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Premarket Reveals Trends to Watch for in October

October 13, 2011

There was plenty to write about from a style standpoint at High Point's Premarket this month. Probably the biggest continuing development in wood is that we're out of the espresso era. There are still dark finishes, but it's more like dull blacks or lighter coffee-bean browns.
Many producers are trying to find the right light wood finish, but it's tough. Some of the best looking are a butterscotch color - a warmer finish, darker than oak. Some of these finishes include visible, grayish watermarks.
One of the more interesting finishes I saw at Premarket was a red water dab finish at Stanley Furniture. Company executives said they noticed that rain had drizzled on a piece of furniture with a rouge painted finish that was still wet, and left marks. The factory reproduced the look and it's unique.
Red is set to be a big color this market. Dull grays are still pretty common. I also saw a fair amount of white - not a solid cottage white, but a thick white with some light grayish distressing. It almost looks like the furniture has been chiseled from marble.
In dining we continue to see a trend toward narrower tables in either rectangular or oval shapes. This might be a response to smaller rooms.
The accents category seems very competitive right now - probably because accents offer a quick way to spruce up a room that doesn't cost a lot of money.
Hooker had several new 72- to 87-inch credenzas, something you won't see a lot of companies doing. Large-scale credenzas are statement pieces, and these are striking.
I was impressed by Kincaid's efforts to market its new Artisan Shop accents. Each of the pieces will feature a history of the era when the designs might have originated. Like Kincaid's Homecoming line, which carries the American Home Furnishings Alliance's Eco3Home certified tag, the new accents show the company putting a lot of thought into marketing.
Accents also are taking the spotlight at Pulaski, whose 130-piece introduction called Accentrics has four themed groups.
I saw a lot of emphasis on fretwork, whether it be on desk fronts, headboards or chair backs, but I didn't notice a lot of similarity in patterns.
Many companies are again releasing collections with multiple finish options. There are still reptile looks, like a faux alligator skin. Some companies are reproducing this look with paints.
Companies continue to tout texture on wood furniture. There also are more collections with veneers that look like uneven planking, a spring High Point trend that will continue at the fall market, which opens Oct. 22.