Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Defining the Trends in Outdoor Living

It is that time of year again for our team at Eberly & Collard Public Relations to start preparing for the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market (ICFA) in Chicago, IL. Held from September 12-15, Casual Market offers the most complete range of collections in new outdoor furniture, accessories and trends for outdoor living. Simply put, it is the market where the emerging design styles set the pace for defining outdoor living trends.

The management company for the market is MMPI, the world’s leading owner and operator of showroom buildings and trade show facilities. Our alliance with MMPI is to cover select products and innovative trends, as introduced or launched by some of the showroom owners and exhibitors who will participate. We will be writing pre-show “Sneak Peeks” and publishing them on our blog for attendees and members of the media. Many of our media contacts have requested this resource, as is our norm, so we are looking forward to reporting helpful information about our clients and many others in the industry.

Keep checking our blog later this month and during August for an ongoing series of product “Sneak Peeks” and for information released from MMPI about the market event leading up to September 12. Also, follow us on Twitter during the market, as we’ll be tweeting about products and trends from the Casual Market. Here are our social media channels:

• Blog:
• Facebook Fanpage:
• Twitter:
• Flickr photo pages:

Members of the media whom may not yet have tapped into this resource, contact us if you would like to receive special articles, product profiles, photos, etc. directly.

Showroom owners and exhibitors, look in your exhibitor information from MMPI for instructions about submitting your press releases and photos to us prior to July 25.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Chicago!

~ ECPR team

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Call for Construction / Building Industry Experts

As the Construction / Building Industry continues to grow its way back to a place of prosperity, staying on top of the latest technologies, products and services is key to success. A combination of reading industry trade publications and attending important tradeshows / symposiums is a means to viable information that can lead to network-based sales and ongoing education. Conversely, being quoted in important industry magazines or on applicable blogs is a direct path to branding.

Since we write for a number of Home, Garden, Design, Agribusiness, and Construction trade publications, our staff is planning to write a trends article series stemming from a few key residential and commercial building events. In doing so, of course, we will feature and quote our firm’s applicable PR clients. But, we are seeking additional industry sources who can also offer specialized trade information and quotes for our articles.

Our blog readers know that one of our areas of concentration is that of the Construction / Building Industry. Part of our firm’s service model is relative to public / media relations and social media for builders, engineers, and building product manufacturers. In managing PR and social media for clients in the industry, we help them position their companies as professional resources- putting forth their business stories, project case-studies, unique selling propositions, and expert personnel. But, our work is not publicity alone. We additionally serve as writers for over 150 publications each year, some of which are Building / Construction trade magazines and websites.

The ECPR team’s specialty in the field has allowed us to author many byline articles for select industry publications over the years, and we consider it a true honor to contribute in this way. Many of you already know our team writes magazine articles including trade show product and trend reviews, building project case-studies, engineering specification profiles, and Q&As with top industry authorities. We also write similar narratives for our blog, linking the content to a mix of online forums belonging to trade magazines, association websites, organizational groups’ e-newsletters, and other channels of interest.

As we gear up for the CONSTRUCT trade event, set to take place Sept. 13-16, in Chicago, we are opening the opportunity for industry leaders to be quoted in one or more of our pending articles. Stemming from the event, we will be featuring trend insights from several industry experts and analysts. If your company has uncovered or is addressing industry trends in some way, contact us and we will consider your CEO or other management leader for one of our summer or fall season article interviews. And, by the way, there is no obligation or cost if you are quoted in one of our narratives. If you are chosen for inclusion to the article series, we will schedule the interview with you by phone prior to, or in person at, the CONSTRUCT tradeshow event and 55th annual convention. Email Don Eberly at with your request to be included along with a brief description of one or more industry trends about which your company could be quoted. We look forward to your submissions.

~ ECPR Team

Friday, June 24, 2011

Uttermost experts reveal latest home design trends

Curious about what’s new on the home front? Whether you work in interior design, own or buy for retail stores, or are the editor of a magazine, we know staying on top of the latest industry trends is key to your work and success.

The ECPR team recently had a chance to sit down with the owner of Uttermost to learn the company’s take on the latest trends in the home design industry. For years, Uttermost’s team of designers has travelled the world looking for that “it” factor which finds its way into home design, paint colors and fabrics. The Virginia-based company then links the trends they unearth to the furnishings and accessories they create. Read our article of trends and techniques Uttermost leadership says will be at the height of decorating fashion this season and beyond.

As any designer will tell you, some décor products have staying power while others can fade fast. A surefire classic is often rooted in traditional design style. But, rather than an exact replica, the new silhouette is updated for modern-day purposes by way of pattern, scale or color. One example is the Uttermost Civitella lamp, with crackled blue ceramic, sandstone undertones and antiqued silver details. A common thread among classics like this is understated elegance, and like grandma’s pearl necklace, it never goes out of style.

Earth Tones
Earth tones will take prominence this season, after the bolder hues of recent years. Beige, greens, blues or light browns are the shades that seem to yield comfort, warmth and an inviting place. Consider the Uttermost Camber photo frames, complete with a champagne silver finish. Warm colors, such as Camber’s black and caramel undertones, add to the serenity of the space. It’s also important to note, designing with earthy shades doesn’t mean banishing bright colors completely. A few splashes of color, such as an accent wall or a bright accessory, add some extra eye appeal.

Make it Big
It may have started a few years ago with Philippe Starck’s bath-sized plant pots, some design writers speculate. But whatever the origin, overscaling objects has really taken off this year. Buying big can add drama and interest to a room, such as the Uttermost Hotel du Vieux Quartier clock, with a striking weathered clock face and cast brass outer details. Additionally, for rooms with tall walls and high ceilings, large-scale accessories can also bring a good balance to the space.

To read more designer tips from Uttermost, including ideas for wall décor, lamps and lighting fixtures, click here.

Steel Imports on the Rise

Based on preliminary statistics from the U.S Census Bureau, the American Iron and Steel Institute has reported steel importation has risen six percent. The report went public on June 21, stating the U.S. imported 2,692,000 net tons (NT) of steel in May, including 1,838,000 NT of finished steel. Indicating, in part, a boost in construction, the largest steel imports came ashore from South Korea, Japan, China, Germany and Turkey. Several key finished steel products with dramatic import increases include: wire rod, plates in coils, oils country goods and heavy structural shapes. To read the full article from Aggregates Manager and to view the report from the American Iron and Steel Institute, visit

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paint it Pastel

Remember those pastel drawings you made as a kid? Whether it was a landscape scene or your favorite cartoon character, those chalk-like crayons always imparted a beautiful, soft and dreamy effect. According to Traditional Home Magazine, pastel shades can also bring a unique beauty to interiors, if done correctly. Barely-there hues can also serenely set off furnishings and architectural details. Click here to see how designers used pastels to make a dynamic statement in three showhouse rooms.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Linnaeus Teaching Garden Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Dan Heims

As a heat wave moved through Tulsa, Okla. this month, renowned horticulturist Dan Heims provided locals with refreshing insights into one of his favorite topics: Perennials.

Heims, a noted plant breeder, author and co-owner of Terra Nova Nurseries, lectured for a standing-room only crowd at the Linnaeus Teaching Garden 5th anniversary celebration in Tulsa June 4. After having hunted the globe for new perennials and plant species as well as co-owning one of the world’s top breeding labs, Heims gave the more than 350 attendees a humorous and informative look at the “World’s Greatest Perennials.” According to staff, it was the highest attended lecture the garden has ever hosted. Click the slideshow to view some of the event highlights. And, if you are interested in having Heims speak at your event or be a guest expert on your television or radio show, shoot us an email or post your comments here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Best of Show: National Hardware Show Part IV

The National Hardware Show, which annually features more than 150 product categories, took the breath out of Las Vegas last month with an amazing overview of products. While there was no shortage of remarkable items, the ECPR team discovered a few stand-outs to share with our readers for the 2011 “Best of Show” series. Learn about two of the products that topped our list this year below and if you missed the show, scroll down the page to find our show recap entitled “National Hardware Show Yields Attention-grabbing New Products and Revealing Industry Trends”, as well as Part II and Part III of the National Hardware “Best of Show” series, where you can learn about several other show-stoppers.

WeedBlaster Pro garnered a lot of attention at last month’s National Hardware Show from retailers, trade professionals and media members’ eager to learn about a safer and easier way to tackle weed problems. The product, from Concept2Reality, Inc., offers an innovative solution to the age-old lawn care problem: How to effectively spray weeds without harming nearby flowers and plants. The WeedBlaster Pro encloses both the weed and spray inside a protective shield. Inside the eco-shield, herbicide is applied directly onto the offending weed and can’t blow back on the user or drift onto nearby plants, even on windy days. The lightweight product also features a comfortable “stand tall” design to eliminate bending and stooping—a great feature for gardeners with hand, knee or back problems. To learn more about how WeedBlaster Pro works, visit

The Amalfi Outdoor Deluxe Hanging Umbrella is a contender for “Best of Show” for good reason. From Everite, an international outdoor furniture brand of Hangzhou China Arts Industrial Corp., Ltd., this contemporary umbrella is a great device to help consumers’ stay cool as life moves outdoors this summer. The position lock system provides shade from all angles of the sun’s glare, and the durable crank glides the umbrella open and closed. Amalfi umbrellas also feature a waterproof and anti-ultraviolet 240G polyester canopy. To keep the umbrella stable in strong wind, users can fill the base with water and sand, as well as use the metal reinforcement bars with an adjusting leveler, to fit uneven ground. An innovative auto-lock system functions when the umbrella is fully opened. Launched in 2007, Everite boasts a skilled working staff, young design team and products that are modern, innovative and high quality to meet the increasing demands for stylish outdoor living. For more information about the Amalfi Outdoor Deluxe Hanging Umbrella, visit

Remember, you can enlarge the photos simply by clicking on them.

* To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. At the end of our article series, the product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status. Voting will end by early July.

Friday, June 3, 2011

And the winner is…

We know you’re all on the edge of your seats, wondering who the “Best of Show” winner is for the New York Architectural Digest Home Design Show. The wait is finally over, the votes have been tallied, and the winner is…it’s a tie! Congratulations to The Grothouse Lumber Company and Ethan Allen for receiving the most comments and votes from show attendees, exhibitors, ECPR fans and media members on our blog page.

The Grothouse Lumber Company’s award-winning designs have been featured in a number of magazines, books and on one of our staff’s favorite television shows, “This Old House”. The company is most known for crafting wood sinks, fine custom wood countertops, butcher blocks, tables, and bar tops. With company owner and founder Paul Grothouse’s extensive knowledge and background in woodworking and engineering, it is no surprise this company was one of the front runners for the “Best of Show”. Visit for more information.

Ethan Allen’s five new signature lifestyles certainly made an impression on our readers and voters. The company’s new lifestyles, Romance, Modern, Vintage, Explorer, and Elegance each reflect a distinct design vision to stand apart from the crowd. Designed to help consumers choose their own interior design style preferences, Ethan Allen has created these new signature lifestyles to match various buyers’ personalities. For more information about Ethan Allen’s new signature lifestyles, visit

ECPR would like to thank all companies who submitted their products to be considered for the “Best of Show”. We were honored to be part of the New York Architectural Digest Home Design Show and hope to work with the show’s management team and exhibitors next year. In case you may have missed the show, be sure to read our show recap post entitled, “The Best of Beautiful Design from NYC”.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Hardware Show: Best of Show Part III

Continuing our “Best of Show” series from the National Hardware Show, ECPR thinks you will find the next set in the series of value and interest. Additionally, in case you were unable to attend the show, scroll down or page back to read our show recap entitled “National Hardware Show Yields Attention-grabbing New Products and Revealing Industry Trends” as well as Part II of the National Hardware Show’s “Best of Show” series.
The GreenWorks 18” 24V 2-in-1 self-propelled mower from Sunrise Global Marketing’s GreenWorks Lawn Tools Collection caught the attention of not only the ECPR team but also retailers, media members and trades people who attended the show. The mower has a durable steel cutting deck and is capable of mulching. Additionally, the 2-in-1 mower has an 18” cutting path, 7” front and rear wheels as well as an easy cam lock on the handle which allows for effortless folding and storage. According to the EPA, an estimated 54 million Americans mow their lawns every weekend, using approximately 800 million gallons of gas each year. Imagine the damage by pollution. Alternatively, the GreenWorks Collection of electric and cordless products offers an environmentally friendly and Energy Star approved substitution. GreenWorks Tools are one of the best choices in gas-free yard care. Retailers, this is an ideal product for the environmentally conscious consumer. For more information on the 18” 24V 2-in-1 self-propelled mower, visit
ECPR featured Boston Warehouse in the “Sneak Peek” series for the National Hardware Show. After seeing the company’s full line of products at the show, we decided Boston Warehouse’s collection of Spotless Goddess home products is definitely a contender for the “Best of Show”. The full product line includes 120 items such as dust pans and brush sets, microfiber dusters, kitchen brushes, latex gloves, and much more. The company’s unique design twist features fun and flirty prints, patterns and colors to make every day chores and tasks more enjoyable. Spotless Goddess products are available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Meijer’s and Kirkland’s. Boston Warehouse was founded in 1974 by Peter Jenkins. Originally the company distributed European imports to U.S. retailers until Jenkins decided to create products in-house. With the success of the company’s line of Mexican and Chinese cooking collections, Boston Warehouse has since ventured out to create a variety of home and garden products. To learn more about the Spotless Goddess line or view the company’s full product catalog, visit  

The 2-IN-1 Fertilizer & Deer Repellent Kit™ from Encap, LLC is a sure way to protect beautiful gardens and landscapes from deer. The fertilizer contains miloranite, a slow release fertilizer and fortified bloodmeal, which triggers the “flight” or “escape” response in deer and other herbivores. Encap’s 2-IN-1 Fertilizer & Deer Repellent Kit™ works by taking advantage of deer and other non-predator animals’ instincts. A deer’s sense of smell is 20 times better than humans and can pick up a scent from ¼ mile away. The deer repellent kit leaves a scent that deer are afraid of so they avoid the area altogether. Retailers, to learn more about how the 2-IN-1 Fertilizer & Deer Repellent Kit works and what it can do to boost summer sales, visit Encap LLC’s website at
The Solar Attic Fan from U.S Sunlight Corp is a revolutionary new product designed to reduce heat build-up in attics during the hot summer months and aids to remove moisture during the winter. The product was exhibited at the National Hardware Show in May, capturing the attention of retailers, media members, and trade professionals. The Solar Attic Fan’s commercial grade, heavy-duty construction offers 25% more power than other fans on the market. Additionally, the product allows for better circulation and improved airflow in attic spaces up to 1350 square feet. Most notably, by lowering the temperature in an attic space, a homeowner gains the ability to run the air conditioning unit less frequently. This results in lower costs and a more energy efficient way of cooling a home or office space. Also, running the Solar Attic Fan all year can reduce condensation and prevent mold growth.
The Solar Controller, which allows users to take control of the unit, is an accessory to U.S. Sunlight Corp’s Solar Attic Fan. The controller is pre-programmed to monitor the temperature and relative humidity as well as adjust the fan’s operation. The primary benefit of having the controller is genius; it enables the Solar Attic Fan to be connected to a house’s electricity source, allowing the unit to run with minimal electricity at night or when solar power is unavailable. The Solar Controller comes with a remote control, which permits the user to manually control the unit, providing obvious ease-of-use and access. To learn more about U.S Sunlight Corp’s new and innovative Solar Attic Fan and Solar Controller, visit the company’s website at

Keeping checking back for the next set of the “Best of Show” from our product and trend findings at the National Hardware Show. Remember, you can enlarge the photos simply by clicking on them.

* To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. At the end of our article series, the product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status.