February 29th, 2012 by TRT Blog
The Refinishing Touch, we pride ourselves on making sure that each job we finish meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations. While our projects end up producing hundreds of pieces of refinished furniture, during which we complete 10 to 15 rooms a day and are put back into service the same evening, we are also dedicated to making sure our attention to detail is of the highest standards. And in recent projects, we have seen all of our clients really embracing the details as well. As hotel guests, university students and government decision makers can be some of the harshest critics, our clients want to make sure that no detail is missed, down to the furniture hardware on their nightstands, dressers, or armoires. In this edition of our visual blog post before & after, we show you how
refinishing, color changes and new hardware can make outdated furniture look new and modern again without compromising your budget or our country’s landfills. To learn more about our services or to get a quote, please visit us at
Before & After:
February 24th, 2012 by TRT Blog
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a unique partnership with Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina to increase students’ education on environmental issues. The college and the EPA plan to work together to form a mutually beneficial relationship, with the goal to help students become more knowledgeable about the environment as well as secure internships with the EPA’s local regional office.
The partnership is set up so the EPA can work with faculty and students to become more environmentally-informed and in turn, can help the federal agency complete important research and projects. Benedict College hopes that the partnership will help them to promote a better environment and increase relationships with local communities by helping to explain public issues and policy.
This partnership is an important part of the growing sustainability movement. Colleges across the nation have begun offering environmental courses and majors, but these steps have little impact if there’s not student interest. This program is setting a new precedent because it nurtures students’ interests in the environment and provides them with an outlet in which they can put their knowledge to use in the real world.
We hope to see more colleges and universities implementing similar programs to really engage students in environmental issues. And as David Swinton, president of Benedict College said, “The college has been trying to move forward to effectively influence and help promote a better environment.” To learn more about this partnership, read the entire article here.
February 21st, 2012 by TRT Blog
For our crew members and site managers, being able to travel to some of the most historical and beautiful cities in the country is a major job perk, and our most recent refinishing project is no exception. Located in New Orleans, the Windsor Court Hotel and The Refinishing Touch have just completed a second project to refinish its unique interior as part of its plans to renovate the entire hotel. This is the first full renovation the hotel has seen in 13 years.
While our crew members dedicate long days to making sure their work is above par and finished on (if not before) schedule, in their downtime they got the chance to experience all that the New Orleans culture had to offer, from the food to the architecture to the night life, made easy by the Windsor Court’s convenient location to the city’s historic French Quarter.
But it’s not just the city’s offerings that The Refinishing Touch crew got to take advantage of. The Windsor Court Hotel has quite the history itself. Built in 1984 by a New Orleans businessman, the Windsor Court is the tallest building in New Orleans and is currently the 10th tallest hotel in the US. It also boasts an impressive art collection, including pieces by Anthony Van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough and Joris-Karl Huysman. The hotel recently returned to local ownership after 18 years and demonstrates the decadent style of New Orleans as the only four star/four diamond hotel in the city.
new Windsor Court Hotel chairs
After previously working with the hotel in 2005, The Refinishing Touch and our crew returned in 2011 to refinish and reupholster the furniture in all 316 rooms of The Windsor Court Hotel, including dining tables, sofas and chairs, among many others. We’re proud to be able to maintain such a great relationships with one of the most awarded hotels in the country.
And if you ever find yourself heading to New Orleans, either for leisure or business, be sure to check in at the luxurious Windsor Court Hotel and see for yourself what this great hotel has to offer. For more information about the hotel or to make a reservation, visit www.windsorcourthotel.com.
February 17th, 2012 by TRT Blog
Over the past year, we’ve seen the importance that America places on environmentally-friendly procedures and regulations increase. Notable, there has been growth in green building all across the country, as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that recently compiling its list of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED)-rated buildings per capita.
In 2011, Washington, DC took the top prize for the most LEED-rated buildings per capita, rounding out at 18,954,022 square feet worth of commercial and industrial space, equating to 31.5 sq. feet per person. DC not only topped the list, but its competition has yet to gain signification ground. DC’s closest competition is Colorado, which only boasts only 2.74 square feet of green space per capita. Other states that made the top ten on the list are Illinois, Virginia and Washington state.
LEED is an important rating systems designed to evaluate green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. LEED is essentially a manual for green building and design; it provides a standard for which builders and architects can follow. With an increasing stress on green building, LEED was developed by the USGBC in 1998. Today the system has grown to include nine different rating systems encompassing various aspects and sectors of green building.
We are glad to see such a high percentage in DC, but more importantly, to see percentages in other states continue to rise. The importance of green building has never been higher and the trend towards LEED rated buildings is a great step towards overall sustainability. Read more here
February 15th, 2012 by TRT Blog
Here at The Refinishing Touch, our goal is to provide services that not only help our clients manage their furniture assets, but help them manage budgets and reduce environmental impact as well. Now, after months of hard work and preparation, we’re happy to announce that The Refinishing Touch has been named as a Best Western preferred vendor. Everyone on our team is very excited about this new partnership and is eager to being working together with this great hotel organization.
The Best Western brand and its franchised associates are dedicated to providing stylish, up-to-date accommodations for quests while embracing a cost effective alternative to buying new furniture, and by naming The Refinishing Touch as a preferred vendor, have seen our mission to do the same. By working together, The Refinishing Touch and Best Western have begun a project to convert all of its armoires to accommodate flat screen televisions by December 2012—providing an enjoyable hotel experience for travelers around the country.
We are honored to be part of Best Western’s preferred vendor program and look forward to completing many more projects for the brand and its hotels. For more information on The Refinishing Touch’s services, visit www.therefinishingtouch.com.
February 14th, 2012 by TRT Blog
It’s the season of expensive gifts, dinners and heart-shaped cards, but this year, why not shower your loved one with beautiful gifts that are also environmentally-friendly? We’ve done our research and have come up with some great ideas to please your sweetheart and Mother Nature:
Chocolates. When you’re picking out the best looking box of chocolates this February 14th, these will be free of pesticides, will help support sustainable agriculture and will support the workers who produced the. Plus, who doesn’t like a tasty box of chocolates?
Flowers. Flowers are a staple for Valentine’s Day, and although the florist right around the corner is convenient, try thinking ahead this year. Organic and fair-trade flowers cost about the same as regular flowers, but are grown with the environment and the workers in mind.
Unique Gifts. Try thinking out of the (chocolate) box this year. Choose something for your loved one that will stand out and last all year long. Pick up a unique fair-trade gift, such this hand-painted jewelry box to make an extra special, thoughtful gift.
Regardless of the gifts you give on Valentine’s Day this year, do your best to choose those that don’t harm the environment. While it may not be the most conventional route, there are plenty of products out there that are made with recycled materials that are not only romantic but will reduce your environmental impact as well.
February 10th, 2012 by TRT Blog
As sustainability steadily moves from a trend to a necessity, we’ve begun to see all of our target industries—education, government, and hospitality—re-consider how things are done, not only to save money, but to attract customers as well. Previously underrated and essentially nonexistent, green MBA programs are finally gaining the respect and attention they deserve.
For most of these emerging green MBA programs, the courses combine traditional business with focus on sustainability and eco-friendly practices, including how finances come into play. Overall, green MBA programs teach students to combine real world business practices with a sustainable mindset. As the environment continues to be a critical, widely-discussed issue, it’s clear that the business world will need to adapt, and graduates with this new type of MBA will be at the forefront.
Babson College is a great example of how schools are integrating sustainability into its curriculum. Instead of simply offering courses related to sustainability, Babson students can choose an eco-friendly concentration. In other words, Babson treats sustainability as a focus, not an afterthought.
With the right education and determination, graduates can help shape the business world into a more eco-friendly and socially responsible place, which to us, sounds like something worth studying.
February 7th, 2012 by TRT Blog
With an increasing demand for eco-friendly practices, many industries have already begun their own initiatives in an effort to increase and standardize sustainability. With continued advancements, both socially and technologically, going green is a reality for many sectors. However, not all industries have had such luck. One industry in particular has come under fire for the little advancements that have been made in innovation and green practices: construction.
According to an article by Construction Digital, over the past few decades the construction industry has seen little movement towards green building. Although the demand for green building has increased and much of the appropriate technology is available, construction has not changed in the ways other industries have. Many have argued that the construction industry has not become more environmentally friendly due to the high costs of replacing machinery, an area which largely has seen little to zero new technology.
Despite its past, the construction sector has a hopeful future. Sustainable technology continues to advance (as well as become less expensive) and will soon help to ease the transition into green building. However, one issue for green building that has remained unresolved is the translation from digital designs to physical materials. Exciting new technologies such as 3D printing is emerging as a technology that can speed up the building process and most likely require little man power. This technology is already being applied around the world—a 30 story skyscraper was recently completed in less than 360 hours in China using similar technology.
While as a refinishing and refurbishing company, we try to incorporate as many sustainable practices into our business as possible, we also understand those practices aren’t as plausible for other industries. We hope that the construction industry continues to look for sustainably alternatives to help it catch up with the demand for green building and structures as well as seek out new, emerging technologies to help it get there.
February 3rd, 2012 by TRT Blog
Attending industry conferences is one way The Refinishing Touch stays in tune with the needs of our clients across different industries. These conferences and events bring together everyone from business managers to service buyers, with the overall goal to create new ideas and partnerships. And as it turns out, January was a busy month for a couple key events
The first of which was the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, or better known as ALIS. This year the conference took place from January 23 to 25 in Los Angeles, California. This summit is the largest hotel investment conference in the world and attracts more than 2,000 people each year. Attended by countless industry experts, we were able to participate in numerous networking opportunities, panel discussions and seminars throughout the conference. The conference is uniquely designed for the hospitality investment community, including hotel executives, investors and lenders, developers, and professional financial advisors.
Another industry conference, the PHMA/MHLI Professional Development Seminar (PDS) which took place from January 29 to February 3rin San Diego, California, provided insight into another important industry for us, the government. PDS always puts on a great PHMA event for all of those in the government sector, particularly military housing. PHMA is an educational event that provides general learning sessions and informational courses as well as ample time to network.
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we always enjoy opportunities to attend conferences and events. While we pride ourselves on great services and customer communication, it’s also important to gain new and different perspectives from industry experts in order to stay up to date with industry trends and goals.