Video Highlights Woodworking Careers

September 2021

Three woodworking organizations partnered to produce a six-minute video that is airing on public television stations nationwide to create awareness of career opportunities in the wood products industry.

The video, produced by “In Depth with Laurence Fishburne,” an award-winning educational television series highlighting the evolution of education, medicine, science, technology, and industry through inspiring stories. It was funded by the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS), Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), and Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA). In addition, a one-minute commercial version of the video (below) was produced. It will air on Fox Business Network and other cable networks.

The program showcases the operations of Hollywood Woodwork, a high-end commercial architectural woodworking firm in Hollywood, FL. It introduces the audience to potential careers in a modern woodworking facility using advanced machinery in a safe and clean environment.

Those interviewed in the video discuss skills needed for wood industry careers, education and training opportunities, and various career pathways available.

Read more.

New Furniture Orders Riding a Hot Streak

September 2021

New orders for residential furniture are continuing to roll, rising 7% in June compared to June 2020, according to accounting firm Smith Leonard. In its August 2021 Furniture Insights, Smith Leonard noted that June’s increase is especially special when considering that June 2020 registered a 30% increase over June 2019.

New furniture orders have now recorded 13 months of year-over-year growth.

“Year to date, new orders were up 51% over the first half of 2020 and up for 94% of the participants,” said Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard. “For comparison, new orders in the first 6 months of 2021 were up 37% over the first 6 months of 2019. We continue to think that the comparisons to 2020 for the rest of this year will be tough to beat.”

Smith noted that furniture shipments are being hampered by supply shortages. “Freight issues are a major problem, with container shortages continuing, causing significant price increases, if you can even get them,” Smith said. “Some are blaming some of the large retailers for tying up containers. Labor issues continue. We have read articles about how many are just not looking for jobs. Reasons include not only government stimulus and increases in unemployment checks, but also some have taken the opportunity to start their own small businesses. Some have decided to just retire, and some point to cost of daycare, making it better to just stay home. Others have pointed to the fear of contracting COVID-19.”

Backlogs continued to increase as orders in dollars exceed the dollar value of shipments. Backlogs were 153% higher in June than in June 2020, according to Smith Leonard.

“Expectations are for the overall economy to continue to expand, although at a slower rate, but still expectations are for over 4% into 2022,” Smith said. “We would think that the furniture business should continue its expansion as well, with shipments continuing to grow as backlogs are brought down. This would indicate that volume does not appear to be the issue. Profitability may be the problem as costs are going up faster than price increases can be put in place. It is hard to anticipate three months out, when products will be made, based on price lists being put out today.”

Read the full report.

Highland Oaks: Beautiful and Durable

September 2021

Design trends come and go but the popularity of oak as a favorite for furniture and cabinets endures. Synergy Thermal Foils has expanded its oak offerings with the introduction of four new designs: Highlands Oak (shown), Carolina, Charleston, and Williamsburg. Each of these new textured oaks is a perfect match with TFL panels from Funder America. Our versatile and durable family of products can be flat-laminated, post-formed, membrane-pressed, miter-folded and profile wrapped for commercial and residential furniture, store fixtures, kitchen cabinets, closet systems and much more.

Ode to the First Modern Kitchen

August 2021
The “Frankfurt Kitchen” designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky in1926 was an architectural interior breakthrough. It is considered the first kitchen ever built using a unified concept that united low-cost design with an efficient layout. It’s estimated that 10,000 units were built in the late 1920s to address Frankfurt’s housing shortage.

The example on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) occupies a space of just a smidgeon over 6 feet by 11 feet. Each kitchen featured a revolving stool, a gas stove, built-in storage, a foldaway ironing board, an adjustable ceiling light, and a removable garbage drawer. MoMA’s Frankfurt Kitchen is distinguished by blue-green cabinets.

This video — Frankfurter Kitchen Compare video clips – YouTube — highlights the advantages of the Frankfurt Kitchen compared to the more primitive kitchens of the day.

AWFS Fair ‘Better Than Expected’

August 2021

The AWFS Fair held July 20-23 in Las Vegas, though predictably down attendance-wise, still got a thumbs up considering that the nation is still just recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was generally conceded amongst the exhibitors that we spoke to that those who attended were in a buying mood. The most frequent comment we heard about the show was, “Better than expected.”

Synergy Thermal Foils supplied materials for ongoing vacuum press demonstrations at CNC Factory’s booth. We thank CNC Factory for being a gracious host and to all of our customers (and future customers!) for stopping by to learn more about our 2DL and 3DL decorative surfaces.

Bathrooms Top HomeAdvisor’s 2021 List of Remodeling Projects

August 2021


Bathroom remodels rank first among home projects U.S. consumers plan to contract professionals to perform this year, according to the True Cost Report released by HomeAdvisor. Interior painting and new flooring round out the top three spots on the list of 20 planned home projects.

Thirty-one percent of respondents reported completing a bathroom remodel in 2020, second only to interior painting. The average cost of a bathroom renovation was $13,401 last year. In comparison, kitchen remodels ranked fifth in completions (23%) in 2020 with an average price tag of $35,317.

According to HomeAdvisor, “Pricing for home services is a function of four things: material quantity, material quality, labor quantity and labor quality. Each is important, but labor quality is arguably the most important and the hardest to measure and understand. While some labor can appear outwardly expensive, great labor is ultimately a bargain considering the hidden skills, talents, wisdom, capabilities and other beneficial attributes of a skilled tradesperson.”

HomeAdvisor added that material cost increases were most responsible for driving remodeling project costs higher from 2019 to the pandemic year of 2020. “(O)ur pricing model looking at each of the four major components of project price – materials quantity, materials quality, labor quantity, and labor quality – suggests that the most likely culprit was an increase in materials cost at most quality points. Scarcity and factory shutdowns, supply chain disruptions and greater consumer demand pushed lumber and other prices higher at most quality points, in turn driving higher total project costs independent of changes in material quantity.

“Looking forward to 2021, the most planned projects will likely remain elevated in cost, with the potential for further price inflation. Regardless of how much materials cost or how much one chooses to spend on their overall project, one thing remains constant: investing in quality labor is always a bargain.”

Read the HomeAdvisor True Cost Report.



Wave to Our New Design: Navy Blue

August 2021

Our new Navy Blue design is not quite black but is still very dark. It was originally popularized for uniforms worn by officers in the Royal Navy in the early 19th century. In recent years, Navy Blue has been dubbed the “now neutral” because it pairs well with so many colors including mustard yellow, bright pink, cherry red, and even metallic gold. Navy Blue is a great choice for the bottom cabinets of tuxedo kitchens with the uppers typically being white. Navy cabinets also pair well with marble or quartz countertops. Our Navy Blue 3D and 2D laminates are a dead-ringer for Kronospan’s Navy Blue and Uniboard’s Wave Blue.

Featured Design: Moonlight

April 2021

Moonlight showcases Synergy’s ability to expertly match our 2DL, 3DL and decorative foils to trending TFL products, in this case Tafisa’s L761 Moonlight TFL.


Note: Please include the product name, your name, your company name and address, and your phone number when requesting a sample.

What Might the U.S. Housing Market Look Like in 2022?

April 2021
With nine months still to go in 2021, the Home Buying Institute (HBI) takes a “best guess” at what might be in store for the 2022 real estate market based on its analysis of current trends. They include:
Higher mortgage rates dampen home buying demand: Last year (2020) was a big one for the nation’s real estate market. Home buyer demand surged, despite a global pandemic and economic slowdown. Record-low mortgage rates contributed to this, along with a newfound appreciation for homeownership.
While demand remains strong today, HBI expects to see less demand among home buyers in 2022 primarily because of expected high mortgage rates. HBI forecasts a 30-year fixed loan rate to climb to 3.6% by the end of this year, compared to the current average rate of about 3.0%. HBI’s forecast is corroborated by one recently issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association that home lending rates will increase. Higher interest rates would have a dampening effect on home-buyer demand.
Rising home prices: In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. home prices steadily increased during 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021. According to data compiled by Zillow, the median home value rose about 10% between March 2020 and March 2021. Based on current conditions, HBI predicts home values to continue rising, albeit at a slower pace.
Home inventory crunch: According to a recent housing market report by, inventory levels continue to drop across much of the U.S.; the number of homes for sale in March 2021 declined by 51%. New home construction could bring add to the available housing stock in some markets. Nevertheless, HBI assumes that supply constraints will continue to be a dominant issue for the U.S. real estate market well into 2022.
Renting vs. buying: A number of U.S. housing markets already place renting over buying for cost-conscious consumers due to home-price appreciation. HBI says this trend could continue into 2022, especially if home values continue to climb steadily as expected.
Read the HBI 2022 housing forecast.

STF Weighs in on RV Interior Design Trends

April 2021
Synergy recently shared perspectives on the booming recreational vehicle market with Surface & Panel magazine. The article, published in S&P’s Q1 2021 edition focused on how the pandemic has fueled increased RV sales and examined key design trends.
Among the quotes and information attributed to STF: “One of the biggest news trends that we’re seeing is the use of printed PVC that looks and feels like real marble or stone. RV manufacturers still want the look of a heavy quartz or marble top and by using a thicker substrate for the end product, it’s so convincing that most people think it’s stone.”
Read the full article.

Get Your Free Ticket to the Closets Expo

April 2021
Get Your Free Ticket to the Closets Expo
Synergy invites you to attend the Closets Expo, co-located with Wood Pro Expo Florida, June 9-10 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Enter the VIP code ULTRA21 during the registration process for free admission to the expo hall.

Featured Design: Burlap Oak

March 2021

Synergy’s textured Burlap Oak looks like it was woven from white oak, complete with woodgrain cathedrals. It’s a great match for Arauco Prism’s WF 441 Burlap.

Request a sample. (Be sure to include product name, your name, company name, address and phone number.)