Welcome to the Cardinal Furniture Blog! If you live within 200 miles of Champaign IL ( Saint Louis, Indy, Chicago ) and you want to transform your outdoors with the Best Patio Furniture, keep reading...
BLOG JUNE 25, 2023 - MOVING SPRING 2024!
We just bought a big 25,000 square foot building at 1100 Bloomington Road, Champaign. We'll have over 6 times the space, over twice the traffic, and be right off the interstate! Cardinal Outdoor will soon be much better able to serve all of Illinois from this new spot. Grand opening spring 2024.
BLOG APRIL 2, 2023 - BIG CHANGES COMING!
Can't say much yet, but huge changes are coming to our outdoor furniture business. Stay tuned!
BLOG AUGUST 30, 2022 - FASTEST GROWING BERLIN GARDENS DEALER NATIONALLY!
Last season we were the fastest growing Berlin dealer in the nation! Out of almost 500 dealers we were 1st in GROWTH, and ranked 14th Overall. Yeah we're bragging, but it's kind of a big deal. Berlin is the top brand of the top category of outdoor furniture.
BLOG AUGUST 28, 2022 - THE BEST POLY FURNITURE
I want to talk to you about our leading brand...Berlin Gardens. As you look around our store you'll see a lot of Berlin, that's because I really like it! Berlin is handcrafted from the finest poly lumber, which is a fancy term for recycled milk jugs! Can you believe that?
It is the perfect option for needing something heavy - to handle our crazy Illinois winds. It is the perfect option for wanting to have something with virtually no maintenance - because cleaning involves simply spraying it off with a garden hose! And it is the perfect option for wanting something to last. We have 2 display sets that have been outside almost 10 years, year round, and you would not be able to tell.
We have everything from dining sets in regular height, counter height and bar height in every size of table from a small 28" square for 2, to a large 42"x84" rectangle to sit 10. We have conversation seating that do not require cushions, if you are wanting a more casual area of chairs around a coffee table. And we have set ups that use pieces like sofas and custom sectionals that you could put around
a beautiful fire table! This brand is very easy to add to, so it is easy to start out small and add on as you go, or after seeing the catalog you might decide you won't be able to wait and you do your whole area at once!
As you walk through the store you will see that Berlin has so many options and so many different types of seating. And would you believe there are 45 different color options?
So here are some thing to look for in quality poly outdoor furniture. As far as manufacturing goes, you want all of the components to be manufactured cleanly and precisely. You want connecting hardware to be mostly hidden and made out of the highest quality of alloy chrome. You want the actual poly material to be uniform without any visible filler. You want the furniture to be fairly heavy so that you know its strong durable and heavy enough to handle high winds.
And here are some other things to think about. You want the correct height of furniture. You want the right amount of seating. Do you want motion, no motion, or a combination of the two? You want the right color and textures to all match your home.
Also something else to think about while considering the color of your furniture - is your furniture going to be mainly out in the direct sun or will you be mainly using the furniture in the evenings when the sun has gone down? The reason I ask is because there are colors that do better for in the sun - that don't take on as much heat. There are also colors that do better at hiding dirt - just something to think about.
We sell a ton of Berlin, because it has all of these things going for it! And another cool fact - Berlin is made from recycled materials and made here in the USA, not too far from here over in Ohio!
But best of all, when you buy from me I'll use my 30 years of experience to help you pick out what you actually want!
So I know this is a lot to digest, so you might ask where to start so that I can help you? Well, start off my measuring your area, next, take pictures of the area - of the house, patio or decking, even noting the color of the roof, so I can have a good vision to help you make this space look amazing! Call, email or stop in to let me show you around and help you start designing your perfect backyard.
BLOG MARCH 5, 2021 - GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS
Many outdoor furniture brands (not ours) are out of stock for the entire season already. Our leading brand is currently shipping much better than most, and we currently have tons of it in stock!
BLOG FEBRUARY 28, 2021 - CRAZY COVID
Well, we just warehoused what would normally be most of a years worth of outdoor furniture! Thought we were crazy to get this much stock preseason, but found out today that supply is probably even worse than last year, and it's still winter. Get ready for another year of crazy covid...
BLOG FEBRUARY 22, 2021 - OUTDOOR FURNITURE MATERIALS
The best materials for quality outdoor furniture frames are poly lumber, cast aluminum, teak, and epay (brazilian walnut). The best fabrics are sunbrella brand. The best cushions use reticulated foam.
BLOG FEBRUARY 20, 2021 - QUALITY OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Buy something really nice once. Don't buy something cheap again and again.
BLOG FEBRUARY 16, 2021 - SMOKELESS FIRE TABLES
Propane (or natural gas) is the way to go. No hassle lighting it. No soot or smoke. Instant luxurious warmth and ambiance at the press of a button!
BLOG SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 - OUTDOOR FURNITURE INSIDE?
Yeah. The best outdoor furniture is just as comfortable, stylish, and a lot more durable than indoor.
BLOG AUGUST 5, 2020 - TOO HOT? TOO COLD? JUST RIGHT?
Get a nice fire table & umbrella to feel just right in most any weather.
BLOG JULY 28, 2020 - RENOVATION VS NEW LUXURY BACKYARD
Building is crazy expensive. Try pricing out a renovation like a new custom room, then consider adding a luxury outdoor area instead for a fraction of the cost.
BLOG JULY 15, 2020 - THE BEST CUSHIONS
Good cushions use Sunbrella commercial fabrics (that last up to 15 years), but the best cushions also use reticulated foam that water passes right through.
BLOG JULY 13, 2020 - DEEP SEATING
Deep seating is the most comfortable outdoor furniture. If you want to sit in one spot for hours, or lay down and take a nap, deep seating is for you.
BLOG JULY 12, 2020 - ALUMINUM?
Aluminum doesn't rust, so yeah it's a great outdoor material.
BLOG JULY 1, 2020 - COLOR MATCHING
Earth colors go together. Whites / greys / blacks go with anything. Brownish grey goes with most anything. Darks get hotter than lights. Hide furniture with color similar to your house. Make furniture pop by going either darker or lighter, and adding some bright color. Bright popping color can be everywhere (if that's how you roll), or subtle with just throw pillows and maybe an umbrella.
BLOG JUNE 24, 2020 - WINDY BACKYARDS
Heavy furniture is your friend. Tall furniture is your enemy. Check our our chat or dining height furniture, made with either poly lumber or epay (brazillian walnut).
BLOG MAY 23, 2020 - THROW PILLOWS
Surprisingly comfortable, throw pillows are a fantastic way to pull colors together. The cheapest ones last a few months, the best ones about 15 years.
BLOG MAY 19, 2020 - MADE IN THE SHADE
Umbrellas are most popular way to get shade. With care, a quality umbrella can get you 15 years of relaxing shade.
BLOG MAY 2, 2020 - BUYING AGAIN?
If you're throwing away the furniture you bought only a year or two ago, you didn't enjoy it, and are about to start the process all over again...you're doing something wrong.
BLOG APRIL 21, 2020 - PARTY OF HOW MANY?
Buying the right amount of furniture isn't always easy. Every outdoor space is different, but think about what area you have, how traffic will move, and how many people need their own spot.
BLOG APRIL 10, 2020 - PERFECT PORCH
Time to speed up your plans to slow down! Time to go old school and sit on the front porch, soak in some rays, wave at your neighbors, and basically just relax. Time to go small & simple.
BLOG APRIL 1, 2020 - WOOD IS GOOD
There's nothing like beautiful wood furniture! Each piece is visually unique, sustainable, and just feels right. For outdoor wood that will last, consider teak & especially epay (brazillian walnut).
BLOG MARCH 25, 2020 - SMALL SPACES
Think small functional furniture. Don't be afraid to go taller. Get creative about maximizing your areas. Add some fun color with throw pillows.
BLOG MARCH 22, 2020 - THE BEST WOOD FURNITURE
This is a brand new line for our family, but we have been eyeing it for years. Cardinal just recently expanded it's display showroom so we could feature this beautiful heirloom quality wood product!
Jensen has an impressive range of designs from traditional to modern. Styles that have stood the test of time. We have everything from beautiful dining sets (from big to small), to pub sets, benches and even big comfy sofas and chairs. All for the great outdoors (or for the inside) of your home.
This is something that Champaign has never seen. We are so excited!
Jensen's Ipe is a beautiful chocolate brown hardwood that weathers with strength and elegance. Ipe is an incredibly strong and dense wood that has a "smooth-as-glass" hand sanded finish & has a very high wear durability. Jensen's Ipe is a sustainably sourced timber from 100 year old trees that are grown in the tropical dry forests of Bolivia.
Ipe is among the strongest and densest timbers on the planet. Jensen Ipe furniture is constructed from 100% heartwood, which is the strongest part of the tree that will provide a durable design that will last for decades. If left to weather naturally, the sun will transform it to an elegant silver patina in about 6-12 months. Ipe may be kept with an "as new" finish over a lifetime with a little bit of yearly maintenance and can even be "brought back" to an "as new" look with a special cleaning.
Jensen only uses timber that is 100% certified Ipe which means it comes from well managed forests. Jensen has partnered with & therefore meets the criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is a non-profit organization that sets international standards for responsible forestry. By using only certified wood, Jensen Furniture is working to conserve the rain forest and help the people who depend on them.
Ipe has been used for over 200 years worldwide for furniture and decks. Compared to teak, Ipe is twice as strong, twice the weight and nearly 4 times the hardness. It's 4 times stronger than oak. Ipe is so dense that will actually sink in water. It resists splintering and checking, as well as rot, decay, insects or mold. And it has the same fire rating as concrete and steal! Weather has little to no negative effect on Ipe!
We are so excited about this beautiful wood product being part of our furniture offering and I am sure you will be impressed with its beauty when you come see it in person.
BLOG MARCH 21, 2020 - THE BEST ALUMINUM FURNITURE
Tropitone furniture is a commercial quality line of patio furniture that my family has been selling for over 33 years! There is a lot of Tropitone in this town - many sets that my mom and dad sold many years ago!
It's a more ornamental type of furniture than what Berlin Gardens is. It's the type of furniture that uses durable fabric seats and a durable aluminum frame.
Tropitone is still considered to be the leader in the industry for high quality commercial and residential spaces and they have been doing this since 1954. Tropitone can be found in nice resorts, fancy hotels and even places like Disney World. Tropitone mainly focuses on more modern and contemporary styles. I tend to show here in our store more traditional styles that you would see in a Midwestern setting rather than focusing on styles that would be at a high rise hotel in Chicago! And it is made right here in the USA, down in Sarasota, Florida and out in Irvine California.
With Tropitone we mainly focus on dining sets- from little to big. We show a handful of styles on our display floor. Ones with different options in frame and fabric colors. We offer many options to the styles of tables and sizes of tables. And We have quite a lot of Tropitone stocked in our warehouse, so it can be ready to go without having to be ordered.
The chairs use what we call slings which are made of durable textaline. Textaline is a woven material with a plastic coating which allows the fabrics to last for many years. The slings are actually replaceable. I would say the life of the fabric is anywhere from 10 - 25 years. We have even had people change the slings just because they want a new color. The frame is also made of a heavy duty aluminum that has an amazing baked on powder coat finish. The Tropitone finish is unlike any other and is made so that it can handle the outside year round!
Tropitone also has deep seating which are pieces like sofas, loveseats and club chairs. Tropitones cushions have a unique core that help with rain and also allows for amazing comfort. Many have said that Tropitones cushion chairs challenge the comfort of indoor furniture! We have had Tropitone at our house for almost 20 years. At home, the Tropitone sling swivel rocker chair is my personal choice because I love to rock and my husbands favorite pick is the Tropitone cushioned sofa because he can lie down and take a nap!
BLOG MARCH 20, 2020 - WICKER FURNITURE
Northcape is Cardinal's all weather wicker line. This is where we mainly focus on deep seat pieces that require cushions, like loveseats, sofas and sectionals. We have been selling Northcape for about 20 years. In the patio industry Northcape is considered a perfect balance in design and value.
We show a wide range of styles, from contemporary to ones with a more traditional look.
Northcape is made of a durable aluminum frame, it has an resin all weather wicker weave and uses beautiful Sunbrella fabrics for their comfy cushions. Sunbrella fabrics are made of durable acrylics which help eliminate a beating from the sun. They are so durable that you can even pour straight bleach on them.
Chair frames can be left outside year round or can be protected with covers during the winter months. For us, about 1/3 of the wicker that we sell ends up straight out in the weather and the other 2/3 ends up on covered porches and sun rooms.
BLOG MARCH 15, 2020 - COVID VACATION
Time to lockdown in your own back yard. Lockdown luxury isn't for everyone, but it might be for you.
BLOG MARCH 1, 2020 - COVID-19
Open Inside / Outside / Curbside / Appointment / Phone.
Cardinal is committed to help enable healthy home living. Not only are we taking extraordinary steps to keep a stock of inventory in uncertain times, we are committed about keeping our retail store surfaces properly sanitized. Besides our regular hours, appointments, phone consults & sales, curbside service, and local deliveries are also available.