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Butler To Showcase 15 New Hand-Painted Finishes In High Point

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Butler Specialty will showcase 15 new hand-painted finishes – 50 percent more than ever before – at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C., this month. The new finishes – from the bold Uptown Stripe to the sleek Retro – will be part of an aggressive introduction in Artists’ Originals, which features authentically hand-painted pieces and has emerged during the past two years as Butler’s best-selling collection. Some of the new finishes offer timeless appeal, others make cutting-edge fashion statements. Overall, Butler will unveil more than 150 new fashion-forward products across 11 diverse collections in High Point, including 60 in Artists’ Originals. Beginning this month, retailers and interior designers will have more than 1,000 Butler products (320 in Artists’ Originals) and 50 hand-painted finishes from which to choose. Twenty-six new products are designed to retail for under $400. Increasing numbers of consumers are discovering that painted accent furniture can add excitement and fashion to virtually any room in their homes. Perhaps most importantly, they appreciate how top-quality, authentically hand-painted furniture imitates fine art by evoking strong feelings. Home furnishings retailers, of course, are taking notice. “They (retailers) used to tell us, ‘We don’t sell paint,’ ” says Dan Sumner, Butler vice president of sales and marketing. “We don’t hear that very much anymore. Dealers are beginning to understand the versatility and merchandising power of paint.” For example, a Butler micro boutique with six pieces available in six finishes gives the retailer 36 items to sell in a small, eye-catching space. Butler provides retailers with backup on these special orders, maintaining a large inventory that ships from Chicago within two weeks after the order is received. “By offering a variety of finishes, retailers can appeal to a broader range of consumers, overcome many consumer objections and significantly increase their special-order business,” Sumner says. “Plus, because of our quick-ship program, we can back retailers up while eliminating warehousing and inventory overhead for them.” Butler designers and product development team found inspiration in an impressionistic painting, antique shop, bedspread, sofa fabric and, yes, bling bling. The 15 new hand-painted finishes this market will be Antique White (with five accent colors – green, blue, black, mauve and gold), Autumn, Black-and-White Polka Dot, Black Empire, Black with Gold Tipping, Chinoiserie, Flower Garden, Gray Swirl, Hunter Green Floral, Pine ‘n’ Cream, Red-and-Black Diamond, Red-and-Green Floral, Retro, Silver Satin and Uptown Stripe. Each piece of Artists’ Originals is uniquely painted in freehand without the use of stencils or decals (a genuine distinction in the industry). The paintings feature florals and chinoiserie, among other classical motifs. Like any piece of fine art, each Artists’ Originals piece is designed to be the brightest spot in any room and to reflect each consumer’s unique sense of style. “We have taken the high road in hand painted,” says John Faig, vice president of product development. “We refuse to compromise on quality. There are companies that can do it cheaper, but you can really tell when you look at one of our pieces that somebody did it by hand. For discerning consumers, that hand touch makes all the difference.” Chicago-based Butler was founded by two men in 1930 and is managed today by second and third generations. It has specialized in accent furniture longer than any other company in America and offers the broadest line in the industry. Products include chests, tables, benches, chairs, game tables, console cabinets, secretaries, armoires, bars, entertainment centers, headboards, fireplace screens, desks, pedestals, mirrors and globes.

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