominent among several recently introduced speaker models.Traditional loudspeakers, almost by definition, are boxes. Their sound projects from holes in the box spanned by vibrating cones or domes. This in itself limits sonic realism in some respects because the natural sound of most musical instruments is not projected in this way but spreads openly in all directions.To duplicate this natural sound spread, several speaker manufacturers have come up with quite unconventional multidirectional models, with Bose's 601 Series II and the Ohm Walsh 2 being outstanding examples. But none departs so radically from estblished norms as a California company known by its initials as BES (Bertagni Electroacoustic Systems).What BES has done, in the words of the company's president, is to ''take the sound out of the box.'' He was speaking literally as well as metaphorically. Literally because BES does away with the usual speaker enclosure; metaphorically because the sound thereby attains an open and airy quality that audibly confirms its freedom from boxlike confinement.AdvertisementThis unique speaker - conceptually fenced off by about 20 patents - was invented by Dr. Jose Bertagni, a former professor of electrical engineering at the University of Buenos Aires. In place of the conventional speaker cones it employs large, flat plastic foam panels. These panels are not housed in any enclosure but simply set in a frame, like a picture. Standing freely, and preferably at a distance from the nearest wall, these panels radiate a broad sweep of sound both from the front and back and also project part of their sound energy in an upward direction. The result is a close analogue of the sound dispersion created by a musical instrument - such as as a violin, cello, or piano - if it were actually playing in that particular room. The impression is one of unforced naturalness - an unobtrusive but convincing musical presence.AdvertisementThat, of course, was the aim from the start. But achieving its technical feasibility involved a long and arduous course of evolution. By abandoning the idea of the conventional boxed speaker cone, Dr. Bertagni sidestepped the usual problems inherent in that approach. But a whole new tangle of difficulties confronted him instead. He had to find ways to control the resonant modes of the flat panel and equalize its sound dispersion throughout the range of frequencies assigned to it. Most important, he had to devise an effective method to set the panels into motion. Dr. Bertagni is the first to admit that in the course of these developments he got carried away by his enthusiasm several years ago and allowed some speakers to be manufactured before these problems were adequately solved. Later he bought them all back. That, he allows with a rather forced smile, is the hard way to gather engineering data, but the costly lesson evidently has proved valuable.In their present mature version, BES speakers regulate the frequency response of their vibrating panels by means of ridges, grooves and cavities molded into their cellular substance as well as by the varying dimensions of the plastic foam cells in different parts of the panel. The edges of each panel are treated to act as energy absorbers so that excess energy swallowed up at the rim. That way no vibrations bounce back from the edges into the main area of the panel to cause false and distortive vibrational modes. This has been one of the main obstacles in the development of flat-panel speakers, and it now appears to have been surmounted at last. In essence, the entire panel pulsates like the body of a musical instrument but without adding any tonal coloration of its own.Since the flat panels cannot be set in motion like conventional speaker cones, Dr. Bertagni activates them with what he rather dramatially calls ''acoustic hammers.'' These are magnetic drivers, similar to those found in ordinary speakers, linked to the vibrating panel through a short plastic rod of predetermined elasticity. It is the degree of elasticity in this linkage which largely controls frequency response, and it differs for the three separate panels radiating bass, midrange, and treble. No conventional crossover network is used to divide the total frequency spectrum, thereby eliminating yet another common source of distortion.Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.Invalid email address. Please re-enter.You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.View all New York Times newsletters.A system of such acoustic complexity naturally has to be meticulously fine-tuned, both in its design and manufacture. In the largest BES speaker, the Model SM-300, this has been so successfully accomplished that frequency response deviates no more than three decibels from linearity within the crucial range from 60 to 16,000 Hz, while overall response extends all the way up to 20,000 Hz. With bass response still audible down to an awsome depth of 25 Hz, this speaker deals quite impressively with the low pedal notes of a pipe organ and lays to rest lingering suspicions that no boxless speaker can touch bottom in the range of musical sound. A mere 15 watts suffice to drive this model, but it will handle 10 times as much without audible complaint or risk of damage.I cite these figures to establish numerical legitimacy for what might otherwise seem an overly offbeat design -a case of inventive unorthodoxy gone rampant. But, as always, the real legitimization of any audio item lies in its sound.In this case, smoothness, clarity and range clearly put the SM-300 at the top of any class, with a welcome absence of undue tonal coloration confirming what the figures lead one to expect. As with most current speakers, I preferred a slight treble turndown to reduce what I perceived as a somewhat aggressive brilliance, but once that was done, each instrument came across with its own distinctive character - and nothing else - and a fine sense of balance prevailed throughout the entire musical range.Beyond these high marks of general competence (covering the requisites for excellence in any speaker) the SM-300 exhibits virtues peculiar to multidirectional models: an exquisite sense of spaciousness, a seamless texture of sound from any angle, and the broadening of the stereo effect to a large area of the listening room.With their height of 53 inches and a width of 22, these panel speakers seem most at home in fairly large rooms, where they can also serve as room dividers with listeners at either side. Thanks to the sound source being spread over an ample radiating surface, there are no acoustical ''hot spots'' and one can sit fairly close to the speakers without getting blasted. By the same token, a pleasing sense of sonic fullness is felt even at low volume levels so that even massive orchestral scores remain musically convincing at less than full loudness.At $1,280 a pair, the BES SM-300 may be a little hard to pay for, but it is certainly easy to live with. As a radical departure from established norms, it represents a conceptual challenge that deserves serious evaluation both from a technical and a musical standpoint.A version of this article appears in print on October 10, 1982, on Page 2002021 of the National edition with the headline: SOUND; NOVELTY POWERS A SPEAKER. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
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