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Cindy Hodnett

Upholstery sources offer tasty treats at Vegas Market

Raid kitchen for butterscotch, cherry, vanilla

LAS VEGAS - Like kids in a candy store, buyers here have a smorgasbord of goodies to choose from in upholstery.
Creamy butterscotch, cherry and cocoa leather are accenting contemporary frames in some showrooms. In others, vanilla-hued linens are topped with a rainbow of colorful sprinkles via pillows, welting and trim.
"Our new collection is Kensington Place, and it is understated - more of a casual feel - and very neutral," said Shannon Baugh, marketing manager for Lexington Home Brands. "There are three new sofas from 79 inches to 89 inches, and the idea behind the collection is to let the furniture be the backdrop for a home and let the consumer personalize it with accessories, favorite collections or art."
At American Furniture Mfg., the red-and-blue flavor combination of the 2850 Derrick navy sofa grouping showcases the company's emphasis on offering an expanded line of colors outside of brown and black, a must-have for upholstery manufacturers at every price point. In many upholstery showrooms, blue is still a much-loved darling, with denim and navy functioning as new neutrals and often accented with lollipop brights.

"We've focused on offering color, but we adjust it to appeal to the mainstream," said Randy Spak, American's vice president of sales.
"We have seen a definite resurgence in interest of color," said Flexsteel's Lee Fautsch, senior vice president of sales. "We've even added it to our leathers because we know there is a lot of pent-up demand for motion that is offered in something other than two shades of brown."
Flexsteel is introducing the Tate sofa in Las Vegas, a combination of wood, metal, leather and heavy stitching. Priced at $1,899 retail, the Tate sofa is paired with the 66 chair in the showroom, and the group encapsulates eclecticism, modern and rustic transitional styles.
Another introduction of note for Flexsteel is the Isla lift chair, which provides the function of that category with a streamlined, clean profile and unexpected colors. It's priced to retail at $1,199.
"When you're the first to the market with this kind of idea, big things happen," Fautsch said. "We're probing to see the reaction, but we think this will do very well."
Many manufacturers here are offering small, medium and large upholstery options for a consumer market that continues to bristle against one-size-fits-all silhouettes. Smaller-scaled sofas and chairs provide "bite-sized" options for dealers with urban-lifestyle consumers, and massive, snuggle-in sectionals provide family-friendly portions for a suburban market that seems to finally be ready to replace old upholstery with new after a long consumer-spending freeze.
"We made a conscious decision in October to go after sectional business, and it is a sweet spot for us in upholstery," Spak said. "We think that our 6800 sectional is going to do very well this market because it is spacious, comfortable and deep at $1,299 retail."
Natuzzi Group is showing a "total home" concept in its new Las Vegas showroom, complete with lighting, case goods and accessories. In one vignette, the Opus sectional anchors a serene interior setting, complemented by a package of black-and-white neutrals. End and coffee tables are completed with a variety of accessories. Company officials say the total home concept takes the guesswork out of buying for dealers and consumers, providing "easy high style and fashion" in distinctive showroom scenes.
It's early at market, but suppliers are dishing out a retail recipe that includes freshened-up favorites, new desserts and an assortment of sizes to satiate every appetite.

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