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Smaller scale dictates tailored details, colors

HIGH POINT - Consumers want small-scale furniture, and furniture suppliers are responding. But does smaller,

Solid bodyclothsSolid bodycloths coordinated with distinctive accent patterns are the basis for the Robert Allen/Crypton Home program, shown on a Flexsteel sofa.
multifunctional furniture impact the fabric world? Industry representatives say yes.
  "The movement toward smaller-scale furniture allows for more l'attitude and play when it comes to applying bold color and pattern to pieces," says Jennie Wilde, senior vice president of design and marketing for The Robert Allen Design Group. "Additionally, working with smaller scale furnishings typically means you are creating smaller spaces, which dictate the need for tightly coordinated color and attention to detail in tailoring."
     Robert Allen works with Crypton Fabrics to produce a print collection for Crypton Home, a fabric program of solids now synchronized with vibrant prints. Wilde said the program is ideal for smaller-scale furniture.
     "This is a complete package of coordinated pattern and bold color in modern style," Wilde said. "It is designed as a
A “pop” of colorA “pop” of color, as seen in this Flexsteel chair and ottoman with Robert Allen/Crypton Home fabric, is often used to add interest in a small space.
diverse group of patterns and solids, so you can complete a decorative and layered look. Each diverse color palette has large-scale focal points, coordinates, stripes and a complete range of color solids."
     Flexsteel is one of the furniture manufacturers using the Robert Allen/Crypton Home program. Carrie Bleile, vice president of merchandising for home furnishings, said the program gives retailers an important option.
     "Our gallery retailers have a cut-to-order program," Bleile said. "We introduce 100-150 SKUs once a year and we try to have a color story each time. We're excited that Crypton Home is in the line."
      Bleile said that performance fabrics are an important addition to retail floors.
    "Retailers really like the ‘clean' story," she said. "This program allows consumers to have an entire room of Crypton fabrics."
     "This program represents a thoughtful process," said Crypton's Randy Rubin. "In smaller spaces, you need one or two special things and you really have to think it through. A ‘pop' is needed, and we've scaled the fabrics so there is a range of medium to small-scale patterns."
     Bleile added that the price point for the Robert Allen/Crypton Home program is affordable.
     "The fabrics have a very nice hand, and the upcharge is not as much as some others," she said. "We offer any fabric on any frame, but we will also go back to the buyer if we think a pattern or fabric won't work from a design standpoint."
     The transition in residential floor plans will continue to be a factor in furniture and fabric designs, according to Bleile.

Crypton is partnering with Robert Allen for vibrant print designs to complement solids in the Crypton Home line.Crypton is partnering
Many manufacturersMany manufacturers are adding bright performance fabrics to upholstery pieces for a pop of color in small spaces.

Performance fabrics like Crypton are often chosen by consumers using furniture in multipurpose spaces.

Performance fabrics

     "No one really has a formal room anymore - it's more one large room that they live in," she said. "These multipurpose spaces make consumers think about furniture and how it is used."
     And while furniture manufacturers continue to respond to the "less is more" mentality permeating a substantial segment of the market, fabric suppliers are also presenting options for retailers who want to address the lifestyle shift.
     "Bold ‘layered' pattern, i.e. more than one, on sofas and chairs is trending on smaller scales," Wilde said. "Contrasting solids on paired pieces and tailored details complete the look in a confident, energized way."

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