Friday, November 13, 2009

R&R with T&E

As we all do, I sometimes need a bit of rest and relaxation to rejuvenate myself. Between work and endless chores at home, I often need to force myself to find time for R&R, whether it be reading on my back patio or eating dinner with some friends on the weekend.

On a rare occasion, we find companies that are willing to help consumers find these valued moments of peace. Recently, I became acquainted with Thompson & Elm, also known as T&E, which offers fabulous items that make relaxation possibilities all the more endless, beautiful and easily accessible. Just what we all need!

Here is a bit of information about two of their specialties – casual outdoor furniture and easy-to-create Always in Bloom™ container gardens:

Outdoor casual furniture from T&E, designs for outdoor living…

This photo shows the Grand Estate Collection with deep seating furniture and an oversized coffee table made from cast aluminum. All T&E furniture is made from fully welded, one-piece construction. The long seating section pictured above is expandable to the size and direction needed for a space, making it extremely flexible! The collection’s frames are bronze in color with Flagship Cocoa Sunbrella Fabric.

The photo above shows another favorite at Eberly & Collard Public Relations. The 120-inch rectangular dining table supports seating of up to 10 placements (shown with eight). The dining set is of the Seville Collection and made with cast aluminum in matte black. With the writing and public relations work we do regarding outdoor rooms and casual furniture, I can tell you this dining set will create new trends of design in the coming months.

Always in Bloom™ Container Gardening in 1-2-3…

Above, I have placed two photos showing an easy, fun way to container garden for the busy consumer. T&E offers Always in Bloom™ ready-made containers in three different sizes – deluxe, prestige and estate. Once the consumer selects her favorite container combo in the size she wants, all that is left is to pick a decorative pot in the same size from T&E. The company offers custom-sized pots in euracast, ceramic-glazed pottery and cocoa-liner metal plant stands. The ready-made (already planted) pots fit perfectly into the decorative containers for instant garden success that will last an entire season.

Essentially, the program offers consumers the ability to decorate their patios without the mess of planting, and create beautiful, lasting containers without extensive gardening know-how. T&E offers Always in Bloom™ containers for all four seasons.

Between the easy Always in Bloom containers and premium outdoor furniture, I think your readers can have some true one-of-a-kind R&R! In fact, T&E truly offers consumers a one-stop makeover of an outdoor room or patio. If you are a member of the media or a garden writer working on assignment, just let us know if you need photos or more information. We can connect you with the knowledgeable folks at T&E. To learn more about Thompson & Elm, feel free to visit the Web site.

~ Leslie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Look and Feel of Form and Function

Creating an outdoor living space has quickly become a backyard mainstay. Homeowners across the country are creating outdoor sanctuaries ranging from simple fire pits and built-in grill enclosures to elaborate kitchens, patios, and retaining walls. Then, too, city and municipality leaders seek new physical forms and styles of public spaces in an era of outdoor recreation. Meanwhile, Landscape Architects and outdoor room designers supply a vast amount of design and technical knowledge in keeping with the development of such outdoor spaces. Hardscapes serve as the foundation and accents for many of these sites, adding to the natural appearance of the outdoors.

Our industry findings and trend-watching show hardscapes with stone and manufactured stone are growing in popularity among homeowners, designers, architects, city planners, and developers. A key factor is cost. While natural stone and manufactured stone both have their benefits, the manufactured sort certainly has many pluses including ease of installation, dimensional consistency, and regular availability…all important aspects of planning for you LAs.

Rosetta Hardscapes, a company that specializes in decorative stone, offers several stone collections to fit most any hardscape need. The company’s stone products look like natural stone with all the benefits of a manufactured product.

The Belvedere collection is the perfect fit for retaining or freestanding walls, as the stones are great for stacking with a natural, attractive appearance. Rosetta’s step collection – of irregular and dimensional hardscape products – helps designers and homeowners create outdoor staircases that seamlessly blend into any environment.

A retaining wall built with the company’s products can provide function by bordering a nearby roadway or path, but the real benefit seems to be enhancing the setting with beauty. Rosetta Hardscapes offers diverse product application photos, unique design layouts and how-to instructions online at


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

RockWood Casual Furniture

Totem poles may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles are erected to celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are intended mostly as artistic presentations. Speaking of artistic presentations, the new Totem Collection of outdoor woven furniture from RockWood Casual (Outdoor) Furniture is definitely a work of art. It offers the best of contemporary design with a traditional flair. The collection is smaller and retro in its curves and can be mixed and matched for versatility and function. Our favorite is the interlocking coffee table and seating pieces that double as ottomans for other chairs in the collection.

During the International Casual Furniture & Accessories market in Chicago this September, the company’s showroom team also introduced a new line of outdoor furnishings with true leather coverings and cushions. Called Xtreme Leather and created with a special nanotechnology embedded with silicone, RockWood can supply the leather to customers in just two weeks. The leather is a premium bull hide from Australia in 40 beautiful colors. Our pick is this green leather chair that stands ready in the showroom’s front entryway to yield comfort and durability for future owners.

Multiple product lines are detailed at