Outdoor designs draw strong response at High Point Market
Larry Thomas -- Casual Living, October 21, 2013
HIGH POINT - Cranking into a relatively slow start under Saturday's cloudy skies, the High Point Market gained strength as the sun returned Sunday and is busy today for the casual outdoor industry as interior designers, hospitality/contract executives and traditional furniture retailers scout the next big trends and product offerings for 2014.
Market attendees take advantage of outdoor furnishings on the walkway between IHFC and Showplace.
Braxton Culler’s Pointe Break presents a twisted woven profile for a different look.
Couture Jardin’s Curves collection provides a luxurious, floating feel for lounging.
South Beach collection from Nourison.
The nation's largest furniture market serves as another major opportunity on the heels of the casual industry's trade show, the International Casual Furniture Association Furniture & Accessories Market held last month in Chicago, but one that attracts a different range of buyers.
Some of the most notable trends include bold, bright colors that signal a return to a healthier and more stable economy even as the recently ended government shutdown still looms large.
"Our season's starting off pretty well," said Dudley Flanders, president of Lloyd Flanders. He noted consumers are enjoying the outdoors because of the moderate fall temperatures so far, and that the Florida selling season is starting strongly. "Our special order business is staying stronger longer," he said. "I think that's a function of the outdoor kitchen expansions. It takes pressure off of the early buy."
Market attendees took advantage of the outdoor furniture and fire pits displayed on the walkway between the International Home Furnishings Center and Showplace, both of which include a number of outdoor furniture showrooms.
At the Palm Springs Rattan showroom in Showplace, Manager Tami Newton agreed business has been good generally going into this market. "We've had to start to re-hire to get our early buy orders out," she said. Although it's not brand new, designers and retailers were responding well to the new tortoise shell and oyster gray finishes on Kokomo, a full collection now sporting a more dynamic woven frame. Lighting and wall art constructed for full outdoor exposure were drawing attention along with the new Seychelles collection, made of a polypropylene fiber and matched with faux wood tables.
Braxton Culler introduced a new weave to add texture and depth to the frame of its new Pointe Break collection. Culler said he envisions it appearing in lake houses or mountain cabins rather than coastal properties. "This is a whole other direction for us," he said. "We've had some good general interest in this."
At The Rug Market America, geometrics remain hot and bright colors - yellows, orange and turquoise - were prevalent in new introductions. "Outdoor/indoor rugs are a growing category for us," said vice president Andrew Shabtai. "In today's market, you need to have it as part of your offerings."
Capel was also showing some refreshing bright colors with its new Garden Party collection of outdoor/indoor rugs. Colors range from Cobalt to Tuscan to Melon.
Pops of primary colors were on display at Cool Beach Products which was exhibiting here for the first time. The Alpharetta, Ga.-based company makes handcrafted flip flop tables (the legs are shaped like flip flops), surfboard tables, crab trap tables and fish net tables among other beach-inspired décor. The company was seeing some traffic and writing orders on opening day.
Kannoa's Maui chair and matching ottoman attracted attention with its range of island-inspired colors.
Not only were brights front and center, but so were daybeds and oversized outdoor recliner options.
At Couture Jardin, Normand Couture said his new Curves design was intended as a "big presence on the floor that also has a floating and luxurious feel." The extra deep seat invites lounging. "I wanted it to be nice from any angle," he said.
Froggy Bottom, based in Lenoir, N.C., was showing its mahogany and stainless steel "sitting/swinging daybed." The company was at High Point for its fourth market. "We're seeing some good prospects," said Sherry Robertson, one of the owners.
Skyline Design's retractable daybed from its Coast Collection.
Capel's outdoor/indoor rugs in a bounty of bright colors.
Skyline Design showed its Coast Collection's retractable daybed which transforms in moments from a sofa style to a full-blown bed.
Shiner International had its unique collection including its Mood Rocking Bed on view. Founder and President Joe Manus said, "This has so many capillary end users. It can be used outdoors or indoors, but it is the ultimate bed for everything you do in bed." The company just opened a 300,000-sq.-ft. factory eight months ago as business has boomed.