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Laneventure To Introduce Leeds Castle Collection

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Laneventure, a leading premium indoor-outdoor furniture manufacturer, has been appointed by Britain’s Leeds Castle, to bring the feeling of the Kent countryside to life with the introduction of the “Leeds Castle Collection” for indoor and outdoor living. Leeds Castle is set on two islands on the River Len in the heart of Kent and has been home to royalty, lords and ladies for over 1000 years. Elements of design from the castle have been integrated into a cast aluminum and a teak collection for outdoors to be introduced in July at the Casual Show Pre-Market in Chicago and The International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago in September 2007. Following, will be the indoor Excursions by Laneventure introduction debuting in High Point at the Fall 2007 International Furniture Market. Mimi McMakin and Brooke Huttig, renowned designers that have used Laneventure for their Palm Beach collections, are advising Leeds Castle on designs for the Maiden Tower, built on the property in Tudor times as the castle’s bakery and brew house. With their keen sense of design the Maiden Tower will be transformed into luxurious yet comfortable living quarters for guests of Leeds Castle. Mimi and Brooke, through familial connections, are acquainted with descendents of the last private owner of the Castle, a most intriguing Anglo-American heiress, Lady Baillie. As Hon. Olive Filmer-Wilson, she made Leeds Castle her family home for almost half a century. “The décor of the castle under Lady Baillie’s direction is so timely that I would be proud to have these very designs called my own” says Mimi McMakin of the timeliness of the beautifully decorated rooms that stand as they were in the days of Lady Baillie’s weekend parties with the likes of European royalty, art collectors and American film stars including Douglas Fairbanks Senior and Junior, Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn and James Stewart, to name a few. Spanning hundreds of years and eras from Henry VIII to Lady Baillie, to the conference of the G8 Environmental Ministers in 1998, to the Northern Ireland Peace talks led by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004, if the walls could talk… Since her death in 1974, the castle has been in the care of the Leeds Castle Foundation and is, today, one of the most popular heritage tourist attractions in the UK. It is the home of numerous artistic events throughout the year and the perfect place to just get away for the day. In September of 2006, the Laneventure design team began conceptualizing the collection by traveling to England and embarking on a personal tour with the Leeds Castle curator. The team experienced the culture and witnessed first-hand the beauty of the Castle’s grounds with the black swans gliding on the moat and waterways and peacocks wondering through the grounds. The gardens offer continuous color throughout the year. From a mass of spring bulbs and wild flowers in the wood garden, through fragrant herbs and roses in the quintessentially English Culpeper garden, to late flowering borders in the drought-resistant Mediterranean garden. Completing the spectacular grounds is the intricate hedge maze created with 2400 yew trees where children of all ages can strive to find the center and the entrance to the fabulous underworld grotto. Victoria Wallace, the Managing Director of the Castle said “We are delighted to join forces with Laneventure in continuing the wonderful relationship Leeds Castle has had with the United States during the past 400 years. Both the Culpeper and Fairfax families lived in the castle before embarking to Virginia to establish their future legacy. This collection will reflect the spirit of both countries.” Arthur Thompson, President of Laneventure, said “From the first moment I stepped onto the grounds I was enthralled with both the beauty and history of this spectacular setting. This collection will be far more than just furniture…. it will be the continuation of a lifestyle.” Laneventure, one of the leading premium indoor-outdoor furnishings manufacturers in the U.S., has positioned itself as the leading marketer of outdoor living environments. For 35 years, Laneventure has offered the best in casual furniture for inside, outside and around the home. Laneventure is a division of Furniture Brands International (NYSE: FBN). To learn more, visit www.laneventure.com.

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