Every homeowner knows buying furniture is fraught with challenges. What’s in vogue in the showroom may look outdated by the time it’s delivered to your home.
So it’s good to know manufacturers and retailers of high-quality furnishings today are steering away from stiff, formal styles and towards clean, timeless designs that adapt to any number of settings.
Industry giant Baker Furniture has many years of experience anticipating consumer trends, and company president Austin Rothbard predicts informality for 2015.
“Relaxed living is definitely a growing trend,” he says. “Consumers are embracing a much more casual lifestyle, furniture mixes are more eclectic, and product design is evolving to meet this demand.”
The company’s newest looks borrow from the folkloric and the artisanal for a coastal home aesthetic that’s both chic and individualistic.
“We are seeing glass and metal combinations growing in popularity,” Rothbard adds. “These organic components are a dramatic way to bring light and reflective qualities within a room.” bakerfurniture.com
Angelo Donghia was one of the most influential interior designers of the past century. Today, the firm bearing his name continues to offer beautifully made furniture and fabrics.
Chuck Chewning, Donghia’s creative director, echoes the metal trend.
“Metals are being used on all furniture, not just as accents, but as important design elements,” he says. “We are playing with unique hand finishes that give the metal a special dimension that looks artisanal.
“Upholstery is also making a comeback,” he adds. “People are interested in comfortable timeless upholstered furniture with clean lines. This fits perfectly with what Donghia has always done, designing textiles with upholstering in mind so that they accentuate and compliment the sculptural form of our furniture.” donghia.com
In Los Angeles, the stylish Graye-LA meets the demand for sleek Italian furniture, lighting and wall systems. Executive Creative Director Maria Cicione says superb workmanship is key for furniture connoisseurs.
“Our clients expect classic European quality driven by modern design,” she says. “It’s important to them that our furniture is produced by family-owned Italian artisans with a progressive approach to manufacturing and technology.” graye-la.com
Josh Steinwand, owner of Studio 534 in Boston, also sees a move towards the less formal. “We sell mostly linen, not so much silk,” he says. “In furniture, a cerused finish is growing in popularity, especially among coastal homeowners. The wood is wire-brushed to open the grain resulting in a pale, powdery finish.” s5boston.com
Interior designer Lee Jofa, long in the Kravet stable, knows about fitting new styles with old. “We are adding several new styles, including smaller scaled pieces with sleek, tailored lines, which mix and match beautifully with antiques and mid-century pieces,” says MaryEllen Walsh, vice president of furniture at Kravet.
Walsh says the Lee Jofa Workroom program, offering customizable frames, is hugely popular with designers.
“The biggest trend we see is that designers have more tools at their disposal to customize upholstery pieces to fit a space exactly, which is precisely the value of hiring a designer,” she says. “Furniture can be specified to exact measurements as well as style and scale, so it’s always just right.” kravet.com
CASA DESIGN BOSTON
Casa Design Boston offers an array of fabulous outdoor living furnishings
At the end of the day, however, we all want to head outdoors. “Outdoor dining and entertaining has been taken to a new level as outdoor spaces continue to grow,” says Zhanna Drogobetsky, owner of the cutting-edge Casa Design Boston.
Located in the SoWa district of Boston’s South End, this boutique-style design showroom features many limited editions, sustainable furnishings and modern design must-haves that are perfect for any ocean home. casadesignboston.com