The clean lines of Mission style and the imaginative curves of Art Deco, each radiating their own kind of cool sophistication, were a noticeable presence at Spring Market. The pieces are not just stylish; they are also highly functional, adaptable and flexible.
Art Deco appears as a strong influence in the Robert Idol Design Collection for Lane Home Furnishings, Tupelo, Miss. This is the first collection the Atlanta-based Idol created for Lane under his own name. The collection consists of two separate but interchangeable lines, the Union Square Collection and the Pacific Heights Collection. Both collections include furnishings for the bedroom, dining room, living room and also accent pieces.
The Pacific Heights line features rosewood, cherry and signature pieces in a rich chocolate color over solid cherry to complement the darker rosewood hues. The Union Square line has two finishes, cherry and rich chocolate. The finishes allow the two lines to be used interchangeably.
Both lines use platinum or leather and platinum pulls. The Union Square line uses long-bar pulls. The collection features clean lines to highlight the wood grains.
According to Idol, pieces in the collection adapt easily through the various chapters of one's life. "We all need to remember that life is not a still photograph, but a movie. Life is constantly changing. We all need to think about how design fits into our lives and how our needs change over time. The objects we choose to surround ourselves with change as well."
Furniture for new technology
Designers at Stanley Furniture Company Inc., Stanleytown, Va., are definitely looking forward, which is evident in their new Midnight Sun line. Citing a projection that sales of larger television sets will increase by $8 billion in 2005, they created a variety of furniture configurations to accommodate high-definition televisions from 42 to 60 inches. "Where television sales go, so do purchases of furniture to house them," says Kelly Cain, vice president and product manager for Stanley Collections.
Stanley's Midnight Sun line is a fusion of function and design, featuring oak in a light camel finish with bronzed glass and textured fabric accents. The Primetime Dressing Chest is proportioned for 20- to 30-inch, 16 x 9 ratio televisions, with 14 drawers for lingerie and clothes. In addition, one of the drawers drops down to accommodate a DVD player. "When the new television sets hit the retail floor, we've got it covered," Cain says.
Hammary, a division of La-Z-Boy Inc., Lenoir, N.C., introduced three furniture groups: Prairie, Deco and Traditional. The collection was created in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a part of its Design in America program.
The Prairie group features simple geometric shapes and an absence of carved ornamentation that displays the beauty of the wood. Hammary interprets the style in white oak veneers, leaded glass and antiqued metal pulls.
The Deco group reflects the glamour of the 1920s and '30s with dramatic shapes and curves with polished steel accents and hardware. Primavera veneers feature a starburst pattern on select items in a rich brown finish.
"Art Deco is once again a strong trend in interior design," John Labarowski, president of Hammary says. "Hammary's collection includes pieces that are very adaptable to today's lifestyles, such as the sleek bar cabinet that brings a touch of glamour to a room. The pieces are almost void of straight linesthey are curved, oval, round and radial."
Hammary's Traditional group is in American Regency style, using high-luster swirled mahogany veneers and cherry and birch veneers. Parquet tops, acanthus carvings, curved drawer fronts and antiqued brass hardware accentuate select pieces.
Function-driven style is at the heart of the new EZ Cube system by Sauder Woodworking Co., Archbold, Ohio. By using a basic cube, Sauder created a modular furniture system that can be made to solve an endless number of storage and decorating challenges. "Today's consumers are more self-confident than ever before, with a keen sense of their individual needs," says Doug Krieger, design director for Sauder. "Many want furniture options that allow them to create their own answers to unique decorating dilemmas."
The modular cubes can be stacked, paired or lined up in a variety of combinations. Consumers can choose between single cubes with or without doors, two-cube and four-cube "stackers" and corner units. Finishes are caramel birch or ebony ash, and the cubes can stand alone or be combined to create anything from a wall-length media center to a small corner storage system. Optional metal-finished feet can be added to give the pieces a polished look.
Flexible and personalized
Riverside Furniture, Fort Smith, Ark., invites consumers to use their imagination in creating personalized dining rooms from its new Craftsman-inspired Flavors Dining Collection. The collection offers options in each of the pieces so consumers can create a set that reflects their personality by choosing from rectangular, square and square gathering-height table styles. There are four choices of chair: classic x-back, lattice back, windsor or slat back, which are available in several different weathered finishes.
To complement the table and chairs, Riverside offers the Flavors Lawyers' bookcase and china hutch, which can be used anywhere in the home. The Lawyers' bookcase may be purchased separately from the china hutch and is available in Antique Black, Shores White, Elan Casual Cherry or Ebony Brown finish.
Hooker Furniture, Martinsville, Va., notes that according to trend watchers, glamour is back in home décor, which stems from a nostalgic interest in 1940s' Hollywood starlit' style.
Hooker answers this demand with pieces featuring mother-of-pearl, shiny stone or mirrored fronts and cases. In particular, the company is featuring two decorative chests covered in pen shell, a shiny stone from Sabu in the southern Phillipines.
"Adding a mirrored or pen shell item is like adding jewelry to your room," says Mike Spece, executive vice president of merchandising and design. "This is a trend that we have seen building with designers."
Glamour for everyone
Magnussen Home Furnishings Inc., New Hamburg, Ont., unveiled several occasional furniture collections that include function and storage options. The collections are intended to be both practical and stylish.
"People today need more than a place to set a lamp or display a few magazines," says Richard Olmeda, Magnussen Home senior vice president. "They're looking for stylish, multifunctional pieces that make life simpler."
A good example is an S-shaped cocktail table from Magnussen's new Biscayne Bay Collection. The table is a coffee table and a bookshelf; casters make the table easy to move from one part of a room to another. Two round stools snuggle into the table's curves and do double-duty as snack or accent tables. All the pieces feature sapelli veneers and a cinnamon finish.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.