• Powell Slaughter

Vanguard adds consoles to custom case goods program

Vanguard consoleThis console in a dove gray finish is part of the "Make It Yours" program extension into consoles.

HIGH POINT – Full-line high-end vendor Vanguard Furniture will extend its successful Make It Yours custom case goods program into Lifestyle Furniture consoles at fall High Point Market.

The new category has features that allow it to be adapted to whatever lifestyle needs the end user desires. The consoles can be used as entertainment cabinets or buffets because they can be very long to fit special needs.

“The days of one size fits all furniture are over,” said Vanguard President Andy Bray.  “We now have the ability to affordably customize cases to meet any lifestyle need.”

The new program addresses changes in consumer technology. As recently as 10 years ago, entertainment cabinets required fancy wiring management systems, ventilation and wireless repeaters, as well as space and shelving for electronic components from VCRs to CD players.

Entertainment is increasingly moving to the cloud, and technologists predict that within five years nearly everything that now uses a remote control will be controlled by a cell phone. But even though LPs, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs have gone or could eventually go away, there will always be a need for storage in any home.

At the same time, televisions are getting larger. The length of the console depends on the width of the television, which can range from 26 inches for a 30-inch television to 78.3 inches for a 90-inch television. For a screen that large, 82 inches is about perfect.

The same is true for long foyers and dining rooms. The traditional dimensions for consoles may just not be right. And they may require doors, drawers, shelves or a combination of all three.

Each cabinet can be configured in a myriad of ways to adapt to any lifestyle need.

Vanguard has solved this problem with the addition of custom consoles to its Make It Yours program. Conceptually, the process begins by choosing one or more of 10 basic frames depending on the overall desired length. Next, the consumer picks from among seven bases, with choices from a variety of stone, glass and wooden tops cut to order to match the custom length. A choice of door and drawer faces range from classic to modern, and 28 hardware pieces are available, most in three finishes for a total of more than 75 options. The final choice is from among hundreds of standard, stain or paint finishes, artisan finishes and premium leaf finishes.

Combination finishes are available with contrasting drawers, doors, tops and panels or face styles. Further options include highlight striping, patterned striping shadowing and different sheen or distress levels.

To aid in the process, Vanguard has developed a visualizer that guides the consumer step-by-step and creates a rendering in progress.

“One of the dominating trends for the foreseeable future is customization,” said Bray. “This not only true in furniture, but in cars to clothing. Sophisticated consumers are no longer willing to settle for cookie-cutter solutions from mass retailers. They lean towards personalization as a form of self-expression to create a distinctive personal style.”

Customization is made possible through Vanguard’s unique manufacturing processes and state-of-the-art finishing capabilities that allow it to build and finish cases cost-effectively one at a time. It takes about six weeks from the time an MIY case is ordered to the time it is available for delivery to the end customer’s home.

Vanguard Furniture employs 600 people and operates out of six manufacturing buildings in Hickory, N.C., and a 40,000-square foot showroom in High Point located at 301 N. Hamilton St.

Powell SlaughterPowell Slaughter | Senior Editor
PSlaughter@furnituretoday.com

I'm Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. While I cover occasional, home entertainment and home office here, a major responsibility is expanding our attention to the logistics side of the industry. I hope my articles will encourage a dialogue with retailers, vendors, third-party logistics specialists and carriers. I’d love to hear your ideas, concerns and suggestions for smoother flow of material and goods.

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