19 March 2011

Weekend special report: Outdoor furniture trends

The following report was submitted by the American Home Furnishings Alliance, High Point, N.C., which represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors of residential furnishings, including nearly 100 producers of outdoor furniture. Consumers seeking more information should go to FindYourFurniture.com

Lloyd Flanders Great Lakes collection
Fresh Color, Improved Function, Maximum Value Await Furniture Shoppers This Season

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Daylight-Saving Time not only signals the onset of longer days, but also the beginning of the outdoor living season. Homeowners shopping for new outdoor furnishings this year will find stores stocked with fresh color, surprising new motion furniture and maximum value in all categories.

Alfresco Home's Blue Hawaiian Margarita Bistro set
“Once we change our clocks, we know the first day of spring is right around the corner. That causes a lot of us to take a long look out the backdoor at our outdoor living spaces. It’s time to begin planning improvements for the warmer days ahead,” observes Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

After the long gray days of winter, the first thing many homeowners want to add is a splash of color to their porch or patio. “Crisp shades of blue and green are expected to be favorites this year, but for those who already have cushions in neutral earth tones, a pop of red or orange is a quick and easy way to brighten your space,” says Hirschhaut.

Blue this season is more tropical than nautical, with shades of aqua waters and azure skies more popular than marine navy. Forest green remains a staple at popular prices, but softer shades of sage and celadon are a better complement to this season’s new neutral: gray.

“Gray rolled into the outdoor living palette this year like a fast-moving summer storm,” Hirschhaut notes. “It is the trend-forward choice in every major material for outdoor furnishings.” From polished steel to hand-forged iron, weathered gray teak to driftwood shades of synthetic wicker, gray is the backdrop for all other outdoor color directions this season. Stripes, geometric prints and florals large and small pair gray with everything from butter yellow to poppy red to those tropical blues.

Agio's Haywood fire pit chat group
Whether shopping for dining or lounge furniture, homeowners will find it’s increasingly difficult to sit still this year. Dining chairs bounce and swivel, while lounge chairs rock, recline and rotate. “And two old-fashioned favorites are making a strong comeback this season: rockers and gliders,” Hirschhaut points out.

Villa Bistro set from O.W. Lee
Finally, in all price points and in all styles, the added attention to small details is hard to miss this year. Design flourishes – from detailed scroll work in chair backs to shaped table bases to those ubiquitous motion features – mean added value for outdoor furniture shoppers.


“It’s a great time for sprucing up outdoor living spaces,” Hirschhaut notes. “Even shoppers on a limited budget will find a lot of style and a lot of function without a lot of looking.”

Acropolis collection from Woodard
Telescope Casual Furniture's Adirondack Sling collection

18 March 2011

A set of 3 nesting birch bowls


The new Family Tree bowl set from The Great Alaskan Bowl Company includes 7-inch, 9-inch and 11-inch birch bowls. The set comes with a display stand, a bottle of block oil, an instruction card and wood chips.
The company was a first-time exhibitor at the Housewares show this month in Chicago.

17 March 2011

The classic French press coffee maker


Bodum says its Chambord French press system is the greenest way to make a cup of coffee. A user pours in just as much water as she needs. There is no metal, plastic or paper waste. The coffee grounds are compostable.

Moreover, the company says the materials of the press (glass and stainless steel) are completely taste-free "so nothing comes between your ground coffee beans."

View a Bodum commercial (below).



16 March 2011

Dinnerware in stripes and solids; paper goods for Halloween

Trade Associates Group, better known as simply tag, exhibited more than 600 new items in a wide range of materials at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago this month. tag says many of the introductions are in stock and ready to ship.

Highlights included:

The new Sonoma Stripe
6 1/2" appetizer plates in 10 Sonoma dinnerware colors, with a handy new iron plate caddy (upper left). The company introduce new Sonoma Stripe in two colorways, Celadon and Chocolate, that complement the entire assortment. In addition, a rich, new Sonoma Navy colorway was shown (below).




• Handmade mosaic glass in Halloween (below); Jardin; Fall Flora and Harvest; and tag’s Christmas collections Mistletoe, Holiday Elegance, Christmas Holiday, and Hope, Peace and Joy.
An owl motif on mosaic glassware


• Colorful new paper tabletop products including plates, cups, bowls and napkins in Halloween, Fall Flora, Harvest and Hope, Peace and Joy.
Paper goods from tag

15 March 2011

Fiesta dinnerware in fresh, new colors

At the Housewares Show this month, Homer Laughlin China Co. celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Fiesta dinnerware line. It was originally designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead in 1936. Discontinued in 1973, Fiesta made a resurgence in 1986. The line is popular for bridal registries and with collectors. The company continues to introduce new colors and retire older ones. The March 7 Gift & Home Today post featured the company's soup tureen in the new Marigold color.

Fiesta blue
Diner Bistro


Fiesta Marigold



14 March 2011

Digital piggy bank for children



The Digi-Piggy is a coin collector and counter from Cisco Sales Corp. It was introduced earlier this year at the 108th Toy Fair in New York City and the 2011 International Home+Housewares Show in Chicago. The LCD snout on the Digi-Piggy keeps an accurate and running tally of all American coins inserted into the bank, making it easy for children to learn the values of different coins and how to count change.
Custom Search