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Accents take new shapes at High Point Market

Slim silhouettes, subtle surfaces, copious colors

Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, October 14, 2012

HIGH POINT - Familiar forms in accent furniture are taking on new shapes here, like step-up bombé chests and slimmer silhouettes.
Metal accents and other surface treatments - like reptiling, or adding bling with shiny nail heads - are still popular but are becoming more subtle. Touches like gold trim and detailed hardware also are prevalent at market.
Color is also key. An example is Sarreid's new Rhapsody in Color collection, with 13 base colors that can be applied to 100 forms, many of which are European, said Francel Goude, a design and marketing official with the company.
Customers are responding well to pieces with primary and secondary paint applications for a worn look on the Italian-made group, which is one of Sarreid's biggest intros in years.
Some pieces also feature beeswax coatings and burnished gold trim or patterns.
Goude said another notable introduction is the company's High Line collection with gray and green finish on Asian walnut wood. The pieces have an industrial feel with wood enclosed in iron frames, aged linen looks on cushions and some exposed wood knots.
Many of Theodore Alexander's accent pieces focus on lacquered looks, like the well received No. 6105-464 cabinet with golden autumnal leaf lacquer, stainless steel and gilt leaf accents, and sycamore interior with LED lighting.
The company also is emphasizing modern, as with its London SW3 collection, named after a British postal code. Pieces feature some mid-century modern influence, etched brass panels, figured anigre and mahogany veneers and a transitional look.
"We have always been a design driven company and certainly we're designing for the current trends that exist while remaining true to our classical form," said Russell Towner, president of Theodore Alexander, speaking to those modern looks.
Designers Leigh and Leslie Keno are adding about 25 pieces to Theodore Alexander's contemporary Keno Brothers line, bringing the collection now to about 100 pieces.
Well received pieces included the Galaxy table with an aluminum base, and accent desks with sides influenced by the anthropomorphic shapes found in abstract painting.
"We like clean lines. We're influenced by so many different periods," said Leslie Keno.
Four Hands continues to place a big emphasis on reclaimed wood.
"Everybody is still going for that green look. Customers are interested in knowing if something is eco-friendly," said Anna Ogden, senior buyer.
The company is getting good response to its expanded Charleston collection, to which a poster bed and dining were added this market.
It's also doing well with its Shadowbox occasional pieces, said public relations manager Cameron Cook. The pieces have an industrial feel, with a glass box on top of a base.
Ogden said that putting nature-inspired greens and floral displays inside the box helps gives rooms the natural feel of bringing the outside in, but the boxes are still airy and big enough to be statement pieces, Ogden said.
At Coast to Coast Imports, CEO Andy Stein said the company has 40 new SKUs from India and 100 new ones from China. He said dealers are seeking multifunctional looks with storage.
Dealers also are responding to new prints, industrial looks and hand-stamped brass sheeting on pieces like its two-door No. 46812 cabinet, which he said offers a big value for the price.
"The key to our success is that everything is available to ship from Memphis tomorrow, even introductions. We're accents. We keep it fresh and we ship it immediately," Stein said.
Halo Styles reported good reaction to a marble-wrapped kitchen island on a reclaimed wood base. Erica Whittington, a sales executive, said other good looks are accent pieces or chairs made with spitfire steel or with the steel attached to some part of the piece.
"We're getting a nice blend really for the designer, who can mix periods from modern, to classic, provincial and Art Deco color and leather into the mix as well," said Raoul Morren, style director for Halo.
Recently launched occasional and accent source LaurelHouse has continued to broaden its line and is getting good response to looks with wire-brushed oak veneers, rivets and metal Union Jack motif sides, according to John Labarowski, the company's president.

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