Magnolia is headquartered in Minnesota, where the joke is that we only have two seasons, winter and road construction. As I write this in the first week of May, there are still snow flurries, so I guess road construction will have to wait a few more days. But when the sun does finally show it’s beautiful face and start turning snow drifts into flower beds, there’s no better place to be than outside. Whether you live in a climate that only allows for a few short months of great outside weather like Minnesota, or a warmer climate where you can be outside year-round, Magnolia has the outdoor gear to bring the same level of entertainment you enjoy inside, out.
The sound of chirping birds, the gentle rustling of the wind, and your favorite tunes – now that’s relaxing. Bringing audio to the outdoors can make your time outside even more enjoyable. Here are a few options.
I recently spent a few nights inside a Magnolia Design Center working on a new video for the brand. And while this blog isn’t about the video itself – which you can watch here – The Magnolia Experience - it’s more about my experience in this exceptionally fun store.
I’ve been on many overnight shoots inside retail environments in my career, and let’s just say, it can be less than enjoyable. Where do you sit, what do you do to pass the down time, it can be uncomfortable, blasé and outright boring. But being inside a Magnolia Design Center from 9pm until 3am, brings about a whole new set of concerns. Namely, “how am I going to leave without buying all this stuff” and “how did I live without these fun toys in my life”. Being inside this wonderland is like being inside a really cool house. There are plenty of comfortable places to sit, plenty of things to do, some really great music being played on the finest audio gear, and it’s just a really relaxed, fun atmosphere.
Then I got the chance to pick up the iPad that controls the entire store – the lights, the window shades and all the gear. It was like handing the controls of the USS Enterprise to a Star Trek Geek, but a lot better because it had nothing to do with Star Trek. I was in awe, and getting me to stop playing was no small feat.
You see, everything in a Magnolia Design Center can be controlled with this single iPad, just like everything in your home could be. One button turns the family room from a formal setting to an entertainment space. The lights dim, the blinds on the windows close, the art screen over the TV raises and the atmosphere completely changes. Then you can adjust all the settings to fit your exact needs. It’s a lot of fun to just sit there dimming and undimming the lights, going from TV mode to projector mode, raising and closing the blinds. It’s like magic, and each room is a playground of technology, where every element is enjoyable, controllable, and awe inspiring.
So if you want to see what’s next in the world of home entertainment, in a comfortable, fun environment where there’s no lack of really cool ideas – check out a Magnolia Design Center. For a preview, check out our latest brand video – it showcases what makes Magnolia so great, and what separates it from any other premium retailer. Enjoyable. Unique. Inspired. Three words that describe the Magnolia brand, our Design Center stores, and this video. Enjoy!
Earth Day is April 22, so there’s no better time than now to start thinking about conserving energy and turning your house into an energy-smart home. With products from Magnolia, it’s actually pretty easy. The following are a few great ideas that will help you not only save energy, but also save money.
Let’s start with lighting. The problem with lighting is that most artificial light has two levels – on and off. There are two main drawbacks with this: one, on or off rarely gives you the best possible lighting in a room – it’s either too dark or too bright, and two, when on, it wastes a lot of energy. Dimmers are the perfect solution for not only creating the right ambience for your space – but they’re also a great energy saver. By dimming lights by just 20% you can save nearly 20% in energy. And the more you dim the more you’ll save.1 So not only do dimmers add to the look and feel of a room, but they also add to your energy savings.
There’s something special about audio. It drives our emotions and our passions. As the soundtrack to our lives, audio can bring back memories of that first kiss, that big game, a special trip or countless other magical moments. At Magnolia, we understand just how important audio is, and we want to help bring it into your life in the most perfect way. That’s why during March, we celebrate Audio Fest. It’s our opportunity to showcase all the latest audio gear, allowing you to demo the finest brands and latest innovations in the world of sound. And because we understand that not every system is perfect for every person, we take the time to find the gear that’s just right for you – time to listen, time to compare, time to enjoy. Because whether you’re looking to recreate an amazing concert experience, or trying to surround your home with calming tunes to bring joy to your everyday life, we have the gear and the know how to get you exactly what you’re looking for.
Remember seeing high definition for the first time and thinking, it can never get any better than this. Well, it just did. And not just a little bit better, four times better. It’s the next leap in TV technology. Like black and white to color, standard def to high def, 4K leaps into our living rooms as the next great thing. It’s a jump that has me racing to my eye doctor to make sure I can see well enough to fully appreciate this amazing, crystal clear picture.
Fortunately for my bad eyes, but unfortunately for those wanting these ultra high-def TVs, the content doesn’t exist yet. But rest assured, like its 3D predecessor, it’s coming. But it begs the question, “then why would anyone want one of these TVs today?”
Things are looking up in the world of interior design—quite literally. The new trend is ceilings. Instead of just leaving ceilings bland, blah, or blank white, experts are saying that you should think of the ceiling as the ‘Fifth Wall’ of a room.
The first time I heard this I was resistant, but as I started to think about this perspective, I realized that viewing the ceiling as the Fifth Wall made total sense. For example, would the Sistine Chapel be the Sistine Chapel without its intricate ceiling architecture and frescoed mural paintings? Not a chance.
I started to think of other examples of unique ceilings I’ve seen, and I had to admit: The ‘Fifth Wall’ is truly capable of setting the tone for a room. For example, in a simple way, when ceilings are a different color, this affects the perception of other elements in a room, including other colors, dimensions, depths, and more. Similarly, you’ve probably noticed how in-ceiling lighting can dramatically influence the mood of a given space.
Holiday Survival Pack
Sure, the holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but the season also has its share of stresses. That’s where Magnolia comes in. We’ve created the Holiday Survival Pack, a list of products to help you survive anything the season can throw at you, from a visit from the in-laws, to a layover at the airport, plus gear to simply help make the holidays fun again. And the best part, all of us at Magnolia are ready to help. So come on down to Magnolia and get the gear you need to make this holiday season great.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Magnolia.
The Holiday Survival Pack Includes:
• Noise Canceling Headphones: Silent night – perfect night • Control4 Doorbell with Camera: In-law drop-in defense • Turntable: Vinyl nostalgia • Projector: Extended family, extended screen • Installers: Our own “elves” to do all the heavy lifting • Turkey Fryer: Dinner is served • Slingbox: Watch your home team, anywhere • Oven: Cook Santa’s cookies • Camera: Don’t miss a moment • Coffee Maker: Try and stay awake for it all
When you think of awards for audio gear, you might first think of incredibly high-tech looking, button stroon, LED light glowing equipment that’s big, badass and that knocks your socks off not only because of the sound, but because of it’s amazing looks.
Enter the DragonFly by AudioQuest. Simple, small and unassuming, but wow, what a sound! The DragonFly looks like a thumb drive with a USB plug that goes into your computer. On the other end is a headphone jack where you can plug-in everything from your headphones to computer speakers or even connect a stereo system. The DragonFly’s digital to analog converter bypasses your computers crappy sound card and delivers a sound that takes your music into another realm. It’s superior sound from a source, your computer, you’d never expect to get amazing sound. And the price? At $250, it’s equally as amazing.
And the DragonFly isn’t just for audiophiles. As someone who sits at a desk all day listening to John Mayer, Queen and Quiet Riot, I always felt I needed to just forgive the poor quality sound I was hearing from my computer (the audio quality, not the artist’s quality that is). But with the DragonFly this all changes. That’s why Stereophile awarded this little wonder with not one, but two awards, the Budget Component of the Year Award and the Computer Audio Component of the Year Award. The later received the most votes of any product in the competition, and nearly twice as many as its nearest competitor in the Computer Audio category.
It’s a real gem that’s quickly changing the perception that big and expensive means better. And with its stocking stuffer size and reasonable price tag, there’s no better gift for that music lover on your list. So when you’re ready to enjoy truly great music from any computer, plug in the DragonFly, it’s simple, smart and truly amazing.
Winning awards is nothing new to B&W. Their innovative designs and uncompromised sound quality make them a world-beater in audio. But as they launch new categories of products, like headphones, it’s good to see these products receive the same accolades as their big brother, floorstanding models.
Their most recent award is the T3 Music Gadget of the Year. T3 is UK’s leading consumer technology website and magazine. They keep up on the latest tech news, gadgets and trends in technology. Plus they attend all the big launches and major tech events like CES, IFA and Apple’s WWDC. So for the Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones to be chosen for this award is no small feat, because it came from an organization that really knows what it’s talking about.
As for the P3s themselves, one listen and you’ll understand why they received such an award. Their simple, yet elegant design and foldable frame, combined with their drive unit technology, natural sound quality and controls in the cord, make them a real performer in a portable design perfect for everyday use.
So stop into your nearest Magnolia Design Center and take the P3s for a test ride. You’ll quickly experience what T3 saw, and heard, in these great little headphones.
There are a lot of amazing things that happened in 1954: the first TV soap opera premiered, ground breaking began on Disneyland, Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe, Sports Illustrated magazine was first published, Texas Instruments announced the first transistor radio, and Magnolia opened its first store.1
Founded by Len Tweten in the Magnolia District of Seattle (hence the name), Magnolia got its start as Magnolia Stationers and Camera Shop. As the years passed, Mr. Tweten’s love of music and his enthusiasm for high fidelity grew, driving him to move his business into the world of audio.