Finishing takes center stage at the Fall High Point Market.

The soft colors of the beach inspire many of the pieces in Coastal Living, a casual cottage collection from Stanley Furniture and Coastal Living magazine.

Customization of finishes, a trend for several years, is reaching new heights in furniture headed for stores next spring. Ms. Consumer is not only being asked if she would like that piece in paint or stain, but would she like it striated, rasped, or otherwise distressed?

Coastal Living, introduced at the October High Point Market by Stanley Furniture and Coastal Living magazine, is a prime example of variety. Its nearly 80 pieces are available in 14 different colors. Finishes are organized into three color palettes: Sea Glass (blues and greens), Pastel (various pastels) and Americana (red, white, blue and complementary colors). The collection, scaled for condos as well as open floor plans, is what Stanley calls “affordable,” but with a degree of customization more often associated with high end.

“The goal was to marry elements of old and new while creating a distinctively coastal look,” says Glenn Prillaman, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Stanley Furniture. “We determined that the best way to do this was to create style and color options.”

Catching Customers’ Fancy

Stanley’s manufacturing facilities incorporated some new features, such as solid wood drawers with dovetail construction. Back panels are finished, and attached with screws instead of staples.

Where Coastal Living looks to paint, Century Furniture’s Milan depends on the fiery, striped grain of satin walnut to catch customers’ fancy. Curved and architectural shapes in the contemporary collection add to the overall image of boldness.

Century also has embraced the paint brush, creating a soft brown enamel finish it calls Chocolate. Brown, in these tense times, “is a rich, sensual color that feels luxurious and comforting,” says Ed Tashjian, vice president of marketing. It is available on a number of pieces, including a Bonnet Top Armoire, where it is accented with silver leaf pinstriping.

The granddaddy of customization, Hickory Chair, will not only change finish as customers direct, it offers contrasting finishes and paints, decorative striping and hand-painted designs. The company, which added to its Albert Sack, Winterthur Country Estate and James River collections at this market, offers hardware in three finishes and will install a customer’s hardware if asked.

In Rosebridge from Martha Stewart and Bernhardt Furniture, the patterns inherent in the rosewood and walnut veneers “animate surfaces with their organic beauty,” the creators say. The collection, inspired by Art Deco and Biedermeier, includes more than 30 pieces, including two bedroom and two dining room groups.

This sleigh bed is from the curator collection by Calvin Klein Home, one of two collections marking the well-known designer’s entry into furniture design. It’s made of walnut, and the walnut finish is accented with gold leaf.

Calvin Klein Debut

Two collections at the market mark designer Calvin Klein’s entry into furniture. The 65-piece “Curator Collection by Calvin Klein Home” will be sold through fine furniture retailers. Calvin Klein, a more moderately priced collection, will be sold through selected Macy’s stores. Both collections, made in China by Alexandre International and Shayne Industries, will launch in January.

The pieces draw on the minimalism that marks Calvin Klein apparel. A sleigh bed, its walnut wood bent into a “C-clamp” shape, looks like it could slide over the snow with no problem. Gold leaf accents the walnut finish.

In the same Curator collection, a dark-toned chest opens to reveal drawers of a starkly contrasting color.

Hooker, believing that many Americans still want a lush, European look, is offering Beladora. It is large-scale, intended for large homes, and features maple and olive ash burl veneers accented by cracked walnut veneer inlays and a caramel finish with gold tipping.

A laptop docking station, shown here in Sauder’s Arbor Gate collection, can be wheeled chair-side or wherever an owner wants. When not in use, it becomes the center panel of the entertainment credenza.

“A real distinction of this collection is all the handwork, such as gold tipping, veneer work, chiseling and marquetry that is all done by hand,” says Hank Long, senior vice president-merchandising and design.

Practically every collection takes pains to accommodate the latest in technology. Kincaid’s Rosecroft gives bedroom, dining, home office, occasional and upholstery a traditional, Arts & Crafts-inspired exterior with a “Wild Irish Rose” motif. But inside, the pieces are designed for life in the electronic age. A Bachelor’s Chest has a flip-up back rail for cord management as well as a touch dimmer to lower the lighting from any lamp plugged into it.

One entertainment credenza in Sauder Woodworking’s Arbor Gate collection includes a pullout mobile docking stand for a laptop. It nests inside the middle bay of the credenza when not in use, and when needed, can easily roll up to most chairs, sofas and tables.

Sauder is also working with Child Craft Industries to coordinate cribs with several of its collections: the debuting Arbor Gate and Rose Valley and the recently-introduced Magnolia Park.

Once kids get past infancy, this spring’s styles diverge into airy, frilly design for young girls and sturdier stuff for boys and young men. Samantha’s Dream from Hooker features soft curves and dentil mouldings. Stanley’s Arts & Crafts-inspired BaseCamp in an antique cherry finish is designed “to handle anything boys may throw at it” through college age, the company says.

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