Braxton Culler updates color palette with new painted, wood finishes

HIGH POINT — Most upholstery manufacturers heading into market talk about how their new frames and fabrics address stylistic voids in the market.

This market, upholstery manufacturer Braxton Culler is touting a wood finish story that aims to update its bases, legs and wood trim with new color tones and lower-sheen applications. It’s a story that the company believes will turn heads among retailers and designers alike.

Donnie Lesley, vice president of operations at Braxton Culler, shows off some of the new finishes for the company’s upholstery line at its Sophia, North Carolina, plant.

The mix includes 13 new colors in antiqued and nonantiqued options in tones such as Willow, a darker green tone; Mineral, a blue-green tone; Pacific, a lighter blue tone; Ocean, a steel-blue tone; and Mushroom, a gray tone. These hues complement a selection of fabrics that bear similar color palettes.   

There also are five new wood stains that include Java, Coffee and Hazel. A key difference between these and older wood stains is that the newer varieties are drier, with a sheen of 5-10, compared to 25-30 previously. This speaks directly to the casual designs seen in today’s bestselling case goods, offering comfortable and livable looks that also complement the company’s fabric selection.

Seen on a mix of some 20 new accent chairs, the color palette hints at the direction the company is taking the line. This marks an evolution from its core coastal, casual and Southern design aesthetic into a more contemporary and even modern realm.

“We were shooting about a 25 to 30 sheen, and we made a change to drop that down,” said Donnie Lesley, senior vice president of operations of the brand, which was purchased by Classic Home in 2021. “It’s a massive difference overall, and it just gives a level of refinement to the product that we didn’t have before.”

These are some of the new finish panels set against some new fabrics in the line.

He noted that the differences in design aesthetic of the newer finishes can be seen on both wood accents and frames, along with many of the core wicker and rattan pieces in the line.

“Wicker and rattan reacts a little differently, but no matter what you shoot, when you look at it, you can see the difference from before and after.”

While the new finishes are being shown at this week’s High Point Market, they also will be seen at the summer Dallas and Las Vegas markets which aim to introduce the company to new customers in the western half of the U.S. As part of the effort, the company also is boosting its sales force as part of a plan to reach a wider audience across the country.

At the High Point Market, customers will get a glimpse of that new style direction as the company will showcase the new finishes — and a wide mix of new fabrics — on a display of new seating seen at the front of its space at 310 S. Elm St.

“The first thing you will walk into is a huge display of all of our finishes,” Lesley said. “Then you will walk into a space with our 600-plus fabrics. … This sets the tone for walking through the rest of the space.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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