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Universal Furniture and Coastal Living Present Escape

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Universal Furniture and Coastal Living announced the debut their first collaboration, aptly named Escape, at the Fall 2018 High Point furniture market.

“The designs evoke a feeling of leisure,” says Jeff Scheffer, Universal Furniture president and CEO. “We carefully developed designs, finishes and fabrics that speak to a relaxed lifestyle, which is synonymous with coastal life.”

“Universal is a natural partner because they really understand the ethos of life on the coast.,” said Sid Evans, editor-in-chief of Coastal Living magazine. “Coastal Living is about a sense of ease and a deep connection with the outdoors, so we needed to create furnishings that could stand up to everything that happens there, from saltwater and sand to renters and generational use.”
The whole home collection comprises more than 60 designs across bedroom, dining room, kitchen, upholstery, home entertainment and accent categories. With five different finishes, five woven materials and two wood species, it feels collected, not suited, and appropriate for a casual setting, whether it’s on the coast or inland.

While there is a nod to coastal design, especially in the woven pieces, the collection doesn’t appear themed. It’s much more about the informal lifestyle and inspiration borrowed from coastal towns and venues that define this collection.

Collection Elements
“Many of the pieces are made from organic materials like rattan and bamboo, which are part of the fabric of regions like Florida and the Caribbean islands, and have been for generations,” said Evans. “We pulled the finish colors straight from the coastal landscape, so everything feels very authentic. That was important to us.”  

The primary finish is Sandbar – a white stain that beautifully exposes the varied and complex grain of the wire brushed oak veneers found on core casegood items. A secondary finish, Boardwalk, is a fresh gray stain over wire brushed pine veneers. Two accent finishes – Sea Spray, a soft gray and Marina, a deep marine blue – utilize the age-old gesso technique and have a linen-like appearance. Finally, Sailcloth, a bright, white painted finish, complements the other finishes in the collection.

Five natural materials in natural and painted finishes — rattan, raffia, abaca, Lloyd Loom and wicker— distinguish chair designs, a console, an etagere, a mirror, a bench and bed frames.

Fabrics provide a heavy dose of texture and color. Nubby bouclé, printed velvets, striped linen-looks and lagoon blue leather.

Upholstery Highlights – slipcovers, texture, swivel and sleepers
The upholstery selections are a first for the Coastal Living brand.

“When it came to designing the upholstery, livability and performance were a must,” said Scheffer. “That’s why nearly all the cover selections are performance fabrics.”

“Our team worked diligently to capture a cohesive feel and look between the upholstery and case goods that reflect the Coastal Living lifestyle,” said Sean O’Connor, senior vice president of sales for Universal Furniture. “We collaborated with the magazine’s editors to ensure pieces work just as well in homes on the shores of Lake Michigan as they do on the sunny beaches of Florida.”   

  • Siesta Key Swivel Chair – This slipcovered swivel accent chair’s clean lines are accented with flange welting.  Siesta Key features a pillow like seat with 50/50 feather blend seat, covered in a Crypton off-white fabric.

  • Kiawah Sofa – Covered in Crypton fabric, Kiawah features a super-soft feather blend bench cushion and five coastal blue accent pillows in three different designs featuring custom stitching and 100 percent down blend filling. Kiawah sits on spool legs with a nickel finished metal caster.

  • Stone Harbor Loveseat is a 63” wood accent loveseat in the Sailcloth wood finish with natural colored, double caned woven sides and back panel.  Stone Harbor’s seats and back pillows are in a creamy, boucle cotton fabric.

  • Chatham is an 82” three-cushion, track arm slipcovered sofa available in three different Crypton base cloths. It is also available as a chair, ottoman, sectional and a sleeper sofa. The sleeper is a new addition to Universal’s upholstery lineup, featuring Leggett & Platt mechanisms and a standard memory foam mattress.

Casegood and Accent Highlights – wovens, sailor-inspired hardware, color

  • Nesting headboard – Natural wicker woven over an open-work metal frame. The irregular weave creates an artisan feel, and variations in pattern are to be expected.

  • Utility cabinet – tall and narrow with clipped-corner doors, and stainless steel hardware that recalls and knotted rope. Doors are inset with woven rattan. Boardwalk finish.

  • Scatter tables – large and small round, rattan scatter tables appear basket like. The sturdy rattan allows these to be used as stools, in addition to their function as cocktail and pullup tables.

  • Bar Harbor dining and accent chair -  This classic, curved back, arm chair is covered in historic Lloyd Loom (wire covered in Kraft paper), patented in 1917 by American Marshall Lloyd. Chairs are available in four colors: Atlantic Blue,Sea Glass, Jetty and Sandpiper.


More about Universal: Universal Furniture creates quality furnishings for the whole home with a focus on function and lifestyle. The company’s casegood, upholstery, accent and accessory designs are developed under the brand names Universal Furniture (Lifestyle Collections), To The Trade (Interior Design) and Smartstuff™ (Baby and Child), and sold through retailers and interior designers throughout North America and around the world. Founded in 1968, Universal Furniture is a brand of Samson Holdings, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated furniture manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.universalfurniture.com.

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