Today The Futon Shop is introducing guest Blogger, Brian Donohoo, President and CEO of Strata Furniture, the company that brought the zero tolerance Wall Hugger futon mechanism to the futon industry. This mechanism allows you to open and close the futon easily without moving the frame and mattress from the wall.
Strata Furniture is the only futon frame company that makes a true wall hugger futon. Place the frame next to the wall and the front loading mechanism allows you to convert the frame from sofa to bed quickly and easily.
In addition unlike typical futons, this wall hugging property allows you to convert your wall hugger futon between it's sofa and bed state at will without scratching or denting your walls.
Brian gives a brief history of Strata Furniture:
Strata Furniture started in 2000. Our mission was and is to provide state of the art frames combined with quality craftsmanship, exceptional customer service and creative marketing materials.
All of our designs incorporate our patented wall hugger front loading mechanism. We wanted to design unique and functional futon frames not known in the industry at that time. Our first line of frames was designed with a finished back that stays in place even when the frame is unfolded.
which was our first frame in the marketplace. We followed up with another mission style frame called the Addison. The interesting thing about this design was that it was suggested to us by one of our retail customers. Our next two designs, the Orion and Adriana, were designed to add a modern contemporary and a traditional design to our product lineup. All but the Adriana are still in production reflecting their timeless appeal. The Adriana was a well-received frame; we would continue to sell it if we could find a manufacturer willing to make this complicated frame.
After success with our frames with the finished back, called the Signature collection, Strata Furniture felt that we could come up with unique designs to compete in the traditional futon frame category. Our design aim was to introduce designs that are unique to the market place and not sold by other companies. This resulted in a line of frames called the Carriage collection. We wanted variety and started with four designs, the Dillon, Lexington, Lambton and Flair. The Dillon is our armless low profile frame great for tight spaces, kids gaming rooms, dens as well as more spacious rooms. It also allows the cove
to be the focal point which permits the customer to emphasize their design style. We always liked the sleigh style in the futon arm but wanted one with more graceful styling, resulting in the Lexington. We accomplished this by extending the curve on the top of the arm and then adding a large curve at the bottom. The Lambton was designed to be our mission style arm but wanted to add some unique characteristics, including slightly curved interlacing slats and grooves on the arm cap. Our Flair frame incorporates features of the sleigh design but with a very dramatic look using curved slats.
When we design a product, considerable attention is given to the details resulting in beautiful, functional frames. We want our frames to look different from anything in the market. Our goal is to make the futon frame look like a traditional piece of furniture. Therefore our arm heights are higher to be in proportional to the mattresses sold today. We try to incorporate design aspects such as hidden hardware, distinctive finishes and details found in classical furniture.
Most of our designs are created in-house. They are inspired by all sorts of things. For instance our Plantation frame was based on plantation shutters. We also receive many design ideas from our customers. We are very open and happy to receive their ideas.
Bringing a new arm to market is a long process, starting with sketches, detailed drawings and building of samples with multiple variations. Everyone in the company has input and feedback. Finally a manufacturing sample is made and finished and we decide if it is consistent with our standards. If so, off to market.