Before I begin on my personal in-depth, professional view of the Americana Collection home office set, I have to put out some disclaimers.  I’m not an unbiased reviewer.  I have long-standing relationships with the producer of this desk.  As mentioned in this blog elsewhere, I have professional relationships with the people who stand behind the Winners Only name.  Winners Only Furniture and specifically the American home office furniture collection have been and continue to be best-selling products in my furniture store.   I am as far from unbiased as can be.  Additionally, please note that I’m not a marketer.  I’m not a writer.  I’m simply a furniture guy.  I’ve personally and professionally analyzed thousands of home furnishings; the intent of this blog is to bring to light the best of the industry in quality and price.

Office Set | Executive Desk | Library

Americana Executive Desk | Credenza Desk | Library

The Americana Collection by Winners Only is  staple of a product.  It is a best-selling collection for Winners Only as a whole and has been in their line-up for many years.  In the furniture industry I’m going to estimate that 80% of the products introduced are dropped either before making a full production line or within one year of being produced.  (If you have more data on this feel free to leave it in the comments section below.)  The products that do make it, they usually last no more than 24 – 36 months before being cut out or replaced.  The reason for the turnaround is because:

  1. The product has lost its public appeal.
  2. The product has been knocked-off (copied) to the point that the originator can’t make it profitably anymore.
  3. Problems with the supply chain of either a factory problem or raw materials problem.

In the case of the Americana Collection home office suite, this decidedly simple design, accompanied with the very nice quality details (that I’ll go into later on in this post,) has made this product a top-selling item for retail stores and consumers nationwide, for years.  As is the case with all successful designs, there are a multitude of knock-off designs, and I have seen and tested them all.  Winners Only is so good at producing quality components and controlling their costs that the knockoff products are relatively the same price with less to offer… making them much less of an attractive product.  As for problems with the supply chain, Americana home office suite is made in Winners Only’s own factory in Taiwan.  It’s for that reason that they can consistently produce this product without hiccups in the supply.

A lot of people might be wondering, ‘OK Milan, so what is the benefit that it has been around for a while?’  Aside from the obvious competitive advantages that this product represents by being best in its field, at the price point.  The benefit for a consumer for buying a product that has been in production for years, not months, is that the product has been perfected over the years.  Everything from packaging to slight changes in component placement has been perfected over the many years in production.   This means that as a consumer, you’re getting a better product than it was when it was launched!

I’m going to take a moment and gloss over the quality features that most people care about.  After this short section I am going to go into why I, as a furniture snob and professional furniture guy, like this collection.

The commonly associated quality factors (and incidentally, the quality factors that almost all manufacturers incorporate into their furniture):

  1. Made with a hard wood and wood veneer
  2. Dovetailed drawers
  3. Ball bearing side glide drawer mounts
  4. Wire management
  5. Power station
  6. Multi-step finish application
  7. Touch lighting

I’m always amazed, but (at this point) never surprised at how little people know about the true quality indicators of fine furniture.   Sure, the above indications are important, if you are comparing the product to RTA (ready to assemble) furniture such as IKEA(tm) which is known for convenient, stylish but less quality furniture.  When I professionally analyze a piece of furniture, I don’t just look to see if it is made with hardwood and veneer… I don’t just test the drawers (though it is definitely something I do); I don’t just look for the wire management.   Those things are easy to add onto the item.. what I look for is that the features are gracefully, thoughtfully, meaningfully added to the product.  In addition to thoughtful design, there is the finish quality.  I’m looking for “goopy” finish application.  I’m looking to see if the drawers are finished nicely.  I”m looking to see if the drawers close soundly.  I’m looking to see if the product is sturdy; I”m basically looking to see where the manufacturer either did not have the expertise to do something correctly OR, did not want to spend the money to do something right.

Take for example the following image of the Americana 72″ executive desk, from behind the desk:

Quality Features of the Americana Collection by Winners Only

To the untrained eye this photo may not mean anything… for the consumer that is looking for a quality product, this photo says it all.  You will be amazed at how I am going to be able to succinctly turn this seemingly simple photograph into a laundry list of product details, that you will not be able to find anywhere else (I know, I’ve looked!)

Starting at the bottom left:

  1. Locking file drawer:  This in itself is not a huge deal… there are plenty of products that have them.  This product has a solid mechanism that was meant to be used.  It won’t break after the first use as I’ve seen in the past.
  2. Notice the ball bearing side glides located at the bottom of the drawer:  The placement of the ball bearing side glides at the bottom of the drawer make for a smoother action in and out of the drawer.  You won’t find that detail on very many products.
  3. You may or may not notice that the drawers are finished, inside and out.  This is a huge plus.  90% of home office sets in this price range do not feature finished drawers inside and out.  (More on their finishing process later.)
  4. Letter tray on both sides of the desk – quality letter tray, not the kind that is embarrassing to open because the tray is either too difficult to open or too easy “catch” on the side of the desk.
  5. Moving over to the pull out keyboard drawer.  Unlike 90% of the desks in this price range, Winners American home office has a pull out tray that goes over the drawer front.  The alternative is simply to allow the drawer itself to pull-out, which means you are resting  your wrists on the door front (the least stable of the whole drawer).  This detail probably added a $10 cost to the desk, but again it shows the focus on a quality product that is thoughtfully designed for use.
  6. Pencil drawer to the right of the keyboard tray has pencil slots that match the finish of the drawers… it’s not an afterthought.
  7. Cabinet has room for a CPU or a printer and a laptop (removable shelf); with easy access to the power strip in the keyboard drawer.  Additionally, the cabinet base is retractable which makes it very easy to gain access to behind your desk top computer or printer.  This neat feature again adds $10 to the cost of the product, but prevents users from scratching their furniture over time.  It’s a feature not seen on most home office furniture.

Here is a detailed picture of the quality of the components:

Computer Desk

Detail of finish quality and components used

Unfortunately, what you don’t see is quite possibly the most important feature of the Americana home office set; it’s the finish of the product.  Winners Only finishes this product in their state-of-the-art, dust free facility.  The finish feels strong.  It feels smooth.  There is absolutely no goopyness to the finish.  It feels crisp.  The drawers are sanded and finished on the inside.  Unlike many other collections, there are not stress cracks inherent in the finish.  There are not light bubbles in the finish.  Your not going to scratch the finish with each use.

As a furniture guy, I’m pretty picky about my furniture. I’d be proud to own the Winners Only American home office suite.   Whether it is the executive desk, the modular corner desk with hutch or the ever-so-popular peninsula desk set, each collection is thoughtfully designed and expertly manufactured.  They are the best in their class based on price point and color.

Pricing Information:

As a certified and preferred vendor for Winners Only, my online furniture store offers the best pricing on Winners Only product.  Additionally, we care about your business, so if an online dealer is offering something for less, we’ll beat their price.  Finally, when you are price comparing take into account that with our store, we are a full service, we will bring the furniture into your home and set it up for you, at no additional cost.  This extra service is an absolute necessity when you are buying this collection because of its weight and size.  Call us toll-free 866-794-8861 (option 3) my sales staff has actually seen and studied the Winners Only line, so they are very knowledgeable on how things work.

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