Housewares Design Awards

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2007 Best in Category: Furniture

Sauder Woodworking Co.

Vizio Collection

With the goal of catching the attention of a younger consumer base, Sauder Woodworking’s Vizio collection was designed with a Dark Alder finish and clean lines to offer a contemporary look and to fit comfortably with today’s home electronics.

The collection also caught the attention of judges at the recent HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® Housewares Design Awards, where the Vizio line was named Best in Category in the competition’s Furniture category. The line was designed by Sauder designers Keith Myers, Doug Gerig and Tim Parsons.

Sauder’s new contemporary entertainment group consists of an audio pier, credenza and bedroom-height universal TV stand. Thick, profiled moldings create a framed front, which interacts with inset black molding to create depth and interest. The group is accented by nickel-plated hardware and a silk-screen glass door on the pier, which offers a look that is sophisticated and stylish.

“We have made a strategic decision to go after a younger demographic with furniture designs that are more contemporary in style with softer rolled edges and moldings,” said Doug Krieger, director of design with Sauder. “We also want to design furniture that allows consumers to surround today’s new technology products in style.”

Vizio also represents a continued shift in product design seen at Sauder and throughout the RTA furniture industry. The advent of flat-panel televisions— with their 16:9 width-to-height ratio as opposed to the 4:3 width-to-height ratio of traditional CRT televisions— has forced RTA suppliers to move away from single-piece home entertainment centers and focus more on developing matching collections of credenza and audio/video towers.

While the shift away from the old-style home entertainment center has forced RTA suppliers to rethink how they design home entertainment furniture, it has also provided consumers with more purchase options.

“Consumers today have the ability to customize their furniture to fit their lifestyle,” said Krieger. “They are now able to purchase only the pieces they need or use all products in the line to create a wall solution in the home.”

The growth of flat-panel televisions has also led to changes in the dimensions needed for home entertainment furniture. Depths of entertainment credenzas today are only 15.5 inches, as opposed to the 21 inches needed with deeper and heavier old-style CRT televisions.

“We also pay close attention to the changes on items that go around the television,” Krieger added. “There is a need today to provide space for a variety of components including surround sound units, DVD players and cable or satellite boxes.”

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