High style from High Point


November 17, 1996|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN STAFF

The look is sleek and graceful, almost feminine. The collection -- Barbara Barry for Baker Furniture -- was one of the surprising highlights of this fall's International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.

After several markets where much of the furniture was oversized and overstuffed, the California decorator's designs took a fresh new direction.

The high-backed, rolled-arm sofa pictured has sensuous curves and tailored upholstery, with none of the couch-potato-inspired blowziness of some designs in the recent past.

Also shown are a trio of mahogany nesting tables with slightly tapered legs. (The tallest is 28 1/2 inches tall.) Barry calls them her "little high-heeled tables."

In contrast, clubby leather furniture was bigger than ever at this fall's market -- the more masculine, the better. Hickory Chair introduced 250 frames and 150 varieties of leather upholstery into its traditional lines -- pieces such as this Georgian-style wing chair. The frame is mahogany, with acanthus-leaf carvings and ball-and-claw feet.

Manufacturers aren't downsizing in the bedroom either.

"Practically every collection has one dynamite bed," says Nancy High of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association.

Continuing a trend of several years, beds were big and bold, like this paneled wall bed from Henredon's Cachet collection. Made of walnut, it has metal posts, a top canopy and a twisted metal foot rail.

Contemporary designs had a quiet presence in the fall market with collections like Citation from Century. In honor of the company's 50th anniversary, the 40-piece grouping was named after Century's first successful collection.

Pieces like this serpentine chest with marble top show contemporary's softer side. The platinum-finished pulls were typical of higher-end hardware throughout the market. There was a graying of these finishes on wood furniture -- nickel and silver as well as platinum.

Look for introductions from the High Point wholesale market to start appearing in retail stores in about six months.

Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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