Designers and Architects: View our Signature Collection

Elle Decor’s Top Ten Benches, +1

December 7th, 2011 by plexicraft | Posted in Contemporary Design, Contemporary Furniture, Elle Decor, Furniture Design, Uncategorized |

Benches are hot items in home design the past couple of years and are used in all rooms of the home: foyer, bedroom, living room, and dining room.  The bench can serve many purposes, including dining seat, extra pull up seating, accent or cocktail table, or “landing zone” for handbags, coats, and packages.

Check out the Top Ten Benches in this month’s Elle Decor.  David Mann’ and Alessandra Branca’s selections represent a broad variety of designs in many different types of materials.  But they did not include any lucite furniture in their collection!  So we would like to bring an acrylic bench as our +1 to this party of benches.

Our design partners are selecting acrylic benches for a variety of projects.  Benjamin Noriega Ortiz of BNO Design used such a bench to match a lucite piano.  Robyn Karp creatively mixed acrylic legs with a traditional upholstered cushion.  And Amanda Nisbet designed a “modular” rolling bench that serves as both a dining chair and a side table.

Over the past year, our most popular benches have been the King George Bench, the Square Cocktail/Console Table Bench, and the Waterfall Table/Bench.  The King George Bench, like several of the benches featured in Elle Decor’s Top Ten, borrows it’s sharp upholstery style from the classic Florence Knoll Bench.  Our design partners often add their own cushions in a variety of fabrics and upholstery style to the Square and Waterfall Benches.  The King George Bench is my +1 choice for the Top Ten list.

What is more exciting is that since Plexi-Craft is a custom furniture manufacturer, we are capable of producing new styles of benches.  I immediately envision several new benches based on some of the design elements of the Elle Decor Top Ten Benches.  Please bring your own inspiration to Plexi-Craft and perhaps we will be on the next Top Ten list.

Elle Decor Fetes the Etagere

November 4th, 2011 by plexicraft | Posted in Contemporary Design, Contemporary Furniture, Elle Decor, Furniture Design |

Thank you to Valerie Pasquiou and Timothy Corrigan for featuring in this month’s Elle Decor the wide array of designs and uses for étagerès.

Ms. Pasquiou applauds our standard étagerè for its “pared-down form” so it is “ideal for an apartment” and “sized for tight spaces.”  This étagerè also demonstrates one of the key benefits of lucite furniture, and Plexi-Craft’s products in particular: “At a distance it disappears, but up close the design is very interesting.”

As with all of the items in our catalog, Plexi-Craft can customize the étagerè to the dimensions or features you want.  We can make it wider, deeper, and/or taller to fit where you need it or hold what you have.  The étagerè can be made with thicker acrylic for a more impressive presentation, or to hold your collection of iron art work!  We can even change the design: solid sides, solid back, double width, etc.

Or, come up with a whole new étagerè design in acrylic.  As I discussed in a previous post, our professional designer clients are regularly asking us to interpret into lucite furniture designs currently constructed in wood, metal or other media.   Which of the étagerès in Pasquiou’s and Corrigan’s collection would you like to see in acrlyic?

The High/Low Project: Distinguishing Grades of Lucite Furniture

October 20th, 2011 by plexicraft | Posted in Furniture Design, HGTV, Uncategorized |

Kudos to Sabrina Soto and her excellent HGTV show, The High/Low Project.   Sabrina demonstrates how to realistically create high end decor on a budget.

For this past week’s show, Sabrina recreates a $32,000 dining room for less than $5,000.   One of the key features of the dining room is an acrylic waterfall console table.  The high end design included a custom-sized waterfall in 2″ thick acrylic.  The low end room replaced the custom table with a thinner, stock waterfall with a lower price.

Plexi-Craft makes to order acrylic waterfall tables of all sizes and thicknesses.  The thinner waterfall table shown in Sabrina’s “low” design is available at Plexi-Craft and can also be purchased from a big box store.  Plexi-Craft applauds the introduction of acrylic furniture by some of the big box furniture chains (and we are flattered that they have copied some of our legacy designs).  National chain promotion of these acrylic items confirms the resurgent popularity of lucite furniture as a staple of design portfolios.

So how do you distinguish between different grades of acrylic furniture?  You need to consider three criteria:

  1. Quality of finish:  The edges should be as polished and smooth as the flat surfaces of the product.  The chain store pieces, which are mass-produced overseas, are typically machine finished and flame polished, leaving machine marks and sometimes overly sharp edges (watch out kids!).  Such marks are most noticeable on thicker material.  Plexi-Craft hand finishes and polishes all edges, providing a safe and lustrous finish.
  2. Material thickness:  The acrylic used for the piece must be of sufficient thickness to support its function.  For example, a console table of less than 3/4″ thickness is sufficient as a decorative sideboard as long as it does not hold anything weighing more than a few pounds.  Used as a desk, a console table of this thickness will wobble too much while you are writing, or it will sag if you use it for a flat-screen TV.  Plexi-Craft’s sales designers can determine the optimal thickness to support your functional requirement.   Of course, you can always go thicker if you want an even more impressive look!
  3. Custom size:  Does that table in the catalog fit in your room?  If so, and if the finish and thickness meet your standards and needs, then that retail table should be a great option for you.  If you do need a custom size, or would like to add custom features like a shelf or drawer, Plexi-Craft can make this for you.

Creating “WOW” with David Bromstad of Color Splash

August 24th, 2011 by plexicraft | Posted in ColorSplash, Contemporary Design, Contemporary Furniture, Furniture Design, HGTV |

David Bromstad and the HGTV Color Splash crew came to NYC recently to transform a master bedroom in a new Manhattan apartment.  David had the idea to create an acrylic headboard as the centerpiece for the bedroom.   David chose acrylic for its transparency so the headboard would not block the amazing views from the apartment.  But, obviously, David also wanted color in the headboard.  So he came here to Plexi-Craft so we could work out a solution together.

First we gave the Color Splash team a tour of our production workshop so they could see all the different types of acrylic furniture we can make out of Plexiglas and Lucite.  Then we brainstormed some ideas on how to make the headboard with transparency, color, and even some very traditional features.  David was a gem to work with as he was open to all suggestions yet remained focus on his design objective.  David and Plexi-Craft made sure the Color Splash clients will not only get a beautifully designed and crafted headboard, but also a solid and functionally safe piece of furniture.

We came up with a great solution and the finished headboard is amazing.  You can check it out for yourself on HGTV’s Color Splash this Saturday, August 27, 9:30ET.

One to One with Allen Frechter

March 16th, 2011 by plexicraft | Posted in Uncategorized |

Beth Cole was nice enough to give the owner of Plexi-Craft an interview and post this to the blog at One-Lily (our web designer and host).  Plexi-Craft’s web site – this one you are on now – is a great tool for our design partners.  We encourage you to use it to the fullest and help us grow it to be the best acrylic furniture resource on the internet.

Article below:

Allen Frechter is no stranger to the New York acrylic furniture company his family purchased in 1972, in fact he spent many hours as a kid alongside his brothers and cousins assembling furniture and marveling at the ways it could be put to use.

When his father passed away in 2007, Allen returned to his roots as he took over the leadership of Plexi-Craft and began to apply the marketing expertise he had gained in his career to the business.

“The first thing I did was figure out where our business was coming from. The majority of our products are custom made, 80% to be exact, and the rest are stock items. So our primary customers are interior designers, decorators and architects, with a secondary market of design-conscious consumers.”

Allen saw an opportunity with designers and began to change Plexi-Craft’s positioning to cater to designers.

“I scheduled meetings, found out what they read and what they want from a custom furniture company. I learned my design clients need better product shots and photos of the furniture in furnished settings. So that’s what we gave them. The results have been staggering.”

Since launching the website in 2010 the traffic has increased to over 7,000 unique monthly visitors and the company has a backlog of orders, a very good place in which to be. They are using a multi-channel marketing strategy including….

  • Direct mail postcards once per quarter to designers
  • Monthly email newsletter to designers and clients
  • Tweet updates
  • Facebook marketing
  • Reaching out to bloggers
  • Google ads

Allen has one simple piece of advice for those who are considering business ownership and that is,

“Understand your market and your customers. Find out what they need so you can surprise and delight them. One thing we have done is create a design community on our website where we feature designers and showcase their work. It has been a huge hit and something we want to continue to expand.”

That design community has also enabled Allen, a seasoned entrepreneur, to reach out and help designers with their own businesses. Allen provides mentorship and advice that comes from years of experience in developing sales, marketing, finance and human resource programs for his own companies. He now shares that knowledge through the web site, his blog and in-person with his customers.

Because of the website and market niche of designers, Plexi-Craft’s reach is not limited to New York City, they can work with designers across the US and around the world.