Home furnishings suppliers have come a long way since they first engaged in outsourcing. And while there is an earnest effort underway to bring some of manufacturing back into America, one of the bright sides of outsourcing has been the wealth of materials which became available to the industry through its engagement in foreign lands.
As seen at the High Point Market here this week, the resulting brew of exotic materials and textures has never been richer. One sees a broad range of exotic woods from zebra and rosewood, palisander and sandalwood, teak and fiery mahogany. The world of interiors has gained great texture and visual appeal from the natural beauty of horn, bone, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, shell inlays and alligator, ostrich, calf and snake skin and shagrren – all seen frequently used in furniture and home accessories today. Textiles are gold dusted and furniture is gilded and silvered or displays a combination thereof.
On the man-made side, there is an impressive representation of plexiglass, luxite, even bent glass in furniture and accessories, not to mention concrete and gravel dust mixed with polymers to lighten weight. Even wallcoverings incorporate ingredients such as sand, glass and Mica, all silica based and imparting sparkle that changes the effect of a room depending on light conditions.
Also manmade are the lacquers which have brought not just bright color to interiors but also gem like finishes, such as malachite, agate and marbeling – all contributing visual excitement and living in harmony..