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posted: 3/2/2013 5:00 AM

Sure bets at the Las Vegas furniture market

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  • Michael Thiele of the Hardwood Music company plays this acoustic coffee table constructed of Guatemalan rose wood.

      Michael Thiele of the Hardwood Music company plays this acoustic coffee table constructed of Guatemalan rose wood.
    photos by Patricia Sheridan/Scripps Howard News Se

  • Brownstone's silver leaf and reclaimed elm wood Regency Cabinet with silver leaf trim.

      Brownstone's silver leaf and reclaimed elm wood Regency Cabinet with silver leaf trim.
    photos by Patricia Sheridan/Scripps Howard News Se

  • Magnussen Home's American cocktail table done in reclaimed solid wood and an old world paint finish on a rustic brown metal base.

      Magnussen Home's American cocktail table done in reclaimed solid wood and an old world paint finish on a rustic brown metal base.
    photos by Patricia Sheridan/Scripps Howard News Se

  • The Twin-Star Classic Flame media console with heat producing fireplace and refrigerator.

      The Twin-Star Classic Flame media console with heat producing fireplace and refrigerator.
    photos by Patricia Sheridan/Scripps Howard News Se

 
By Patricia Sheridan
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

From the curious to the classical, the Winter Las Vegas Market 2013 offered a look at new furnishings that are convenient, comfortable, contemporary and even quirky.

Taxidermy as an artistic expression seems to be on the rise. No longer is it enough to display a vintage moose head or antlers. Now former woodland creatures are frozen in various natural and sometimes less-than-natural stances. The most imaginative was a vignette from American Natural Resources titled "Noah's Ark," which featured two raccoons, a fox, an opossum and what appeared to be a weasel rowing a large birch canoe. In other showrooms, birds under glass or antlers were still popular choices, and for people who favor faux, papier-mache, cardboard, wood or metal versions of mounted animal heads are available.

If you would rather the great outdoors remain exactly that, then settle into the comfort and modern convenience of Lane Furniture's Optimus. The ultimate man-cave lounger, this recliner has padded, scooped-out seats, hidden storage in the arms and power adjustable headrests. The drop-down table with overhead lighting, two cup holders, two USB ports and two electric plugs make it a great spot to pretend to be working while watching the game.

To really make things easy, Twin-Star International created the ClassicFlame console unit for your flat-screen monitor. It features a fuel-free, energy-efficient, LED electric fireplace with realistic-looking burning logs that can heat up to 400 square feet. A sleep timer and remote-control dimmer are part of the package.

But wait, there's more! It has Bluetooth that works with any smartphone to stream music, a sound bar and an iPhone/iPod dock. The right side of the unit has a built-in mini-fridge to keep your water chilled, and the left side is a storage cabinet.

Need to feel more productive? Hardwood Music Co. hit the right note with its Guatemalan rosewood and Afghan gray onyx coffee table. It doesn't just sit there harmonizing with your decor; aspiring drummers or lovers of melody can play it.

"The table has a truly cathedral-like sound that must be heard to believe," says Joah Thiele, who designed the table and drums with his father, Michael.

The father-son duo are not the only ones inspired by music-related furniture design. Instead of making music with reclaimed steel drums, Groovystuff turned them into side tables with glass tops and paired with oversized peace-sign wall art. The Moonshine collection also features chairs and bar tables using old steel containers.

"This collection is the next trend in sustainable home furnishings," says designer Chris Bruning.

Another eco-conscious manufacturer, Brownstone Furniture, aims for a less discarded look. Its Regency cabinet is made of solid reclaimed elm and trimmed in silver leaf. It is stunningly simple yet elegant. Inside are five shelves and two drawers.

Design Legacy's Goods Made Good program continues to inspire and influence those who love to see things re-purposed. The company partnered with a Wisconsin Goodwill to salvage material from clothing that was no longer fit to wear. The result is patchwork drapes and pillows made from men's suiting fabrics, corduroy and cottons.

At the other end of the spectrum, PolArt's colorful outdoor furniture imitating classic forms is proudly plastic and infused with a rainbow of color choices. It's in line with the company's indoor furniture mission, which is to take traditional looks and create statement pieces using color.

A less-than-traditional look in furniture comes from the design team at Pacific Green. Using sustainable sourced materials, the Australian company first became known for the raw, natural finishes of its post-and-rail constructed furniture. In the late 1980s, it discovered the potential of old coconut palm wood and built a plant in Fiji to produce furniture. The Pure Pacific Collection is all about the tropical-island lifestyle where the idea was born.

Back north, the Canadian company Magnussen Home introduced its Maple Leaf and American cocktail tables. Both feature flags painted in rustic style with a simple brown metal base.

Scripps Howard News Service

Online shopping

groovystuff.com

polart.us

hardwoodmusic.net

brownstonefurniture.com

pacificgreen.net

lanefurniture.com

twinstarhome.com

americannaturalresources.com

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