Comparison Shopping: Swaim vs. Caracole

Last week's blog post on Caracole had me thinking about other companies that do funky, quirky designs. The first to come to mind was Swaim, a handcrafted furniture company based out of High Point, North Carolina. Like Caracole, they combine several elements to create dramatic living spaces, and they also offer a wide variety of custom options for upholstery and materials. A little investigative comparison shopping, though, showed that similar techniques do not always make for a similar price tag. Here are three examples of furniture that will give you the same effect - for a much lower price point.*

Armless chairs lend a comfortable, casual feel to a room. Of course, the fabric you select will have a huge impact on the price, so it's hard to do a one-to-one comparison. In a mid-grade fabric, though, Caracole's 'On the Right Track' will cost you $1,055. The Swaim chair in a similar fabric is more than double the price at $2,245.

These half-moon tables are called demilunes, and are perfect for narrow hallways and foyers. There are no sharp edges to bump into, and the wall-hugging design maximizes the space. Place a pair on either side of a doorway or a couch for elegant extra storage. Of course, if you want two, it will cost you double. That's nothing to scoff at, particularly if you're interested in the Swaim. The 788 20 w costs $6,314, although it does have a stone top. Forego the stone top and go with the Caracole version for a mere $855.

These stylish and contemporary cocktail tables feature a crisscross base (chrome for Caracole, polished nickel for Swaim) and thick glass tops. They're comparable in both size and style, so it may surprise you that the Caracole table goes for $895 at High Point discounted prices, while the Swaim table is $2,158.

When you shop with NC Furniture Advisor, you don't have to sacrifice style for budget. I know where to find the best deals, and can help you find the look you love for less.

* All prices given are discounted High Point prices.

In the showroom: Millender Furniture Company

Picture 2 When I first moved to North Carolina, I was looking for a dining table for my own home. A designer told me about a small shop in Burlington, NC called Millender Furniture Company.

The shop owner, Charles Millender, was part of one of the most celebrated companies in America’s furniture making legacy: White Furniture Company. In 1907 the company was named the “Best Manufacturer of American furniture.” They maintained that reputation for over 100 years.

When the company was sold to Hickory White, Charles missed the furniture business, and started making custom pieces for a few designers. Around that time I bought a dining room table from Millender Furniture, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces.

Years later I saw that beautiful furniture again, only this time, as a designer working in High Point. I was thrilled when I walked into a beautiful gallery of Millender Furniture in a High Point superstore. The small shop had grown into a thriving boutique.

Today this small, family-owned furniture manufacturer still specializes in custom mahogany furnishings for the home, bedroom, and office. One of their signature features is a custom dining room table program.

Picture 4

Clients select custom choices from the table top to bottom, such as a flat cut or swirl Mahogany table top, right down to the table’s birdcage pedestal finish with a Sheraton style brass foot or carved ball & claw foot.

And it’s no surprise that Millender Furniture is still making elegant, heirloom pieces. Take a look.

Millender Furniture Millender Furniture on Facebook