Celebration and Anticipation
After 35 years in business, LEE Industries continues to create
fresh looks and exciting products suitable for years to come.
Newton, NC - When Bill and Dottie Coley
decided to enter the furniture manufacturing business in 1969, they were
motivated by the lack of furniture choices for their personal taste and
lifestyle. They wanted to create stylish furniture with a rich array of
fabric choices built to quality standards they wanted in their own home.
Now, 35 years later, LEE Industries is a leader in upholstery manufacturing
with a reputation of having the best fabric selection in the industry,
setting the style and fabric trends seen on retail floors and in catalogs
all over the country.
LEE Industries' owes its success to its
ever constant push to create new product categories and to do things a
little bit better each time. LEE Industries was one of the first manufacturers
to introduce a line of denim upholstery; LEE stormed the leather category
10 years ago with some of the finest grades of leather available; LEE
created Coveralls, the washable slipcover line of products to appeal to
active lifestyles; and most recently, LEE has been creating partnerships
with furniture and fabric designers to create new categories of products
that coordinate with household items and accessories in those designers'
As for any manufacturer, the challenge
at each market is to introduce something new, something different, something
that catches the eye, appeals to the senses, and gets people talking about
the product. LEE Industries once again rises to the challenge.
Pine Cone Hill Home
Collection by LEE
LEE Industries continues to expand its
line of designer products. The newest addition is Pine Cone Hill Home
Collection by LEE by designer Annie Selke, the creative force behind Pine
Cone Hill (bed linens and upholstered furnishings), Potluck Studios (tableware),
and Dash & Albert Rug Company. Annie Selke's trademark is to infuse traditional
patterns and designs with colors and textures that are more modern. "I
like things that are traditional but quirky," says Annie, "... period
appropriate - but with a current-day twist."
The fabrics selected for the launch of
Pine Cone Hill Home Collection by LEE are very feminine with bright florals,
colorful paisleys and classic delicate white lace. The prewashed 100%
cotton fabrics are perfectly suited to the lifestyle of most of LEE's
customers and complement many of the fabrics already in LEE's line. The
signature piece for this collection is the new #1905 Neo-Wing Chair upholstered
in Edelweiss, Aqua, a wool crewel floral in pink, lime and
turquoise, combined with LEE's linen, Monty, Fuchsia. The
same chair upholstered in leather creates an entirely different mood.
The #L-1905 Leather Neo-Wing Chair in Swanson, Red, a large-scaled
paisley in red, yellow and blue, combined with LEE's Coach, Red
leather, is still very feminine with a more sophisticated bearing.
It will be difficult to overlook the bright
Gigi, Orange, a classic tulip floral in orange, pink, red
and yellow. Showcased on the new delicate #1342 Chair, there is an air
of traditional elegance with a definite modern day twist. Another "little
sweetie" to catch the eye is Daisy Mae, a crisp, white eyelet slipcover
that allows a peak of the underfabric as shown on LEE's #2009/S Slipcover
Settee in Monty, Fuchsia with a Daisy Mae, White
slipcover. When combined with a crochet-trimmed white sheeting skirt,
there is a sense of a petticoat peaking out from under a skirt. While
it is unusual to consider upholstered furniture "whimsical," it is befitting
to Annie Selke's philosophy. "Every room should have at least one piece
that makes you smile," she says.
Rounding out the collection are florals
and classic checks and stripes in soft blues, pinks, yellows and greens.
Celia, a classic floral with a tea-stained background available
in both blue and pink, can be seen in Coveralls on the #196-01 Chair (Celia,
Blue) and on the #199-02 Loveseat (Celia, Pink).
Tic Tac, a wide ticking stripe, and Chit Chat, a medium-scaled
gingham checked pattern, are complementary to each other as well as to
the other fabrics in the Pine Cone Hill Home Collection. Tic Tac
is available in six colors - Blue, Green, Pink, Sage,
White and Yellow - while Chit Chat is available in
four - Blue, Green, Pink and Yellow.
In addition to the fabrics from Pine Cone
Hill, there are also selections from Potluck Studios and Dash & Albert
Rug Company. From Potluck Studios is a bold stripe inspired by the vibrant
colors used in the Potluck Studios pottery collection. Potluck
is available in Earth, Kiwi, Riviera, Scarlet
and Sunflower. The #66-01 Coveralls Chair is shown in Potluck,
Riviera, and the #69-01 Coveralls Chair is shown in Potluck,
Kiwi. Patterns from select Dash & Albert rugs are used to engineer
a heavy cotton weave suitable for upholstery. Navajo, Saddle
Blanket is a Southwest-inspired stripe with warm reds, rich browns
and a black and white accent stripe. Showcased on the #L-3278 Sofa, Navajo,
Saddle Blanket is combined with the LEE leather Stampede,
Coffee to create a classic LEE patched sofa. Also inspired from
a Dash & Albert rug is Dobbins, Multi, a non-repeating stripe
that can be seen on the #5990 Arm Chair.
The partnership with Annie Selke is a
natural for LEE Industries and complements LEE's designs, LEE's fabrics,
and the other designer lines, Amy Karyn Home Collection and McAlpine Home.
These partnerships, combined with LEE's continued efforts in producing
innovatively styled, quality products, will set the pace for the years
The biggest challenge at every market
is to come up with new designs and new products, and sometimes new ways
of manufacturing furniture. With the introduction of designer partnerships,
LEE has had the opportunity to rethink the manufacturing process and has
earned rewards from the manufacturing industry.
The #3901 Castle Praha Sofa in McAlpine
Home, introduced in October 2003, illustrates how the design and manufacturing
teams must work together. The curves and contours of the arms and back
combined with an overall length of 113 inches made it difficult to create
this sofa by traditional methods. LEE's design team of Bradley Gantt,
Bobby Gantt, Brad Legault and Mike Moreland utilized engineered wood panels
to provide the strength and flexibility to carve out the rolled arms and
scalloped back. The engineered wood combined with traditional mortise-and-tenon
joints that are glued and stapled makes the frame of the #3901 Sofa more
stable and durable than it would have been if constructed with traditional
materials. Under Bradley Gantt's leadership in product development, LEE's
innovative design team has earned the top award from udm
Magazine's 2004 Under the Covers Upholstery Design Competition. This follows
the top award the design team won in 2003 and the two merit awards won
in 2001 and 2002. As udm Magazine noted, "All (designs)
exhibited the maturity one expects from an industry getting more comfortable
with its manufacturing path."
Another innovation that will offer two
looks for the price of one is the Coveralls #133-01 Reversible Slipcover
Chair. The short-skirted slipcover features fabric with a banded skirt
on one side and full-fabric version on the reverse. The #133-01 is ideally
suited for those who like to switch out a look with seasonal fabrics.
Manufacturing innovations aside, it is
the fabric that draws people to upholstery. LEE is noted for its selection
of rich neutrals, sumptuous chenilles, and classic, long-wearing weaves.
But this market is different. While there is plenty of what people have
come to expect from LEE, it is the unexpected that will get everyone talking.
This market, the story is color, brighter
and more vibrant color than LEE has ever offered at market introductions.
The sherbet inspired cotton stripe, Cabana, Multi, showcased
on the #193-11 Coveralls Sofa, captures all of the new colors in LEE's
lineup and sets the tone for the entire showroom. Complementary to Cabana,
Multi are several basic weaves that can be easily mixed and matched.
Monty, a 100% linen, will be offered in three additional colors:
Aqua, Fuchsia and Lime. Cosmic, a cotton/poly
crepe, has nine color choices - Candy, China, Mint,
Natural, Palm, Red, Spring, Sunny and
Sunrise. Slubby, a dip-dyed cotton weave, will be offered
in Camel, Foam, Green, Loden, Mist,
Natural, Petal, Rose and Spray. The new #3057
Sofa and #1057 Chair are shown in Slubby, Foam, and the
#1222 Chair is shown on Slubby, Spray; Garnet, a
cotton/poly blend in a small checked pattern, will be offered in six colors
- Bermuda, Desert, Leaf, Lichen, Raja
and Whisper. The bold, rich red of Garnet, Raja is
a standout on Lee's #7924-80 Sofa.
The infusion of color is not limited to
cotton solids and simple patterns. A classic houndstooth called Hunt
Club will be offered in Autumn, Blossom, Stone
and Straw. The luxurious velvet, France, will be available
in Apricot, Buff, Caramel, Ice and Leaf.
A large-scale batik titled Salem can be seen in Brown, Citrus,
Gold and Red, and all four colorways will be shown on the
floor at market. The batik pattern lends itself to multiple applications
as shown on the #1194 Chair in Salem, Red on the reverse
side of the print.
More traditional patterns also display
a surprising jolt of color. Griffith, a classic paisley jacquard,
can be appreciated in Red on the #3135 Sofa and in Aqua
on the #3013-73 Tufted Sofa. The washed jacquard, Richland, is
one of the most dimensional fabrics in the new selection and can be appreciated
on the new #7129 Grand Scale Sofa in Richland, Red and on
the #1977 Chair in Richland, Aqua. LEE's new damask, Hyde
Park, bends the color rules with a selection in Breeze, Camel,
Chocolate and Citrus. And the one fabric that pulls all
of them together is the versatile raw silk, Lewis, Hemp,
that appears to be a neutral taupe tone but reflects the colors close
at hand so that it picks up aquas, pinks, blues and yellows.
Color and texture is not limited to fabrics
this market. LEE Industries has several new leathers that are sure to
draw attention. Most notable is Kraven, Pear, a mellow lime
green shown on the the new #L-1005 Tufted Back Leather Chair. While that
particular shade of green is unexpected in leather, it certainly is appealing.
In addition to Pear, Kraven is also adding Cinnamon,
Mellow (a soft yellow), Citrus (key lime green) and Jute
to round out the color selection in leather.
As for texture, there is more than enough
in Croco, a half-hide in plated crocodile. Showcased at market
on the new #L-1542 Side Chair, Croco is also suited to applications
on ottomans and patched with other leathers. The new pull-up leather,
Stampede, utilizes the entire hide so that tic bites, scars and
other blemishes are clearly evident on all surfaces. Stampede,
Coffee is showcased on the new #L-2017 Leather Loveseat which was
inspired by an antique find. And then there is the newest innovation,
waterproof leather. Madison is available in Brown, Putty
and Walnut and has been treated so that water droplets and moisture
from spills pool on the surface of the leather and do not soak in, making
for easy cleaning. With Madison, leather upholstery suddenly becomes
a viable option in many more homes.
* * * * * * * * * *
LEE Industries has much to be proud of
as they look forward to the coming years. Now an industry leader, they
have a proven track record in creating solidly crafted furniture that
will stand the test of time. Having built a reputation of offering some
of the finest fabrics available in retail upholstery, they will continue
to "push the envelope" by venturing into new colors and textures to tantalize
today's consumers. LEE is certainly excited about what they can offer,
and that excitement is evident in everything seen in the showroom.