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The Canadian Home Furnishings Market 2006: The Show That Rallies The Entire Canadian Furniture Industry

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The 2006 edition of The Canadian Home Furnishings Market, the most high-impact show in the Canadian residential furniture marketplace, is coming up from January 14 to 17 at the International Centre in Mississauga, near Toronto. This is the event that brings together the whole industry, welcoming more than 400 manufacturers (mostly Canadian, plus some from other countries), including manufacturers from the 75 permanent showrooms at Canada’s Furniture Mart and external showrooms. The show features more than 700,000 square feet (70,000 square metres) of great products. The Canadian Home Furnishings Market is definitely the prime opportunity for manufacturers who are out to do business and forge strong connections with the retail market. For visitors, the show provides a perfect opportunity to check out the country’s widest array of home furnishings – plus all sorts of fresh new products launched at the show. Over the years, the show has acquired a distinctive character and a tremendous reputation, thanks to the top-flight manufacturers who participate every year, the excellent organizational skills of everyone involved, and the professional yet convivial atmosphere that prevails. As always, visitors will have access to a huge range of residential products: wood and metal furniture, upholstered pieces, children’s furniture and accessories, accent furniture, bedding, lighting, decorative accessories, and appliances. And there’s a special section that showcases goods and services designed for retailers, too. The show, which attracts more than 12,000 visitors every year – mainly from Canada and the U.S. – is an influential event on the business calendar and occupies a strong position in the North American marketplace. And show organizers make a point of arranging congenial events so that exhibitors and buyers can get together. Activities On the eve of the official opening, at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 13, exhibitors and visitors will meet and mingle at the Kick-Off Cocktail Party, sponsored by Furniture Today magazine. This festive event takes place in the main entrance to the show (Hall 1). At 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, as the opening day of the show winds down, everyone is invited to the Trends Display Launch Party for the unveiling of the latest displays designed by our experts, André Caron and Pierre D’Anjou. Since the very first edition, our Trends Display has been a major drawing card. The display windows, which shine the spotlight on exhibitors’ latest products, provide inspiration for retailers to take home and apply to their in-store displays. The Launch Party for the Trends Display 2006 is sponsored by Furniture Style magazine. At 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 15, it’s time to pay tribute to the high standards and consistent creativity of Canadian manufacturers as the names of this year’s prize-winners are announced at the Canadian Home Furnishings Awards Gala. This year, the event will be held at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton. For further information and ticket reservations, please contact the Ontario Furniture Manufacturers’ Association at (905) 677-6561. Something new in Hall 6: First-time exhibitors invite retailers to join them for lunch in Hall 6 from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, Sunday, January 15, and Monday, January 16. It’s a great opportunity for retailers to meet new exhibitors and discover their latest offerings in a relaxed setting. Hot trends spotted at the 2006 edition of The Canadian Home Furnishings Market While contemporary classics still lead the hit parade, transition is clearly blowing in the wind. More and more collections come in “transitional” style – a term used only in North America that denotes a successful blend of contemporary and traditional. Canadian manufacturers have certainly picked up on this, taking a leaf from the latest looks in Europe, where trends always seem to start – but translating everything into collections that are entirely North American in spirit, perfectly suited to the preferences, values, and lifestyles of our consumers. Either dark or natural – nothing in-between: This season’s wood furniture comes in dark hues or au naturel. There’s no black or white to speak of in this category; instead, look for warm dark (sometimes very dark) browns with chocolate, espresso, wenge, and ebony finishes. Pure lines, subtle curves: On the wood and metal furniture front, contemporary style continues to reign, with structured architectural profiles, all angles and contours. On the flip side, transitional pieces feature gentle curves, as seen on chair backs, table bases, headboards… The geometric volumes typical of contemporary style are seen everywhere, with supple volumes and slender bases the hallmarks of the season. Upholstered furniture: two directions home: Here again, look for two extremes: armchairs, loveseats, and sofas with pure, structured volumes, low backs, and squared-off or tapered bases in stainless, chrome, or wood. Or, on the other hand, classic styles revisited – new-look chaise longues and bergères, with flexible volumes and generously padded seats. Fabrics and colours: Leather is very strong this season, preferably in white, beige, and every possible permutation of earth and skin tones. In fabrics, there’s a decided preference for plain shades – again, in beige and earth tones. Somewhat-less-vivid reds and pink and purple are decidedly in favour. Detachable round accent pillows in fresh hues are tossed around to great effect. The “feel” is important, and textures like wovens and bouclés are very popular. Note the return of natural fibres – cotton, wool, and company – plus microfibres that look for all the world like natural fabric. Accent pieces and accessories – anything goes: Wall units adjust to small and large spaces alike, and the home cinema trend is still going strong, with pieces offering multiple configuration choices and tons of storage space. Many units are now designed to accommodate flat-screen TVs. Comfy accent chairs set the seal on room décor, and tables are on the low side, with hidden storage space. Speaking of storage, small decorative pieces are equally useful in that department. Lamps are pared-down classics, with white, opalescent, or neutral lampshades, and bases in steel and chrome. The TCHFM is a trade show for industry professionals. For further information, visit www.tchfm.com

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