• Thomas Russell

Atlanta exhibitors show their best

Mirrored Accent FurnitureThese mirrored accent furniture pieces were at the Powell Home Fashions showroom in Atlanta.
Atlanta - With showrooms smaller than those in High Point or even Las Vegas, exhibitors in Atlanta have to be more discerning in terms of what products they bring to the gift and furniture show.
     In doing so they must also choose product that appeals to a customer base of mostly designers and home furnishings stores that showcase both furniture and accessories.
     At the Jan. 7-14 show, furniture exhibitors brought what they consider the best of the best of their lines to Atlanta, including top performers from the October High Point Market.
     This included dining tables, display cabinets and larger case pieces in light, earthen-tone finishes, including tans, grays and antique whites. In most cases, these finishes gave pieces hand-applied and distressed looks that highlighted wood grains.
     Century, for example, showed some 100 new items from 2013 that officials said freshened up the company's space. These items included a $4,200 tall wood cabinet in an antique white finish that has two glass-panel doors. Another living room vignette featured tables in washed, off-white finishes paired with a rug, a sofa and chairs and an upholstered cocktail table in neutral fabrics.
     Case goods and upholstery resource Gabby showcased a number of pieces in earthen tones. The wood pieces, in particular, came in light, washed finishes that gave a reclaimed appearance. These included its $3,700 Grace cabinet, shown in a gray finish with taupe highlights, which was paired with its Victoria sofa, shown in a white fabric.
     Other resources showing light earthen tone finishes and fabrics were case goods and upholstery resources Halo, Zentique and Ambella Home. Fabrics seen in the Avenue B showroom had lighter, almost sky blue tones.
     Halo's mix included dining tables, consoles and natural distressed finishes that highlighted wood grains. Wood tops were often shown in natural finishes, giving them a reclaimed look, while bases offered contrasting elements such as antiqued gesso finishes and gray finishes with gold tipping.
     Zentique's use of elm and birch solids in natural finishes also had a reclaimed look and feel. Many occasional pieces were paired with larger-scale cases in beige or gray looks as well as sofas, chairs and ottomans in neutral colors.
Atlanta ShowGabby showcased this living room vignette at the Atlanta show. The Grace cabinet seen against the wall has a washed gray finish with taupe highlights. It retails at $3,700.

     Smaller occasional and accent pieces in colorful finishes shared showroom space with items featuring mirrored tops, drawers and sides. Stein World, for example, devoted most of the front of its showroom to mirrored accent furniture items such as demilunes, hall chests and consoles.
     "These are our bestsellers and new items from High Point," said David Kuehneman, senior vice president of sales. The line also included colorful accent furniture pieces and reclaimed wood looks imported from India. "We are hearing quite a bit of optimism about the economy relating to housing and the stock market, and our order writing has increased.... It is reflective of their (customers) turning their goods."
     Mirrored accents including accent tables and chests also were seen at Powell Home Fashions, Phillips Scott and Gabby.
     For buyers with traditional tastes, there was plenty to choose from as well. In addition to Art Deco looks seen in its By George collection launched in High Point, Ambella's full line of dining room, bedroom, occasional, home office and accent furniture had plenty of traditional forms as did pieces seen at Furniture Classics, Avenue B and Englishman's Fine Furnishings. Englishman's had perhaps the most traditional mix of all with its line of antique reproduction pieces that includes bedroom, dining room, occasional and home office furniture.
     Mike Howarth, Englishman's president and owner, said his customers at the Atlanta show were buying mostly occasional tables and chairs. He added that there has been continued interest in its desks and dining tables in mahogany and walnut solids and veneers. The use of mahogany veneers in particular, versus oak and cherry, he said, complement the Georgian and Regency style influences seen throughout the line.
     "More and more customers are using dark woods again," Howarth said. "We have found there is an increase (in interest) in traditional furniture."

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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