Thursday, December 18, 2008

To 'Chaise, or not to Chaise' - that is the question

Chaise style seating...whats all the hype about??? Why is every home theater seat these days available with the chaise style footrest and is it worth considering? Supporters will tell you that is provides extra leg support below the knee which compliments healthy lower back living. Proponents against chaise style theater seating will tell you that after the leather that connects the seat to the footrest stretches a few hundred times during normal wear and tear, it changes texture and shape permanently. The answer is simple - the proponents against are correct when it comes to seats with poor quality leather materials. Good quality leathers will absorb the oils and moisture from our environment and become supple yet durable without the fine lines and cracks often found in cheaper leathers.

So what is the moral of this short home theater furniture story? If you are going to 'chaise', make sure you don't skimp on the leather quality. Cheap theater seating needs to be reserved for the more traditional type seats.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leather Quality on Home Theater Seating

Buzzwords you may hear when shopping for leather recliners are "top grain" or "full grain". These terms describe the type and condition of the hide. Top grain leather simply means it is the outer most part of the hide, and that it is not a split or under part which has less strength and durability. When the processing is started the top of the leather is sheared from the hide leaving a split. A split is good for a back or side, not a place where you will sit as the hide will stretch and lose its shape. A full grain hide is left with all its natural characteristics and markings in the processing stages. You will see a variety of grains from small to very heavy and this is ok. This shows that you are getting a genuine, minimally processed hide with natural markings. You will see many types of grain patterns and can determine which fits your preference. The majority of the leather sold on the market has been buffed to eliminate heavy grain or imperfections and give a smooth uniform appearance and feel. Some hides are embossed with a simulated grain to give a very uniform look. Nevertheless, these are all good, long lasting alternatives to fabric and micro fibers. For those who suffer from allergies, the dust that collects in conventional fabrics can easily be kept in check with leather.

Remember that leather is a natural product so it is never perfect. It is the lack of this perfection and the uniqueness that defines leather and makes it so desirable. Lines or scars and various grain textures are all normal characteristics of genuine leather. The more expensive and natural, the more this rings true. Leather needs to be cared for. If properly cared for, it will improve in look and feel as it ages. Some important tips on caring for leather are as follows...beware of ultraviolet rays that can dry, crack and fade just about anything and leather is no exception. Most leather furniture retailers also sell conditioners with UV protection. Take these simple precautions and enjoy the long life that leather provides to your home theater seats.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

3 Most Important Features for Theater Seating

If you are buying theater seats and have decided on a style/brand, there are 3 important factors that need to be considered that will make the final decision. They are as follows:

Power Recline

The material is critical and after the style is without a doubt the biggest influence over the whole experience. Leather quality is determined by the portion of the hide that the leather is taken from. The higher up or closer to the surface that the hide it cut, the softer the leather. Hence the term 'top grain' leather. This is taken from the top of the grain of leather. The most expensive leathers are taken from the top grain. So when you go up in grade, you can expect softness and a hefty price tag. It is the single biggest influence on the price once you have chosen the model.

Color is the next most important characteristic. Make sure that you request a swatch sample of the leather. The color on the web site may not always match the color on the web site. You have to live with these seats for a long time. Make sure that you like the color.

Power recline is my third most important option. This is often so overlooked and debated on various forums but it really makes a big difference in the overall home theater seating experience. Having the option to recline to all angles is valuable when you consider that we all have our perfect position. With manual you have 3 options. Why let the manufacturer decide which reclinig angle works best for me. It really does make all the difference.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Where does Coaster fit into the home theater seating equation

We often get asked about Coaster and how their seats shape up against Berkline and Palliser (now Kiira Designs). Well, here are my thoughts as briefly as I can convey them without putting anyone to sleep. Buy Berkline!!! No, jokes aside, Coaster is a value buy that offers excellent pricing and average to good quality for the money. Of course the area where the savings comes is in the warranty. Coaster only offers a one year warranty where Berkline and the others are generally in the 3-5 year category. Berkline has a life-time warranty on the frame. My suggestion in the Coaster line-up would be the Showtime. It gets the bulk of the consumer interest and has good back height - a feature that is very important and overlooked. Of course, the major benefit of Coaster is the in stock nature of the merchandise....large volumes of all models are generally kept in stock at 6 or more warehouses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top 5 Most Popular Home Theater Seats

Top Five Most Popular Home Theater Seats

Berkline 090

This is one of the first models Berkline designed and has been considered the “standard” to which all other theater recliners are compared against. The theater recliner provides a classic look that stands the test of time with clean lines and elegant flair. The design is versatile in that it can blend well in most home theater and media room decors – from the traditional, the contemporary, and the classic and other styles. The theater seat was built to fit most sizes, with a 41 inch back height and a 25 inch seat width. Whether the customer is 6”2 or 5”2, this theater leather recliner provides optimum comfort and design. The theater seat boasts Berkline’s Wallaway Design, which allows it to be placed inches away from a wall and still fully reclines. The footrest is a ChaiseLounger that provides continuous, head to toe support when reclined. Other options include lighted cup holders, a power recline mechanism to effortlessly recline to any position, and the Buttkicker – a silent subwoofer factory installed in the seat that allows viewers to feel powerful bass to create the feeling of actually being “in the movie”. Berkline offers an endless selection of smooth buttery leathers and a rainbow array of premium microfibers. The theater leather recliner can be designed in straight or curved configurations, with or without middle arms to create that perfect fit or design the customer is truly looking for. An additional feature this model provides is the “seat and a half” – a whopping 35 inch seat width which can be used as a loveseat between seating configurations.

Berkline 099

With comfort, quality and design as the top three criteria consumers shop for it is no wonder the Berkline 099 has made it to the number two spot on our list. This movie theater leather recliner boasts a 44.5 inch back height which means even the tallest customer will have full head support while watching his favorite flick. A generous 26 inch seat width will ensure there is more than adequate space to find the perfect spot for complete relaxation. This chair offers an optional “spill proof” wood burl trim around the cup holders that provides an elegant finishing touch. As with all Berkline movie theater recliners, it also comes with the Wallaway design, ComfortRest continuous leg support, optional motorized recline, lighted cup holders and Buttkicker. This seat has a beautiful classic design that will stand the test of time.

Palliser Sequelle

As one of the top names in theater seating, Kiira Designs takes our number three spot. This Canadian manufacturer is known for their attention to quality and detail and has designed a portfolio of theater seats with a contemporary flair. The Majestic is artfully designed utilizing tailored lines and a 43 inch back height for complete headrest comfort and a Chaise style footrest for continuous leg support. As with all of the Palliser models you have a choice between an endless array of smooth leathers and fabrics and a palette of colors to meet the strictest standards of any designer needs. The Sequelle offers a choice between antique bronze and stainless steel cup holders, and multiple wood finishes for the legs of the theater recliner. Motorized recline is also an option to effortlessly recline to your favorite position. The seats can be configured in both straight and curved configurations, as well as loveseat and sofa combinations.

Berkline 45002

This is one of Berkline’s newest additions and in my opinion, the most comfortable theater seat I have ever sat in. This seat comes standard with both a motorized recline and a motorized articulating headrest. This seat was constructed with ultimate comfort in mind: with a 45 inch back height and 26.5 inch seat width, this is Berkline’s biggest seat that will provide the most comfortable seating you can experience. The seat has a boxed stitching design that envelops the customer in the seat. The articulating headrest will prop your head up to reach your optimal viewing position even in a fully recline position. The seat cushion is a CMAX chaise which is an innovative construction of foam and fiber layers that provides continuous, head to toe support when reclined. Buttery leathers, endless microfibers and all the other Berkline features make this one of the highest quality seats on the market.

Vanguard Sofia

For those customers who require the best quality seating for the most economical price and readily available for immediate shipment, the Vanguard Sofia stands by itself. This seat is offered as part of Theater Seat Store’s signature Quick Ship program and offers the best in quality and design at unbeatable pricing. For under $1,250 you get a row of three seats delivered to your door (available in rows of two or more). With top grain leather on all seating surfaces in either black, brown or burgundy and the famous Leggett and Platt manual reclining mechanism this seat is one of the best values for the money.

Celebrity Lounger

For those customers with discriminating taste, the Celebrity Lounger takes first prize. Draped in either Italian leather, top of the line suede’s or COM (customer own material), full lumbar support and an award winning design, this chair offers the highest level of comfort. Customers can choose to have custom fitted tilt out wooden cup holders in the front of the chair stained with their own custom finish. This chair looks beautiful in either a dedicated theater room or in a living room due to its classy style and wooden finishes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The World as we watch it is changing

Wanted to open the web to a place where people can come and discuss ideas about home theater seating. No, that does not sound strange or boring - it's actually interesting and a process that needs to be well researched. Why? Because buying the right seating is like buying a car. Yes, a car. A decent set of home theater seats is a substantial investment - especially for quality. It is almost the cost of a small car and if done properly will last the same period of time. The seats also need to be kept clean and protected and will provide you many hours of pleasure in a heart stopping way that doesn't involve you pushing the speedometer over the 100MPH mark.

So, let me know if you have any questions and if you want to view available models, please visit our online store at www.theaterseatstore.com for the largest range of products on the web when it comes to home theater seats.

Good luck and enjoy!