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Bold is beautiful, breezy

When selecting jewelry, it is all about the C’s: color, clarity, cut and carat. Selecting outdoor furnishings next spring also will be about the C’s: color, comfort and customization.

During the recent International Casual Furnishings Association show in Chicago, colorful furnishings and outdoor accessories were prominently displayed throughout the showrooms.

Among the examples were Gensun’s Lotus bistro seating groups, offered in ruby, emerald and sapphire; Tuuci’s Stingray umbrella shown in bright red; Brown Jordan’s Clip collection that features twisted straps that blend fuchsia and orange or cobalt blue and green, among other combinations; and Gloster Furniture’s new Nomad collection, which mixed orange with shades of brown, white and tan.

Nina Schwartz, advertising and public relations manager for Gloster, described Nomad as funky, colorful and playful.

“It has a young appeal,” she said.

Fashion-forward colors and combinations such as peacock blue and terra cotta, and gold and gray, were among the standouts in the display by Elaine Smith. Her pillows, all handmade in West Palm Beach, Fla., were inspired by fashions seen on designer runways.

Her motto is to bring the runway poolside with colors leading the way, she said.

“It’s OK to mix and match pattern and color,” she said.

A fashion-forward look also was introduced by Century Furniture, which debuted a collection created by interior designer Bunny Williams of New York. The collection offers a mixture of occasional, dining and accent furniture for outdoor spaces. Many pieces of made of teak with faux zinc accents.

Among the piecesin the collection are a bar cart, garden bench and planter.

Her collection would be equally at home indoors as outdoors, a hallmark seen in numerous collections during the show.

Henry Vanderminden, president of Telescope Casual, said his company has focused on creating modern and fashionable designs for the past 10 years. One group that has been drawing attention is a bench collection with a large square table designed to seat 12 adults comfortably.

A fourth-generation owner-operator, he said the set is made of marine-grade polymer plastic that has the look of wood and strength to withstand practically any condition. It retails for about $3,000, is made of 30 percent recycled content and is recyclable itself.

Many of the outdoor furnishings seen throughout the show had deep cushions, designed to provide maximum comfort. They also offered motion features, such as the ability to swivel or rock.

The ability to customize furnishings to fit an individual’s style was evident in many showrooms, among them Pride Family Brands, which offers consumers the ability to change tabletops’ pattern, size and shape, and to select from numerous upholstery choices.

“It’s luxury redefined,” said Laurie Rudd, a spokeswoman for the company.

Gensun also offered numerous customization options and showcased a variety of new outdoor fabrics that featured textures and patterns more often associated with indoor fabrics.

Jan Trinkely, vice president of sales and marketing for Gensun, said the company allows consumers to select from about 400 fabrics.

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