Casual dining looks evolve
-- Furniture Today, January 29, 2014
This Ion Design chair will debut at the Las Vegas Market.
A designer at Greeningtonlooked at one done recently by theNational Assn. of Home Builders- and came up with a casualdining collection in response.Greenington, an upscale bamboofurniture specialist, will introduce itat this week's Las Vegas Market.
The collection, called Mimosa,reflects a survey finding that urbanliving "often utilizes open spacesand smaller square footage," accordingto Mary Settle, the marketingdirector at Greenington. "(A)new generation of floor plans (is)incorporating both casual diningand seating areas within the samesocial space," Settle said in anemail.
In other words, the Mimosatable and chairs, to be introducedwith either a classic caramelized ordark walnut finish, are designedwith condos and other smallspaces in mind. The combinationis described as boasting an elegantprofile and easy-to-assemble joinery.And the table's matching stoolcombines natural bamboo with asteel footrest and seat that's ergonomicallydesigned for comfort.
Greenington also has added anew size to its Currant collection: a60-inch rectangular table. The collectionnow also includes a 36-inchby 72-inch extension table and a42-inch diameter round diningtable.
Other companies reporteddifferent inspirations, other thansurveys, for the casual dining piecesthey're introducing at the Las VegasMarket.
Urban Styles Furniture's RobertSala, vice president of sales, said thecompany's management has beenthinking very hard about the needsof Millennial consumers (aged18-37) as they relate to the casualdining category and how best tosatisfy them.
The reason: As the largestsubset of the United States population,Millennial consumers are"now in or will shortly enter theirprime furniture-buying years," Salasaid via email. So "the needs andwants of this group must be betterunderstood prior to bringing newproduct to market."
This is no easy task. Salapointed out that 40% of Millennialconsumers come from ethnicallydiverse backgrounds, 20% haveat least one immigrant parent andmost have experienced financialchallenges in their family homesin the past decade. Millennialconsumers are also using their techsavvy to share news of their buyingexperiences via social media andthe like.
Urban Styles will introduce sixnew casual dining collections inLas Vegas. Two in particular aredesigned with Millennial consumersin mind, both consisting ofseven pieces: Hidden Retreat ($899retail) and Windy City ($699).
The table in Hidden Retreatsports a weathered walnut topwith a gentle sandstone base andcan comfortably seat eight. WindyCity goes casual-modern with oaksolids and veneers and with sleekangled seating and a table designthat stretches 70 inches.
Simply Amish, a solid woodcase goods resource, says it's seeingsales increases in the casual diningcategory because customers "loveto build their own table" and cando so by choosing from a myriadof options, said Kevin Kauffman,the company's co-founder andowner. The options include varioussizes, shapes, table edges, finishesand bottom bases.
"We give the customer a basicpackage to start with," Kauffmansaid. "Then we give themoptions.... You get the exact tableyou want."
with a steel
|Four Hands’ Parisian dining table features a cast iron
base with soft curves and cabriole legs and is finished in
an antique black.|
These options will become eveneasier to choose once Web-basedsoftware is completed, probably intime for April High Point Market.
In the meantime, Kauffmansaid he wants to build on hiscompany's casual-dining growth.The first step in that process willcome at the Las Vegas Marketwhen Simply Amish introducesseveral items, including an Avalontable with Old World finish (retail$3,500) and a double-pedestaltable with a new and heavier ball bearingslide option designed for aheavy table ($3,500).
Simply Amish will also introducean "entry-level" table($1,100-$1,500), so called becauseit is not loaded up with features, aswell as a live-edge table ($7,000).
At Four Hands, the creativeteam has begun to recognize thatalthough industrial furniture hasbeen a great trend, it's not a lookthat everyone wants. One solutionis a Parisian dining table debutingat the Las Vegas Market. Thisfeatures a cast iron base with softcurves and cabriole legs and isfinished in an antique black. Thedining top is made from solidbluestone in a waxed finish witha carved edge.
Cameron Cook, Four Hands'marketing communicationsmanager, says the Parisian diningtable eschews the hard lines ofindustrial furniture and, instead,uses iron as "a softer and morelivable material."
"We did this by casting curvyshapes, softening the lines andrefining the finish," she said. "Wewanted to reach out to thosewho haven't purchased an ironpiece yet, and give them a soft andelegant design which they could seemixing into their homes."
Four Hands will also introducetwo other casual dining piecesat the Las Vegas Market: a Sukiround dining table and a Dukeround dining table. The Suki recallsthe grandeur of historic hotels andmansions through its "intricatecarvings, sinuous turnings, and OldWorld details." And the Duke features"vintage patinas, reclaimedwoods and salvaged embellishments."
Some companies showing atLas Vegas will be adding to collections.
Bill Forberg, CEO of Ion Design,said his company will be introducingfour types of chairs thatcan go with existing Ion Designtables. The chairs have long beenrequested by dealers who were sellingIon Design tables only, Forbergsaid, adding that they'll help hiscompany provide "a complete diningexperience."
The chairs retail for $299 to$399, and tables retail for $899 to$1,799. The material of one chaircombines reclaimed teak withstainless steel. Two chairs are madeof solid walnut and another ismade of teak alone.
"We're very excited about whatwe have to offer," Forberg said.
Bob Roy, CEO of Jofran, saidhis company will add features totwo best-selling introductions fromthe last High Point Market: Group#836 and Slater Mill Pine.
The 836 dining collection ismade of birch veneers with solidacacia chairs and has a dark brownfinish. The table can change fromdining height to counter heightwith a choice of matching chairs orstools. The table measures 42 by60 by 78 inches and is expected toretail for $899.
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