Fluffy Towels are just the Beginning
To help guests staying the night feel welcome, today’s hosts and hostesses with the most, emulate world-class hoteliers and innkeepers in the thoughtful details. Offer a selection of fluffy towels, soaps and other toiletries in the bath, and empty space in either a closet or drawer (preferably both) for guests to stow clothing and other personal items. High thread-count sheets and cloud-like pillows are, of course, de rigueur. Those who truly expect to be remembered as a five-star establishment though had better investigate the American Leather sleeper, known among true connoisseurs as the ultimate overnight accommodation, not only for its exceptionally good-looking, patent-pending design that provides comfortable seating, but because it is actually exceptionally comfortable to sleep on as well.
“American Leather Comfort Sleepers are easy to open and offer a wonderful mattress, in three sizes all the way up to king, and they are also available in sectionals, as well as sofas,” reports a Contemporary Design Group specialist. “I know, because of the six designers on my team, four of us have purchased them for our own homes!”
Contemporary Design Group retailers offer three exclusive contemporary designs that you won't find anywhere else. Check them out here!
If the color gray brings to mind childhood memories of staring out a window on a dismal day waiting for the sun to return, dotty elders, bankers’ suits, or some vague, intermediate area, it may be time for a new appraisal. In home furnishings at least, gray has broken free of its dreary associations and shot to No. 1 with a bullet. Gray—in all its shades—is hot!
“Dark gray, mid-gray, light gray, if it’s gray, it’s topping the charts,” relates one color expert, a comment echoed by Contemporary Design Group members across the board.
In upholstery, where trend forecasters report that rounded, curvy silhouettes are getting more attention than designs with sharp angles or square corners, gray is now considered the “new neutral.” In wood furnishings, where walnut is ruling the day, gray-toned woods appear to be gathering momen- tum. And, in metal finishes, the most in-demand looks span silvery gray shades like brushed chrome, steel and platinum.
We Gotcha Covered
Gray or not, neutral upholstery continues to hold sway in Contemporary Design Group member showrooms across the country. “Neutral fabric—grey, black, brown, khaki, beige, ivory and even some navy and greens—make the clean lines of a contemporary sofa or sectional frame stand out; you can really see the design. It’s just an easier read,” says one designer. “Then, we like to pop it with color.”
In fact, design experts suggest starting with a neutral base in an investment piece like a sofa or sectional and then layering in color with pillows, accessories, artwork and accent chairs, can be a smart and cost-effective way to remain on fashion’s leading edge. Then, as trends come and go, whether the “it” shade is purple (Pantone’s anointed color this year is Radiant Orchid), fuchsia, egg- plant, blue, turquoise, aqua, teal, green, red, yellow, or- ange or pink, or you are simply in the mood for a change, updating your look is quick and easy.
An even smarter move for many shoppers now is opting for something in the relatively new class of high-performance fabrics. With brand names like Sunbrella, Crypton, Brisa and Ultrasuede, and durable, high-tech constructions like microfiber, easy-care performance fabrics guard against stains and wear, look great and feel just as good. Accidents happen, and performance fabrics are a boon for open- plan spaces where food and drinks are consumed, and for those sharing spaces with children and pets.
Here’s Your Cue
Shoppers seeking inspiration and information about what may be trending in contemporary design have more sources than ever for great ideas and style cues.
Websites like Pinterest and Houzz, the Twitter feeds of celebrity and professional designers, as well as other home furnishings experts, home-related cable channels like HGTV, shelter magazines and publications, and of course, the imaginatively merchandised, trend-setting and ever-changing showrooms of Contemporary Design Group member stores.
In addition to the fashions in your closet, look around at the places you love most. The combination of colors in nature are fantastic and places you gravitate to may hold clues to your favorite palettes. Personal taste dictates what’s going to work well and what you will value in the long term. As one standout design talent notes, “You are the one who will live with it, so go with your gut instinct!”
Contemporary Design Group has annouced the winner of the first annual Edward Haimsohn Design Award. The winning design was the Corridor Media cabinet, designed by Matthew Weatherly for BDI. The award was accepted by Bill Becker, CEO and Design Director of BDI at the Contemporary Design Group annual conference in Coral Gable, FL.
The Corridor Media cabinet features hardwood louvered front doors that allow remote control signals to pass through them while closed. The design also provides flowthrough ventilation for components such as DVD players and stereo receivers.Other features include a drawer and concealed shelf that provide space for a sound bar and media storage, and hidden wheels that make it easier to move the console. In addition to the hardwood doors, key materials include a micro-etched, shatterproof glass top, black steel legs and rubberpadded steel shelf pins that minimize vibrations.
There were over 30 entries for consideration in this year’s competition and 11 final nominees. A panel of judges, consisting of CDG retailer members, evaluated nominees on originality, creativity, consumer appeal, use of materials, functionality, and manufacturing execution. A complete list and description of nominees is available at www.contemporarydesign.com/award
The award is named after CDG's co-founder, Edward Haimsohn, who was well known for his strong eye for design and attention to quality. As co-founder of the Contemporary Design Group, Edward had the foresight to help create an organization of like-minded retailers who appreciated design and who saw home furnishings as much more than just a product to sell. The members of Contemporary Design Group continue on in the spirit of constructive collaboration, teamwork, and partnership between retailers and manufacturers in the contemporary home furnishings category. Today, Edward Haimsohn is retired and is living in San Diego, CA.
CDG is currently accepting designs for consideration in 2015. To learn more about entry criteria, or to submit a design, visit www.contemporarydesign.com/award
Contemporary Design Group is a national association of independent contemporary furniture retailers.
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