There’s a song lyric that says …”a chair is just a chair” but for Carrie Fusella, President and CEO of Design Alternatives, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This designer knows a Kwalu chair is more than a place to sit. It’s proof that if a chair is designed well, it will last and last.
Design Alternatives, Inc. has been in the business of interior design for over 24 years. The business offers a wide array of design services. Carrie’s team specializes in new construction as well as renovations. Their expertise extends to more than just furniture placement; it encompasses the feeling and flow of the room. Colors and a sense of style are the hallmarks of Design Alternatives. Their client list includes offices, hotels, country clubs, churches, schools, senior living and healthcare facilities.
She met Kwalu the way many do, at an industry tradeshow. As a matter of fact, Carrie discovered Kwalu when she was designing a dining room for Monroe Village, a premier assisted living and healthcare facility in New Jersey. She was trying to find a wood chair that wouldn’t have all the limitations wood typically has. In other words, she wanted a chair that would not chip or split or swell when cleaned. What she found was Kwalu quality and durability plus a 10-year performance-based warranty on construction and finish.
Carrie has placed Kwalu chairs in all of her senior living and healthcare facilities. She uses Kwalu chairs because of their versatility. They fit all rooms and all environments. Carrie is excited about the ability to customize, making it possible to perfectly match existing décor and her design aesthetic. Design Alternatives has used Kwalu chairs in dining rooms, libraries, auditoriums, lobbies/lounges, hallways, patient/resident rooms and salons. “I just love Kwalu chairs”, she says, “Anywhere I can put a Kwalu chair, I will.”
At a time when more and more facilities are opting for renovation, Carrie is especially pleased with the longevity of her Kwalu chairs. They’ve actually been placed in entire wings of her facilities. She is currently working on a renovation project at a senior living facility she originally designed 13 years ago. The dining room chairs used at the time were upholstered in the colors that were popular in the 80’s: teal and taupe. The carpet is worn, the walls need paint but the chairs…the Kwalu chairs are without flaw. The facility is on its third renovation and they refuse to get new chairs because, as Carrie shares, “…they just don’t need them.” That’s quite a testimonial to a chair that’s only under warranty for an unprecedented 10 years! Why use Kwalu? After years of experience with the product, Carrie says, “Why not? You will never, ever have a failure on Kwalu chairs.”
“It is the goal of Kwalu to provide quality, innovative seating designs that last in every environment.” says Michael Zusman, Kwalu CEO, “Our vision is not lost on the team at Design Alternatives. We appreciate their commitment to design, we are grateful for the commitment they’ve made over the years to Kwalu products and look forward to partnering with them in the future.”
The relationship between Kwalu and Design Alternatives has been great. Seating is where it all began but it does not stop there. Carrie has incorporated Kwalu tables into her designs for exactly the same reasons she uses the chairs: their matchless performance and enduring attractiveness. The vast array of leg and table top options means they integrate seamlessly with her designs. From traditional to transitional, and from occasional to dining and activity tables, Kwalu really does offer something for everyone.
What’s next for Design Alternatives? Carrie says she’s turning her attention to walls and specifically, Kwalu wall protection. Kwalu is an industry leader in wall protection so it is no surprise that Design Alternatives would turn to Kwalu when the goal is to create a cohesive look that lasts. Carrie is most impressed by the durability of the product and should any scuff or scratch marks turn up on the product, they can be repaired onsite with a little steel wool buffing. “Maintenance is a big part of why and how I specify, Kwalu gives me design solutions.” she says.
A leading interior design professional with over 29 years of experience in both residential and commercial spaces, Carrie Fusella knows furniture should do more than just look good. It should be built to last, so that it doesn’t fail as a result of regular, sustained normal use. She and her team at Design Alternatives continue to return to a source they can depend on, Kwalu.