Vibrant furniture colors are the new trend instead of the boring beige color.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
High Point, NC
Looking for a new sofa? Well, the new lines coming out at the nation's largest furniture retailers aren't for any shrinking violet.
They're for cool periwinkle, in fact, and screaming red. Beige is being banished in this year's trendiest living rooms.
"We've seen a sea of beige over the last few years, said Greg White, vice president of merchandizing for La-Z-Boy. "We think red itself is one of the hottest colors coming on the market."
White isn't alone. The biggest manufacturers are pouncing on the bold colors with their new lines. A walk through their showrooms this spring at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C., had people literally seeing red.
"It's the 'red' story," said Julia Campbell of Hickory Chair, whose furniture sells to high-end retailers such as Master Craft Interiors and Marshall Field's. "You're seeing every shade — coral, pumpkin, pink."
She also pointed to her "blue" story: a large portion of the Hickory Chair show room at High Point was nothing but periwinkle.
Likewise with manufacturers such as Broyhill, which sells to more affordable retailers such as Haverty's and J.C. Penney. "We've been trying to get more and more color, said Debra Venti, Broyhill's merchandise manager for upholstered goods.
Two or three years ago, beige covered the chairs and sofas and stronger colors were relegated to accent pillows, Venti said. Now, it's the other way around.
And just as the colors are popping out, new fabrics are replacing the familiar chenille that has been "in" for several years. Now, it's microfiber. Bassett and La-Z-Boy are both offering new lines of microfiber furniture that come in almost two dozen colors.
"Microfibers are very big," said Michael Satterfield, Bassett's vice president for retail and marketing. "Color seems to be the theme for us."
For La-Z-Boy, the path over the rainbow will hopefully lead to younger, twenty- and thirtysomething customers. Traditionally La-Z-Boy's weakest area, this age group "is a market we're aggressively going after," White said.
La-Z-Boy, known primarily for its recliners, is marketing chairs and loveseats with removable — and interchangeable — slipcovers to appeal to those younger customers.
No matter the age group, furniture showrooms are about to get a lot more colorful, whether it's in the upholstery or the wood finishes of tables and chests.
Along with beige, natural wood stains are fading into the background as color finishes in cream, blue, red and green emerge in the kitchen, dining and bed rooms.
"They're a little more casual in that approach," which is following an ongoing trend in home design away from formal living-room-type settings, said Boyd Barnhardt, Broyhill's director of marketing services.
Hickory Chair is also following that approach at the upper end by painting traditional wood pieces that have long been in its collections. Up to 75 percent of Hickory Chair's "case goods" can be painted in a variety of finishes, Campbell said.
Likewise, La-Z-Boy's slipcover furniture comes in three different frames with 15 fabric choices. That means customers can design their own look — and their own color — without paying an interior designer.
"We're hearing that people want things to be more custom," Campbell said. "They don't want a (generic) suit."
Patios are no longer just for relaxing; they're also for decorating. According to Linda Moran, creative and carefree styles are...