Elegance and curves mark furniture trends

HOME FRONT

April 30, 2000

At the International Home Furnishings Market earlier this month, there was a sofa to suit every taste. These are among the themes that emerged from the spring market:

Curves ahead. Whether it's on chests or tables, sofas or armoires, gentle curves add sensuality to furniture.

Asian flavor. The Asian influence is reflected more in accessories than major pieces. Chinoiserie, an ornate style based on Chinese motifs, is showing up again on tables and chests.

Better by the bunch. Bunching tables popular in the 1960s and 1970s are back. Clustering smaller tables or ottomans is a flexible alternative to the large cocktail table.

Bench seating. Elegant benches are everywhere. The St. Germain bench in Hemingway's Paris collection by Thomasville features zebra-printed calf hair upholstery.

Big and bold. Furniture is growing to match the scale of bigger rooms with higher ceilings. Century showed a 90-inch-tall armoire.

Look back. Designers are paying attention to the back sides -- the backs of sofas and chairs in particular. Dressmaker detailing such as pleats and braid can make a sofa look good from behind. -- Wire reports

Pieces designed with Gen-X in mind

It's taken a while, but people who make products other than audio, video, and sports equipment have discovered Generation X, the post-Boomer generation that is 65 million strong, and capable of spending some serious cash.

Broyhill Furniture has introduced a new line designed to suit Gen Xers' diverse and individual nature. Pieces are designed to function in more than one way -- a chair that opens to a bed ($835), a hassock that opens for storage ($305) -- and simple yet classic styles.

For more information on the GX collection or to find a dealer near you, call 800-3-BROYHILL, or visit the Web site at www.broyhillfurn.com.-- Karol V. Menzie

Finally, you can make crop circles!

One of the subtle joys of going to the ball park is the glorious sweep of carefully tended grass, mowed into shimmering plaids or diamonds. If you've tried to do that at home, you probably haven't had much success. The secret, according to the folks who make Simplicity mowers, is not in the cutting: It's in rollers that flatten the grass as you mow.

Flattening the grass changes the way light reflects off it. Grass rolled away from you looks lighter than grass rolled toward you. Simplicity makes a lawn tractor, a garden tractor and a riding mower, all with rollers that allow you to create all sorts of patterns as you mow, from simple stripes and diamonds to waves and bull's-eyes. Prices range from $2,399 to $9,999. For the dealer nearest you, or for more information, call 262-284-8669, or visit the Wisconsin-based company's Web site at www.simplicitymfg.com. -- K.M.

EVENTS:

The second annual Homeland House and Garden Tour takes place this coming Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are eight houses featured in the neighborhood, which is along North Charles Street near Northern Parkway. House styles range from English Tudor to Country French, and many are surrounded by gardens. Admission is $15 per person. Tickets may be bought at each of the houses the day of the tour (they will be marked), or in advance at Schneider Hardware, 700 Wyndhurst Ave., at C.H. O'Malley Antiques, 4000 Roland Ave., or at Gunday's Gifts, 739 Deepdene Rd. For more information, call 410-323-7088, or 410-433-8553.

Mother's Day gifts, annual and perennial garden plants, herbs and garden-related items will be for sale at the 27th annual May Fair at the Shops at Kenilworth, 800 Kenilworth Drive in Towson. The event, sponsored by District III, the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland Inc., takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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