Versatility boosts appeal of accent furniture

Heath E. Combs, October 24, 2013

 Stein World is having success with mid-century modern-influenced industrial looks like this rollout of Orbit accents with a natural finish and light teal rub-through.Stein World is having success with mid-century modern-influenced industrial looks like this rollout of Orbit accents with a natural finish and light teal rub-through.

HIGH POINT — They may technically be accent furniture pieces, but consumers are using them however they like in homes, suppliers here report.

Accent chests are used as dressers in bedrooms or are bunched to create entertainment consoles or buffet looks. The once traditional accent sofa table is used as a console for flat-screen televisions.

Suppliers kept that versatility in mind as they rolled out market intros.

At Stein World, an accent chair program with five frames and five fabrics is doing well this market. Frames feature an English brown or wire-brushed finishes, among others.

Zinc top occasional tables with an acid treatment to make them resemble galvanized steel and copper are also performing well, according to Donnie Lesley, vice president of merchandising and marketing.

"It's a good look and we've tested the durability of these tops. We've had everything from vinegar to wine and it holds up," Lesley said.

The company is having success with its Orbit accents, which combine elements of mid-century modern styling and industrial with natural finishes and sanded teal rub-through.

Retailers also like its Rewind commercial trunk tables, an updated take on the familiar trunk style with planked construction, natural finish with medium distressing and steel corner banding.

"Retailers are looking for that that next iteration of industrial," Lesley said.

Magnussen Home has done well with its Avana occasional table group because of its elevated contemporary styling and birch veneer V-shaped leg base, topped with a 10-millimeter tempered glass top. Retail price for a cocktail is $299.

Buyers like Jofran's 940 occasional group in a 10-step finish with light nail holes, pine wood and rustic plank top, according to Bob Roy, CEO. Doing well within the group are a $299 retail cocktail and a fully assembled hall tree that will retail for about $599.

Roy said Jofran continues to have success with its accent chair program, especially for price ranges between $249 and $399. Retailers like the scaled down size of the chairs, helping them fit into small bedrooms and offices, Roy said.

Also doing well is the 827 occasional table with petite nickel-plated leg tips and casters, especially a square cocktail in the group that Roy said fits in the L-shaped space beside chaises in sectional upholstery groups.

"Not a lot of tables work in those areas," he said.

Coast to Coast Imports is doing well with cement composite tops on tables, a surprisingly lightweight material, according to Andy Stein, CEO, who added that retailers like the texture.

Accent dining tables with accordion bases and hand-hammered looks also are in from p12
demand, Stein said, adding that retailers also are placing good orders for the company's William Mangum licensed accents.

More consumers are mixing accents throughout their homes as the taste for eclectic looks becomes even more accepted, Stein said.

"Furniture stores are catering to how consumers are using these pieces," he said.

At Gail's Accents, retailers like coastal looks including the Shoreline Sea Grass chest with coastal painted theme on front and a $799 retail price. Better-end goods are doing well, according to Gail Steele, co-owner.

She added that cottage is a big success here and Gail's is also doing well with pieces like a curio with a tree branch motif on its doors that can retail for $1,999.

Four Hands is getting good response to chunky concrete tops with clear lacquer finish on its Bina collection's Bonham dining table and console table, according to Cameron Cook, marketing communications manager. Products that have softer feminine materials like soft marble tops have also done well, she said.

The company is also having success with chair slipcovers in colors like blue linen and light cream canvas. Colors doing well on wood items include a roasted brown finish, a toffee finish and on accent seating a neutral pastel blue, Cook said.

Huppe is having success with its Gravity organization closet solution. The group has a modular configuration, shelving and black aluminum racks for hanging clothes.

It can it either be used in a bedroom or in a closet, but is aimed at customers who aren't buying traditional bedroom configurations, but are buying a mix of non-matching pieces, according to Ken Loh, director of sales. He said the piece is aimed at consumers who are bypassing furniture stores and organizing their bedrooms with the help of retailers like California Closets.



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