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BIG IS IN BUT ISN'T ALWAYS BETTER IN THIS YEAR'S NEW FURNITURE LINES

You take Texas, I'll take Manhattan. Recognizing that not everyone lives in like-size houses, many manufacturers are offering popular sofa styles in different scales. Mitchell Gold's Vanessa, 98-inch sofa, for example, is the perfect sofa for big rooms with tall ceilings, while little sisters Lydia and Lindsey at 83 inches wide are similar in style, but able to maneuver the tiny hallways of big-city apartments. (Many of the sofas in Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel catalogs are from Mitchell Gold.)

Then there's Thayer Coggin, whose Texas-size modern furniture appealed to a group of Asian buyers - they shipped about 40 pieces to Korea.- Dressing up to kick back. One furniture survey said most of the folks who buy motion furniture go to rent-to-own stores. But motion furniture is dressing up in stylish covers and skirts and is emerging from cutting-edge manufacturers such as Thayer Coggin where its modern-style swiveling, gliding Scrambler chair sells for about $2,195.

- Time to de-stress. Distressing went awry here and there, such as Thomasville's wrought iron al fresco dining set from its Renaissance collection. While the set has pretty lines, the Grand Balcony aged finish makes it look like a rusty set Grandma would have thrown out. And it has a retail price somewhere around $2,500 to $3,000 for the set.

- Lilliputian nightmare. With headboards up to a foot taller than my 5-foot-2-inch body, and about as wide, I can only ask, where do beds go from here? I suggest shorter, thinner.

- Baker plays it safe - and comfy. Just as Americans have discovered dress-down Fridays and sport-utility vehicles, Baker has gone beyond its formal living and dining room furniture and introduced deep, comfortable sofas that would fit in a family or media room, or a traditional living room.

So just what is the "in" color this market?

"I feel any color well used is in," Carithers said. "But can you think of anything that doesn't go with red?"