...TIDINGS OF COMFORT...


As a custom upholstery manufacturer, C.R. Laine Furniture Co. is both pleased and surprised to find that several new pieces from its Cottage Loft line are attracting attention from numerous retailers across the nation.

"To be so pointed with a specific style and a specific fabric hardly ever happens to us," said Holly Blalock, marketing director for the Hickory, N.C.-based firm.

During the most recent home-furnishings trade show in High Point, N.C., and the weeks after the market, the new group has been the manufacturer's best seller, Blalock said.

As with the other pieces in the Cottage Loft line, the new Bayside sectional and chairs and Catskill ottoman, are smaller in scale than traditional furnishings. The new designs were created with the right proportions and are very comfortable, according to Blalock.

"They fit a range of body sizes and types," she said.

The smaller scale designs are ideal for those who are living in space-challenged apartments or homes. Blalock said her company often hears consumer complaints that they can't find furniture that is scaled correctly for a smaller space that is also comfortable and looks good.

The sectional, chairs and ottoman are drawing attention from both older people whose children are grown and moving out of the home and young, urban professionals.

"We are loving the opportunity to find an audience with young, professional urbanites who are enjoying living in the heart of where everything is within walking distance. They're paying a premium for square footages and are looking for furniture that fits that style story. They want cleaner lines and more contemporary pieces, but they don't want to give up their love of traditional furniture and they don't want it to look like grandma's furniture."

Although the introductions have cleaner lines and a contemporary feel, they are not strictly contemporary in design. Blalock said the upholstery is not skirted and features track arms versus traditional styling's big, rolled arms.

"It nods toward classic, more of a modern traditional style," she said. "If the piece has a rolled arm, it's a small rolled arm. If it has a loose back, it will be a boxed, square border rather than a single welt, which is more traditional. And it has bench cushions rather than three cushions."

The upholsteries' turned bun feet reintroduce a traditional element to prevent the pieces from becoming too modern.

In addition to the style and size of the new pieces, they are being offered in Outdura fabric, a 100 percent solution-dyed, extremely durable material.

"This fabric is incredible for longevity and is pet friendly, kid friendly and snack safe. It hit a home run for us," Blalock said.

Although created for outdoor use, Blalock said the fabric has a very soft hand. "It's not scratchy like you would expect it to be.

"We're bringing them indoors because we liked the qualities of them -- the care, quality and touch," she said.

Currently, the Outdura fabrics are offered in four, textured solid colors: Hibiscus (pink), Shine (yellow), Sand (tan) and Nautical (blue). The fabric's texture gives the material a bit of sparkle. "It's not just a flat, twill weave," Blalock said.

The colors coordinate well with patterns and materials already in the manufacturer's catalog.

For additional information, visit www.crlaine.com.

 

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