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Trends For 2008 Canadian Home Furnishings Market

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The Canadian Home Furnishings Market is all set to take place from January 12 to 15, 2008, at the International Centre in Mississauga, near Toronto. More than 400 exhibitors from Canada and abroad will launch their latest collections that will soon be available in stores. This year’s show draws attention to the fact that society is evolving, consumer needs are changing and the market place is adapting. More and more consumers are developing a responsible and ethical attitude toward the environment, which is slowly changing their purchasing habits. When it comes to buying furniture, consumers are not only looking for quality, durability and flexibility, but also for furniture that is made according to their personal values. And it’s not just consumers; the same point of view has been expressed by manufacturers. The preoccupation with sustainable development, which re-examines the way furniture is made, is just as likely to be prevalent when considering product workmanship as with the manufacturing process, product life cycle, as well as the choice and source of primary and secondary materials. Harmony between form and function Some of the show’s manufacturers will present collections featuring contemporary styling for urban lifestyles; soft lines and curves inspired by the look and feel of today’s lofts and condos. Other exhibitors prefer a fusion of modern design with classic traditional style by combining delicate yet supple lines with larger pieces to create the appeal of solidity. When it comes to finishings, the preferred application is a wiped-on stain that allows the wood grain to show through, or an application that gives the wood an aged look. In fact, giving wood the raw treatment is definitely in. Several exhibitors have chosen to revisit the smashing sixties with its moulded, round and chrome shapes, as well as the eighties with its playful and audacious décor, vibrant colours and oversize prints. Infinite possibilities The concept of customization has been in vogue for several years now and continues to evolve by increasing design possibilities for consumers. Within the scope of a single collection, buyers can now “create” furniture from a wide range of materials, shapes and sizes, and choose the style, type and colour of wood, fabrics and accent pieces. Conceptually clever for “intelligent” interiors The trend is now for practical and intelligent furniture such as beds with built-in storage, large footrests and footstools that not only provide storage but also transform into tables, accent seating and double beds; entertainment units that are smart, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, and which maximize versatility solutions for audio, video and TV equipment; and oscillating armchairs with armrests, backrests and seatrests that can be sized according to body type. In essence, we’re now enjoying the discovery of a wide range of furniture that is geometrically variable, modular, transformable, foldable, lightweight and compact enough to beautify and facilitate interior living spaces. Upholstered furniture–supple and refined, covered in leather and velvets On occasion, armchairs, sofas and modulars that are uncluttered and linear adopt some curves for smoothness and to streamline bulkiness. Backrests made from big, soft and cuddly cushions—whether fixed or moveable or stuffed with feathers or down—are definitely in vogue. Retro vogue, on the other hand, speaks to pieces with a tapered profile or contoured shapes, matched with vibrant colours. The current trend, which leans toward the transformable and the versatile, will introduce the market to even more modular or variable-shape sofas whose various components can be modified to change a piece’s overall allure and function. Sofas for home theatres will offer storage compartments and drawers for CDs, remotes and magazines, as well as small beverage holders that can often be found nesting inside footrests. When it comes to dressing up sofas, leather is still going strong, matelassé upholstery is making a comeback and, to everyone’s surprise, velvets are everywhere! Colours and prints inspired by the spirit and style of the moment Colour is all the rage for wood this season! While the trend to beautify spaces with warm classic browns is set to continue, the shift toward colours like Granny Smith, prune yellow, kaki orange, sun yellow, aqua, dark red Merlot, blue, cranberry, sage and Dijon is in full gear. There will be fewer opaque finishes; colour will be displayed with a splash of subtlety and nuance. As for dining room chairs, accent chairs and living room sofas, several movements are shaping up. The eco-trend has inspired the return of green in all its flavours: grey-green, olive green and the complete gamut of vegetable greens. Nonetheless, natural shades are sticking around to provide an elegant and sober charm. Large prints with geometric shapes and stripes, in a variety of vibrant and funky colours such as lime green, pink and bright orange provide a touch of retro, while black/white and cream/brown contrasts are set to boost the number of collections featuring contemporary styling. The Canadian Home Furnishings Market is produced by the Quebec Furniture Manufacturers’ Association. The show is reserved for industry professionals and is not open to anyone under the age of 16. For more information contact www.tchfm.com

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