High Point Market Trend Recap- Spring 2015
Earlier in the week I returned from High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show located in High Point, North Carolina. Collectively, High Point Market exhibitors show their wares in 11.5M ft2 of show space, spread throughout downtown High Point and its environs. Twice a year, the otherwise sleepy town of High Point nearly doubles in size and an influx of 85,000 buyers, exhibitors, and designers from around the globe flock to see the latest in home furnishings and accessories, and in doing so pump more than $5 Billion into the local economy.
High Point Market is one of my top highlights every year, as it is one of the few places where I can get so much accomplished in one place. Not only do I shop for my client projects, but I attend educational talks, network at cocktail parties, and can stay ahead of the curve by keeping on top of the market’s current offerings. Because of the breadth that High Point Market has to offer, it is also the best place to spot trends as they unfold, which brings me to what I spotted at this market. Keep in mind that the High Point Market Trend Recap I am presenting here is only a smattering of the actual offerings available at High Point Market.
The 8 Top Trends at High Point Market
- Metallic Finishes
- Variations of Blush Pink
- Highly Textured and Sculptural Cabinet Fronts
- Upholstered chairs – Open Arms and Backs
- Highlighting the Wood grain
- Practical Function Concealed by Sleek Forms
- Wall Finishes and Wall Coverings on Furniture
Metallic finishes were seen all throughout High Point Market. Whether silver leaf, reverse glass painting, eglomisé, or even hand applied nickel clad sheets, metal and metal finishes were seen throughout market on case good surfaces.
High Point Market marked the debut of Kelly Wearstler’s collection for EJ Victor. As expected, the collection contained drama at every turn. Pictured above is one that utilized a variety of metallic finishes. Mixing metals, once a taboo, is now being embraced by designers and manufacturers alike.
Bernhardt has always been known for experimenting with finishes in their case goods, and this season’s introductions is no exception. Nickel clad sheets encase the sculptural pieces of furniture and are nailed into place. Each curve and crevice is accentuated by the shadow play and reflection of light off the metal.
John-Richard features a silver leaf that is applied and then accented with hand painted leaves.
Phillips Collection features a variety of shapes that are made of composite and finished with several metallic finish options including brass and copper.
Variations of Blush Pink
Blush Pink was seen at every turn and in a variety of shades. Some a little bit more muted and greyed, some leaning towards peach, and others a crisp and clean shade of the palest of pale pinks.
For their debut collection for Hickory Chair, Hable Construction used several shades of blush and in contrasting textures.
Always a favorite of designers, Dunes and Duchess used blush as a base from which to showcase their line of turned-wood furniture, accessories, and candelabra.
I also saw a lot of blush from Tobi Fairley’s debut collection for CR Laine coming through on my Instagram feed during market, but I was so rushed this market that I didn’t have the chance to stop by and see the collection in person.
Highly Textured and Sculptural Door Fronts
We are constantly fine tuning tv technology and are seeking ways to create more depth and dimension in the picture that runs through our television screens. We are also seeking the same in our cabinetry, but luckily instead of depending on technology, furniture makers have taken the actual material into their own hands to sculpt 3 dimensional surfaces that create depth, dimension and a play of light and shadow.
A cherry blossom branch applied to the otherwise flat cabinet front on this entertainment armoire by Ambella Home makes all the difference while giving this piece a feminine touch.
Ellipse shaped divots cover the surface of this storage unit by Bungalow 5, creating a textural play with light and shadow.
Having just re-launched Dwell Studio through Magnussen (for case goods) and Klaussner (for upholstery) designer Christiane Lemieux of Dwell Studio brings a design-centric collection but now at a more competitive price point. This console utilizes 8 concentric hexagons on each door front to create a 3 dimensional surface that reflects light off the many number of angles.
Upholstered Chairs – Open Arms and Backs
Less is sometimes more, and this is definitely the case with this new breed of upholstery that has been making its way into High Point Market. We are given a glimpse into the chair’s inner frame and the frame’s key points that come in contact with the body are padded and upholstered for comfort. A truly minimalist approach to comfortable upholstered seating.
This pair of chairs from Wesley Hall were truly the sexiest chairs at market. With curved, slim padded backs to support the spine and curved arm rests, not only were these chairs a treat to look at, but they were so comfortable that I didn’t want to get up once seated. These two chairs were also spotted being used by Michelle Workman (with whom I shared Style Spotter duties last market) in her room at the Junior League of High Point Showhouse.
Chaddock‘s version of the open armed chair has softer and more subtle curves with more coverage across the back.
Kelly Wearstler’s chair for EJ Victor features open upholstered arms with a more contemporary and much less curvaceous form.
Larry Laslo’s chair for Chaddock also features the upholstered and open frame element, but unlike the previous chairs, this features an open back.
Practical Function Concealed by Sleek Forms
Let’s face it – we all love practicality and comfort, but that usually comes at the expense of the look. That is no longer the case, as manufacturers have figured out a way to marry form and function. We are delivered with sleek forms that have hidden features that provide function, comfort and practicality.
W. Schillig features sofas that are seemingly sleek and sexy. There is a ratcheted head rest that can be tilted for head support. Push the button that is concealed on the side of the cushion and voilà…
You’ve got 3 incliner seats (incline as opposed to recline as they move forward) Because they don’t recline, you don’t have to leave empty space between the back of the sofa and the wall.
Look – it’s a console. Swivel the front panel and…
You have a bar! This is perfect for those spaces where you need a bar, but you don’t necessarily want the look of a bar. When you’re done, a half turn and the bar assumes the look of a fine piece of furniture.
Highlighting the Wood Grain
Everywhere I looked I saw the natural wood grain being highlighted by using a number of techniques that included cerusing, liming, and even sand blasting.
Pedestals from Kelly Wearstler’s debut collection for EJ Victor include two wood pedestals contrasting light and dark with a cerused like finish.
Bernhardt Furniture’s charcoal black limed oak console is shown with antiqued mirror and gold tipping- definitely a scene stealer against the moody, smoke colored walls.
Hable Construction’s debut line for Hickory Chair achieves movement in the wood grain by using ash in an ebony finish.
Instead of adding color to highlight the movement in the grain, Bernhardt Furniture approaches highlighting the grain in a more subtle and textural way by introducing depth. The wood is sandblasted, eliminating the softer parts of wood that create the grain, and in doing so, the depth and 3 dimensional texture of the grain is highlighted.
Marquetry is the art of taking smaller pieces of wood veneer and putting them together to form a pattern or design. Usually different woods, finishes or opposing grains are used to draw attention to the intricate detail.
Contrasting finishes are used to define the ethnic pattern on this Jonathan Charles cocktail table.
Kelly Wearstler opts to use triangles and opposing grainlines to create a geometric pattern across the top of this dining table for her debut collection for EJ Victor.
What Traditionally Goes on the Walls is now Being Used on Furniture
Why limit the use of wall coverings and painted canvas to the wall when they can beautify furniture as well? Grass cloth and raffia is now being wrapped around case goods to add color and texture while printed wall paper is being used to introduce patterns and artistic motifs.
John Strauss uses flat front door fronts to make way for a continuous canvas to showcase Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studio’s fluid watercolor wallpaper.
Painted canvas panels are used as door fronts for this buffet from John-Richard.
Thibaut wraps their grass cloth wallcovering around a hard wood frame (while taking time to meticulously miter the grass cloth wallcovering on the table top), after which they apply several coats of varnish, rendering the piece of furniture impervious to water while still offering a slightly textured surface. There is a wide range of Thibaut wallcoverings that can be used, offering the customer a variety of color, pattern, and texture options.
Other notable observations:
- pale seafoam/aqua
- Ethnic Moroccan and Southwest motifs
- Organic shapes – tree branches, botanical forms
- concentric shapes, especially circles
- reverse glass painting as a surface finish in lighting and furniture
- Brutalist influences
- Emphasis on hardware
- Deep, Rich Blues – Sapphire and Indigo
As you can see, if you are a designer or in the home furnishings industry, High Point is THE place to be every April and October. Nowhere in the world can you see so many lines from around in the world, and all in one place, along with educational events, networking, cocktail parties, entertainment (this market they had Christopher Cross and Taylor Dayne, but I think I should start a movement to get the likes of Duran Duran, Erasure or Flock of Seagulls to perform)
I hope you found my High Point Market Trend Recap helpful. If there is anything I missed, let me know. I hope to see you next market in October!
Legends 2015 at the La Cienega Design Quarter (LCDQ) May 6-8 where I will be serving as one of this year’s ambassadors:
Although VIP tickets are already sold out, registration is still open for keynote panels and showroom programs at Eventbrite. Registration is anticipated to sell out fairly quickly, so the sooner you can secure the events you are interested in attending, the better. A big highlight of the three day event are the LCDQ windows around quarter that are decorated by the design industry’s top talent from around the country and are not to be missed. I hope to see you there… give me a holler if you’ll be attending, I’d love to say hello!