Here's a sneak peek at our coming new design, the Norwalk Media Console!

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We wish you a Happy Earth Day,
We wish you a Happy Earth Day,
We wish you a Happy Earth Day,
And an Earth-Friendly Console!


Wrong season? Actually, we sing this song all year long!

Sustainable Solid Wood. We build Standout Designs media consoles using local solid lumber that has been sustainably-logged from nearby Appalachian forests. What does this mean? The logging companies plant more than one tree for each tree harvested and the harvesting is done with consideration to the habitat needs of local wild life.

Recyclable Packaging. We pack and protect Standout Designs media consoles mainly in corrugated or honeycomb paperboard. These materials can all be easily recycled. So they do the job from our place to yours without having to then spend eternity in a landfill. Plus, according to several happy customers with small children, our large cartons make great indoor forts!

Recycled Pallets. We ship Standout Designs media consoles on sturdy wood pallets to safely transport our furniture to you in North America. Our pallet vendor makes them using lumber from discarded pallets rather than fresh lumber. Plus, we optimize the pallet size to reduce material needs and shipping weight.

Domestic (American) Production. We build Standout Designs media consoles in the USA. This helps Mother Earth in several ways. Breathe - and drink - easy: our furniture is made in compliance with tough environmental laws. Not so in many Asian factories that spew toxins into the air and water. And, the longest trip our furniture makes is to its new home - your home. By making our furniture in Pennsylvania using local resources, it does not travel thousands of miles on the high seas.


Our customers love that our furniture is made in America, by American craftspeople, using American lumber. We are proud that how we do it makes a world of difference.

SHOP STANDOUT CONSOLES NOW

As we've begun building our latest Majestic, the Majestic EX, it is time to update this popular comparison with the Novia 8429. Review the chart below for some big differences. For starters, the Majestic EX is primarily real wood and made in the USA while the BDI Novia 8429-2 is veneer on MDF and made in China. 

 

Majestic e7022 Solid Wood AV console made in USA by Standout Designs

Majestic EX (Rose on Cherry)
by Standout Designs 

Novia 8429-2 veneer on MDF TV stand made in China by BDI USA

Novia 8429-2
by BDI USA

OVERVIEW

   
Overall Dimensions 70" W x 22" H x 22" D 74" W x 23" H x 22" D
Country of Origin Media TV Stand made in USA USA BDI 8429-2 TV Stand Made in China China
Materials Solid sustainably-logged local Pennsylvania Hardwood (no MDF or particleboard veneer) Cherry veneer on MDF (Don't be fooled by misleading language like "real wood construction")

EQUIPMENT SPACE

   
Side Enclosures 19-3/4" W x 17-1/4" H x 20-1/4" D 17-3.4" W x 16-1/4" H x 19-1/4" D
Center Speaker (in drawer) 25-1/2" W x 7-3/4" H  x 14" D 24-3/4" W x 7" H x 14-1/4" D
Center Speaker (no drawer) 27-1/2" W x 8-3/4" H x 21" D 26-3/4" W x  8.5" H  x 16-1/2" D

SHELVING

   
Material Lumber-banded veneer-core plywood (1/2") MDF veneer (1/2")
Ventilated Yes Yes
Weight Capacity 60 lbs 50 lbs
Shelf Positions (32 MM spacing) 9 5
# Included 4 2

AV FEATURES

   
Concealed Speaker Compartment Yes Yes
Hidden Wheels Yes Yes
Cable Management Yes Yes
Adjustable Shelves Yes Yes
Passive Ventilation Yes Yes
Active Ventilation Temperature-controlled quiet fans available No
IR-Friendly Door Glass Yes Yes
Removable Back Panels Yes Yes
Back panel behind speaker drawer removable so rear-ported speakers can breathe Yes No
House gear in space below speaker shelf No Yes

DRAWER FEATURES

   
Dovetail Joinery Yes No
Infinite Divider Placement Yes No
Store Media Vertically to Max Storage Yes No

PERSONALIZATION

   
Choice of Door Glass Yes - Clear or Tinted No - Tinted Only
Choice of Decorative Hardware Yes (Black or Brushed Nickel) No
Choice of Woods Solid American Ash
Solid American Cherry
Solid American Walnut
No - just Cherry veneer on MDF
Choice of Finishes Black (Ash)
Espresso (Cherry)
Rose (Cherry)
Sunrise (Cherry)
Natural (Walnut)
Natural Stained Cherry
Cocoa
Optional Full Grill When Drawer Removed Yes No
Optional wood door panels Yes No
Optional door fabric grill panels Yes No
Optional additional adjustable shelves Yes No
Optional use of top drawer to store media Yes - wood panel and dividers included  No

It's hard to deny that we have been noticeably absent from this blog of ours. It's because we have been hard at work enhancing all of our already-well-regarded TV stands for the holiday shopping season. First came the Haven EX, followed by Horizon EX. Now we are readying our third style, Majestic EX. Our "EX" solid wood TV stands are truly EXceptional. Our Pennsylvania craftsmen are building our most beautiful and capable media furniture yet. New finishes, new features. Can you tell we are EXcited?

Majestic EX goes into production next month. A small number of units will be available to ship before the year is out. Here are a few updates to the design:

Flush side edges
Mitered door and drawer frames
Soft-close hinges
Easy off/on back panels
Whisper EX Fan upgrade compatibility
Vented wood shelves that lock in place

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 3, 2014: First Photo from the shop floor ...

Here is the upcoming Majestic EX in Rose on Cherry with Black Hardware.

Of all of our Standout wood TV consoles, the Haven 62" TV console prompts some of the most enthusiastic comments from our customers. It really fits the needs - and the space - of many people. In this post, we share a little about how it came into being. 

A TV Stand is Not a Microwave Cart

this is a microwave cart, not a tv stand Many people assume that we designed the Haven 72" first since it is similar in configuration to our Horizon N702 XL and Majestic e7022 media consoles. In fact, we began the Haven Collection with the Haven 62". We wanted to build something taller and narrower than our Horizons or Majestics yet still fit a hugely awesome huge center speaker.

We noticed - as you might have too - that a great many of the smaller TV consoles on the market lacked any real imagination. Put two equipment enclosures side-by-side, add an open shelf above and call it a day. To us, these TV stands looked very much like microwave carts.

First, A Nod to the Majestic e5030

Majestic e5030 solid wood media consoleThis was not the first time that we designed a console with dimensions like those of the Haven 62" TV console. You see, our distain for the "microwave approach" actually dates back to 2008, while we were designing the Majestic Collection.

The result was the Majestic e5030. It used some nifty flipper door hardware on the big doors to allow for easy, ding-free, opening and closing. As for look, well  people either loved it or hated it. Unfortunately, not enough people loved it and we stopped building it after about a year.

Designing the Haven 62" TV Console

The Haven concept really lent itself to our design "smaller cabinet with big capacity" objective. It allowed us to break from the strict symmetry that governed our other designs because the face frame, to paraphrase The Dude from The Big Lebowski, really tied the cabinet together.

What the Haven 62" wood media console design lacks in symmetry, it gains in visual balance. And it holds lots of AV gear, stores lots of media, and fits awesome centers like the Studio Paradigm CC-690 shown. Best of all, customers really love it!

Standout Designs has long been known on the web as THE source for marvelous solid wood TV consoles made in the USA. Our Haven TV consoles in particular have garnered a reputation for their many great - almost superhuman - strengths. Today, we are pleased to announce - in collaboration with Marvel Comics - our most marvelous AV console yet: the Special Limited Edition HAVENgers solid wood media TV console.

This marvel of an AV cabinet will be formally introduced at Comic Con in Philadelphia on May 30, 2013 by none other than actor Jim Parsons, of The Big Bang Theory fame. Clearly channelling his beloved character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Mr. Parsons briefly commented on this impressive assemblage of AV features thusly: "Comic books have fans, so why shouldn't intelligently designed, beautiful, high-end solid wood media consoles made in the USA? Like comic books, these fans are silent. And that's only the beginning."

To learn more of Mr. Parsons' thoughts on the HAVENgers Limited Special Edition 72" TV console, you will have to wait until he delivers his Comic Con address entitled "BAZINGA! It's Nothing But Wood." Those without a doctorate in a meaningful scientific discipline can evaluate and purchase the regular Haven 72" media console today at the Standout Designs web store. "It is also quite impressive."

 

Happy April 1st!

Keeping your finger on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape that is A/V is no easy task. Thankfully there are great sources on the web like CANADA HiFi Magazine. It is how we learned about this awesome new A/V Receiver from Pioneer the other day. In addition to excellent news covergage, there are great articles, like these targeted to AV Beginners. There are also Buyers Guides including an A/V Furniture Guide. And just to prove you CAN take it with you, the publisher offers a digital download edition. So check it all out.

 

Read CANADA HiFi Magazine's review of this new Pioneer AVR here.

 

Are there other A/V web sites that you find helpful? Feel free to share in the comments below.

 

 

 

As an American manufacturer of premium solid wood media consoles and TV stands, we aim to provide our customers with a great "out of the box" experience. As a consequence, our TV consoles are loaded with great AV features like wheels, removable back panels, big center shelfs, media storage, etc. But what about the box itself? Well, like the care we put into designing our high-end media furniture, we put plenty of care - for our planet - into our packaging!

Our first priority in packaging our TV furniture is making sure that we do everything possible to have it arrive to you in the same excellent shape in which it leaves the Pennsylvania factory. Our media consoles and other media furniture are packed extremely well. So well, in fact, that many testimonials that you see on our site and on Google actually call out how well the customer's TV console was packed. How does our over-the-top packaging help make our high-end American TV furniture green? Well, consider just the carbon footprint of the trucking involved when we need to reship a damaged unit: it is three to four times that of a successful shipment. Add your time and travel for the delivery/pickup appointments and it is even more. Thank goodness that rarely ever happens! The bottom line: We when pack your TV stand ultra well and the freight carrier does its job well, we all - including Mother Earth - win!

Our materials themselves are earth-friendly. Way back in 2006, when we first started making Standout high-end TV furniture, we packed our media consoles with EPS foam interiors. No more! Our wood media furniture is now packed almost entirely in recyclable corrugated materials fabricated by a nearby company. We use thin foam sheeting to protect the exterior wood faces from rubbing in transit, but the carton and the the box interiors are cardboard that can be recycled. Each piece of our TV furniture also travels on a wood pallet made by a company adjacent to our warehouse using reclaimed wood pallets. Those recycled pallets play a great role in your wood TV stand and other TV furniture making it to your home safe and sound.

So there you have it. In addition to packing a lot of value into our wood TV stands, media consoles, and other media furniture, we pack a lot of green into our packing!

We put a lot of thought into each detail of our solid wood media consoles. Because we proudly use American solid hardwood to build our TV furniture, you might be wondering why we opted for vented glass adjustable shelves over wood shelves. 

We have included glass shelves in our media consoles from the start. We recognized early on that fitting your gear was pretty important. By opting for glass, we provide more than an inch more room for gear compared to wood shelves (assuming 2 per side and 3/4" wood shelves). We also liked the aesthetic created by glass shelves. Wood shelves disrupted the clear lines and symmetry of our media cabinets. Glass shelves created all illusion of the components practically floating inside the console.

Media Console Vented Glass Shelf

Before too long we decided we wanted to offer vented adjustable shelves, but how? Our glass supplier said no, not possible, so we started making them in-house from wood despite the downsides noted above. We next tried Plexiglas. While they were a little thinner than the wood, they gave off an unattractive glow on their edges when light hit them just right.

So we returned to our glass supplier determined to make a vented shelf from glass. Rather than slots like our wood and Plexiglas shelves featured, we agreed to a circle in the center of the shelf. Easier said than done. It required the development of special tooling to reliably cut the 4.5" diameter hole. Any defects would compromise the integrity of the shelf. So, after being tempered – which makes the shelf not only safe (hence the term "Safety Glass") but very strong – the edges of the hole would have to be ground and polished the same way the outside edges were treated.

The end result: our beautiful, thin, strong, vented glass shelf.    

Buy Quality American Solid Wood TV Furniture Not Veneer


Introduction

Shopping for furniture over the web can be daunting. After all, you need to make an important purchase decision based on what the online retailer has chosen to show and tell you. Shopping the web for solid wood furniture can be especially tough because many retailers follow Humpty Dumpty's thinking in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

Consumers typically expect that "solid wood" means a genuine wood product, not one made chiefly from "engineered wood" with an ultra-thin wood veneer glued to its faces. "Engineered wood" is a composite board made from sawdust, ground wood scraps, and other wood waste heated to extreme temperatures, mixed with glue and pressed into panels. You might know them as particleboard, chipboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Though increasingly less common, the glue is sometimes formaldehyde resins.

5 Ways to Spot Solid Wood Fakes

While ground chuck wrapped in minute steak does not a sirloin steak make, many retailers and manufacturers advertise their veneered particleboard and MDF furniture as solid wood. How can you protect yourself? Start by getting familiar with some of the tactics used, including these five:

1. "Solid Wood" only in the Name

Be on your toes if the product only has "solid wood" in its title. Solid wood is the gold standard in wood furniture so the use of the term to get the product into more popular search results sometimes sadly trumps truth in advertising. Not many shoppers search for "particleboard veneer furniture."

2. Is it a kind of wood you would want?

If a retailer - or manufacturer for that matter - does not consider it worthwhile to tell you the wood species used to make the product, it might not be worth your hard-earned money. Different species have different qualities reflected their suitability, desirability and cost. Even within solid wood there is a hierarchy. Cherry and Walnut, for example, are luxurious American woods.

3. Solid Wood Construction

"Solid Wood Construction" is another phrase used often by retailers and manufacturers selling something other than truly solid wood furniture. Usually some parts are indeed some kind of wood (see #2 above) - like legs or door frames. The vast majority of the product - like its tops, bottoms, and sides - are in fact veneer on particleboard or MDF. (We will cover in a future post how to spot a veneer.)

4. Wood Color in Finish Only

Be careful when you see an item with a wood species in the finish or color but not in the actual materials listed. Genuine Cherry and Walnut is  expensive. No surprise then that you see a lot Walnut and Cherry color finishes out there. Very rarely are these products Cherry or Walnut solid wood, and sometimes they are not even Cherry or Walnut veneer.

 

5. Price

True solid wood costs more, especially any species worth identifying to you, the customer. As that age-old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

4 Ways of Getting the Wood You Pay For

So what is a savvy web furniture shopper to do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Check the specs!

Sometimes the clarification that you seek can be found within the specs of the product on the web site. For example, we use high-quality, all-wood, cabinet-grade plywood veneer in select instances (not MDF or particleboard veneer) where "wood movement" or warping due to thinness are concerns (like back panels). You can find what every part is made from in our product details.

2. Ask the retailer or the manufacturer.

Try asking the retailer and/or the manufacturer. You might get an accurate and truthful response. Or you might not, as we show below. So keep checking the facts and keep them honest.

3. Read reviews.

Sometimes you will find negative reviews from customers disappointed in the materials used despite descriptions to the contrary.  You also might find positive reviews from customers previously fooled, so be thorough.

4. Do your own web research.

If you like a product, research it before you buy to learn about the manufacturer and the product. Search for the title and/or SKU and add a term like "MDF" or "veneer".

A Real Case of Fake Wood

Do a Google search (without quotes) for "12420339 52 inch Solid Wood TV Console with Drawers" and click the top organic result (not an advertisement). It's title should read "52-inch Solid Wood TV Console with Drawers."

As of this posting, this is what you will see on the site of a well-known online retailer:

  1. "solid wood" in the title ("52-inch Solid Wood TV Console with Drawers")
  2. "solid wood" in the short description ("solid wood tv console")
  3. "solid wood construction" in the short description ("rich solid wood construction")
  4. "solid wood" repeated in the product details ("solid wood tv console")
  5. "solid wood construction" repeated in the product details ("rich solid wood construction")
  6. "walnut brown" in the product details ("wood finish color: walnut brown")
  7. "solid hardwood" in the product details ("Materials: Solid Hardwood")
  8. "wood" in the Features box ("Stand Materials: Glass, Wood")
  9. "Cherry" and "Walnut" in the Features box ("Color: Brown, Cherry, Walnut")
  10. "Wood" in the Features box ("Furniture Frame Material: Wood")

Sounds like a quality solid wood TV console for just $299 right? Wrong. In this one example, you can see virtually all of the tricks that we warned you about. "Solid wood" is used many times to describe what the reviews and Q&A section show to be an MDF veneer product.

Conclusion

When shopping for wood furniture on the web, be on your guard for products masquerading as solid wood when they are not. Ask lots of questions, do a lot of research, and know the facts before you buy. There is nothing wrong with a veneered product advertised as such. However, when a retailer or manufacturer chooses to blur or obscure the truth, maybe it is time to keep looking.