This living room setting from Modern Farmhouse highlights Brooke sofas and the Sadie credenza.
HIGH POINT — After strong early reception at Premarket, Universal Furniture’s new Modern Farmhouse whole-home collection is set for full launch at this week’s High Point Market.
The collection incorporates trending home design themes from Pinterest and home renovation shows such as whitewash tones, shiplap and dark trim, both in architecture and interiors.
“Modern Farmhouse is a reflection of the U.S. market’s desire for a simple, relaxing, informal home, but we’ve also included influences from Europe, where designers are using an abundance of natural and woven materials,” said Director of Product Development Shannon Lookabill. “They are also enjoying high-performance surfaces that mimic wood and stone.”
The 45-SKU collection includes furnishings for living room, dining room, bedroom, occasional and upholstery. The main finish is Buttermilk, a natural, almost clear coating highlighting the grain of the pin-knotty oak veneers. Secondary finishes include a Weathered Gray and White Picket Fence.
The most interesting finish is Rustic Oak, a whitewash over coarse-grained wood with chatter marks. There is also blacksmith-style metal called Pepper and a honed white stone named Sugar. Two natural materials take center stage in the accents, a woven water hyacinth and slimit, a highly durable, unprocessed rattan species.
Case goods and accent pieces feel clean and modern but not polished. Forms are simple, and legs are straight or tapered, all enhanced with subtle details including a gallery topped nightstand, two different door moldings on the chests, chatter marks on white wood or contrasting wood finishes. A vertical end grain on select pieces gives the appearance of a solid wood slab.
Upholstery offering include:
- The 64-inch-wide Peyton banquette, Universal’s first such piece, with a striped seat back created from four different fabrics. Along with other frames in the collection, it is also available in more than 400 fabrics as part of the company’s special-order upholstery program.
- The decidedly modern Brooke sofa has chunky, sloped arms, a two-cushion back, bench seat and wooden block feet, and also is available as a chair and ottoman. Welt is noticeably absent, replaced by baseball stitching. The appearance is modern but not formal.
- The Hugh sofa is a fresh take on the classic Chesterfield with tufted back and two cushion seat, but without welts. It also comes as a chair and ottoman.
Featured case pieces include:
- The 38-inch-wide Collins bachelor’s chest in the Weathered Gray finish with pyramid-stepped drawer fronts with bar hardware, and a cedar-lined bottom drawer.
- The Huntley display cabinet uses vertically planked chatter board on the front, metal trimmed glass doors with mullions and Weathered Gray vertical planking on the inside.
- A small leg rectangular dining table suitable for older homes or narrow spaces is 36-inches-wide with square legs featuring an inset high-pressure laminate top. Seen in European designs, this durable surface handles heat, scratches, stains and moisture.
Four beds include:
- The Delancey with slipcovered wing-back headboard, footboard and rails. The slipcover removes for cleaning and can be ordered in more than 400 fabrics so extra slipcovers can accommodate seasonal change outs.
- Four round, slender metal posts with tester define the neat and trim Kent poster bed. An antiqued pewter Pepper finish and upholstered inset headboard in an off-white fabric lend a modern feel.
- The Haines bed’s panel headboard takes a cue from five-panel interior doors, often found in early 20th-century bungalows, in a Buttermilk finish.
- The Seaton bed has a 54-inch high headboard, 16-inch high footboard and rails of woven water hyacinth. The headboard features a horizontal stripe composed of abaca rope.
I’m Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. Upon my return to F/T, I developed coverage of the logistical and service aspects of the furniture industry as well as following the occasional, home office and home entertainment categories. In April 2018 I took over the upholstery category, with responsibility for coverage of the fabric and leather stationary and motion upholstery, recliners and massage chair categories.