Case goods style keys on soft modern, livable comfort, and global influence

HIGH POINT — Minimalist, soft modern forms are prevalent in the case goods segment this spring market cycle, highlighting consumer appetites for clean-lined products with low sheen wood grain bearing finishes and other natural mixed media elements.

This design trend, along with updated traditional and modern coastal and farmhouse inspired designs highlights the continuing demand for “livable comfort” in bedroom, dining and occasional furniture.

In addition, globally inspired looks complement the mix with designs that evoke a sense of travel to far parts of the world for consumers still sheltering at home. Wood species mix with metals, stone and woven elements that highlight the natural resources in places like Mexico, India and other parts of southeast Asia.

These styles were on tap at the recent April Premarket and also will be shown at the June High Point Market.

Soft modern

The soft modern aesthetic was perhaps most visible in Bernhardt’s Interiors line, which has primitive modern design elements inspired by the works of Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret and French designer Jean Royere.

The line incorporates sand-blasted and cerused oak veneers on drawer fronts and frames of case pieces, and also on cast aluminum accents on table tops, door fronts of sideboards and inlays on headboards. In addition, cast plaster and cast concrete adorn the table bases and the drawers and tops of case pieces, offering a mix of modern architectural and geometric forms that combine shape and movement with various textures.

These elements are repeated in many of the 50 new pieces, giving Interiors the look and feel of a full collection within the company’s collection business.

“The simplicity of the forms make the pieces feel like artifacts, but with a modern twist that is very textural and interesting to the eye,” said Heather Eidenmiller, director of brand development.

Rustic modern designs are seen on the company’s 46-piece Solaria collection, which is made with quartered white oak veneers in a sand-tone wire brushed finish called Dune and a lighter finish called Weathered Bone.

Weathered Bone and a finish called Fossil also are seen on cast resin elements on the base of a console and the upside down goblet-shaped pedestal base of a round dining table.

Other design elements include cast aluminum on inset drawer pulls, inset panels, frames and bases.

Soft modern forms also play a role in Riverside Furniture’s 14-piece Pasadena collection, which is made with split cathedral oak veneers in a light gray finish. Such elements are seen in the dry wood grain bearing finish as well as the rounded edges of a bed frame and the beveled edge of a dining table with a sawhorse style base and a metal inset strip on the top.

Clean-lined aesthetic

A.R.T. Furniture’s 22-piece Stockyard collection — made with ash solids and oak veneers in a darker, yet also dry Smoked finish — also has casual or natural modern design elements. The soft modern design elements are found in the rounded edges of a trestle base dining table and in the contrasting lighter tone travertine stone top seen on a buffet and nightstand.

Its 20-piece Frame collection has minimalist, modern design elements seen in the slim, angular design of a metal canopy bed, the clean-lined forms of case pieces, on table tops and even in the spindles of a low profile shelter bed. Frame is made with oak veneers in a mid-tone brown chestnut finish and a contrasting darker Antique Carbon finish on the base of a rectangular leg table and a sawhorse style desk.

The 20-piece companion Post collection, by comparison, has modern farmhouse design elements. Made with oak veneers in a Cracked Almond finish that highlights the wood grains, the collection offers a clean lined approach seen in a trestle base dining table shown with a chair featuring a solid wood seat and slightly curved back.

The clean-lined aesthetic is also on case pieces with framed drawers and in the updated shaker-inspired design of a buffet in a two-tone finish featuring a Cracked Almond top and Whitewash finish on the base.

“You can make this look modern if you want to, or it can be more urban farmhouse,” said Doug Rozenboom, president. “These lighter color tones have been popular.”

Global influences

More global design influences are seen in a number of accent collections, including Hooker Furnishings’ Commerce & Market, which features a mix of solid woods, stone and metals on accents sourced from Vietnam, India and Mexico.

Such influences also pravelent in Universal Furniture’s Curated collection as well as new additions to Progressive Furniture’s accent line. These are both sourced from India and feature wood species such as mango and acacia as well as other mixed media elements such as metal and stone that are also indigenous to India.

Other collections incorporate more familiar traditional forms but in an updated manner. Universal’s Furniture’s 40-piece Past Forward is what the company calls a reinterpretation of classic forms that include familiar designs that continue to sell well.

“These are classic silhouettes that have been updated through their form and the finish,” said Jeff Scheffer, Universal president and CEO. “It is sophisticated, yet casual for the way people live today.”

The collection is made with pin knotty oak veneers and oak solids as well as birch veneers and poplar solids. There also are three finishes, Dover White, a gray tone called Flagstone and Stone Washed Denim, each of which complement the wood species and casual nature of the design, which also bears some Spanish, English, French and Scandinavian style influences.

Hooker Furnishings’ 68-piece Traditions collection, made with pine veneers, has new traditional/vintage style elements, incorporating various inspirations from antiques.

For example, the carved legs of a rectangular dining table and the carved based of a round dining table were inspired from a lamp seen in an antique store. The theme is repeated on the carved legs of a console, the base of an end table and the legs of a round cocktail.

Case pieces also feature shaped tops and shaped door and drawer fronts, complementing both linear and starburst veneer patterns.

Hooker’s 50-piece Alhambra collection, made with alder solids and veneers and shown in three finishes, Dove, Raven and a red tone called Cardinal, also features traditional design elements seen in the turnings of a poster bed and legs of a dining table and console and the fretwork detail on a nightstand in the Cardinal finish.

The same collection also has global design influences as seen in the carved leaf detail of a mirror frame and on the shaped bases of cocktail and end tables. The same carved detail is seen on a hall console, shown in a two-tone Dove finish on the exterior and Cardinal finish on the interior frame.

Bernhardt’s Albion collection has traditional design elements that incorporate Shaker and British Colonial influences, with “hints of French styling.”

These are made casual through both cleaner forms on case pieces and the use of knotty white oak solids and veneers in three finishes: a lighter gray tone Pewter and a darker Sorrel. There are also natural textural materials including woven paper rope on the drawers of a dresser and nightstand and on the frame of a bookcase display unit.

Making a transition

Clean-lined urban transitional design influences part of Hooker Furnishings’ 55-piece Chapman collection, which is made with pin knotty oak veneers in a warm brown Sorrel finish and a darker Charred Black finish.

Hekman Furniture’s 28-piece Scottsdale collection also has an urban transitional design aesthetic as seen in the clean line shapes of beds, dining tables and case pieces made with mindi veneers in a lighter, wire-brushed sand-tone finish.

American Drew’s 30-piece Emporium has rustic transitional design elements such as the subtle high-low treatment seen on the starburst pattern of a dining table top. The starburst pattern is repeated on the drawer fronts of a buffet and the drawers of a chest, all made with white oak veneers in a dark gray tone Shadow finish.

In addition, the starburst design is used on the headboard of a wood panel bed, on the frame of an upholstered wood frame bed, on the doors of an entertainment console and the tops of occasional tables.

Sister company Kincaid Furniture’s 26-piece Urban Cottage has casual cottage design elements but in a natural wood finish on solid New Zealand pine. The low-sheen gray tone helps tell the wood story on pieces such as a panel bed with a shaped headboard, dining tables with X-shaped bases and on the door and drawer fronts and tops of case pieces such as nightstands, buffets and dressers.

Riverside Furniture’s Haley collection, made with solid pine in a Pebble White finish, also has cottage design elements seen in the hand planing and physical distressing of the finish and on the plank detail on the headboard and footboard of a panel bed and doors of a buffet.

Meanwhile, Riverside’s 21-piece Berkley collection, also made with solid pine, has rustic casual design elements, notably a low-sheen finish that highlights wood grains, including a double diamond pattern on the headboard of a panel bed. (Furniture Today)

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