By Susan Strong an Chad Van Kekerix
A week spent at the High Point Furniture Market highlighted new trends in materials and colors that showed up throughout the market.
Fast becoming a fashionable source for uniquely designed furniture, reclaimed wood is wood that has previously been used in another form. It can be harvested from old barns or factories, boats, or even old furniture itself. This is an environmentally-friendly approach to making furniture that gives new life to old wood and unique style and history to the re-born furniture pieces.
Often a deep and more interesting finish can be achieved by using reclaimed wood in the design of a a new piece of furniture. The new piece of furniture will have a unique story and a finish that is evocative of a past history due to previous use.
One of the biggest trends in style, called Rough Luxe, features the sophisticated combination of reclaimed woods and oxidized metals with vintage leathers or linen fabrics on upholstered furniture. The constrast in texture between the rough looking wood and luxurious upholstery really stands out as an unexpcted combination that works!
For an illustration on what “Rough Luxe” is, check out this website for a group of “Rough Luxe” hotels and restaurants. http://www.roughluxe.com/
Mango trees are huge trees that are first grown for their fruit. The trees grow 60 to 100 feet tall and three to five feet in diameter. Once they reach this mature size, they stop proucing fruit. The farmers then cut own these mature trees to make room for planting new fruit-producing mango trees. The older trees are used for making wood proucts like our new Cross Country Collection from Aspenhome. Mango wood is considered a sustainable and renewable source for wood furniture and is grown and harvested in an eco-friendly manner. It is grown in warm, humid environments like India.
Alder has been a popular choice in wood cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms as an alternative to more expensive cherry. Alder, a member of the birch family, is a hardwood that is moderately hard and takes finish well. Due to the knots and surface variations that are visible in alder, it is usually used for a more relaxed look in dining room and bedroom furniture.
Colors in Fabrics and Leather
Gray was the most frequently used “new” color in both fabric and leather upholstered furniture. From the very light silvery grays to deep rich charcoal grays, the enigmatic tones of gray were found in every price point and style. Working with grays, we saw an extensive use of citron (yellow-green tones), plum and brown used to contrast and enhance the more neutral gray tones. In leather, the smooth and cool shades of gray, often set off with nickel nail head trim for a bit of shine, added a cool feel in amongst the shades of brown. Also in leather, new fashion colors inspired by the leather handbag industry appeared in rich shades of yellow, peackock, and amber. We carry this fantastic sofa from Simon Li in gray. Imagine all the things you can do to jazz this up with the various colors and ideas we are discussing!
Texture is becoming even more important in fabrics and in leathers. Watch for textures with the look of tweed but a soft brushed surface for a cozy and comfortable feel. In leather, the vintage look continues to grow and a surface treatment that adds an old world crackled look to chairs and sofas.
In wood, the wire-brushed surfaces colored with gray stain wash and oxidized metal bases or hardware bring a softer feel to tables and case pieces. No shiny or glossy surfaces in this new trend, everything looks worn and aged in mellow shades of gray and driftwood.
Yes, wood finishes are lightening up and moving towards the middle tones though dark finishes remain very strong. Pure black is being softened with the addition of brown undertones that add depth and interest to the finish. The midle tones (deep browns and chestnuts) of wood finishes are strengthening in casual and rustic feels with distressing and texture for a very relaxed feel. The lightest tones shown were in the warm toffee colors on alder and the natural, almost raw, looks of the reclaimed woods.
More news to follow as we make new selections in products and collections for the showrooms.