Asian influence, cherry blossoms settle on furniture

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Fine Furniture's Discovery Hall Chest embellished with hand applied cherry blossom branches.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — If you missed the cherry blossoms this spring, you can now enjoy fragile pink flowers that will never fade. Sakura style has found its way onto home furnishings and accessories.

The Asian influence with Japanese undertones has been percolating for years, and it is now making itself felt in the world of furniture design.

"The balance and harmony of Asian design elements draw our attention away from a world that seems to be growing smaller and spinning faster every day," said Eric Graham, president of Fine Furniture Design.

The company, which is headquartered in North Carolina but manufactures in Shanghai, China, showed its Discovery hall chest from the Fusion collection at the Fall High Point Market in October. The chest, available this spring at Today’s Home, Furniture Galleries and Quality Furniture, brings a Zen calm to any space with cherry branches against a soft silver metallic background on hand-decorated doors. The cobalt blue lacquered interior adds an element of surprise.

"The decorative details of Japanese cherry blossoms in particular blend with European and contemporary influences to add elegant simplicity to today’s beautifully layered interiors," Graham added.

The same design element appears in relief on Ambella Home’s appropriately named Cherry Blossom cabinet, which has a metal base and bi-folding doors, and draped across the curved back of Palm Beach Florida’s Cee Zee sofa, which was inspired by vintage 1950s pieces.

Like a refreshing spring breeze, pink petals invigorate the fabric on upholstery from several makers. CR Laine used 100 percent linen Quincey Cherry fabric on its Mia chair. The watercolor-like linen print bursts with cherry blossoms in bright maraschino red, striking the perfect balance between large, bold flowers and bare, black branches. With an 18 1/2-inch seat height, this pseudo wing chair is scaled for both living and dining rooms, especially as a head chair.

"Delicate cherry blossoms have long been a source for inspiration in home fashion in both accents and textiles," said Holly Blalock, the company’s vice president of merchandising and marketing.

Wesley Hall Furniture and Currey & Company obviously agree. Wesley Hall covered its Fowler chair in a linen print called Decarlo Cherry, and Currey’s Garson chair has a printed linen called Blossom Festival stretched across a hand-carved European beech frame.

"An icon of the beautiful spring season, the motif immediately brings a freshness to your home," Blalock said.