HIGH POINT, N.C. (April 2011) --- Enhancing the company's already extensive offerings, Marge Carson introduces the Martinique Collection, a 32-piece West Indies-inspired group that represents the best of both worlds. At once, it's timelessly traditional and casually elegant, rich in European heritage yet easy to live with.
These Old World-style furnishings are a reflection of pieces that were common to European merchants and plantation owners developing the tropics during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now, as then, mixed materials are the hallmark of the collection. From lost wax casting of brass hardware to hand-wrought ironwork, woven rattan to exotic veneers, every detail exemplifies the legacy of this era.
Yet, for all its historical significance, the Martinique Collection is perfectly suited to this new century. "It fits in with a more casual, relaxed lifestyle that evokes thoughts and memories of our favorite resorts along the coast, walks on the beach collecting shells or Caribbean Island destinations where we sailed and snorkeled," says Jim LaBarge, the company's owner and CEO.
Expertly crafted of plantation-grown white teak, the grouping features two of Marge Carson's unique finishes; Old World Oxford has the look of mahogany while Old World Havana is darker with red undertones. Each piece makes a distinctive style statement. The armoire, for instance, conveys a classic West Indies style, given its reeded door paneling in the form of an "Xï" motif. Yet the interiors are indicative of Marge Carson's commitment to versatility with the option of simple"linen press" storage for clothing or media equipment, or a well-appointed bar when fitted with glass shelves, a mirrored back and interior lighting.
Likewise, dining tables are offered in both round and rectangular forms, their inlaid tops particularly impressive. Atop the rectangular version, for example, cherry veneer fields have walnut burl at their centers and are bordered by cracked walnut. "The term 'cracked walnut' is derived from the process of literally hand-breaking the inlayed walnut veneer before it is laminated to surfaces. This opens the grain to give the appearance of an aged antique that normally only time can achieve," explains Mike Gohman, Director of Design for Marge Carson.
The piece de resistance of the Martinique Collection is unquestionably the library wall unit. At full height - complete with a steel rail, finished in any of the company's six specialty metal or 13 metal leaf finishes, and a ladder with crocodile leather accents and nailhead trim - the extraordinary piece stands just over 9 feet tall. But for those who don't have soaring ceilings, it is also available in a more moderate height that will accommodate a standard 8-foot ceiling.
"We're all about options," says Gohman."With six hardware finishes, an ample variety of stone tops, and a multitude of finishes, trims and distressing options, any one of these items can be changed dramatically to fit numerous design environments."
"Marge Carson offers a wide variety of collections from classic to neoclassic; formal to informal; English, French, Italian and Spanish to cleaner-lined transitional collections," LaBarge adds. "Martinique represents a unique casual lifestyle, differentiating it from what is currently being offered in our other collections."
Founded in 1947, Marge Carson, Inc. is one of the world's premier manufacturers of high-end residential furnishings, including upholstery, case goods, occasional pieces and decorative accessories. With more than 55 finishes and 600-plus fabrics, embellishments and leathers to choose from, Marge Carson is known for completely customizable pieces.
Marge Carson's 24,000-square-foot showroom is located at 121 N. Hamilton St., High Point, NC.
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