New furniture lines that stand out

November 04, 2006|By Tran Ha | Tran Ha,Chicago Tribune

HIGH POINT, N.C. --The star power may have been lacking at the recent fall High Point Market (formerly the International Home Furnishings Market), with Martha Stewart conspicuously absent for the launch of her new furniture collection with Bernhardt. But there definitely wasn't a shortage of buzz-worthy introductions.

Here are a few new furniture lines and pieces that caught our eye for their design, practicality and affordability.

In most cases, the pieces featured will be available in retail stores in about six months.

Metropolitan Home

What's new --Metropolitan Home magazine teamed with contemporary designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and manufacturer Shermag to debut its first furniture collection. The goal of the collection is to provide an "accessible modern" aesthetic that consumers can mix and match and incorporate into any type of decor - not necessarily a space devoted to modern furnishings. The look among the more than 65 items is varied and sometimes whimsical, with Noriega-Ortiz paying painstaking attention to shapes and silhouettes (there's only one piece of hardware in the entire line) and combining unexpected materials such as acrylic and zebra wood in coffee tables, and putting hammered metal onto the bottom of a bookcase.

Standout --The Parallel dining table ($1,995), a stunning example of Noriega-Ortiz's mastery of lines and form.

Information --www.methome collection.com (starting next month)

Pulaski Furniture

What's new --The Build-A-Bear Workshop Home brand includes four youth collections (two for girls, one for boys, one component storage) designed to incorporate the functionality and levels of personalization kids want and the quality parents demand. The dressers come with interchangeable drawer fronts (in three colors that include pastels and primary colors) and pulls (plain or with a teddy bear imprint). Decorative room organizers include baskets, bins, bookshelves, cubbies and wall shelves.

Standout --The space-saving girl's loft system ($1,599) packs a lot of storage and style into a small space. As shown, the system includes two bunk beds, a built-in desk, dresser, bookshelves, corkboard and ladder. (A boy's loft system is available in a honey-colored wood for the same price.)

Information --www.pulaski furniture.com

Martha Stewart Signature

What's new --The Katonah Collection is inspired by Stewart's 1925 farmhouse and stables in Bedford, N.Y. The fifth furniture line from Martha Stewart Signature Furniture with Bernhardt, this collection offers 45 pieces in a spectrum of colors and styles - from a red Asian-inspired secretary to a trim, tailored English sofa.

Standout --The Kingsland Chinoiserie Secretary ($3,150), with its striking Chinese red finish and gold-colored detail, is an updated take on the Asian influences of which Stewart is so fond. The gold-colored cherry blossom pattern on the top cabinet over water swirls on the bottom makes the piece ornate without being over the top. And with its dimensions (44 1/4 inches wide by 23 5/8 inches deep by 81 5/8 inches high), this secretary can house an entire home office.

Information --marthastewart.com, 888-562-7842

Red Egg Resources

What's new --The Moderne Maru Collection, an updated take on Midcentury Modern with a bit of Asian flair (maru means circle in Japanese), includes a chair, settee and bench. The frame, made of bent cane, is available in a white or black lacquer or a hand-rubbed tortoise finish. The cushions are removable, and the seat underneath is woven from solyia cane. Based in High Point, N.C., Red Egg started as an importer of Chinese antiques and has grown to include furniture designs by owner Carol Gregg.

Standout --The Circle Cane Chair ($800), shown in tortoise, is a wonderful marriage of organic and clean-lined retro style.

Information --redegg.com, 336-887- 3541

Zocalo

What's new --The San Francisco-based company's Elevation collection delivers a fabulously high-end look at budget prices. Rich walnut veneers and clean lines star in this Japanese-inspired collection, which includes pieces for the bedroom and dining and living rooms.

Standout --The Quadro queen platform bed ($600), a stunner with its quartered walnut veneer inlay-patterned headboard. Wraparound legs ground the piece and add subtle architectural detail to the platform bottom. Unlike many platforms that work with only mattresses, this one is designed for use with both mattress and boxspring.

Information --zocalousa.com, 800- 433-4650

Tran Ha writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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