Styles Pop at Premarket
Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, March 18, 2013
HIGH POINT - Time was, a case goods collection stuck to a set design scheme and finish.
That approach continues to blur this market as suppliers "curate" complementing pieces and colors in collections, but without a rigid design structure. In that theme, the trend of offering multiple finishes on pieces within collections also continues.
The trends were evident at last week's High Point Premarket, when more than 90 exhibiting companies offered buyers a preview of what they'll introduce at the spring market, which opens April 20.
Also still popular are features including upholstered headboards, distressed finishes with lighter and cleaner rubbing - and better rubbed-through - finishes, and two-toning, especially using contrasting but harmonizing colors on items like chests.
Merchandising groups with multiple finishes together has served customers of Universal's licensed Paula Deen line well. The celebrity chef's third collection, River House, continues the relaxed casual design aesthetic of previous introductions.
"No one sells the set in one finish. They all show both because they complement well," said Kevin Miller, brands manager at Universal. River House's three finishes are the rich clear brown River Bank, the gray Oystershell, and River Boat, a gessoed whitewash look with slight gray under-specking.
Thomasville's Modern Artefacts includes 58 mostly accent pieces, with a mixture of materials including brass hardware, gessoed raffia, capiz shell, aubergine lacquer, petrified wood, textured metals and some acrylic. Influences include Asian, Moroccan and English styles.
Gregory Heller, chief creative officer, said the finishes are "a little more disarmed, less high sheened and more livable," adding that Thomasville sought to "make pieces strong enough to stand on their own or that can fit with the group."
American Drew is expanding efforts to hit a key price points with its new River Bend, a group in a smoky brown wire-brushed oak finish with a black glaze and a repeating wave texture on drawer fronts. The group combines many style influences, said Tom Daley, vice president of marketing.
"What really sets it off in this group, it really depends on what bed you chose. One bed makes it look a little more traditional/artisan and the other bed makes it a little more of a contemporary look using the same case pieces," Daley said.
American Drew also will have its first new Bob Mackie licensed release in four years, with design elements including faux reptiling, bee's wing primavera on dining tabletops, silver leafing, champagne steel, and an upholstered bed with clamshell shape.
Both Hooker Furniture's Mélange and Pulaski's Accentrics accent programs are extending into case goods this spring.
Melange will include an eclectic mix of six beds and four dining tables. Pieces include a canopy bed with repeating upholstered Quatrefoil fretwork pattern and a bright white finish; the Lana upholstered bed in charcoal gray faux mohair with shaped metal feet; and the Montage poster bed with champagne colored metallic finish blending soft silver and gold colors.
Other major introductions for Hooker include Palisade, with curly maple and walnut patterned veneers and a mix of transitional and traditional styles; and Corsica, an eclectic European traditional design with a core light natural finish and the ability to mix several items in a dark wirebrushed, antiqued espresso. Pieces are also offered in a two-tone look.
For Bassett's new HGTV Home collection, Caravan - the line's sixth introduction - case goods pieces have a mix of three finishes: the white Dawn, the gray Dusk and the weathered black Midnight. Select pieces feature geometric lattice work on dresser fronts, lotus pull hardware and metallic silver trim.
Bassett's Emporium line was inspired by European antiques with design elements like coin detailed trim on bed pieces. Pieces are in fumed oak, black or patina gray. Some accents also have a silver sage green and other hues in the green family.
Hooker and Samuel Lawrence Furniture also are breathing new life into the home office category this market.
Samuel Lawrence's Home-Work 2.0 introduction has 20 pieces including a patentpending work hutch divider on a dining room table that can be stored on the table stretcher when not in use. The hutch includes USB and electronics hookups, cork board and storage options.
Lee Boone, president, said inspiration for the piece came from the modern dining room's common use aesthetic - it's now often used for bill paying and homework.
"The one room in the house that tends to be used by everyone is the dining room - except for dining," he said.
Hooker's Workwell line also was designed to suit how work spaces are used in homes. It has a smaller office footprint with 13 writing desks ranging from 42 to 64 inches. Styling is more casual, with European, French and contemporary styling and accent-inspired features like hand painting and mirrored and metallic looks.
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