Author Archives: ironart

Tracking Drapery Hardware Trends

Fine Interiors

Here are some trend tidbits we’ve spotted on the decorative drapery hardware trend horizon.

  •  Clean lines showcased by French poles and growth of endcaps instead of finials.
  • Stacked elements.
  • Acrylics define transparency.
  • Vintage luster and patina.
  • Layered up traversing solutions.
  • Straited Surfaces/Ombres and Painterly touches.
  • Imperfection and recognition of the hand.
  • Forged Craftsmanship.
  • Mixed Media make up hardware sets.
  • Marble and Stone on the horizon.


crystal stacked finials
The list above comes together to form Soft Modern– a nod to a redefined Minimalism. Soft modernism is defined by straight lines, neutral colors and minimal ornamentation. New modern looks are minimal, but never cold. To balance clean lines and neutral color palettes, window coverings introduce soft textures, sheers, knits and casements. These pair with an organic palette of metal, acrylic and textures in drapery hardware to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Warm metals take center stage in poles, rings and finals and cause an interplay of metallic shimmer. Don’t expect to see warm metallic accents retreating in 2020. While there have been rumblings the chrome is due for a redo, expect the warm-toned metals to again prevail.

warm metals

Graphite and matte black with golds, rosé or nude and natural shades are timeless; as is the mix of brass and transparency. Soft Brass, a softly luminous finish that offers a subtle, luminous glow replaces high shine brass of the past. Window treatments embrace the principles of simple, clean design; all the while taking into consideration the feeling of coziness, we all crave at home. There’s even a renaissance with macramé and string art; it’s a fresh take on the 70’s craze with a touch of hygge. Could beaded curtains on H rails be next?

black French pole

Today’s window fashions borrow from architecture with more structure to silhouettes; starting with headings framed by drapery hardware. These hardware designs impress with their structure, lightness and graphic sophistication. In-it-to-win-it windows are making a powerplay by combining sumptuous, soft fabrics with impeccable tailoring mounted on H rails, twisted or square poles and fascias to add form to treatments. Geometrics have a new perspective; not traditional looks where shape and form are obvious but presented more abstractly and unexpectedly; fusing quality creativity and functionality to lend an architectural element to a room.

What drapery hardware trends have you spotted?


square rods

Image credits Fine Interiors, Orion

Metals of the Moment

brassToday designers are fearlessly mixing metals in all kinds of living spaces. The metals of the moment- gold, brass and copper – add character, warmth and soft shine to interiors. These metals also play nice with other finishes  in a room and act as a counterpoint to rustic woods and brick.  Brass –lacquered, unlacquered, vintage or hand are replacing nickel and bronze finishes on the trend curve. Look for golds, to follow the lead of brass to warm up our homes next year.

“We’re seeing warmer metals i.e. brass and copper rather than stainless steel.” Emma Farkas of Emma Farkas Design

Take note that copper finishes are fast emerging as the metal of choice being favored by both architects and interior product designers in 2016. What’s not to love? Often used as a statement accent, copper is hugely versatile and works harmoniously alongside natural materials such as wood and bare brick. Exuding raw luxury and sophistication it works well in rustic or modern loft looks.

Mixed metal design schemes are pretty important right now; so venture outside-the-box to mix these metals together for some distinctive scheming.  Take it one step further and mix these warm metals with bold saturated lacquered color and you have a winning combo. Do you have a project coming up? Can’t find the right finish? We’re ready to help. Look to Orion not only for custom fabrication, but we customize your paint or finish as well as fabric match.


Spotted: Metals of the Moment

You’ll find these metals in furnishings, tables, insets, upholstery and accessories. Not to mention the kitchen, bath – every room of the house.The new Brass is popping up everywhere from door hardware to  kitchen faucets-So why not in drapery hardware?

courtney cox dc designhouse brass orion

Courtney Cox used shiny brass drapery hardware in her bedroom for the Washington DC showhouse.



faucet doorknob


You didn’t get the memo if you weren’t showing at least one piece with a brass or gold finish at last month’s Fall High Point Market.

bernhardt brass orion

Bernhardt’s swivel tub chairs with brass bases.



Cynthia Rowley’s new collection for Hooker

orion brass gold chandelier global view

Global views’ stunning Sprocket chandelier


Petra jacquard

brass base

Creation Baumann’s Brass drapery fabric

The Gold Rush

Following right behind brass as the metal of the moment is anything Gold. American consumers love anything new and shiny and gold leadf, gold plaet or 24 karat  fit the bill. American manufacturer Knoll is introducing gold-plated versions of its Platner Collection, including chairs, tables, and stools. The company is also bringing out Bertoia’s diamond chairs in the new metal finish, and the Danish company Fritz Hansen is currently selling a special edition of Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 chair with gilded legs. ll these iconic pieces were previously only available in nickel or chrome finishes. The process of gold-plating metal furniture has become less expensive for manufacturers and the quality is now more consistent, according to Knoll.


Fritz Hansen’s pink Series 7 chair with gilded legs is also an anniversary reinterpretation. The 24-karat legs and pink seat limited edition marks the 60th anniversary of the chair’s introduction and will only be available in 2015 (a chair with a blue seat and black legs was also launched as a more masculine counterpart).


Gold-plating is also being used by contemporary designers like David Adjaye, who used the finish on his Double Zero seating for Moroso, introduced earlier this year.


Designer Erwan Bouroullec on the Magic of Wrought Iron

AUGUST 15, 2015
The French designer provides food for thought on the new wrought-iron collection he and his brother, Ronan, designed for Magis.



Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec’s new Officina collection for Magis includes chairs, stools, and tables made with wrought-iron frames, marking the brothers’ first experimentation with the material. In this age-old technique, iron is hammered into shape by hand. Courtesy of Magis

Since 1999, brothers Erwan and Rowan Bouroullec have run an independent practice from their Paris-based studio, working with furniture brands such as VitraKvadrat, and Cappellini. This year, they launched the Officina collection with Magis, using wrought iron to achieve the modern, elegantly functional pieces for which they are known. We caught up with Erwan at the Milan Furniture Fair to get his thoughts on the use of an ancient technique for a contemporary collection, and how production choices hold the power  to shape the industry.

How did you first approach the idea of using a traditional method for a contemporary line?

If you compare it to cooking, to play with wrought iron is just like having an incredible fish—a beautiful one, like whole tuna. You shouldn’t do anything. You should just slice it perfectly and maybe bring just a little something. Because in the end, design techniques are like a flavor or seasoning. In the case of wrought iron, you’ve got a really, really rare flavor.

How do you feel it contrasts with more common methods or materials, like aluminum or powder-coated metals?

It’s so strong because it’s filled with history, first. Then also, it’s filled with some incredibly primal steps: You see it, hammer it, heat it—fire, melt, poof! Hammer it into shape, and that’s it. As soon as we were confronted with it, it posed a big dilemma. It really took us a while to achieve such simplicity.

How do you feel this fits into your trajectory of work as a designer?

One responsibility that I understand, more and more, is that in the end, we work with companies, and those companies are partially in danger. Most of them are European, producing locally in Europe, so we have to think carefully when we do things. Now, with globalization and the movement of everything, design has to be much better every time. You need to find some clue— a reason—to resist local production.

Have you found there are others that share your desire for a more organic way of producing things?

I’m happy I’m working with some producers that all have high expectations for good design. So, they’ve got different production techniques. Some of them are more industrial, some of them are less, but at least something that they all share is that if you do something, it has to be worth doing it.


The Officina collection offers a range of material options, including steel, tempered glass, American walnut, Carrara marble, Ardesia slate, and leather. Shown here are the chair and table with galvanized, gray metallized frames. Courtesy of Magis


To you, what makes it worth it?

One of the biggest considerations behind furniture is to make pieces that are able to travel time. If you look at all the production of the ’90s and the design, a lot of things were not able to do that. They were getting old instantly, and they were getting old by their visual language, and also by their function. They were just not necessary. This is one of the worst things you can do for furniture. They have to be able to be kind of non-temporal. In this regard, I think we work with the right partners.

Your Interior Design Bio: Does it Boost or Block You?

Our design friend, Fred Berns asks this great questions in his guest post:

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Chances are, the people who need to know you, don’t.

Your prospects don’t. Your website and Houzz visitors, and social media contacts don’t. Even your clients don’t.

That’s because, if you’re like most interior design professionals, your promotional bio is a bust.

It may well be that your online promotional profiles and your website “About Us” section undersell you. As a result, those you seek to influence don’t know all that you do, have done, and can do.

This is not to say you’re unqualified, or lacking in interior design talent and skill.

It is to say that you don’t adequately share that information on your website, in social media and in your marketing materials.

Your personal bio is your most versatile, valuable and vital personal marketing tool. A good bio validates your value and spells out your special-ness. It takes care of the “heaving lifting,” bragging about you in print so you don’t have to do so in person.

Is your bio a help or a hindrance?

The beginning tells a bundle. A sure sign your bio doesn’t work is if it starts by saying that you “launched your design firm 17 years ago.”

Or that you’re a New York native. Or that you received your design degree in 1999. Or that you’re “passionate” about design.

Nor am I impressed when you tell me that you “search beyond typical design solutions.”

Or that you “believe that your home interior reflects your lifestyle.” Or that you feel that “good design enhances the quality of life.”

Oh, pul – eease!

Skip the baloney, and give me benefits.

Tell me how you can enhance my home value or increase my workplace productivity, and how you can save me time, money and headaches.

And tell me how you differ from your competitors.

Bio Boosters

What goes into a good bio?

The Superstar Selling System for Design Professionals recommends that you include your:

+ “Only” phrase (” ____ is the area’s only designer who…)
+ Awards and other honors
+ Design specialties
+ Experience
+ Accomplishments
+ Skills and capabilities
+ Other qualifications
+ Unique services and products
+ Publication history (where/how you’ve been published)
+ Client profile (who you serve and how)
+ Resources (vendors, contractors, etc.)
+ Affiliations
+ Educational background

You can’t get the best projects from the best clients with a bad bio. And it doesn’t matter how good you are if the right people don’t know.

Make it a priority to write or rewrite your bio – or get it rewritten— immediately. Not next week or next quarter. Now!

Treat your bio as if your business, career and future depend on it.

Because you know what?

They do.


Fred Berns, a design industry business coach, copy writer and speaker, creates bios and other marketing materials for interior design professionals worldwide.  Fred is your man if you’re looking for help with your design business. Contact him at or 303-589-3013, and check out his website at

Five More Drapery Hardware Mistakes to Avoid

6. Not choosing the right component parts

hardware8   hardware7

Sometimes it’s about letting our creative side of the brain take over from our practical side. and we chose aesthetics over function. That’s why it’s a great idea to walk through the project with your installer to make sure what you are visualizing will work and that you have the right parts to mak it work. 

Sometimes we order 2″ rings from one vendor and a 2″ pole from another vendor and wonder why they won’t fit. This  happens more often with finials so get to know your finials! Each finial is unique in dimensions. You need to know the width, height and depth of the finial as it will add to the finished width of your treatment and could affect the bracket projection as well as final hanging heights.Some finials will add more weight than others. Check to make sure you have enough space to use your desired finial and that you have enough space to mount the hardware- think ceiling mounts.  Some finials mount over the end of the pole – others mount flush to the  end of the pole. You need to know how the finial mounts as it can affect finished widths.

Two more tips- Treatments that will be tied back should always have a concealed tieback holder. Eliminate crushing and create a straight return edge with concealed tieback holders.





Make sure you choose the correct pin for your treatment. There are several different types of pins.- know when to use each type. Pins can be categorized as light duty, regular duty or heavy duty pins. Regular duty pins can be used for sheers, but lined or lined and interlined treatments should use heavy duty pins. Pins also have pointed or round tops. Round tops are used for curtain rods or ctm tracks. Pointed tops are for traverse rods, traversing systems and architectural tracks.


7. Not ordering the right number of pieces.

Especially ordering the correct amount of brackets and rings. First, it’s important to pre plan where you want to place your brackets. Even if you are doing stationery panels; do you want a bracket in the center or do you want to hide the bracket between the 2nd and 3rd ring from the leading edge? 

Brackets should be spaced 36” – 40” apart. Every rod needs a bracket at each end and some may need additional bracket(s) in the middle. You will always need additional  brackets at splices, bends and angles. Do  you have enough brackets for the overall treatment weight? It’s is also helpful to understand Bracket to Bracket Maximum.It is the length of a section of rod between two brackets, sometimes called a “span”  to the point where the rod will sag or bow without a center support. Rods increase in rigidity as they increase in diameter. The larger the diameter of the rod;  the more hanging weight with less brackets. As an example, a  ½” rod’s  maximum  suggested span is 70”. A 1” rod’s maximum suggested span is 90″.

Do you have enough rings? The number of pleats is not the correct number of rings to order. Don’t forget about the ring for the leading edge. Another thing to keep in mind have you ordered everything you need when working with specialty applications or accessory pieces. I like to order more than I think I need just in case something arrives damaged, or was miscounts, etc.

8. Not getting the returns, clearances and projections correct

Projection is the distance from wall to face of bracket or the center of rod. Rod clearance is the distance from back of rod to the wall. The larger the rod diameter; the smaller the clearance.  A 2-1/4” rod with 3-1/2” projection  has a rod clearance of 2-1/2”. To complicate matters, deep woodwork or hard treatments appearing unexpectedly at the installation can present problems. Will your chosen bracket work for the needed projection/return? Bottom line is don’t skimp on your clearances. Proper projection and clearance projection allows the layers to clear each other and hang correctly.  When deciding how much area you want to cover, you also should make the decision if you will be layering- sometimes the blind is there and you know you will be. A rule of thumb is to add 3″ to your projection every time you add a layer. Think 3” 6” 9” when layering a window.  Layers on the same rod will have the same rod face width. DO NOT SKIMP ON ROD FACE/ BOARD FACE OR RETURNS WHEN LAYERING. If an over drapery is on separate rod add 4” minimum to rod face width of your under drapery.


9. Not solving the problem by finding the right solution.

Start swiping visuals, tips or tricks that can serve as memory jogs or sales tools when working with your clients. Would building pockets to house your heavy duty tracks and multiple width draperies work better than valances and traverse rods?

Here’s three ideas to get you started:

1. Have trouble with rings sticking when hand drawn? Try Duralee’s glide tape. This tape provides a slick surface for rings to smoothly ride across the rod. It adheres to wood, metal, iron and plastic and when applied becomes transparent.

blog 1

2. This solves those installation challenges with those pesky wood brackets we all hate.


3. Use extra traverse rod slides to hook your return pin to wall.

10. Not thinking out of the box.

Whether its a finish, technique  or unique look don’t downplay drapery hardware. Play it up!


Think custom color- Orion will color match your fabric swatches, trims or wallpaper swatches.

Gianna salon

Marina Goldberg, Klima Design Group, took it up a notch with her out -of -the- box thinking and Orion’s embossed cornices she customized.

Five Drapery Hardware Mistakes to Avoid

What are the most common drapery hardware mistakes made when it comes to designing, choosing or specifying drapery hardware?  We are often asked this question, so we have compiled a list of  drapery hardware no-no’s  and added some of our best tips and tricks to avoid them. You’ll come away with great solutions for your upcoming projects.

#1 Choosing the Wrong Hardware

Usually its because you or the client is trying to save money. Don’t do it! Don’t give the client a choice- give them all the reasons why they must choose your recommendation. (Sometimes that means giving them the worst case scenario). Whether you are making the wrong hardware choice for the application- from telescoping rods to be drawn to lightweight traverse rods for draperies with multiple widths- or choosing the wrong hardware style for the drapery fabric, design or the room; it’s critical to match the drapery hardware to the window treatment design.

They are basically 2 types of drapery hardware. Basic goods that are operable and non operable called white goods and decorative hardware- both operable and non operable.

Top 10 Mistakes (2)

Drapery hardware can also be categorized as ready-made; semi-custom and custom. Ready-Made hardware is pre packaged and sold at retailers. The rods usually are telescoping and can’t be bent or bowed. Ready -made collections have limited accessories and is your most economical choice. Semi-custom hardware is bulk packaged/ pre packaged and the rods are sold in pre-determined lengths- 4’ 6’ 12’. Finials and rings are sold separately. Semi-custom hardware also has limited accessories. Custom drapery hardware is one -off production; meaning no waste. It is easier to install because it is made specifically to your measures and there is less chance for error. Custom hardware is truly personal; each job is finished specifically to your specs so there are no lot variations.


#2 Making the Hardware an After Thought


A strap and a Command strip doesn’t replace a bracket.


Plumbing fixtures should not be part of your sample pack.

The window treatments are the main event, but the drapery hardware is important, too. Don’t forget to give ample consideration to the hardware. Pay attention to how heavy the curtains are, sometimes you may need a rod with extra support or added hardware. Also, think about the style of the rod and finial and how it goes with the curtain style. The narrower or smaller your window, the thinner the rod can be. Larger and wider windows will require heftier rods.

#3 Mounting the Hardware in the Wrong Place


Unfortunately this is not a good look- the decorative hardware is mounted too high

It’s so important to know the window and window treatment footprint. (i.e. will it fit above the frame and below the crown). Telling your installer to “hang it as high as possible” doesn’t cut it. Here are some questions to ask yourself BEFORE measuring and before showing your decorative hardware options to your client.

  • Will this treatment function or not or is it limited functionality? If so, which direction will it draw?
  • How much area do you want to cover?
  • Where are you going to mount it?
  • How many layers are you doing?
  • How far out will you or can you come with the layers?
  • Will the hardware you choose work at ceiling?



Lovely treatment where all things have been taken into consideration.

Rule of thumb is to mount the rod or board up a minimum of 4”-8” above top of trim if not mounting at the ceiling. This is done so the drapery covers the trim when closed, and the underpinnings don’t show outside. Standard drapery brackets need a minimum of 1-3/4” to mount above trim, so you should be mounting up at least 2” up from the frame NEVER on the frame.


Mount hardware are the same height to eliminate sight lines.

Avoid common drapery hardware mistakes:

v  Always check to see if there is enough room for rod above and finials on the side.

v  Ceiling mounts- I like to start at the ceiling and work down. Keep in mind, finial height and ring clearance. Top treatments should be mounted at ceiling when draperies go to floor.

v  Windows or doors at different heights in a room should have treatments mounted using the height of highest window as a guideline.

v  Mount directly below wide crown molding.

“Many designers don’t understand that to properly determine FL you need to either have the hardware in hand or that you need very detailed specs about the hardware. Even many wholesale suppliers don’t understand all the information that we require.”~ Angela Schreiber



#4 Measuring Incorrectly


The first thing you should do is measure your windows and make adjustments depending on how you want to hang the window treatments. It will save you another trip to the store if your curtains and rods are the right size. First consider the window.  Second, Consider the space around the window. Are there security systems? Window centered on wall? Obstructions? Are the floors and ceilings are parallel? The bottom line-Is there space to do what you want to do? Third, consider the room it’s in. Is your design intent congruent with the room it will be in?

#5 Not Figuring How Much Your Treatment Weighs

As a designer you must know the weight limitations of each track to be used. For example, a well known manufacturer’s smooth Designer Metal rod will only hold .9 lbs per foot and the fluted version only holds 1.5 lbs per foot. This means an 8′ wide window drapery cannot weigh more than 7.2 lbs or 12 lbs.


There are two things you need to figure to make sure you have the right rod for the right treatment. First, check with your drapery hardware manufacturer to find out how much weight the rod you are considering holds per linear foot. Next, figure your drapery  or treatment weight using the formulas below.

Multiply total yardage by one of the following:

  • Regular Drapery fabric + lining:  ¾ lb. – 1 lb. per yard
  • Regular Drapery fabric + Blackout lining: 1 lb. – 1.25 lbs. per yard
  • Regular Drapery fabric + Blackout + interlining: 1.5 lb.- 1.7 lbs.  per yard


How much will your rod hold?

For more tips and tricks about selling and specifying drapery hardware heck out our complimentary monthly webinars or watch them on demand HERE. 


Take it Outside: Outdoor Decor Ideas

orion outdoor

Can you believe it- the official start of the summer season is only days away. Now certainly is the time to think al fresco.  Think summer and refresh and renew those underused outdoor spaces with these outdoor decor ideas.

Take it Outside

Bring your indoor style outside. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

Outdoor Draperies: Create intimate spaces within the yard, frame a beautiful view or block one if you feel as though you’re on stage every time you walk outside.


This is a perfect example of bringing your style outside. Scalloped valance and tiedback draperies crave out a dramatic back entry.



e07c052b7b58Whether you choose grommets, pleats or tab tops for your outdoor drapery heading; you need the correct hardware to hang it from.



Who says you can only do draperies in the back yard?

Get Creative: Do you want a frig or bar to make entertaining easy-  peasy? Think summer kitchen. Wish that you had an extra bath to wash off those sandy or dirty feet before you come into the house? Think outdoor shower.

0706_sunset_shower_3l art gray

Our Italian or Iron Art collections can be custom bent to your specs; turning an outdoor faucet into your own private shower or hang one of our custom bent poles from a tree to craft a secluded sanctuary.




Need shade? Use architectural track with cubicle carriers run lengthwise across the space to be covered and fabricate a flat Roman shade with pockets that hold rods . Attach to the carriers to slide the shade easily when needed.

Outdoor Design Tips


Scale the Space: One enormous couch in an area designed for a table and chairs will probably end up being a traffic hazard. Make sure that the furnishings you choose for your patio keep the space open and easy to move around in.


Proportion Rule #1- Height Reigns Supreme.

Keep It All-Weather: Keep your patio looking good for longer than a season or two by choosing soft furnishings that are built to last outdoors. Choose cushion fills that repel moisture and resist mildew, and don’t forget fabrics that are  UV-protected. Sunbrella, Bella Dura and perrennials are a few brands to source. Finally no matter how much outdoor resistant your fabrics and materials are don’t fail to also choose the right hardware. Orion outdoor drapery hardware is first powder coated, then hand painted in the finish of your choice. The final step is an outdoor sealant, giving the best protection against Mother Nature. The outdoor finishing process is applied to rods, brackets and rings, but can also be applied to our accessories like batons and tiebacks, and even bent or arched rods.




Outdoor spaces bring another set of challenges. Draperies and shades need tiedowns or weights to stay in place from wind and weather.  Use this tip from My Crazy Good Life– You’ll need to purchase the following:

  • Large Plastic grommets
  • Bungee Balls
  • D Rings

Attach the plastic grommets to the hem and bungi to a “D” ring screwed into deck or patio.


Available on Amazon


Build in function: Patios and decks are great relaxing living spaces, but unless you plan ahead and add function; Mother Nature can sweep in as an uninvited guest, ruining your day or evening outdoors with high temperatures or rain. So, consider adding a retractable awning or umbrella to your outdoor  space.  You’ll have several options depending on your budget and the size of your patio. Such as:

•Retractable awning: This modern shelter allows you to shade your porch and keep it dry during a storm, but you can also retract it to enjoy the sun’s rays. Motorization is also available for hard to reach or specialty installations.

•Sail shades: They’re flexible enough that you can attach them to anything from the side of a house to a tree, and they come in many sizes, shapes and colors to fit any budget and style.

•Umbrella: This back-porch classic is both decorative and functional.


Add Personality

Outdoor living should appeal to the senses and help relax and refresh you. When dealing with outdoor spaces, texture is your friend. Lattice work, pots made of unusual materials like hypertufa, bamboo curtains and wrought iron all help create an interesting mood.

wanda iron inspirationUse Orion’s Crown or Burgundy collection as vine trainers.

Lavish color is also always an enhancement to outdoor spaces.  If you’re dealing with a plain Jane environment, brighten it up with painted benches and some colorful throw pillows.



Who knew that with  2 pallets and some rope could create this endearing outdoor swing.


Dreaming of an exotic vacation? Create an outdoor space that evokes your fantasy place.

Images via My Crazy Good Life, Wanda Suitt Horton, House beautiful, Pinterest, Orion Ornamental Iron, DIY Creative Ideas.

Earth Day and Orion Green

earth-day orion green

Wednesday is Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries. This year Earth Day Network hopes this is the year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands- turning to businesses to take the lead so that world leaders can follow by example.

orion green

So I thought it was appropriate to talk a little “Green” and Orion’s role in it. As a Maker and custom drapery hardware manufacturer, Orion appreciates and is invested in sustainability and the environmental movement.  We have been supporting Earth Island Institute and all its good work through our Orion Green program since 2008.

Earth-Island-Institute1Orion Green

What Does Earth Island Institute Do?

Earth island Institute is a non-profit organization and:

* Supports a worldwide network of 65 solutions-focused projects serving as an incubator for start-up environmental groups

*   Offers special initiatives in developing young environmental leaders

*   Supports both urban and rural community-based habitat restoration like Streets Alive! Streets Alive! Hopes to engage communities about the concepts and application of Sustainable principles. By using art as the platform for storytelling and communication, Streets Alive!  turns neglected urban landscapes and infrastructure into vibrant art pieces and community gathering spaces.

* Works to support networks of watershed groups to tell the story of restoration and conservation with groups like Re-Seed California. Through their Small Grants Program, Earth Island Institute has been able to support locally based restoration efforts. Small grassroots efforts to restore the coastal habitats of Southern California, which have been depleted by an astounding 98%, have been slowly working to bring our wetlands back from the brink of extinction.

Orion believes in Earth Island Institute’s vision. As a small business located in California, we feel that Earth Island Institute is a kindred spirit. Through Orion Green we hope to make a difference and improve the health of our planet. Working together with our trade partners and dealers, Orion chooses to support causes aimed towards the betterment of the environment, the people and animals living on the planet.

We try to make daily business choices to consume less, create awareness, preserve our natural resources and assist others to create a positive impact on our environment.

Orion Green is a simple program – Purchase & Donate >> Match >> Save the Planet’s Health.

How Does it Work?

1. Become a Partner of Orion Green by logging on to

2. As a partner of the Orion Green program $1.00 will be added to your invoices toward your donation to this program.

3. Orion will match your donation by $2.00 making a total donation of $3.00 per invoice contributed to the Earth Island Institute.

Your tax deductible contributions to Earth Island Institute will provide an acknowledgement letter and receipt by Feb 15 each year, for all donations over $10 made to Orion Green in the preceding calendar year.Orion Green bag

You’ll  will receive a tote bag “You are here” as a token of appreciation for the contribution made to the Orion Green program. Orion partners donating over $249 annually will have a special mention in the Annual report published by the Earth Island Institute and sent to each partner via email.

If you are interested in joining us in helping to save the planet, join today at Orion’s website. If you want more details or have questions, email us at

Happy Earth Day!






Iron Art Inspiration


Industry Garden Collection by Studio Job

We’re always on the lookout for iron art inspiration – we knew we had found it when we saw Studio Job’s new outdoor furniture for Seletti. We’ve admired and followed their work for several years and especially loved their wallpaper collection at Milan last year. This year they turned to garden furniture with The Industry Garden Furniture Collection inspired by motifs pulled from their archives (very much how their wallpaper collection came about). Signature motifs like butterflies and gas masks were used to reinterpret traditional garden furniture into hyper kitschy cast iron outdoor chairs and tables.

“The Industry theme is indeed an icon in our language,” said Studio Job. “It has been used in the most different ways.”

Industry Orion iron art

Cast iron garden furniture popular in the 18th century and looks very much the same today.  Iron garden furniture  evolved from the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s when crews of skilled artisans and entire production facilities produced chairs, settees, sofas, love seats and more on a mass scale for both indoor and outdoor use. Cast iron became popular in America for use in garden furniture in the 1830s and 1840s. Cast iron and wrought iron patio furniture was initially painted green, brown and grey, but moved to white during the 19th century; modern cast or wrought iron patio furniture is typically painted black.*


Antique Garden Bench

These early manufacturers relied heavily on Rocco Revival designs, featuring rustic and natural themes such as grape-and-leaf motifs, intricate piercework, flower-and-scroll crests, floral garlands, curled handholds and much more. Designers also incorporated Renaissance Revival and Neoclassical motifs such as columns and lyres, creating pieces that offered antique ornamentation and vintage style.  This style was quite appropriate, since this furniture was initially placed in cemeteries; the old-world influence continued into the late 1800s as the use moved towards the home. Studio Job has turned it on its ear, replacing the perforated swirling patterns used on the furniture’s  flat surfaces with garden related imagery like butterflies and flowers.

Cast Iron vs. Wrought Iron

Cast iron is one of the oldest ferrous metals used in construction and outdoor ornament. Its composition is primarily iron (Fe), carbon (C) and silicon (Si). Cast iron is the most traditional form, and it is easy to cast but can’t be forged or worked (wrought) mechanically in either a hot or cold form. Historically, cast iron has been made by heating iron ore in a blast furnace along with coke and limestone. This process deoxidizes the ore and drives out any impurities, producing molten iron. It is then poured into molds of a desired shape (garden furniture) and allowed to cool and crystallize. Today cast garden furniture is usually made out of aluminum instead of iron.

Today modern products made from wrought iron are actually made from mild steel, and are called wrought iron because they are still worked (wrought) by hand. While modern wrought iron still utilizes “iron” or “mild steel”, modern cast products typically involve aluminum, with “iron” or “mild steel” being reserved strictly for wrought products. Orion uses both the wrought iron and cast methods for our line of iron drapery hardware. Our poles, rods, rings and accessories are wrought and our finials  are cast.

wrought iron art

Orion iron art 266Vienna_7064

Orion iron art Burgundy Collection

Based in Antwerp and the Netherlands, Studio Job, a design duo founded over a decade ago by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, produces one-off pieces of sculptural furniture that share little with the reigning aesthetic of minimalism and spareness. Their cast bronze works—tables whose surfaces are models of inverted cathedrals, lamps shamed like the Eiffel Tower—are laser cut for minute detailing and exquisite surface texture. Often described as “neo-gothic,” Studio Job’s pieces are fanciful without being kitschy.





*Dictionary of Furniture by Charles Boyce (Owl Books; Henry Holt and Company; 1985


Orion 101: Traversing Systems

Our April webinar Orion 101: Traversing Systems has been posted. In this continuing series of complimentary webinars, we’ll share tips, tricks and product insights to our product lines and services.  Join us to learn more about specifying and selling traversing systems in our decorative hardware line. You can view it HERE: 

orion traversing systems