Saturday, October 24, 2009



Now for more on the Grey and Yellow color story:

We saw this color scheme repeated over and again, in showroom after showroom. These colors were represented in leather and suede, on indoor fabrics and outdoor fabrics, on painted furniture, in rugs and carpet, wall coverings, throw pillows, bed linens, accessories, even in lighting fixtures, on their shades and glass decorations.

At first, we felt that Blue, as in Persian Turquoise, Royal Blue, all shades of Seafoam, and even Navy were going to be the prevailing trend. While blues were and are very strong, the most interesting trend was the progression from blues, to mauve's to greys and yellow that we've been seeing for the last 18 months. See the photos below:

Photos above, are of a designers actual color "sticks". The base formula for each color is scribbled onto the white band in the middle of each stick:
Left: What we are, and have been looking at for the last 18 months.
Right: What we're looking at going forward, from in Spring 2010, and into 2011.

The change will be gradual, as always, so don't rush to throw your throw pillows out! Just add a touch of the newer colors to what you have to make it work. If you like the results and if you see your design scheme evolving in that direction, then go with it and take it all the way.

It's a lot like clothing fashion, all things are not for all people; think low rise jeans and short midriff tops that show a gal's gut, please don't wear it (I wish the abusers of that fashion truism could read this, especially the plump teenagers that apparently don't have a full length or width mirror. Where are the fashion police when you need them?)!
Conversely, if you see the new colors for the home everywhere and feel that your missing out but you just can't see it in your home, or you simply don't like it, then don't go there.

Remember what Mother always said:
"There's something for everybody (think longer tops)". Okay, then, I can go with that.
She also said:
"If the shoe fits, wear it".
That doesn't mean to wear something you have to squeeze into, such as a pair of lo-rise....oh alright, you get the point.
Said another way: If it doesn't fit, please don't buy it...and please, don't wear it!
Same goes for the home.

The PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2010 features the top 10 colors for women's fashion for spring 2010. The report’s release coincides each year with the beginning of New York Fashion Week. And since home fashion most often follows woman’s fashion, it’s worth at least a cursory view. Here’s what the color company says about the colors Yellow and Gray going forward:

“Yellow has made its mark on fashion and spring will further this trend with gleaming Aurora (shown left). Reminiscent of the first glimpse of yellow as the sun begins to rise over the horizon, this shimmering, slightly greenish yellow adds a bold infusion.”


Eucalyptus (shown right) is the eternal, practical gray. Choose this nuanced neutral and add brightly colored exclamation points” with pillows, accessories and lamps.


For more info on the Spring 2010 color forecast by Pantone following this link:

While at the market in High Point, here are some shots of several design schemes in the showrooms, which featured the Yellow and Gray story.





Now for a little of "Worst in Show"!


If table lamps aren't your cup of tea, then how about the floor lamp, below


All for now. Please check in tomorrow for Day 5!

Good Night Moon

Friday, October 23, 2009



...I know, I know, the market is over and I'm still writing like it just happened. Well it did just happen...a few days ago anyway!

I've just gotten back to Santa Barbara after seven very long days in High Point, NC. Now don't get me wrong, High Point is a quaint town, and the people gracious, but it's not SB! I'm so glad to be back in my beloved SB.

We landed to balmy weather, a breeze, and a crescent moon just beginning to show itself, the setting sun reflected its colors on the mountains...oh puleeze!

Sometimes I make myself sick!


Now about the market on Day Four:

We started the day at ARTISTICA, a California based furniture manufacturer, and one of the states best. We've been dancing around this line for a long while, and after much persistence, their sales Rep. Greg Eiseman prevailed upon me to bring my crew to take a look at this line.

Here's what we saw: The furniture is traditional Italian/Tuscan style. Well executed inlay patterns using multiple stains and wood species on the drawer fronts and the cabinet tops, and price points definitely under that of Baker Furniture which was great.

Above Left: Round Dining Table with Pedestal base that was pure contemporary, along the lines of designer Barbara Barry's Collection for Baker Furniture.
Center: The table top with "book matched" veneers
Above Right: The Dining Arm Chair. Matching Dining Side Chair available.

Artistica also debuted a new division at the show, Anthology, which will be their higher end, couture furniture line. Anthology featured traditional furniture with a more contemporary sensibility, a collection of pure contemporary occasional tables with angular stainless steel tubing topped with white Carrera Marble. Some pieces were purely Spanish style, with a heavier block front design in Chest's, Buffet's and Consoles.

Photos, above: Two views of the uber sexy new Anthology Dining Arm Chair in Leather; and the Arm and Side chair with the new wood top dining table on a tublular stainless steel base.
Photo below: The Anthology Collection runs the gamut from the contemporary occasional tables on the left, to the classic Spanish Block Front Chest on the right.


I felt that some of the finishes on some items were a bit shiny for my taste, and we shared that observation with our Rep, and the company owner who had welcomed us to the showroom upon or arrival. Hopefully they will consider the importance of sheen when selecting future finishes for their line.
Other selections of interest at Artistica:
Photos below:
Top Left: A new bed, available with open fret work, or backed in linen upholstery.
Top Right: A Bombay style Chest in a Burled Walnut veneer and custom hardware.
Bottom: A blond finished hardwood European style Dining chair with rush seat and back (cushion optional), and A new interior Rattan Dining Chair in the Klismo style.


We have decided to buy into this line. It's beautiful, well priced, and is well made. The line offers a lot of breadth; will arrive faster and for less money because it's shipped to us from within California which will save us, and ultimately our customers, 18-25% in freight costs.

We should have the first pieces on the sales floor at Cabana Home Stores by mid-December.

Next stop, the new J. Douglas Showroom, just down from Artistica. J is a savvy showroom operator/owner whom we know from the Americas Mart in Atlanta. J represents several lines, including Aidan Gray and Jan Barboglio (Jan was our former neighbor when we lived in Dallas' Greenway Park's neighborhood), both of which we carry in our stores.

Photos, above: Jan's fall collection looked great. She showed a great new reclaimed wooden plank Console, with an elaborate polished steel stretcher.


Aidan Grey showed a few furniture pieces and some fresh new lamps repeating the resurgence of the "Belgian look", that we'd had on the showroom floor of our stores three years ago.

Three years ago?

Yes, we first saw the "new Belgian look" three years ago in Paris at the Maison & O'bjet Show. It was everywhere and being done by everyone. It was new then, and we imported it into California, had our fun with it and we've moved on.

Then just about two weeks ago, Restoration Hardware presented the "new" (so they say) Belgian look (again) in their fall catalog.

OFGS's (similar to "OMG"...ask your teenager!)

So now, we figure that every other person will be walking into our stores asking if we're going to get that "new (old) Belgian look". So did I miss something here? So when did it become the thing to do, to buy ones furniture at a "Hardware" store..or from a "Barn" for that matter?

As I said above...OFGS's!

So to answer the question...yes, we did buy back into the "new Belgian look" again. It's not new, but if the customer says so, then we'll happily oblige.

We bought a great "Belgian" style console with a reclaimed sandblasted oak top, the finish left raw, and mounted on a wrought iron base. We also bought a table that is a console which opens to the width of a Dining table when needed, in a "scrubbed oak" finish (another term in the Belgian vernacular). Then we bought a pair of lamps made from wooden architectural relic's in a naturally aged finish (also a Belgian look) that were very tasty!


Photo's above: The "New" Belgian look in lamps.


And lastly at the Douglas Showroom, we bought into a line of Linen throw pillows from Lacefield Designs. With down fills, the pillows will retail in the $125-$170 price range, which is a price point that we couldn't believe considering their high quality. Lately it seems as though throw pillows have gone up to ridiculous highs, with some of them retailing in the $450-$700 range.

Above photos: The pillows were purchased in the forward colors of grey and yellow...expect to see the trend for these two colors for the next year or so.

So, now you have two more things to watch for, the arrival of the "new Belgian look" and a new color story: grey and yellow, at Cabana Home Stores in the late December, early January!

For more on the color forecast, please see tomorrows blog:

High Point Market - Day Four / Part II of II

Okay, got time for a little "Worst in Show":

A unique high-back sofa in purple ultra suede with rhinestone button tufting.

This just took the cake for the day!


Don't know anymore about whats going on with this truck than you do. We were just standing on a street corner waiting for the light to change when this truck went driving by? I've heard of hood ornaments, but...


Good Night Moon

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Whew! here we are already at Day three! Well actually its day six, but I'm typing as fast as I can, and dozing over the keyboard every once in a while!________________________________________________

On my way to our first appointment, I strayed off of my course when I noticed a chair maker that I hadn’t seen before.

The company was located in an incredible Art Deco building, the town’s former post office.

What a beautiful space, but I was in such a hurry that I only got a shot of the interior as I was descending the staircase on my way out.


First appointment: Bolier, maker of contemporary furniture with a traditional reference point.

Having been at the showroom two days before for the debut of Designer Juin Ho’s line of furniture, I thought that I had pretty much “seen the line”, but without a crowd there was much more to see and take in.

Photo above:

Juin Ho’s table with red lacquered top on steel-wrapped wood base. The tables wood rectangular leg’s are bordered with painted gold steel trim. The gold detail gives the table a finished, more sophisticated look. Set against the color of stained wood and the contrasting Red lacquered table top, it’s a fabulous combination.

The Ho Collection included upholstery and casegoods. While each of the pieces were beautifully designed by Ho and executed by Bolier, the upholstery lacked a lot in the “sit” and fit. Ho, a smaller framed gentleman, designed the upholstery pieces for someone other than the average American. The sit was not comfortable, and was sacrificed by Bolier for the look. I’ve never understood why a manufacturer would do this. To me, the way a sofa or chair sit’s is everything. I say wait on the Ho upholstery, unless you are selling it to a corporate user for an Entry Hall or Waiting Room. This is a designer to watch, if he comes around to understanding comfort.


Photo Above:

Bolier’s upholstery line is clean and tight and has elegant lines. The Bolier showroom looked stunning with all of the upholstered furniture done in taupish-greyish linen, all sitting on white lacquered floors, with white walls and ceiling. Curtains were hung from the very high ceiling were made in white cotton and were used to designate, and separate, the "rooms".
The Chairs were nice and deep, but several of the seat heights were a little low, more of a European height. Most of the Sofa’s on the other hand had a normal seat height. The Sofa we bought for Cabana Home is a tight-back Sofa, has two bolster side pillows, and sits on a dark stained wooden frame with stretchers between the legs.


Photo above:

Another favorite was the modified “Tuxedo” Sofa, with a full “dressmaker skirt”. The term dressmaker skirt refers to a skirt that actually starts at the top of the arm seam, and falls to floor length. On this sofa, the skirt corners have one simple vertical pleat, and the cushions are “baseball stitched” (literally stitched with a large thread, visible just like the stitch on a baseball).

The entire line is an interesting take on traditional furniture gone contemporary. Straighter lines than that of traditional furniture; softer finishes with many of them being “dry” (without gloss or shine). Though at Bolier, there are several pieces in the line that come with a super high gloss finish. Most of the Metal hardware was finished in polished steel or chrome, though some of the casegood pieces had brass, bronze or gold leaf finished hardware.


A great find was a pair of beautiful barrel back chairs in carmel leather. Bolier had a "market special" on the chairs because of a special purchase they made on leather from one of the top leather suppliers in the furniture industry. We promptly scooped up a pair for each of the Cabana Home Stores (Santa Barbara and Mill Valley, CA).

Photos above:

Left: The Barrel Back leather chairs
Right: A table top in the "dry finish"

Photo Below:
A great, and highly ununusual table with an architecturally interesting four column pedestal, available in square (shown) or round, that extends with two twenty inch leaves.


Bolier added a tailored linen upholstered Bed (photos not yet available) to their bed collection.

The new bed augments their bedroom collection, which includes the elegant Rosenau Post Bed, a wood four poster with ultra simple posts and “testers” (wood rails that connect the top of the four post’s together). Rosenau is an understated semi-traditional bed.

Photo above: The Rosenau Bed from Bolier


From the Bolier showroom we were escorted by our sales Rep, John Cattich, to see another line of upholstery that he represents, TRS Furniture & Textiles ( The company is a total custom upholstery manufacturer and textile importer with the ability to custom any sofa or chair, whether it's making it taller, wider, deeper, longer, or with a skirt, or without a skirt, you name it, and they can and will do it.

They not only import textiles, they design and develop the patterns as well in both domestic and Italian mills. They can do just about anything you can think up. I saw a Sofa that practically made my heart a ‘flutter, see it below!

Photo above, left:

The sofa pictured is upholstered in a butter-soft tan leather, which was perfectly tailored to the frame. The simple lines of the frame is both elegant and inviting, and though there were no pillows or loose cushions, it was much softer than it appeared. The frame wasn’t carved, but was detailed with bronze finished nail Head trim. This sofa was beautiful, and I’ve nearly convinced myself to throw my new sofa at home out the door the minute I get there. Now, a day later, a calmer head presides over my body, and I’ll keep my sofa, but I will bring this sofa into the stock of Cabana Home for all of you to see! It is delicious!

Photo above, Left:

And I loved the “Angle” chair (above, right), aptly named for its architecture. On close examination of the detail, the designs changing plains are upholstered to perfection, not an easy task considering the exposed angles.


Next, and what was to have been just a cursory look at the Emerson et Cie (Emerson and Company in French) line, turned quite lengthy! I showed up without an appointment, hoping to avoid any sales persons so that I would free to quickly walk through the showroom to get a feel for the line. Suddenly a tall guy, a big guy, maybe a little younger than me, approached me. It was the company’s owner! So much for walking through on my own I thought. He turned out to be a charming individual with whom I had an engaging conversation. He ended up walking me through his showroom, sharing his ideas, techniques and philosophy with me. I was impressed with both the line and his commitment to it.

Photos above:

Left: A great dining table with a soft, sculptural base, and a shaped apron around the table.
Right: A French style Chest with all over walnut burl veneer.

Caroline, Leisa (from the Mill Valley Store) and I all agreed that this line is well designed, well made, and well priced. Rarely the case in the furniture industry these days.
When it was over, not only had we toured the entire line, we had placed a substantial opening order with his company.

Overall, the casegoods are more European traditional in styling with clean detailing and finish’s that are au currant. Many of the pieces featured either an exotic wood or a detailed inlay, and some featured both.

Watch for the first pieces of Emerson et Cie furniture to arrive in the Cabana Home Stores in early January, 2010.

An interesting tid-bit: The owner of Emerson et Cie is the boyfriend of Janelle Loevner, owner of Anthem, (3274 Sacramento Street at Presido,, a chic boutique home furnishings store in San Francisco, That is located adjacent to Sue Fisher King’s wonderful store (

Anthem (pictured, left) is very stylish and embodies a balanced perspective between traditional and contemporary furniture. Loevner describe her look as, “modern but with appreciation for details”. And, at Emerson, you can see her influence on the owner and on the line, where there is also a table named in her honor.


Next we were off to a “garage Sale” held by Julien Chichester, the English designer who is known for detailing his furniture with Shagreen (you learned how to pronounce this word in yesterday’s blog—didn’t you?). The sale was pretty well over, though we did manage to pick up a soft beige Shagreen “waterfall” table, and a pair of maize colored Shagreen lamps for a great price (though I still have to buy a shade for it).

We then walked to the HALO Showroom, a stylish importer of traditional furnishings made with a contemporary twist, mostly manufactured in China, but swathed in a cloak British historical significance. As a matter of fact, the entire building draped in the Union Jack!
Photo Below, left: The Union Jack drapes the Halo Showroom Building

Photo above, right: We particularly liked the over sized, full length mirrors made of “scrubbed” (unfinished, and unwaxed wood) pine. With its raised panel pediment tops and simple columns and trim, this was a big statement piece. Big as in about nine feet tall and five feet wide!
Photo below:
Halo also had a booth in the coveted "Interhall", in the International Home Furnishings Center. I loved the aluminum clad helicopter set in the middle of their booth.


Across the street at their sister store, G & J Styles, we found these incredibly detailed, and carved wood urns, copied from original antiques, that we just couldn’t live without. So, we bought a pair for each of the stores.

From there we headed towards the Suites of Market Square Building, but no soon had we stepped off the curb in that direction, when Caroline spotted a Moroccan tent atop the very contemporary Show Place Building. An odd site indeed, but it just so happens that Caroline had been on the lookout for the maker of these tents that she had found on the internet, that she wants to use at a charity event that she’s chairing next spring in Santa Barbara. So we had to track the tent down, or up as it was. we road the escalator up the seven stories to where we figured the tent was, all the while my patience is wearing thin, as I’m thinking this is a wild goose chase and that this tent is here for a party and probably not for show.

Wrong! She was right. She was able to find the manufacturer and the owner’s information from the showroom tenant, just so happens that his best friend owns the tent company!

On the way down the escalator, I spied the booth of Bernard Mollynaux, the importer and dealer of antique Louis Vuitton trunks. My daughter had mentioned to me that if I saw an old LV trunk that she would like to have it to make into a coffee table. Sounded like a clever idea, so I approached Bernard himself.
“How much is that trunk” I said confidently.
“$8,900 US Dollars” he replied.
To which I replied, “Thank you, just looking”.
I swear, that kid of mine… Unfortunately, a real chip off the old block!

Photo: A stack of vintage LV trunks


Finally we were on our way to the Suites at Market Square. While stopped On the at a Red Light, I looked up to admire the Natuzzi building, home of the Italian furniture line, Natuzzi. It's real architectural gem, and I wanted to show it to you. I’ve passed this building umpteen times, and never really took the time to admire it. Enjoy!
Completed for Natuzzi in 1988, as their United States headquarters. Designed by the architectural firm of Mario Bellini Associati, Milan, Italy.


Once we reached our destination, we headed to the courtyard for a cocktail party honoring Margaret Russell, Editor in chief of Elle Décor Magazine. Margaret was launching and signing her new book, “Style and Substance: The Best of Elle Décor”.
The event took place in a chic, white party tent with plastic palladian style windows, and to say the least it was jammed. The line snaked around the asphalt floor twice, with another line for those still in need of purchasing her latest tome. The paparazzi and the decorati were snapping pictures as if it was Barack Obama himself up there signing the books. It was very exciting in the tent, but impossible to move.
We stood there taking it all in, assessing the situation silently, then looked at each other…and we left!
Maybe next time, Margaret!

On the way out of the Elle decor event on our way to the OLY Studio party, we walked through the now closed Suites of Market Sqaure Building. With empty halls, it was a great way to really see the goods!

Cabana Home Stores has just added OLY, the San Francisco based line of beautiful furniture and lighting to their merchandise mix. The line is chic and fresh, tailored and beautiful, and we assumed that the party would be nothing less than a glam affair. We were right!
Photo above, left:
They had a New York style disco complete with colorful club style lighting, a mirrored disco ball, and a disc jockey spinning club and disco remixes. It was a ton of fun, the food was excellent, and the crowd the most interesting yet!
A lot of Euro fashion, with men in suits so tight and short that it looked like they were wearing their little brothers clothes. Women, and I mean almost all of them, in their new "just under" knee-high leather boots and wild Pucci-esque printed dresses. As the drinks continued to flow so did the party. Dancing finally broke out and it was all downhill from there.

Photo above, right:
The DJ announced the birthday and presence of our friend, Babi Ahluwalia, founder of Ankasa, the beautiful line of embroidered pillows and linens. Babi immediately took command of the dance floor, center stage, cuts the cake and passes it out to everyone. I’m on a diet, but since she walked a piece of it over to me, I felt obliged to eat it. It was the first sweet anything that I’d put in my mouth in four weeks. Um,um, good!


Photos above:
Pinted black cabinet with carved birds. A new offering in the Oly Studio line, also available in white.

There were magicians roaming the party (part of a Halloween theme?), though you could barely hear what they were saying over the music as they verbally set up their tricks (can't hear over the music...I think that just sounded like my Father speaking!).
As you exited the party, there was another kind of mixologist, one that was mixing personal viles of essential oils for each guests (more of the Halloween theme?). We picked up and smelled the scents in the little viles of oils lined up on the counter, picking out our oils based on the way we want to feel whenever we apply our personal potion.
I selected four: Frankincense “uplifting; mysterious”; Bergamot “Healing”; Eucalyptus “Breathing”, and I can't remember the fourth one!
Once mixed, the mixerette handed the vile to me for approval. Individually, each of the oils had a distinct and pleasant scent, but together it was almost fowl! I handed it back nodding appreciatively. She nodded back her appreciation of my appreciation and placed a cork in the bottle. She then handed it over to a guy who sealed the viles with red melted wax over the cork. Once the cork was covered in wax, he motioned for me to pick a seal with which to imprint and furthere personalize my vile. I picked the Skull and Bones seal, don’t ask me why.
A fun party indeed! Thank you OLY

Ready for some “Worst in Show”? All right then, let’s get on with it!

A window at the American Leather Showroom, with a quote by Donald Trump stenciled onto it:

“If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big”

Yep, that’s what I want for my corporate mission statement, a quote from “The Donald”.


A giant Chest of Drawers: A High Point landmark and symbol of the Furniture Capitol of the World, High Point, NC.
Notice the pair of giant size socks hanging out of a drawer, quaint.
To get a feel for the size of this thing, check out the fellow riding his bicycle in front of the Chest.


Okay, enough already. I’m going to bed.

Good Night Moon