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Furniture Trends – What’s Old is New Again


Mason Chair from Baker. Some upholstery is crisply modern, and some has riveting shape. The Mason offers both. While the overall effect is trim and edited with a narrow track arm and a weltless look – the drama comes from the proportions.

By Angela Crissman

Gone are the days of creating a “cookie cutter” room with a suite of matching furniture. Instead, many designers are encouraging homeowners to create an eclectic offering that looks as though it has taken years to collect. With that in mind, this year’s most popular furniture trends are about mixing different styles to create an individual look.

According to Adam Tilley, vice president of product management for Stanley Furniture, two core generational groups are buying furniture — Millenials and Baby Boomers. While many Boomers are staying put in their homes and replacing formal furniture with casual designs, Millenials — families in their late 20s and early 30s — are buying their first quality furniture. Although Millenials are drawn to traditional furniture style elements, they are not interested in traditional furniture that reminds them of their parents. They prefer furnishings that are updated and interpreted to their tastes, can be utilized in smaller living spaces, and incorporate the functional requirements of technology.

As a result, furniture manufacturers are showcasing collections that are a combination of classic and modern style elements. Mid-Century and modern furniture are definitely making a comeback with updated lines and finishes. These designs, which offer a clean look and less fuss, are often paired with fabrics that add a “pop” of color. Smaller-scaled furniture is also earning high marks for its attention to style and functionality. For example, the new Vintage portfolio from Stanley features traditional North Italian and Arts & Crafts elements mashed up with Mid-Century modern influences. Its refinement, proportion and sleeker lines make it ideal for urban living.

In addition, the IKEA PS 2012 collection is inspired from more than 60 years of the company’s design history. Several pieces from this line are reminiscent of items from years past. Laurel Hills, a new casual furniture collection from Broyhill Furniture, offers a look that is both fresh and familiar by bridging traditional design elements with current trends. The result is a comfortable, functional and uncluttered look that works well with many different decorating styles. Designers are also taking notice of collections that add a twist to classic furniture by enhancing it with Spanish influences, inlaid designs, and impeccable turnings. Manufacturers including Lexington and Baker are even designing furnishings and accessories as art — standout and stand-alone pieces that defy traditional and contemporary stereotypes.

When it comes to upholstery options, forget about choosing materials that are neutral. Today’s trends include fabrics that infuse a touch of elegance, splash of color, or incorporate texture into your décor. While emerald green has been named Color of the Year by Pantone, blue and yellow are also top color choices in 2013. Other hues you can expect to see popping up on upholstery pieces this year are gray and salmon pink.

Pattern is definitely back on sofas and chairs with anything from animal motifs, geometric patterns, florals, nostalgic patterns, and vibrant stripes. Velvet is also making a statement with new designs that are not only luxurious, but also add great visual interest. In addition, many upholstered pieces are incorporating tufting, which adds a rich and highly decorative look. Tufting is showing up headboards, ottomans, sofas and chairs, and it’s no wonder because it is a great way to add a little glam and sophistication to a room. Another way manufacturers are making a distinct design statement is by incorporating details such as nailheads on anything and everything.

Wood and other natural materials are also in vogue this year. With consumers becoming more eco-conscious and the desire to bring the outdoors inside, natural materials including wood and bamboo are being widely used in modern furniture. Many natural woods are being paired with Lucite, metal and glass. Other designs are infusing pops of color on exposed wood frames as an accent.

Arhaus Furniture, which is new to the Houston area, showcases an exclusive assortment of furniture and accessories that are handmade by artisans from all over the world. With sustainability in mind, Arhaus only sources wood from vendors practicing sustainability and its artisans use recycled materials whenever possible. Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrel are also among the companies utilizing reclaimed wood and natural wood elements in their current collections.

Metal mania is also making a mark  and can be found on anything from upholstered furniture to accent pieces. Furniture with sinuous curves and flowing lines is also providing a dramatic flair and making an artistic statement. Ellen Gefen, a home fashion trend and style forecaster, says movement and shape are being seen in headboards and case pieces, and as a design element at the bottom of a chair, on a coffee table, or even a mirror. Intricate details and patterns in furniture can instantly boost the appeal of a space. “Starburst details are a great design element on top of tables, behind hardware, and as mirrors,” says Gefen. She also says to look for the quatrefoil shape in chair backs, lighting and as a design element in case goods.

Furniture trends creating a buzz include:


Sectionals continue to be a hit with consumers because they are available with options, making it easy to customize your space. In addition, they offer the versatility of being easily separated and rearranged to create multiple seating solutions.

Accent chairs and tables

Accent chairs and tables are great ways to update a room and are available in an array of sizes, shapes and materials. This is a great option if you want to incorporate a touch of whimsy or nostalgia into your space.


With more and more people spending time on the computer or working at home, the home office is becoming a much-needed room. Desks are becoming an extension of one’s décor and personal style.

Servers and cabinets

With the growing popularity of more buffet-style eating and less formal meals, servers and cabinets continue to be in big demand. With that in mind, “crossover” dining sets are replacing formal tables of the past. Homeowners are more interested in a table that is dressy enough for company, but casual enough for every day use. In addition, many homeowners want “down-to-earth” furniture that can be used in large eat-in kitchens and casual dining rooms.

Storage beds

Storage beds have been given a sophisticated makeover and are now making a design statement in bedrooms. Beds with built-in storage options can eliminate clutter and simplify a space.

With many furniture styles finding new inspiration from the past, it is evident that what is old is definitely new again. By mixing transitional and relaxed looks, it’s easy to create a room that can truly be the perfect mix of chic and comfy, trendy and classy, and whimsical yet elegant.


The Coplin Settee from Henredon includes a tight back, welt trim, and exposed legs with antique brass casters.


Custom Bench V60 from Vanguard Furniture is Bocchino Palamino finished in antique chicory and opens for storage.


Sleigh bed from Broyhill’s Laurel Hills collection is crafted of pin knotty cherry veneers and poplar solids in a natural-cherry finish. It has a slatted headboard and two drawers in the footboard for storage.


The tufted back settee from Lexington’s Images of Courtrai collection features ultra down seat cushions, nailhead trim, and two Lux Down kidney pillows, which showcase the classical lines of Mid-Century modern.


The Sumner single-pole pendant, from Rejuvenation Lighting & House Parts, possesses an airy timelessness that transcends “period” associations.


The Signature Table Lamp from Baker Furniture was inspired by the colorful movement of a personal signature. While custom cast brass captures that sense of artistic whimsy, the texture offers a rugged hammered and rasped look.


Lane’s Elizabeth Square Steamer Trunk features a soft, subtle, bonded-leather cover with overlap on all edges and distinctive nailhead trim.


The Baumann Media Center from Arhaus is made of solid American oak planks distressed by the craftsman in an effort to mimic the historic barns throughout Amish country in southern Ohio that inspired it.


Zander 8-Drawer Dresser from Crate & Barrel is a statement-making storage piece that’s eclectically modern.


Exotic and unique, the Taj rug from Doris Leslie Blau is handwoven in aloe and silk.


Pike Armchair from Rejuvenation Lighting & House Parts has metal frame with chrome finish and tawny, super-soft leather.


The Bunny Williams Button Down Chest is finished in a natural honey stain. This handsome mid-century inspired chest of drawers has whimsical button drawer pulls on a tambour frame and dividers in the top two drawers.


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