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DECOR SCORE- Tracking Trends in the World’s Largest Furniture Market PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert   
Thursday, 25 October 2012 06:50


Frisky business: Bright colors and cheerful patterns made news in the C.R. Laine Furniture show-room at the High Point Market.

Q: What's the news from the High Point Furniture Market, and why should we care?

A: Having spent a good part of last week there, I can sum up the news in a word: Color. Make that Color! with an exclamation point, as in deep, rich, orangey-reds, primary blues and yellows, and greens of all persuasions.

We're still talking eco-green, of course, but the hue itself was the cry at C.R. Laine Furniture, where some 50 different shades of green flourished in the show-room.

According to Marketing Director Holly Blalock, the color choice was in homage to Norway, which has been named the Green Country of this Year, 2012. C.R. Laine's greens ranged from jade to cypress to lemon grass and beyond, often counter-pointed by green's complemen-tary color, red and red-orange (aka "Dreamsicle").

Which made for one of the liveliest showrooms at the vast Furniture Market, the world's largest, measuring some 10 mil-lion-plus square feet spread over l80 buildings.

We managed to lurch through only a small fraction of that mar-ket, but it's possible to get an accurate read on design trends by visiting the key players.

Why should we care what's happening at High Point? It's where 80,000 furniture profes-sionals come from 110 countries to shop for the furnishings you'll be buying next spring. That's why journalists, trends-spotters and the culturally curious also flock to

Market every October and April.

This fall's strong color story promises good news for the overall economy. Historically, we crave bright, fresh colors when we're optimistic about the future.

Optimism brightened many other showrooms, including Pearson Furniture (jades, pur-ples and plums), French Heritage ("Belmont Collection" in Pantone brights), even show-ing up in Bob Timberlake's country-rustic collection for Century (a wicker settee with an alligator-embossed leather seat in brilliant turquoise), and at chi-chi Jonathan Charles, where "Colours" designer Alexander Julian wowed the crowd with his tongue-in-chic "suits" of furni-ture.

Back story here: ensembles of matching furniture, known as "suites" by l8th-century French taste-makers, quickly became "suits" in the Southern mouths of the American furniture indus-try. Alex Julian, who comes from an apparel-fashion background, found that so irritating, he says, that he decided to make "furni-ture that really looks like a suit." His tall chest is an enameled navy "blazer" with drawer pulls copied from an elegant Italian button. Two cocktail tables take after Alex's signature ties, one Windsor- knotted, the other, a bow tie striped in oak burl and satinwood.

In fact, preppy looks were all over the Furniture Market in menswear herringbones, crests, and school-tie colors. Also, stripes — the wide, awning variety — and classic materials, such as nailheads and faux shagreen. The real thing, made of sharkskin, was the darling of Parisian haute-monde designer Jean-Michel Frank during the Art Deco days of the 'Thirties.

Art Deco is back big-time at Century Furniture, where French interior designer Patrick Aubriot debuted his "Rue de Seine" collection, fea-turing elegant veneers with inlaid bone accents, and inter-esting combinations of exotic woods and leather. It looked both brand-new and familiar, a 20th-century classic recast for the 21st.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 October 2012 06:58

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