I remember the first time I came across a Bang & Olufsen store in a high-end mall in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. The store itself was unique, but the products were straight out of the future. Their clean, fresh lines, unique styles and of course distinctive colors looked nothing like the black-boxed speakers I seemed to find everywhere else. The gear looked almost Sci-Fi, yet contemporary and cool.
The same is true of Bang & Olufsen today. Incredibly vibrant, must see gear that stands out from anything you’ve ever seen before. But unlike those speakers I saw so many years ago, today you can experience this amazing gear inside your nearest Magnolia Design Center. And why not, Magnolia has always had the most unique, cutting edge gear, and with B&O now in the fold, it just adds another strong brand personality into the mix that’s sure to appeal to an entirely new set of audio enthusiasts.
Magnolia will be featuring the PLAY series from B&O, a collection of fun, vibrant, hip headphones and wireless audio products that express all the delight and emotion that B&O is known for. PLAY is the perfect name for this series as it invites the same emotions of interaction and fun that those speakers and TVs drove inside me so many years prior.
So when you’re ready to explore the brand for yourself, read about PLAY in M Magazine, check them out online, or visit any of our Magnolia Design Center locations to experience what this amazing brand is all about.
Here it is, November. The leaves have changed color and fallen from the trees, and if you live in the Midwest like I do, you’ve already experienced a few snowflakes. I was at the mall this past weekend and enjoyed the holiday music in the stores, the countless decorations and the premature push to move us all into the holiday spirit. So is it too early to get ready for the most wonderful time of the year?
For my two young girls, it definitely is. If I asked them today what they wanted for Christmas, they’d change their minds at least a half dozen times by the end of the week! But there is one gift recipient that shouldn’t be overlooked this time of year – the audio or video connoisseur. I’m not talking about that guy or gal that kind of likes this stuff, I’m talking about that person who absolutely loves this stuff, and has a keen ear and eye for exactly what they want. Why should we consider them now? Simple: because their gift is sure to take a little more time.
First, you can’t just go out and get them any old speaker or TV; they have something much more specific in mind. So unless they’re ahead of the game, and have the name and model number all picked out – you want to be sure to go with them to get this stuff. And while you’re there, give your own two cents. Heck, most of these products are built for family enjoyment and take up some space, so why not have some say? Here’s what you do: come into a Magnolia and have a System Designer show them what we call the “Art of the Demo”. This allows them to try out the finest gear back to back and make an educated decision – not by numbers on a website or specs on a sheet of paper, but by how a speaker actually sounds – because that’s all that really matters, how they, or you, or you both like how it looks and sounds.
At Magnolia, we often focus on big rooms with plenty of space for the latest, premium, large profile floorstanding speakers and mammoth TVs. But we understand that the size of your residence isn’t always in proportion to the size of your love for home entertainment. That’s why we offer countless ways to take a space, no matter how small, and integrate top quality audio and video gear into it. Here are just a few examples of how this can be done in rooms where you feel like you have absolutely no space, to areas that offer just a little bit of room.
There are plenty of locations that you may look at in your home and think, it would be nice to have some premium audio or video gear here, but there’s just no space for electronics – none! This might be in a tight suburban loft, or a cramped den, even a bathroom or entry way. It’s these spaces that you may feel you need every inch you have, and it seems like even a second coat of paint would shrink the room too far for comfort. Thankfully, with products like in-wall and in-ceiling speakers from brands like Sonance – the inventors of the in-wall category – no space is all you need. From integrating audio through your entire house, even those tiny spaces, to simply offering a seemless look, architectural speakers give you back the space traditional speakers would use.
There’s a lot that goes into the home building process. There’s so much to consider, what color countertops to get, do you go with the 8-inch baseboards or the 10-inch baseboards, do you go with carpet, hardwood or tile, what color siding would look best… and the list goes on and on and on. It can be a stressful time, you don’t want to get anything wrong, after all, you’re trying to build the home of your dreams. Yet far too often in this process, the integration of the proper audio, video and home automation gear can get missed. Sure, some home builders and contractors offer these products, in one form or another, but they often don’t have the expertise, product selection and A/V design chops that a company like Magnolia has.
So, this spring, Magnolia teamed up with Creek Hill Custom Homes of the Twin Cities to outfit one of their model homes with some of the finest gear available today. In doing so, Magnolia not only shows other Creek Hill home buyers what’s possible, but anyone in the building, remodeling or updating process just what can be done to bring the fun, joy and ease of home entertainment into their new space.
On January 7th of this year, I wrote a blog talking about Ultra HD TVs. At that time, Magnolia Design Center locations were just starting to get the 84″ Sony 4K Ultra HD TV, the first Ultra HD TV in our stores and the first to hit the market. Fast forward four and a half months and you now have the limited edition Samsung S9 85″ Ultra HD TV model and 3 Sony 4K Ultra HD TV models being offered through Magnolia and Best Buy. Each of these TVs offers the next generation of picture quality, with images that are four times greater than regular HD. It’s the future, and it’s here now, so let’s explore the unique nature of these two brands of Ultra HD TVs, and why they are a definite must see.
Jumping into the market first, so we’ll talk about them first, is the Sony line of 4K Ultra HD TVs. To offer something for everyone, Sony has added a 65″ and a 55″ model to join their mammoth 84″ model. This is a real benefit as not everyone has a room big enough for the 84″, or a wallet deep enough. These Ultra HD TVs also come with exceptional front facing speakers, 3D capabilities, as well as all the Smart TV features you’ve come to expect from a top of the line Sony TV.
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?”