Five Useful Tips for Durable Summer Camp Furniture

Posted by Janet Voigt on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 @ 02:11 PM
The weather might not agree but the calendar says it is time to start planning for summer.  Summer camp administrators and leaders have been busy attending national and regional conferences like the American Camp Association and Christian Camping & Conference Association to learn how to maximize camp attendance and programming.

We have put together a few tips for facility operations and development that focus on furniture as a transformative part of camp operations.

Outdoor Furniture for Your camps.

1. Turn Outdoor Space into a Classroom, Theater, Worship or Eating Space.

Outdoor space is a hallmark of summer camps but is often underused or used as a dedicated nature-scape. There are simple ways to turn green space into multi-use space.
  • Thermoplastic coated metal furniture like benches and picnic tables are weather-proof ways to invite the classroom and meals outside.
  • Options like Molded Plastic Stacking Chairs are not all-year weather hardy but they can withstand summer sessions left outdoors and can convert any area into a theater, worship center or classroom. 
  • Solid wood Adirondack Furniture is still a classic for outdoor, heavy-duty seating that will stand the test of time.

Camp Piankatank Furnished by Furniture Concepts2. Summer Camp Bedroom Furniture is Designed to Save Space.

A unique feature of summer camps is that there is an expectation that the facilities will be organized to accommodate a maximum number of sleepers in as efficient a space as possible.
  • That is why bunk beds are such a natural fit for camps, conference and retreat centers – they sleep two people in essentially the same space as a single bed.
  • Both metal and solid wood bunk bed options are popular for camps who want durable, long-lasting sleep surfaces that are easy to maintain.
  • Frequently, ladder-end beds or integrated, vertical ladders are used to keep floor space free.
  • Storage for campers’ personal items is also very efficient with the use of items like underbed storage chests or tall, divided cabinets that allow campers to neatly store their stuff while not overwhelming sleeping rooms with bulky furniture.

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Topics: Tough Stuff, durable furniture, Metal Furniture, Outdoor Furniture, Camp & Retreat Furniture, Multiple-use Facility, Stacking & Folding Chairs & Tables, Summer Camp Furniture

Tough Stuff for a Tough Crowd: Solid Wood Behavioral Health Furniture

Posted by Janet Voigt on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

When the average person buys furniture, they consider a few typical factors. How does the furniture look? Is it comfortable? Is it the right size? Each of these aspects will help buyers make a decision on which piece of furniture is best for them.

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Topics: Tough Stuff

The Power of a Good Bunk Bed

Posted by Janet Voigt on Fri, May 03, 2013 @ 09:33 AM
As new college students are getting ready to move into their dorms and campers are getting ready for their summer fun, demand for furniture for dorms & quarters and summer camps is at its seasonal high.

Housing and camp directors are in the heat of last minute preparation for the expected masses.  As heads are counted, the most common panic-evoking realization is that there are never enough beds!  So when it’s time to order bunk beds in a hurry, where do you turn?

Searching the internet, it is easy to see that there are a vast number of sellers who offer wood bunk beds. 

  -Many of the wood bunk beds in the market today are made overseas and imported for sale in the US.  At first glance many bunk beds have a similar look and advertise similar features.  In reality, there are many differences between from bunk to bunk starting with the wood itself. 
  • Many less expensive bunk beds are mass produced by one manufacturer and distributed by many retailers like Wal-Mart and Target. 
  • Often, no matter where you purchase your bunk beds they are made by the same source and just packaged under private labeling.
  • These “commodity” bunk beds are made with a softer wood that is typically not dried to the highest moisture standards. 
  • The more moisture in the wood the less durable the wood will be over time.  Kiln drying is the process used to make cut wood ready for manufacturing. Wood that is properly dried will have a lower moisture content and will have less chance of splitting over time.

Additionally, many inexpensive, imported bunk beds are made with low profile lumber

  • Instead of using more durable lumber to create 4” posts (2x4 construction), import bed posts are made of 2” posts (1x2 construction) which create a far less beefy bed. 
  • For example, most wood bunk beds that are sold and distributed from overseas weigh in at a slight 120 lb. versus a high quality durable bed designed for group living that weigh in at 180 lb.!!  The difference between those two weights is a great example of how two things can look similar but be entirely different. 
So when its time to order those last minute bunks within budget, it is essential to really understand what you are buying.
  • Durable, high quality bunk beds designed and manufactured for colleges and camps are available from contract furniture providers who specialize in high-use environments.
  • Don’t be fooled by claims of quality from mass produced, mass distributed beds primarily sourced from the same overseas manufacturer. 
  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tracks injuries and complaints from products like wood bunk beds has recalled over 445,000 bunk beds due to consumer injury. 
  • In addition, CPSC has had complaints of harm or injury from many other bunk bed manufacturers. 
When durability and safety are a top priority make sure to work with a reputable company like Furniture Concepts based in Cleveland OH who has a 25 year track record of high-quality wood (and metal) bunk beds.  Better quality does not mean high cost so take time to understand what you are buying and always ask for references.

Created on 12/06/11 at 15:29:27   Furniture Concepts Metal Furniture Catalog.

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Topics: Bunkbeds, Tough Stuff, durable furniture, Crate Style Furniture, Barn Door Furniture, Contract Bedroom Furniture, Camp & Retreat Furniture

Why Crate Furniture is Still King

Posted by Janet Voigt on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

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Topics: molded plastic Furniture, Tough Stuff, durable furniture, anti-contraband furniture, Crate Style Furniture, Furniture For Incontinence, Behavioral Healthcare Furniture, Metal Furniture, Contract Furniture & Fabric: Making it Last, Camp & Retreat Furniture

Crate style furniture that will make you go wow!

Posted by Janet Voigt on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

Facility managers and housing directors have been making an old trend new again.

When looking for quality furniture that is durable and budget-friendly, many buyers have discovered that crate furniture has re-emerged as an industry must-have.

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Topics: Pine Furniture, Commercial Lounge Furniture, Tough Stuff, durable furniture, Crate Style Furniture, Barn Door Furniture

Is Metal Furniture Worthless?

Posted by Janet Voigt on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 08:25 PM

Metal furniture is steadily growing in popularity.

It is popping up in project specifications and contract design trade publications. But why?  It turns out there are several valid reasons why metal furniture is increasing in popularity for group living environments. 

Here are the top three:

  1. IT IS DURABLE.  Both wood and metal furniture have had their place in the history of furniture design.  Both offer durability and can stand the test of time.  But, metal is showing its might as a work horse of the contract furniture market. Metal furniture is relatively lightweight but has a practically impenetrable surface. Metal surfaces can show ink marks or scratches so some facilities prefer laminate tops on metal case goods to provide a more scratch and dent resistant top. Metal finishes can be spot repaired so over time surfaces can be preserved to look pristine even when used heavily.
  2. IT IS EASY TO CLEAN. When heavy cleaning agents or pesticide treatments are a must, metal furniture surfaces can be less absorbent than wood surfaces allowing for less harmful residues. In some facilities that have to face bed bugs or other pests, metal is an easy surface to treat and clean of pesticides.  While there is no evidence that metal is less attractive than wood to bed bugs and other pests, there can be fewer hiding places in soldered metal joints. But, a hiding place is a hiding place and bed bugs or other tiny pests will not discriminate and can find dark, cozy hiding spots in any piece of furniture – wood or metal. Caulking and other sealants are effective ways to seal seams and joints in any piece of furniture that will help deter pest nesting.
  3. IT IS ATTRACTIVE. Metal furniture can be basic like metal beds and case goods, but metal can also be highly re-configurable and gives rise to endless possibilities for space planning. For example, metal loft beds can be positioned at heights that can accommodate storage and work areas underneath. As needs change, the bed and accessories can be reconfigured to lower or higher points to meet current residents’ needs. Additionally, metal can be finished in a variety of colors from natural colors to bold, primary colors. Metal finishes can be customized to easily match an overall color-scheme and can match team or community color preferences. Chrome finishes used in mixed material designs in upholstered seating and dining or occasional tables provide high-end looks and will stand the test of time.
When considering adding metal furniture to your facility design, it is important to understand what metal furniture does (and does not) do. Metal can be used as a complement to wood furniture or can be a substitute for wood furniture. Regardless of why you may be thinking about metal, always consult with a contract furniture expert to get all the information you need to make the right choice.
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Topics: Tough Stuff, durable furniture, Contract Furniture, Group Furniture Buying Advice, Metal Furniture

The Camp and Dorm Mattress Buyer’s Survival Guide – Part II of III

Posted by Karyl Walker on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 11:23 AM
Buying mattresses for group living facilities is a big task.  Furnishing mattresses for hundreds of sleepers is an intimidating prospect.

So how do you decide which type of mattress to buy? Why do the prices span such a wide spectrum from suspiciously cheap to crazy expensive? 

In Part I of this three part blog series, we compared buying mattresses from what turns out to be a pretty extensive menu.  It starts with the mattress core. Next is the mattress cover  

Here are a few basics of mattress covers for commercial and group living environments:

There are several standard cover options including nylon, cloth and vinyl.  Nylon and cloth are relatively straight forward options.  Both have varying degrees of quality but they are pretty standard textiles. Vinyl, on the other hand, has many more technical qualities that result in a wider variety of features and benefits.
  • Nylon for mattress covers is referred to as either as generic “nylon” or by brand name like SoFlux. Nylon has many advantages including stain, bacteria, fungus and fluid resistance. It has a soft touch and feels pretty much like a residential mattress under bed sheets. Nylon allows for more “breathing” which results in a cooler night’s sleep.
  • Cloth covers are typically a pinstripe cover usually comprised of cotton or a ploy-cotton blend.  Cloth covers are the least popular cover type for commercial installations due to its susceptibility to stains, bacteria and fungus. Residential mattresses typically have cloth covers because it is highly breathable and comfortable but cloth is not recommended for commercial applications.
  • Vinyl is a multi-ply laminated textile with a coated surface. As a mattress cover, vinyl is a highly durable due to its highly fluid, bacteria and fungal resistance. There are a wide variety of vinyls that differ in stretchability, softness and comfort. Due to its ability to stretch, vinyl is resistant to tearing and punctures. Newer technology in vinyl has given rise to premium brands like Correct Tick, a very soft and pliable vinyl that is far more comfortable for sleeping than traditional vinyls that tend to be stiff and hot during sleeping.  That being said, traditional vinyls are still a cost-effective and durable solution for both group living and healthcare applications.
All credible commercial and contract manufacturers and suppliers will have flammability information available for all mattress products. Flammability standards for mattresses are well-defined by the Consumer Product Safety Administration. Cloth and nylon covered mattresses requires a fire-proof barrier but vinyl is inherently fire proof and do not require any additional measures to be certified. Make sure flammability compliance is clearly stated on any mattresses you buy.
Get The Metal Bedroom Furniture Catalog
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Topics: Adolescent Treatment Centers, Flammability Standards, Tough Stuff, Camp Mattresses, durable furniture

The Myth of Crate Furniture

Posted by Janet Voigt on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 @ 02:40 PM

Crate style furniture might have been inspired decades ago by excess shipping crate inventories, but what has evolved is an enduring style that is far from its utilitarian roots.

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Topics: Tough Stuff, Group Furniture Buying Advice, Crate Style Furniture

Back to Basics in Summer Camp Furniture

Posted by Janet Voigt on Wed, May 30, 2012 @ 12:24 PM

School is winding down and summer camps are gearing up.

Camp directors are busy trai ning staff, developing programs and sprucing up cabins and outdoor spa ces. For those of us in the camp furniture industry, this is bunk bed season. O ver the years lots of styles of bunk beds have come and gone but the tried and true work horse for summer camps is the solid wood ladder end bunk bed. The classic ladder end bunk bed is dependable, sturdy and safe for campers of all ages.

A primary appeal of the Ladder End Bunkbed is that it:

  • Eliminates the need for separate ladders that take up valuable floor space and can become playthings with campers. Campers literally use the end of the bed to climb in and out of top bunks.
  • The ends are designed with the actual bed end itself acting as the ladder. 
  • Years of safety testing and engineering have resulted in a super simple ladder end design that gets campers up and down a bunk easily.
  • Ladder end bunk beds come in a variety of widths (including the space-saving 30” and more typical 39”) to fit cabins of all sizes.
  • If your camp or conference center hosts adults or families at any time of the year, the single-double or single-queen bunks are excellent solutions for sleeping both adults and kids. The ladder end design still gets a person to the top bunk but a larger, double or queen bed on the bottom offers the space “mature” campers wants.

 Although residential furniture stores offer wood bunks, contract standard bunk beds are tested to meet safety standards and will last over time. Domestically made, solid wood bunk beds from reputable furniture suppliers are always the best choice for the money – you know that you are getting a dependable bed, not a cheap import that might not stand the test of time.

Created on 12/06/11 at 15:29:27     Click me  Click me   

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Topics: Tough Stuff, Group Furniture Buying Advice, Crate Style Furniture, Barn Door Furniture

Tough Stuff Furniture

Posted by Janet Voigt on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 @ 08:11 AM

Tough Stuff.  What’s in a name?

Well in this case, the name says it all. Built of solid wood for years of heavy use, FURNITURE CONCEPT'S SIGNATURE TOUGH STUFF LINE is ONE of a KIND.  

Designed for heavy use environments like student housing, summer camps and health care, Tough Stuff is hands-down the industry’s most rugged and durable furniture solution.  The exposed wood frame design is a call-back to the formerly popular crate design furniture of the 1990’s.  But with polished smooth surfaces, improved style and endless upholstery options for seating pieces the crate style concept has been taken to a new level of design.

Adding to the appeal of Tough Stuff is a price point which is far below traditional fully upholstered seating, bedroom or case piece furniture.  It’s kind of counter intuitive that furniture manufactured with more substantial solid wood can be less expensive then scaled down manufacturing techniques but it is really the lack of process that makes Tough Stuff so down right affordable.  The Tough Stuff line is made in the USA and is proudly sold only by Furniture Concepts!

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Topics: Tough Stuff

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For 20+ years, Furniture Concepts has remained committed to providing furniture Solutions for any type of group living environment. We sell only Business to Business in U.S.A. and Canada. Furniture Concepts is known for: Durability. Pricing. Deadlines. Customer Service... Learn More about us!

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