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Heading to High Point

March 31, 2011

New York - Looking forward to the opening of the High Point International Home Furnishings Markets this Saturday, get ready for the BIG Red White & Blue.

Last season, I reported that I saw American Design resurfacing in the marketplace and predicted that a major review of American history and culture was in the offing. Already, the seeds could be seen then in new products. Even more so, a rising patriotism entered the conversation with domestic manufacturers and exhibitors proud of their efforts to bring some furniture production back into this country, creating jobs for new employees - at Hickory Chair, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, E.J. Victor, Bernhardt and other leaders.

For this market, Raymond Waites will be spearheading the re-discovery of American design with his extensive new collection for Guildmaster. In talking with him by phone today, he hastened to add that these are not "reproductions" or past "Country," but pieces drawn on elements of 17th and 18th century forerunners with plenty of design liberty taken to make them his own for a 21st century consumer.

Four groups divide the collection into "Traditional", the most history infused, executed in mahogany, "Vintage", a Raymond Waites signature style, focuses on a "casual Adams look" in a greyed paint finish with accent pieces in crackled white, "American Lodge" worked in honey pine and a "River Rock" washed natural finish and paint accents of shutter green and mustard. Lastly, "American Garden," open to interpretation for indoor or outdoor use, features trellis designs combined with galvanized zinc and a repeat of the crackled white for all-out freshness.

As a special bonus for furniture buyers and consumers, Raymond's upholstered furniture at Lane /Venture provides a foil of color, pattern and texture to integrate with the design sensibilities of the new introductions at Guildmaster.

"American Traditional" is enriched with red silks woven in exotic medallions echoing trade routes. The shimmer of silk is offset by textures which create depth and a robust layered mix. "Vintage" draws predominantly on an all natural palette, such as limestone and browns. The neutrals are underplayed with a brighter than slate blue which recurs as an accent paint finish at Guildmaster."American Lodge" predictably leans heavily on rich browns the designer sees as "transcending" all four furniture and textile groups, camel in a hi-lo textured chenille, and nubby green tweeds reflective of the Shutter Green finish at Guildmaster.
"American Garden" combines a surprise woven in aqua to heighten lightness and brightness of the Jeffersonian furniture details seen at Guildmaster crackled white finish.

Expect more to come on American Design as i hit the triad this weekend.