Interior Design Trends at High Point Market, Spring 2016
Twice a year I head to High Point, North Carolina to seek out and report on the season’s top interior design trends. This market was a bit more hectic than most, as I am in the midst of opening up my first retail shop in the next couple of weeks. Initially I had planned to skip this market, but as the date grew near and the invitations starting coming in, I couldn’t help myself and booked myself a room — not an easy task last minute, as High Point Market, often dubbed as “fashion week for furniture design”, is THE place to be if you are a manufacturer, buyer or serious designer, and hotel rooms are sold out months — and even two years in advance, as I recently discovered.
Occupying 11.5 million square feet of showroom space, High Point is the place for me to stay on top of the newest product introductions and emerging interior design trends.
When catering to a design-savvy crowd, it is important that I am kept abreast of what is new and trending. I take the information I discover at High Point and tailor my findings to what will appeal to the demographics in my area, Pasadena, CA. Most of you who read my blog know that each market I put together a comprehensive recap of the interior design trends I see at market — some just emerging and others nearing the end of the cycle, so without further ado, here goes:
Interior Design Trends at High Point Market, Spring 2016
- Play on Proportion – Furniture Sits Low to the Ground
- 80s influence
- Tropical/jungle themes and motifs
- lighter, natural woods in matte and satin finishes
- Vibrant Shades of Green
- Metals – Anything goes
- Emphasis on corners
- Influence of Vintage Ceramics – Finding Perfection in Imperfection
- Designer/Brand Collaborations
Play on Proportion- Low to the Ground
This season saw an interesting play on proportion and scale, taking cues from what is currently trending in Europe. Beds and cocktail tables are sitting lower to the ground, creating the illusion of a higher ceiling and a more spacious room. On a side note, a couple of weeks ago I attended a preview of the Pasadena Showcase House, where designer Julia Wong also played with proportion in her room by using a low to the ground bed. She too, is influenced by sophisticated European design.
One of the first stops at High Point was at the Baker Showroom to attend the much anticipated Jean-Louis Deniot Collection. In the collection is a bed that sits low to the ground, which garnered much attention not only because of the proportions that are relatively new to those in the US, but because he offered two versions of the same bed. One was a lighter, more feminine version (shown below) and a dark and sexy version in another room. It’s interesting to see how the same bed can change the mood of the room simply by changing the color and finishes. Having the bed sit lower to the ground elongates the proportion in the room, giving the appearance of a higher ceiling.
Another one of my favorite stops each market is at Taracea, where a thick slab of wood seemed to float effortlessly about an inch off the ground. I love this look – it is less fussy and there is less empty space underneath to collect dust. The emphasis in the room is without a doubt, on the table.
The eighties are back, with bulky, over-stuffed sofas, only this time around cushions are offered in a variety of comfort options.
Chair arms were so wide in this chair from Jean-Louis Deniot that they could almost be used as additional seating!
Another flashback to the 80s is seen at Thayer Coggin with their Memphis Style inspired chair. The influence of the Memphis Group was also seen recently while in Europe attending Ambiente. I’m not sure how well this trend will catch on stateside- your thoughts?
Palm leaves/Jungle Motifs
Two months ago I was invited to an event with Lamps Plus and Jessica Romm, Editorial Editor of Domino Magazine. When asked what she sees as the season’s biggest trend, Romm did not hesitate with identifying tropical palm leaves as the dominant trend. Judging by what I’ve been seeing lately, both at High Point and beyond, she is spot on with her call.
One of the biggest introductions at High Point Market was Justina Blakeney and Selamat Designs’ collaboration. Blakeney is widely known for her “jungalow style”, a bohemian lifestyle heavily influenced by the flora and fauna that she surrounds herself with. This vignette is styled with Justina’s newly launched wallpaper, rug, and furniture lines along with a stack of her books that chronicle “The New Bohemian” lifestyle by which she lives.
Lighter/Natural Woods in Matte/Satin Finishes
Darker, stained woods have taken a back seat to lighter and natural wood finishes. The influence of Scandinavian design — functional design in natural wood and finishes was seen all throughout the market.
Ambella Home showcased a beautifully shaped console, which is available in both a light and dark wood, but I am more partial to the light. In my opinion, it reads as more fresh and of-the-moment and feeds to the general feeling of optimism that our economy is currently experiencing.
Solid blocks of natural wood were shaped into pedestals at Taracea.
Wood was shaped to form a handle on this desk seen at Resource Decor — very clever!
Vibrant Shades of Green
Green was just at about every turn at market. From Kate Spade’s new fabric collection for Kravet to Corey Damen Jenkins’ collection for Leathercraft (both collections which happened to be paired with a vibrant poppy red) green was the dominant hue.
Some showrooms such as Resource Decor (shown above) opted to use pops of green against a neutral ground, but other showrooms incorporated varying intensities of green all throughout.
This vibrant vignette by Global Views may have in part been influenced by the palm leaf trend that we’ve been seeing a lot of.
Metals – Anything goes
While at past markets it was possible to determine the dominant metal finish at market, the Spring 2016 market seemed as though all metal finishes were equally celebrated. Copper, nickel, brass, rose gold were all seen throughout. Some showrooms were able to effortlessly mix metal finishes while other showrooms opted to go one way or another, or showed several metal finishes with each finish displayed separately.
Visual Comfort had a plethora of brass finishes – one of my favorites was this linear pendant from Kelly Wearstler. But then again I’ve never come across anything from Kelly’s collection that I didn’t love!
While last market Bernhardt went with dark, dramatic,and sultry with dark shades contrasted with warm, brassy metal finishes, this market they went in the opposite direction with silver finishes and lighter and cooler hues. Nickel finishes can somehow come off as cold, but as usual, Bernhardt managed to keep the room warm by minimizing the contrast and pairing the silver finishes with warm, grey wood finishes.
Emphasis on Corners
Corners aren’t what they used to be. Forget about the standard 90-degree angle — clipped corners are where it’s at.
For his debut collection for Baker Furniture, Jean-Louis Deniot did not spare any detail and paid special attention to the corners, clipping the ends for a softer, more feminine appearance in several pieces of his collection.
Ceramics- Finding Perfection in Imperfection
I’ve recently had this fascination with vintage ceramics, and I was pleased to see that several manufacturers have also caught on. As much as I love the vintage pieces, they are becoming increasingly hard to find. One of a kind finds are a thrill to come across but they are few and far between, so I also love what manufacturers such as Global Views are bringing to market. Perfectly smooth glazes are no longer the norm and imperfect textures, color, and finishes are where it’s at.
Last October there were several new designer/brand collaborations, and this market this interior design trend continued. Some of this market’s newest collaborations:
- Jean-Louis Deniot/Baker
- Kate Spade/Kravet
- Corey Damen Jenkins/Leathercraft
- Kelli Ellis/Leftbank Art
- Michael Berman/Theodore Alexander
- John Robshaw/Duralee
- Justina Blakeney/Selamat Designs
Oops – I thought I was giving you 8 interior design trends but it looks like I gave you nine.
Other Notable Interior Design Trends I Observed:
- soft icy pastels – perhaps influenced in part by Pantone’s Colors of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity
- Use of stone in lighting – alabaster and rock crystal
- Florals – not limited to 2-dimensional motifs in upholstery and wallcoverings but sculpted, 3-dimensional florals are also used in lighting.
There is never a shortage of things to see and parties to attend at High Point Market. I make it a point to attend High Point Market for several reasons — to shop for client projects, to make a mental catalog of the many lines I see in case I will need them in the future, and to keep up on all the new lines and introductions and interior design trends so that I can stay one step ahead of the pack. Because High Point is a show that not too many designers from California attend, I am also able to pick up lines for the store that no one else in the area has, keeping me fresh and relevant.
Even though there are a lot of interior design trends seen throughout market all in various stages of their life span, what it all boils down to is what reflects your taste and how you live. If you invest in things that you love chances are that your space will remain relevant to you longer than if you were to place something in your space simply because it is new and trending. Do you follow interior design trends or do you take it all with a grain of salt? What are your favorite current interior design trends?
Stay tuned for my store opening. I know – I’ve been saying that it’s soon for a while, but it’s finally happening. Cabinetry and appliances are being installed this week and next and we’re closing in on the finish line.