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Orlando Interior Design and Remodeling Show

February 5, 2009 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Furniture Decorating Magazine, one of our sister publications, will be attending the Orlando Interior Design and Remodeling Show to cover the event and meet Orlando area business owners. Held at the Orange County Convention Center, the Interior Design and Remodeling Show houses the newest home products and interior design businesses.

Furniture Decorating will be offering reduced rates for promotional opportunities within the online magazine, as well as covering interesting events at the Orlando Interior Design and Remodeling Show. Visitors will be able to enter into a drawing by signing up for the free service, and learn more about how they can share, connect, and promote on Furniture Decorating. Be sure to visit booth 252 at the Orlando Interior Design and Remodeling Show to learn more!

Virtual Room Planner

October 14, 2008 by FM · 1 Comment 

A virtual room planner is a vital tool for anyone trying to make a multi-functional living space. Let’s face it, if you’re in the market for a futon, you are either crunched for space or desiring a versatile room that can convert from living room to bedroom and retain the conveniences of both. Using a virtual room planner will allow you to decide the right size of furniture, as well as the best positioning of your futon.

Why Use a Virtual Room Planner?

A virtual room planner is very useful for futon buyers, as it allows you to visualize the amount of space taken up by your futon in the bed and sofa positions. This is crucial, as you’ll want to be sure that the futon can be opened and used easily.

Use a virtual room planner to verify the following:

  • Make sure that the futon has enough room to extend into bed position. For a full size futon, this is about 78″ of depth. If your virtual room planner allows you to resize a sofa, change the depth to about 54″ to simulate an opened futon (the last 24″ are leg space).
  • If your futon requires you to convert it from bed to sofa from the side, allow yourself at least 2 feet of clearance on one side to do so. If your futon is going into a corner, you may want to use a matching end table to create a balanced look.
  • If furniture like end tables or coffee tables must be moved, use a virtual room planner to be sure that they have a space in the same room that is logical and useful. This will create a more inviting feeling.

Best Virtual Room Planners

The following virtual room planners are the easiest to use and we think are the best for home decorators.

HGTV Virtual Room Planner

This virtual room planner offers you simple controls and a handy snap-to system, but lacks a professional grade printing option and the ability to save.

The HGTV virtual room planner has a very simple interface and a lot of easy to configure options. While there is no rendering option, the top down view gives you everything you need to create an award winning design. Clicking on the menu to the left changes what clicking on the room view does, and your design will probably turn out the best if you resize the four walls they provide you, and then insert doors and windows as needed from their “Structural Items” menu. Also be sure to right click on any items on the floorplan of your virtual room planner to discover some nifty options that really allow you to customize your floorplan.

Lay-Z-Boy Virtual Room Planner

This virtual room planner benefits from a beautiful interface and amazing save and print options, but may require precision mousework.

While it might not have been the first place you looked, the virtual room planner by Lay-Z-Boy furniture is much easier to use and has a slick interface that makes it very fun to use. We recommend using the “generic” furniture tab to build your room. The technology behind this tool is very advanced and prints much larger pictures than the HGTV virtual room planner, however resizing, building in additional walls, and rotating objects can be difficult as the furniture does not automatically snap into place. If you use the blue “I” button attached to each element, you’ll find that you can manually type in size and rotation, similar the the HGTV room planner’s right click menu.

Both of these virtual room planners have what you need to create a winning design that compliments the dimensions of your futon.

Dorm Furnature

October 9, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Dorm Furnature

Dorm furnature is a humorous search performed by thousands of college students every year. Over the course of their studies, the considerable amount of English language coursework ahead of them will surely illuminate them to their spelling faux pas. The good news is, if these would-be collegate scholars were on a mission to find comfy dorm furniture”>, Futon Magazine has the inside line on the best(and the worst)college picks.

Dorm Furnature for Sleeping

If you’re looking to send your daughter or son off to university, it is crucial that they get the best quality of sleep possible. Late study nights and unfamiliar surroundings can make a comfortable 8 hours of sleep an improbable event. Try to find a futon mattress that is comfy for sleeping and sitting, with an emphasis on higher quality materials. Dorm furnature futons are generally 8″ in thickness and use plenty of high-density foam. This makes the mattress both more comfortable and more durable, unlike cheap store-bought futons that measure out to a lumpy 4″ thickness.

If the budget is tight, shoot for the cheapest all-wood futon frame you can find and the nicest futon mattress in the budget. Because the futon mattress can be used on a platform bed later on in life, a high quality futon is a long-lasting improvement on your son or daughter’s quality of living.

Dorm Furnature for Studying

Uncomfortable surroundings are a common distraction from studying. Because of this, you should ensure that you child’s dorm furnature is responsive to a studying environment. Futon frames with extending tray arms are an amazing addition if space allows. Commonly, college students are struggling to transcribe important details from text-books and lecture notes into a concise study guide, only to find their desk too uncomfortable and their bed unsupportive. This amazing piece of dorm furnature bridges the gap between both, making it a welcome addition to any study space.

How does a Wall Hugger Futon Work?

October 2, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Wall Hugger futons are one of the more popular futon frames on the market. Popularized by the Strata Furniture Carriage Collection, wall hugger futon frames have the distinct ability to change from sofa to bed without marring your living room wall. This creates a classy feel and convenient operation, as well as a practical space saving design.

Operating a Wall Hugger Futon Frame

Wall hugger futon frames lay down without scratching the back wall. An inventive leg extends from the main body section to provide additional support to the mattress section. An elastic band holds the leg against the wall-hugger to ensure consistent, rigid contact. To put the frame back into the sofa position, simply lift the seat portion and push the legs back into the sofa position. The legs actually work as a brace to keep the wall hugger futon in the sofa position, so it’s important to push them in all the way.

How Durable are Wall Hugger Futon Frames?

Wall hugger futon frames have been given a reputation of unreliability. This misconception is due in part to the difference in operation from a standard futon. The operation requires that you push the legs all the way in to convert from a bed to a sofa. If the operator forgets to push the legs in or only pushes them in partially, the entire weight of the futon frame will be placed on a small area that will likely fail. To this effect, most manufacturers put large reminder stickers on the underside of the legs to help you remember the correct method to convert the futon frame.

Best Futons - A Comprehensive List

September 25, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Searching for the best futons can be a difficult and daunting task. There are several factors that many customers encounter when searching for the best futon for their home. This blog will lead you in the right direction when it comes to the best futons.

Best Futon: Bifold Futon Frame

One of the best futons available when on a budget is the Bifold Futon Frame. This futon continues to be a popular futon due to its strength and uncanny features, such as several lounge positions. The Bifold consists of an Appalachian tulip poplar that is stronger than many other woods used, even on the best futons. These features and low cost is one of the many reasons why the Bifold continues to be of the best futons. It is also one of the best futons to assemble.

Best Futon: Eureka Futon Frame

The Eureka continually remains one of the best futons due to it simple, armless design. If you were looking for a futon that was similar to the Bifold, but with more class, the Eureka is for you. Many customers love the armless design, because it allows them to have a full size futon frame, yet still meet their spacial concerns. The attention to details and will remind you why the Eureka is one of the best futons available.

Best Futon: Manhattan Futon Frame

When I think of the best city in the world, I think Manhattan. When I think of one of the best futons in the world, I think of the Manhattan Futon Frame. This futon frame is one of the best futons when it comes to design and strength. The Manhattan futon is also apart of the August Lotz line of futons that won the Consumer Digest “Best Buy” award, just another reason why the Manhattan is one of the best futons.

Best Futon: Adriana Futon Frame

The Adriana futon frame is king when it comes to the best futons. The Adriana continues the tradition of wall-hugger futon frames, made famous by Strata Furniture, and is why Strata is considered to offer some of the best futons imaginable. This futon frame has a full finished back, meaning that this futon can be placed directly in the middle of the room without unsightly mechanisms in plain sight. The attention to detail and innovative features is the reason why Strata’s Adriana futon frame is one of the best futons in the industry.

This list of best futons should help aid your search when looking for the best futons available. Conduct your research well and don’t be frustrated, looking for the best futon for your home may take a while.

Are Innerspring Futon Mattresses the Best?

September 25, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

The innerspring futon mattress has been around for a decade or longer, and there are clear benefits to owning a futon mattress created this way. All too often, we hear of retailers who order innerspring futon mattresses on the belief that a spring based futon mattress must be the most comfortable, because everyone sleeps on a traditional spring mattress. What many futon companies wish you knew is that innerspring is only one of the options available, and it might not be the best fit for you.

How does an Innerspring Futon Mattress Feel?

Innerspring mattress come in two basic designs:

  • Pocketed coil futon mattresses
  • Embedded coil futon mattresses

Pocketed coil futon mattresses are of a much higher quality construction than a embedded coil futon mattress. An embedded coil futon mattress depends on partial interaction with a foam layer, and the use of a metal “skeleton” to keep the coils in place. The skeleton helps the futon mattress bend into a sofa shape, while the foam layer helps disperse the force of the compressed springs across the mattresses. Unfortunately, this centralized pressure makes it easy to feel the springs location, and the use of cotton tends to make this mattress uneven and lumpy.

To solve this issue, futon artists invented the pocketed coil futon mattress. The pocketed coil futon mattress envelops each spring in a cotton pouch that prevents it from interfering with other nearby springs. In addition, this type of mattress typically incorporates a much larger amount of foam and little to no cotton, making a smoother, softer mattress. Because of this, the mattress actually feels less bouncy and more like a premium foam mattress.

Alternatives to Innerspring Futon Mattresses

Because the best innerspring mattresses includes a high foam content, many people opt to skip the springs altogether. The resulting mattress gives you a more progressive support than a foam/spring combination. Without getting into too many technical terms, this translates to more support for heavier sleepers and a lighter touch for smaller people and children. This responsive support also comes in a lighter package that is easier to convert from futon to bed.

There is one major downside to all-foam mattresses. Mattress foam is a petroleum product, meaning that it is likely to increase in cost over the next decade and likely match or exceed the price of premium innerspring futon mattresses. Soy foam mattresses, while a clever idea, only offset a tiny percentage of petroleum in current formulations. In the end, it will be your personal decision on which futon mattress makes you feel the best.

Futon Information

August 15, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Finding futon information can be easy when you know where to look. Many futon websites provide excellent detailed information about futon furniture products that will help you get well on your way to becoming a futon expert. Before we recommend a list futon resources where you can find helpful futon information, let’s make sure we understand the basics first.

Basic Futon Information

The first thing to understand about futons is that the term “futon” is often generalized to mean the basic three parts of a futon sofa:

  1. Futon Frame - This is the foundation of the futon sofa made of wood or metal
  2. Futon Mattress Pad - The pad that folds as a sofa cushion and can lie flat when needed to serve as a bed mattress
  3. Futon Slip Cover - The decorative and protective covering that can be removed and replaced when needed

Because the word “futon” originally described the mattress portion only (before the futon was “Americanized”), the futon mattress pad itself is still often referred to as a “futon” as well. Just be aware of that both terms mean futon as this can prove helpful when discussion futon information in general.

Functions of the Modern Futon

The primary use of a futon is a substitution for the traditional sofa sleeper. While the this type of sofa bed is still quite popular, the futon sofa has gained massive market share over the years since it was first introduced to the United States. Like the traditional sofa bed, a futon can serve as a second bed for guests, a primary bed for small spaces like studios and dorm rooms, and can always gives the user the option for use as a place to sit when converted to the sofa position.

Which is Better? Futon vs Sleeper Sofa

Many in the futon industry will point out that a good quality futon sofa bed will generally be of better quality and higher comfort level than a sofa bed of equal price. This generalization may go only so far, however, as futons in the $2000 range might have very comparable sofa sleeper counterparts. As a general rule, however, consumers are urged to test sofa bed while in the bed position for comfort, especially at prices below a thousand dollars. For that matter, if you are going to spend more than a thousand dollars, you are even more wise to test for comfort before you buy.

The winning point, however, might be the consumers’ experience with traditional sofa beds. Often consumers complain of experiencing sagging mattresses of older and/or lower quality traditional sofa sleepers. With this type of unit, a guest will often complain about the “bar-in-the-back” experience, which occurs when the mattress sags so far that the sleeper actually rests on a metal support bar beneath the cushion.

Futon Dealers Offer Better Product Information

Negative experiences are sure to be had when people buy the cheaper “big-box” futon sofa products sold by major low and medium priced department stores, however. The old saying of you get what you paid can certainly apply to futon sofas as well. Owners of cheap quality futon sofas likely wish they had better futon information before they bought. These futon owners are generally the unhappy futon owners. Don’t buy cheap if possible.

To help avoid this experience seek out futon dealers who specialize in futons. These companies will offer the best information about futons to help you make a sound judgment come purchase time. In contrast, when a salesperson cannot talk in specifics about a given futon product it might be considered that the salesperson does not have full command of the product and lacks the knowledge to help you make a sound decision. Look elsewhere for help and make sure your dealer has solid, believable futon information.

Finally, be prepared to ask a lot of questions, especially if you are shopping on the Internet. Those who ask the most questions generally have the most favorable futon experiences in the end. Getting more information about the futon you are considering will easily make your investment that much more worth while. Best of luck!

Futon Informational Resources

Go to the Futon Association for general futon information. The Futon Association offers non-biased futon dealer information to help you find a dealer in your area or a reputable futon dealer online. For more information and resources, review our Helpful Futon Resources listing where you can discover other important resources with futon information.

Futon Dealers to Consider

Futons Etc Factory Outlet has an excellent blog which is filled with useful futon information. There “futon news” section provides all kinds of tips as well as relatively neutral sounding articles about products they sell. As always, take product reviews with a grain of salt when reading blogs from companies that sell the products under review. Still, Futons Etc Factory Outlet seems to do a respectable job of “sticking to the news” so to speak.

Another interesting stop is CSN Futons Advice Central. While this area of their website seems to promote the sale of their products more than might be palatable for some, it still offers a very usable guide to purchasing a futon and offers decent entry level information.

Possibly the best retail resource of futon information on the web comes from Futon Planet. This company prides itself on acting as the chief futon expert company around. While their ego may be loud, there is definitely no question that their site is jam packed with …

-FM

How to Change Your Futon From Bed to Sofa (and Back!)

August 12, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

One of the least understood concepts facing new futon owners is the operation of their futon frame. While there is no standardized mechanism, you will find that each manufacturer follows a similar set of guidelines. Futon frames can be sorted into five major catagories:

  • Metal hinge futons
  • Click clack futons
  • Standard wood futons
  • Front loading wood futons
  • Wall hugging wood futons

In this article, we will focus on metal hinge futon frames and their operation.

Metal Hinged Futon Frames

Metal hinged futon frames are among the most common futons on the market. They are generally the only futon frames you can find in the big box stores. These frames tend to be very inexpensive and thusly easy to sell. The hinge, sometimes mistakenly called a click-clack hinge, usually has little to no warranty, and is prone to failure.

Metal Hinged Futon Operation Instructions

To convert your metal futon from sofa to bed:

  1. Lift up on the front of the seat deck until the back deck is laying completely horizontal.
  2. You will now be able to pull the seat deck down into a flat position.

To convert your metal futon from bed to sofa:

  1. Lift up on the front of the seat deck until the seat deck locks.
  2. Gently push the seat deck back down. Gravity should be doing most of the work as the crease of the futon frame rolls toward the back.
  3. The frame will come to a stop in the recline position. Reach to the top of the back deck. With your calf against the seat deck, pull the back deck toward you until it locks into the upright position.

That’s it! If you have a heavy or extra firm mattress, you may have difficulty converting the frame at first. Over time, as the mattress becomes acclimated to the frame, conversion will become easier and easier!

Futon Magazine wants to hear from You!

August 5, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Are you a futon expert? Futon Magazine is looking for seasoned futon experts with knowledge to share about their trade. Any breaking news, helpful tips, futon press, or just generally useful information for the futon purchaser is appreciated. We are also conducting interviews with various futon insiders to offer a more personal perspective for futon buyers who want to know a little more information about their futon manufacturers. For a limited time, we will also be taking press releases from manufacturers and retailers concerning futon news. Help customers connect with your product on FutonMagazine.com.

General Guidelines

  • Articles should be as unbiased as possible
  • Your orginazation will be clearly identified in the byline
  • We reserve the right to correct spelling and grammar issues, as well as general content editing to fit the spirit of the site. You will be sent a final proof for your approval prior to posting
  • Sales letters and promotional material will be rejected
  • Please, no more than 800 words per article

Please send articles and press releases to info @ magazine.com. Also use this email address to request interviews and to send in tips or questions that you would like to see answered on Futon Magazine.


Top Ten Futon Retailers of 2008

August 5, 2008 by FM · Leave a Comment 

Top 10 Futon Companies

This special August Edition reviews America’s top ten futon companies. For 2008 the top ten futon companies include:

  1. Futon Planet
  2. CSN Futons
  3. Futons Etc Factory Outlet
  4. Ellens Futons
  5. Futon Creations
  6. FutonsNow
  7. Affordable Futons
  8. theFutonShop
  9. Today’s Futons
  10. Futon Street

Read more

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