HIGH POINT, N.C -- There was an unmistakable glow of gold tones emanating from so many showrooms here when the nation's top furniture makers and sellers gathered for another International Home Furnishings Market.
Upholstery, hardware and veneers all had the Midas touch. Getting the cold shoulder were the nickel, chrome and silver hues that have been dominant over the past decade.
The warmer ambience of brass, bronze, gold and even copper may herald a return to a consumer appreciation of higher caliber furnishings, perhaps echoing the precious metal's escalating value.
"Rich gold colors and other 17th-century Baroque influences leapt to the forefront … from Dolce & Gabbana's runway to our showroom," said Heather Eidenmiller, director of brand development at Bernhardt Furniture.
Here is a sample of the manufacturers returning to the gold standard:
Bernhardt Furniture issued a strong statement with the Fitzgerald sofa upholstered in gold velvet. Portia armless chairs are paired with the Brielle end tables and coffee table done in a patina brass base and ivory lacquered tops. The look speaks to a healthy bottom line.
Appreciating the value of all that glows is the Bill Sofield lighting collection for Baker. It includes the Valerian chandelier in antiqued white gold leaf covering steel leaves for a one-of-a-kind look. The Signature table lamp from the same collection is more contemporary in molded and hammered natural brass.
Global Views expressed its lust for luster with several introductions, including the Egg and Palm brass and bronze lamp and a stunning Collectors cabinet. The cabinet, in hardwood with black lacquer finish and gold detail, features two locking doors that open to reveal adjustable glass shelves. With solid-brass-ring pulls and gold eglomise mirror doors, this dynamic piece exudes elegance.
Councill Furniture was not shying away from rich veneers, either. The Parker cabinet speaks to affluence, with a gold-leaf finish, poppy-lacquer interior and ebony-lacquer base. A member of the same club is Councill's Devin chest, also with gold-leaf exterior.
Studio A demonstrated a desire to go for the gold with its gold Waves martini table (although it also comes in silver and graphite). For warmth without the glint, there is the Izmir cocktail or end table, both done in hammered brass.
Theodore Alexander's Autumnal Glow chest should come with sunglasses. Light plays nicely with the gold-leaf doors, embossed with impressions of real leaves.
Hancock and Moore has been looking to the fashion industry for inspiration. The venerable leather-chair company aimed for glamour, but it hit the glitzy bull's-eye with the Flirt chair in gold leather. It's the seat of luxury.
The Clairval coffee table by French Heritage features a glittering gold-shard glass top sitting on a metal base covered in gold leaf. It's a rich addition to any room and comes in console or end-table versions.
It isn't just interiors that are looking Fort Knox-worthy. Brown Jordan brought back Kantan, originally designed in 1956 in aluminum for pool and patio playtime. This timeless midcentury, low-slung profile has been upgraded to brass and has been christened Kantan II. The strapping is no longer the old hard nylon that left its mark. Known as Sun Cloth, it's a revolutionary soft design with lots of give and many colors.
"After years of minimalist, monochromatic neutrals and doing with less, I think people are ready to incorporate a bit of joyful emotion in their interiors," said Eidenmiller, adding, "A beautifully constructed piece, with a bit of glamour and glow, communicates quality. Quality comforts and quality lasts."
Baker Furniture: www.bakerfurniture.com
Bernhardt Interiors: www.bernhardt.com
Brown Jordan: www.brownjordan.com
Councill Furniture: www.councillfurniture.com
French Heritage: www.FrenchHeritage.com
Global Views: www.globalviews.com
Hancock & Moore: www.hancockandmoore.com
Studio A: www.studioA-home.com
Theodore Alexander: www.theodorealexander.com
Scripps Howard News Service