China International Furniture Fair 2015 Trends

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We spent last week in Guangzhou, China, at the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF), the largest expo in China for home furnishings. While there, we were able to get a glimpse of upcoming trends from the Asian markets. This year’s offerings placed an emphasis on small space living, and utilizing hidden aspects of well designed furniture. Here are some of our favorites:

 

1. New takes on futons.

 

The hard metal frames and uncomfortable, thin mattresses of the past were nowhere to be seen at CIFF. In their place were soft, upholstered chairs that transformed into beds by either pulling down the backrest to reveal a level sleeping space, or by unfolding the seat to create a soft, foam mattress.
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2. Marble accents on accent pieces.

Marble is the new granite these days, it seems. It’s also showing up on accent furniture in understated ways – the inside of a table leg, a block along the front of a console, the top of a table. It adds a classy touch without being overpowering or turning a home into something reminiscent of a Parthenon.

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Image credit: Feel Inspired Blog.

3. Classy matte and clear plastic.

Plastic used to be reserved for lawn and children’s seating. Now, with new finishes and designs, it is made classy enough for the modern dining table, office, and even as living room accent pieces. And while acrylic chairs are not anything new, they’ve been revamped to include latticework and geometrical shapes to keep the trend going.


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Image credit: aspirationalhipster.

 

4. Coated metals.

Chrome, powder coated, antiqued, and brushed metal finishes took a back seat to gleaming white coated metal tables, consoles, bedroom sets, and chairs.

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We of course enjoyed our stay in China, and were amazed with all there was to do and see!

 

New Ways to Decorate with a Brown Sofa

 

Brown sofas are a go-to staple in the furniture industry. Every retailer has one, and chances are, most customers have owned one, or probably own one now. They are usually comfortable, hide dirt and pet fur rather well, and are easy to find in almost any style. But no matter their practical attributes, many people today tend to shy from a traditional brown sofa, afraid that the color is boring or drab!

Contrary to that belief, there are always ways to make a brown sofa a part of a lively living room set up. Here’s a couple tips for anyone ready to take their brown sofa to a new level:

 

1. Surround yourself in the hue.

An easy way to work with brown is to take it to the max by using the sofa’s color around the room, including on the walls and other furniture pieces. Select a contrasting color to offset all the brown, and play with whites and neutrals to keep the room from becoming too monotone.

 

Brown paint, wallpaper, and wall textures can tie the room together with a brown sofa set, like our Louis shown here. Don’t forget to accent with our Liz chair!

 

 

2. Go the other way with lighter colors.

Another way to work with a brown sofa is to surround it with lighter colors. This will provide balance to a darker piece, and will brighten the room.

 

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Alex is a great collection for modern, simple comfort in a soft brown hue. A light gray wall and sculptural accessories work well with bold pops of color. Simple ottomans in white provide a modular solution to a standard coffee table.

 

3. Decorate with a warm palette.

Brown is already a warm color, which makes it great to partner with burgundies, reds, oranges, and yellows. Take inspiration from autumn colors, and play with florals and brightly colored accent pieces.

 

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Floral curtains, a stone fireplace, and warm toned paint brighten a brown sofa and remind us of home. Play with furniture shapes, and don’t be afraid to mix and match furniture styles. Our Flora chair brings some bright green to the scene, while the Andrew is a good basic brown sofa to work with.

 

4. Dazzle with a cool palette.

Purples, greens, and blues shouldn’t be snubbed in the face of brown’s warm tone. Contrast these cooler tones with a strong brown couch, or even aim for a lighter brown. Make sure your pillows, rugs, curtains, and other pieces include pops of matching brown to bring it all together.

 

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A completely cool palette, like this one awash in blues, is a natural complement for a brown sofa, like our Steven. Our Janette chair adds a soft, natural touch, and extra seating.

 

 

5. Play with neutrals.

It’s easy to rely on neutrals to match up with a brown sofa, but they don’t have to be boring. Jazz up neutrals with textures and interesting patterns. Don’t be afraid to give a mish mash of styles to create interest! Faux fur, geometrical patterns, animal prints and skins, and matte mixed with patent finishes create a perfect mix.

 

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This loft setting asks for simple furniture that doesn’t take too much space. Mason and Amber complement each other well. Use fun, industrial themed accents and natural textures in various neutrals, and finish with a simple storage ottoman..

 

6. Integrate popular decor trends.

There are plenty of popular decor styles that work well with brown sofas, loveseats, and sectionals. Rustic and industrial styles are not only trending, but easy to update and make into a cozy home atmosphere. Combine with exposed metal and woodgrain, natural elements, and exposed brick or stone walls for full effect.

 

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Create a rustic setting easily with our Louis sectional and our rush barstools. Accent with faux fur and nature inspired pillows, a cozy patterned rug, antlers and branches.

 

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Recline in industrial chic style with the Fulton sofa and loveseat set. Exposed painted bricks provide texture, while gears, pipes, aged metals, and Victorian inspired steampunk elements bring the look together.

 

Whether in a loft or a traditional living room, this household staple has tons of potential for chic, cozy living.

 

For more information on the products shown, please click here.

To inquire about a dealer near you, please click here.

 

 

 

Create a Stylish Living Room with Motion Furniture

 

Comfort. Function. Style?

One of these words is not one that people usually think of when they picture a motion sofa, loveseat, or armchair. Sure, you can’t argue when it comes to comfort. What is more comfortable than a power reclining, plush chair? And when they come packed with extras – like cup holders, storage spaces, cell phone charging docks, and touch power interfaces – it’s hard to make a case against functionality. But style?

 

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Troy sure is comfy. But most people don’t really know how to style a room with motion furniture.

 

 

Luckily, the key to designing a great stylish space with motion furniture is focusing on the word space. Motion furniture usually takes up a lot of it, so these pieces will meet your “positive space” requirement. Next to these pieces, the room will simultaneously look very empty, but challenging in regards as to how to fill it without making it look cluttered. To do that, play around with other pieces that honor the use of “negative space”, yet still compliment the motion pieces’ design.

 

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The bookcase on the left hand side uses a lot of positive space. The one on the right hand side uses little positive space, allowing for more negative space to be incorporated into the design.

 

Here are a few steps to use this method for creating a stylish space with your motion furniture:

1. Get the motion furniture.

First and foremost, determine which motion furniture you want for your room. We have a variety of motion sofas to choose from, but of course, you want one that’s going to work with your room as much as you are going to work with it.

 

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Small motion sectionals like the Paul are great for small spaces like apartments, lofts, or secondary dens.

 

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Separate sofa, loveseat, and armchair pieces, like in the Fulton set, allow for more freedom in living room arrangement.

 

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The Miller Sectional is great for large, open rooms or rooms with one focal corner space.

 

The key is, of course, to not buy a piece (or pieces) too big for your room, nor too small. Make sure there is 30″ to 36″ of walkway space between furniture pieces, about 14″ to 18″ between the seating and coffee table (or opt for an open sided serving table to be placed near the recliner), and the arms of any two pieces of seating furniture should not touch at all. Try to keep around 3′ of space between these pieces. Don’t block entryways or fireplaces.

2. Start from the ground up.

If you’re working with carpeted flooring, try to forgo using a large scale or even busily patterned rug. We want to work with open space, and busy patterns will detract from the innate openness of the room. Wood floors will need some carpeting for creature comfort, but again, nothing too busy. Natural textures and colors will work well in these occasions. Animal skins and skin-like rugs will also work, as long as their colors are not too contrasting. Leave the fur and shag rugs for another room.

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This printed, skin-like rug will break up the floor space without feeling too heavy.

 

A jute, rattan, rush (tatami), or bamboo rug will also do the job. If you choose to use a bamboo rug, be sure not to place motion furniture directly on top of it.

A jute, rattan, rush (tatami), or bamboo rug will also do the job. If you choose to use a bamboo rug, be sure not to place motion furniture directly on top of it, as this may break the rug.

 

3. Add a pop of color, and play with texture.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the size and shape of the motion furniture, and many feel it is just easier to leave walls blank. While a patterned wallpaper will be too much, your walls aren’t doomed to a state of blah! Use some updated neutral colors to give the walls some cohesiveness without drawing too much attention. Exposed brick, either painted or sporting natural brick colors, give texture without being overpowering.

 

If you don't have brick in your house, it can be installed easily with this method.

If you don’t have brick in your house, it can be installed easily with this method from b.organic.

 

Curtains should be sheer, if you use them at all. Try slatted shutters to keep the look clean. Try ones that retract into the windowsill when open.

 

These indoor window shutters pull to the side to keep space open, and don't look outdated.

These indoor window shutters pull to the side to keep space open, and don’t look outdated.

 

4. Use accent furniture that leaves breathable space.

Select coffee and end tables that leave a lot of room underneath, and whose legs aren’t bulky or overly ornate. If you need storage space, the drawers should be small, perhaps without a pull. Choose open backed bookcases, which will serve the same purpose but have a feeling of open space.

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5. Accessories should be simple, or small.

Ditch the patterns on vases and large potted plants. Metals are still in, and can be used throughout the room. Natural and painted wood branches are excellent space fillers on bookcases and shelves. Ditch large, abstract paintings for singular wall decor objects or small gallery picture frames.

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Gold, copper, and bronze are still going strong. Vases and other small accent items provide great opportunities to bring this trend into the home.

 

Branches and antlers can work as space fillers on shelves, curtain rods, jewelry holders, you name it!

Branches and antlers can work as space fillers on shelves, curtain rods, jewelry holders, you name it!

 

6. Pick open or unobtrusive light fixtures.

Avoid floor lamps – which will require more floor space – if at all possible, unless you are working with a rather large space. Avoid heavy, patterned shades. Recessed lighting works well, as do newer open frame pendant lamps.

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Caged lighting elements can remove the heaviness of shaded lamps.

 

7. Add pillows to dress up the motion piece.

Last and certainly not least, add some pizzazz to that motion piece with accent pillows that match your color scheme. Again, stay away from bold or large patterns. Tie it all in with natural textures or simple trims.

The pattern of this pillow is not so great as to outdate or distract.

The pattern of this pillow is not so great as to outdate or distract.

 

The results?

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This small space does well with Paul. It doesn’t feel too cluttered or like the furniture is swimming in the space. Everything feels clean yet homey and comfortable.

 

For more information on the products featured above, click here.

Click here to inquire about a dealer near you.