The Made in the USA campaign at this week's High Point Market notwithstanding, this market is seeing a major revival of French furniture, historically the most popular style in America. What's different this time around is that these new pieces have none of the dead generic quality of mummified reproductions but are energetic take-offs and reinterpretations of a certain bourgeois genre.
In other words, they take only a fleeting glance back at forms originally created for royalty and the very wealthy, looking instead at how the middle class evolved these forms from the 1920s through the 1940s.
The pieces are largely apartment size, simplified with their curves amplified by the glow of satin fabrics as seen in the new Lauren collection at Schnadig. Accent pieces inspired by Art Deco add to the eclectic mix, and a pair of consoles supported by undulating iron work taken from Beaux Arts architecture lend authenticity to this spirited collection. Velvet upholstery in complexion blush tints and trimmed in luxurious moss fringe offers a seductive textile alternative.
Century went all out for French design with the introduction of more than 100 pieces celebrating four variations of the French style designed by Richard Frinier: a French Island group called Montserrat Club; a sophisticated French Country collection, Chateau Lyon; a French Deco collection, Paragon Club; and a casual French outdoor collection, Maison Jardin.
Century created an amazing space dedicated to French design based on consumer demand. Augmenting these new collections, the company also revisited one of its past French collections, Consulate, to which it added twenty new pieces to complement the existing line.
Wire brushed ash veneers and a washed linen finish enhance Chateau Lyon and deny any illusions of grandeur, while carved Deco detailing, mahogany in mellow brown finishes, metal accents and Mozambique veneers add distinction to Paragon Club.
The Provencal lifestyle imbues Maison Jardin - drawing on the outdoor sensations of the French countryside, from its fields of lavender, olive orchards and wild roses. According to the designer, "Naturally distressed teak wood slats create deep comfortable seating while weatherproof fabrics in vintage colors and French motifs make this understated yet elegant collection ideal for outdoor living."