The Longevity of Lloyd Flanders
By Mark Brock
PhotoS: ©2018 Paul Johnson Photography. www.pauljohnsonphotography.
When Theresa Carroll was guiding the thoughtful exterior restoration of Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut, during the late 1990s, she found the perfect complement for her vision in Lloyd Flanders’ furnishings for the inn’s expansive veranda. Little did Carroll realize at the time that the Lloyd Flanders pieces she selected would delight her guests in a timelessly classic setting for 20 years.
“Our experience with Lloyd Flanders speaks volumes about the quality of the furniture this company designs and manufactures,” said Carroll, who is the co-owner/operator of Homestead Inn and a professional designer. “I am from Michigan originally (the home of Lloyd Flanders) and I’ve known about this company’s reputation for quality for many years. Our experience beautifully illustrates that Lloyd Flanders’ commitment to quality has never changed.”
Theresa Carroll, co-owner/operator.
Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann traces its origins to 1799 when the first structure was built on the property as a private residence. When Carroll and partner Grand Chef Thomas Henkelmann purchased Homestead in 1997 it had been serving as an inn and restaurant for several years.
Under Carroll’s thoughtful leadership, the property, which includes a Manor House, Carriage House, Cottage Boardroom, and Barn Property, was transformed into an eclectic mix of 18th century architecture and 21st century design and amenities. Located only 25 minutes from New York City, Homestead Inn sits on three acres of lush, meticulously manicured gardens. Art and artifacts from around the globe are seamlessly woven into the interiors of each guest room and suite.
Luminaries from the worlds of business, politics, the arts, film, and theatre are not only attracted to the classic elegance of the hotel, but also to the world renown Thomas Henkelmann restaurant, a Four Star New York Times restaurant that has earned numerous accolades for its award-winning wine cellar and contemporary French cuisine. Thomas Henkelmann has been consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top restaurants, not only for its food and wine, but also for its beautifully-detailed setting and world-class service.
Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Lloyd Flanders Fulfills a Vision
As Carroll was guiding the restoration of the inn and restaurant property located in the Greenwich’s exclusive Belle Haven neighborhood, she wanted the veranda on the Manor House to serve as an oasis where guests could enjoy great food, wine, and conversation. The veranda would also be a focus point and had to sync with the look and feel she was creating for the property as a whole.
“The Lloyd Flanders furniture and Sunbrella fabrics we added in 1998 were perfect for what I was trying to achieve with the restoration,” Carroll said. “We wanted something classic and traditional that would complement the changes we made to the exterior of the buildings with all white paint and dark green shutters. The Lloyd Flanders furniture and Sunbrella fabrics gave us the timeless look that I wanted.”
The Lloyd Flanders’ furniture purchased by Homestead Inn in 1998 was from the company’s Heirloom Collection, which was classically-designed woven wicker. The cushions were covered in Sunbrella fabrics in an equally classic design – Safari green and white stripes.
“We’ve maintained everything very well over the years because no furniture can withstand the abuse of a hotel and restaurant without good maintenance,” Carroll said. “We store the furniture and cushions during the winter and wipe it down in the spring while making a few minor touch-ups and repairs. The Sunbrella fabrics have been fabulous, and were replaced a couple of times over the years. Actually, the maintenance has been very easy.”
The Hesson Company, based in Gorham, Maine, represents Lloyd Flanders in New England, and works with Homestead Inn. Hesson Company was founded by Ted Hesson, since retired, and is managed today by his daughter, Claire, and husband Jeff Walvick. “Lloyd Flanders’ wicker furniture is heirloom quality, and the 20-year experience at Homestead Inn illustrates what that really means,” Jeff said. According to Lloyd Flanders, the longevity of the furniture at Homestead Inn is actually a relatively frequent occurrence.
“We often hear stories about our furniture lasting for decades, and we’re always pleased when properties such as Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann benefit from our commitment to classic designs and product quality,” said Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd Flanders. “When you consider that our company traces its heritage to 1906, and that the Lloyd Loom process was patented in 1917, it’s not surprising that we can provide heirloom quality products.”
A perfect vignette.
Quality, Durability Obsessed
Don and Dudley Flanders purchased the Lloyd Manufacturing Works in 1982 and focused the company on woven-wicker collections for the outdoors. Woven-wicker furniture from Lloyd Flanders is not only a best seller with consumers, but is also featured in classic hotel, restaurant, and resort settings nationwide, such as the Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann.
According to Flanders, his company has continued to enhance product quality over the years, adopting an acrylic coating for its woven fibers, new paint processes that match the durability of powder coating, and elastic decking material in the seating to assure that water doesn’t accumulate under the cushions. “During recent years, we’ve added several new collections with more contemporary designs that appeal to new generations of buyers,” Flanders said. “At the same time, we continue our classic traditional designs such as those at the Homestead Inn. It’s that classic woven-wicker look and durability, outdoors, that got us where we are today.”
Time for an Update
While Lloyd Flanders’ furniture has provided exemplary service at Homestead Inn for two decades, this year it was time for a change.
“After 20 years, I’d have to say that Lloyd Flanders was a great bargain for us, but we finally reached the point that it had to be replaced,” Carroll said. “The pieces are actually still serviceable, but toward the end of last season they just weren’t as fresh as we need them to be. The designs are still as lovely as ever and we’re pleased that the new furniture we’ve purchased from Lloyd Flanders continues that same classic look.”
The new furniture that Homestead Inn has purchased is from Lloyd Flanders’ Reflections Collection, which is styled similarly to its original purchase of the Heirloom Collection. The new fabrics will be from the Sunbrella brand, which continues to offer the traditional Safari green and white stripes.
“After 20 years, we saw no reason to change the design of the furniture and fabrics that have worked so well for us,” Carroll said. “We’re fortunate that Lloyd Flanders and Sunbrella continue to offer products that are perfect for classic settings such as Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann.”