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Mediterranean Departs, Mission Grows in San Francisco

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The Western Market has always led the way in variety and unique home furnishings presentations. Quite often, trends noted there are translated in six months or a year throughout the country. The tabulation of table grouping is made twice yearly showing trends in woods, styles and finishes. Maple made the biggest gain at the July market reaching 13.5% of all presentations and jumping to third place behind the combined red and white oaks and pine, which were 23.9% and 17.9% respectively. Cherry, which has been pressing the leaders followed at 12.1 % of the 719 table groups displayed. Mahogany at 7.4% was followed by Northwest Alder at 4.0%. The combination of walnut and its cousin, pecan-hickory, totaled 3. 1%. Again, there were decorative geometric patterns of burl for dramatic eye appeal which dominated 2.5% and contributed to dozens of tables listed in the other species. Secondary domestic species and many exotic imports were the features of 5.7% of the tables, an all time high, which indicates the ingenuity of table makers to create special character effects. Painted units gained over a year ago, but were less frequently displayed than last January. There were the usual groups of glass, metal and stone contribution to create contrast and utility. Wicker, rattan and many leather or fabric topped tables were shown. The style story took a turn to American Traditional, with mission, cottage and colonial drawing attention in 34.6% of the show areas. This was up from the 29% average of previous markets. Contemporary-transitional held its position in second place with 28.5%. Dropping slightly was English (mostly Country) at 11.5% with French being tabulated at 9.3%. The Italian mixed metal and wood, and the rustic pseudo - Spanish were combined for 9.7% Oriental returned to the 4.8% rank of a year ago after peaking last January. There were the usual South-American and Mexican contribution with fewer massive tables at 1.6%. The wood tones and finishes classifications was expanded to fit the tables which featured a washed natural finish that previously had been placed in the "light" category. There has been a strong trend to a starved or nude finish on pines, maples, alder and ash and this study tabulated 15.8% of the showroom presentations, up from the 5% level last year. The light and medium fruitwood tones were the most popular at 28.3% , with the cool walnut and oiled oak dropping from the 16-18% level to 8.3%. While paint was often a portion of a table finish, the all painted look still remained less than 5%. Sheen remained low and the combination of light tones of tan-honey, gray-bleach, light brown and the new "natural" tone equaled 46.6% of all showroom spaces.

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