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Bright colors Jazz up upholstery

Sklar PepplerSklar Peppler/Alan White combines emerald green, Pantone’s color of the year, with navy in this chair, in one of 75 new groups the company will introduce.
HIGH POINT - "That '70s Show" has come to High Point, but the cast of characters this time around includes furniture manufacturers instead of Ashton Kutcher and company.
     From Technicolor hues to lush cut velvets and prints on sofas, merchandisers are upping their upholstery game, and retailers will find lots of jazz-up options for showrooms at the spring market.
     "Upholstery is the focus for HGTV Home this market," said Renee Loper, the brand's vice president of marketing. "There are 50 bodycloths and more than 80 accents and it doesn't matter which frame you choose. Buyers can mix and match fabrics to frames any way they want."
     Think raspberry, orange and lemon tones, but not used as accents. Instead, pack your sunglasses for the spring market and its showrooms dripping with color brights.
     "We have gorgeous color combinations," said Sheila Seigel of Sklar Peppler/Alan White. "In the last two years, everything changed radically. People are so sick of what the big box promotional stores are offering - they want something that sets them apart. We have 75 new groupings with three or four fabrics in each, and everything is very fresh and colorful. The market has been so plain for so long; people want something else."
HGTV Home is expandingHGTV Home is expanding its upholstery fabric options to include 50 bodycloths and more than 80 accents.

     Another trend that is certain to capture attention at the next month's High Point Market is a sort of classic remix, or contemporized traditional. Perhaps inspired by cultural influences like the explosive popularity of period shows like "Downton Abbey" and also ideal for consumers who are mixing new furniture with inherited or collected pieces, this classic remix style pairs traditional upholstery frames, often on a smaller scale than in the past, with unexpected fabrics and finishes.
     Sofas like La-Z-Boy's Yardley and accent chairs like the one at Hooker featuring a muted brocade fabric, combined with a simple-line silhouette, work in almost every décor, adding a touch of non-overbearing English aristocracy.
     "Yardley is a five-pleat arm, English pub sofa," said Paula Hoyas, vice president of merchandising for La-Z-Boy. "It has a lot of classic design elements brought together in one piece and features our premier construction with zoned seating, padded outside arms and back, a shaped front rail and down pillows."
    In the Sam Moore showroom, upholstery director Sandi Teague has been busy. In addition to the creative fabric/finish combinations on 30 new accent chairs, Teague paired a tufted, shelter-arm sofa with a floral print featuring shades of lemongrass yellow and storm gray.
     The Astrid sofa is another striking piece that offers a classic-inspired alternative to contemporary for consumers ready to cozy up their living spaces.

Sam Moore’s Astrid sofa combines a lemongrass and storm print fabric on a classic tufted sofa.
Sam Moore’s Astrid
La-Z-Boy’s Yardley
La-Z-Boy’s Yardley sofa features the company’s premier construction and updated classic design.

     The impressionistic watercolor prints and rich, lush velvets that made a big splash at Showtime are also creating a wave at the spring market. Premarket showrooms included enough cut-velvet patterns to ensure that touchtests will be mandatory at market, and intriguing color combinations in "painterly" fabrics add visual punch.
     Technicolor blasts, sensual textures and updated classics are joining perennially popular contemporary designs at April's market. And as the housing industry heats up and consumers open their wallets, eclectic style has never been easier to achieve - which could be a bottomline boon for retailers ready for an upswing.

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