The Canadian Home Furnishings Market, which takes place from January 9 to 12, 2010, announced that it is once again set to unveil the latest trends in residential furniture or the Canadian market. As a yearly must-see gathering of industry professionals, the Market welcomes close to 300 exhibitors who will provide a sneak peek at their new collections for the living room, bedroom and dining room, as well as juvenile furniture, accent furniture, bedding, home theatre units, lamps and decorative accessories. It’s all new… and all under the same roof at the International Centre in Mississauga, near Toronto.
Following a decisively difficult 2009, new 2010 collections seem ready to convey a spirit of optimism, creativity and environmental responsibility—a spirit that carries through to the Market’s residential furniture.
Styles and materials in 2010
According to some experts, five or six major trends are set to take centre stage in 2010. Urban modern, a clean, natural and organic style, features a somewhat dark and rich colour palette and lots of metal finishes. Cultural fusion, an eclectic and decorative style features bright, vibrant colours, bold lines and ethnic-inspired shaped safari motifs that contrast strong colours). "Eco", the use of natural materials like cotton, hemp, flax, wool, bamboo, feather, and duvet ... The floral theme unfolds in an array of upholstery fabrics, vases, screens, lamps, etc. This year, Traditional influenced contemporary (called transitional in North America) features straight lines, subtle curves, and delicate, patterned moldings. Contemporary deco is defined by its minimalist style, clean lines and architectural shapes.
The splendor and richness of wood
Although very dark wood has been fashionable in recent years, the trend is now moving towards the lighter side. However, manufacturers tell us that the movement is still somewhat new to North America. As such, cappuccino, chocolate and espresso finishes retain their stronghold and continue to be popular here. Nevertheless, some wood colours are claiming their space in the décor landscape this season, including charcoal, truffle, dark cherry, amber, cinnamon and walnut. In solid wood and veneers, oak is making a strong comeback, alongside cherry, maple and ash. Exotic and recovered woods —rosewood, wenge and teak — are also present, especially in accent furniture, and can often be found wearing dark colours.
Armchairs and sofas in fine form
Creativity is certainly on full display this season. Very contemporary lounge-style sofas flaunt clean lines and a few gentle, subtle curves, and rub shoulders with fellow sofas, armchairs and big soft, fuzzy, informal ottomans that are truly enveloping and remind us of the sixties. The Club chair is also back, with its padded, quilted or piped stitching. Sofas are low, and rest on a discreet wooden platform or on tapered wooden or chrome legs (chrome and other metallic finishes are all the rage), and arms are long and narrow (perfect for small rooms). Removable headrests are quite common. Leathers are making a comeback. Duvet or feather stuffing is perfectly in line with the supple armchair fashion, while sofa coverings feature cotton, linen, faux linen as well as woven or textured fabrics. 2
Colour to accentuate and vitalize decor
There’s a distinct return to textures and colours for carpets, lamps, ottomans, booster seats and other decorative accessories. Colour also returns to sofas cushions, chair fabrics, metals and more. Among the latest colour trends are fuchsia, orange coral, pink coral, turquoise, denim blue, purple-blue, and black (combined in stark contrast with another colour). Deep or vibrant colours blend with pastel or very dark tones, and with various off-whites and beige, and arrangements tend to be much bolder. Anthracite gray is a capable, classic choice that’s found here and there on sofas and on wood, and fits easily with bright colours.
Flexibility and customization: a size benefit
More than just a trend, product versatility and personalization have become indispensable industry tools to better satisfy customer demands. When it comes to versatility, for example, we’re witnessing the development of resourceful extension systems for dining room tables that can help accommodate a greater number of guests and ensure that tables won’t take up too much space in day-to-day living. This year, modular sofas feature adjustable and retractable headrests, or sometimes an extension at the base, that serve as a side table or integrated tray. We’re also seeing more beds with under mattress storage, storage on wheels, small hanging bedside tables, and shelves built into a wall panel as an extension of the headboard. Other discoveries include folding ottomans, modular benches that can be easily set up in any room of the home, as well as versatile, ingenious home theatre units... Personalization, on the other hand, has manufacturers offering even more variations on furniture and styles within a same collection (choice of tables, beds, legs, etc.) and greater options for wood or metal finishes, and for fabric colours and textures.
A responsible attitude
It’s an undeniable fact: the marketplace has begun to develop an eco-reflex for its choice of materials, and for how furniture, bedding and accessories are made. Manufacturers, along with Canadian distributors, now place greater emphasis on product characteristics and origin to meet a growing number of consumers who "buy green": FSC certified wood (or other tracking system) from renewable forests, non-toxic paints and stains, water-based paints and resins, eco textiles — natural and organic fibers — reclaimed and recycled wood, and the reuse of wood in the production cycle, etc.
Market website: www.tchfm.com