HIGH POINT MARKET - SPRING 2021 FURNITURE TRENDS
Fresh off of High Point Market this week, I have a lot to report back on the 2021 High Point Market furniture trends. Every 6 months I head to High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world, to preview all of the newest furniture introductions. While I am there looking for new product lines and vendors, I am also analyzing the latest furniture trends. By being in attendance at every market, I am able to see how these trends evolve. Most of the time the trends evolve gradually, but this market there was bigger shift than what I normally see.
High Point Market - Post-Pandemic
With the pandemic and not being at market for more than a year and a half, the shift in trends was not as gradual and typical. So much has changed in the world since I last attended in October, 2019. Several of the Spring 2021 furniture trends seen this market were in response to what is currently going on in the world. In times of uncertainty, we seek warmth, comfort and stability, and this has resulted in softer , more comfortable shapes and plusher textures. Other trends I saw were a continuation of what started pre-pandemic and others are truly just emerging.
HPMKT - OCTOBER 2019
When we left off in October 2019, there were trends that were just emerging. In a normal environment, I would see a trend hit its peak over the course of several markets. I feel that one particular trend that was just emerging in the fall of 2019 went from 0-60 this market. It was at every turn and so ubiquitous that I would almost dare to say it has hit its peak. You know what they say – too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing.
Many of the trends I saw this market were in response to how our habits and emotional reactions have changed as a result of the pandemic. A lot can change in a year and a half, and it did. Without further ado, the furniture trends for 2021 seen at High Point Spring Market.
11 Top furniture trends seen at high point market
- Bouclé and Shearling
- Indoor/Outdoor Living
- Large Scale Textures
- Modern Global Influences
- Work From Home – The Home Office
- Exaggerated Reeded Panels
- Wicker and Rattan – Amorphous and Organic
- Plump It Up 2.0
- Natural Wood Finishes
- Making a Statement with Matching Stripes
High Point Market - Furniture Trends 2021 Explained
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #1: BOUCLÉ and shearling
If you haven’t figured it out already, bouclé and faux shearling is the trend that I was referring to above that I feel oversaturated the market this go around. When we last attended High Point market in October 2019, the bouclé and shearling/faux shearling trend was just starting to build steam. A year and a half later and it was EVERYWHERE. At every single upholstery showroom we visited.
Much of this was probably in response to how we are longing to feel, especially in times of uncertainty. The soft and nubby texture of both bouclé and shearling evoke a sense of warmth, comfort and security. During a pandemic, this is exactly what one would turn to – texture that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The good thing is that if is offered in an array of neutral colors and both boucle and faux shearling are versatile. A good designer can work it in seamlessly with any style decor.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #2: INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING
Another interior design trend that was building momentum prior to the pandemic was the importance of indoor/outdoor living. Upgrading an outdoor space is an easy way to extend a home’s living area. As construction costs continue to skyrocket, homeowners will continue to focus on the outdoors to postpone or minimize the costs involved in remodeling. In addition, a heightened interest in wellness and biophilia has resulted in a boom in outdoor living spaces.
Wesley Hall, who is known for their impeccably crafted 8-way hand-tied upholstery is making a move to outdoor living. Their new outdoor collection features teak frames made in Indonesia and a variety of indoor/outdoor fabrics from Inside/Out.
LA designer and friend Laura Muller of 4Pt Design Build debuted Provenance, her new collection for Seasonal Living. The new collection is a culmination of Laura’s experiences growing up in Southern California mixed with her signature style – clean and streamlined. We were especially drawn to the pieces made out of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP). The modern styling was beautifully done. Furthermore, the added durability and low maintenance of FRP make her pieces a great, fashionable yet timeless addition to either a residential or contract setting.
PERFORMANCE INDOOR/OUTDOOR FABRIC
Inside/Out performance fabrics is an all-in-one fabric that is durable, stain resistant, cleanable with bleach, fade resistant, and eco-friendly and it was seen prominently throughout market. They were the graded-in fabric of choice of many of the vendors we visited and also had a prominent presence at High Point with their showroom and temporary showroom space, educating designers and buyers on their product.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #3: LARGE SCALE TEXTURES
Large scale, open weaves and textures were prominent throughout market, Where color was not present, large scale textures made up for it by providing the visual interest to create a compelling story. It also kept with the current furniture trend of everything being bigger, fatter, and chunkier.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #4: MODERN ETHNIC INFLUENCES
Global influences have always permeated the world of interior design. Think juju hats, mud cloth, etc., where it is really about focusing on and celebrating a particular design style from another part of the world. As our world becomes a much smaller place, design elements from other parts of the world are quickly becoming watered down and more mainstream. We are mixing elements from all over the world in our designs and are creating our own eclectic global style which is a melting pot of styles from around the world. I see this aesthetic becoming even more mainstream as we continue to become more aware of the world and the diverse cultures around us. Below, Javanese block prints and handwoven African baskets and pottery are modified to suit the American home.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #5: THE HOME OFFICE - WORK FROM HOME
The home office has become the center of attention in the home over the last 15 months. Even with the country starting to open up and the workforce going back to the office, a big percentage of the workforce will continue to work from home. To meet up with the demand, vendors are offering up a variety of desks for different type of spaces and working styles.
There are a lot of good looking, fashion forward options, most with integrated power, which we all love!
Not every home has a dedicated office and oftentimes the desk has to be incorporated into a family, living room, or other area in the home. Desks that are finished on all sides and can float in the middle of a room are ideal for this and the options are look great.
For the more ergonomically minded, Ethnicraft offers a sit to stand desk. The natural oak top makes it much better looking than your typical sit to stand desk. Changing the base to white gives it an entirely different look.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #6: EXAGGERATED REEDED PANELS
Recent times has seen a resurgence in reeded panels on cabinet and furniture doors. Now like everything else during the pandemic, they have gained weight and look like reeded panels on steroids. They are much bigger and fatter. They almost resemble the channel tufting we’ve been seeing in upholstery over the last few seasons and they surely make a statement.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #7: MEMPHIS
The Memphis Group, a collective of designers and architects, was active from the early through late 80s. Their post-modern designs are characterized by bright primary colors along with black and white. With bold and oftentimes asymmetrical shapes, their design did not always appeal to the masses. This is one trend that I don’t expect to catch on with the general public, but those who are well versed in the arts and fashion will love it for its fresh appeal. They are meant to make a statement and speak to our emotions, and they do. We loved Currey & Co’s capsule collection of accessories and lighting.
MEMPHIS AT HEIMTEXTIL 2020
I saw much of the Memphis trend come to light during my visit to Heimtextil in 2019 and 2020 where I covered the textile trends, and it is interesting to see how it was translated for the American market. It is definitely a lot less chaotic – more simplified and streamlined.
Thayer Coggin has always been known for turning heads in the industry and being ahead of their time. They did not disappoint this market and added a bit of the unexpected with their brightly dyed wood pieces, a collaboration with the Gibson guitar company, who uses the same dyeing process on their guitars. The color palette of brightly dyed maple is reminiscent of the Memphis Movement of the 80s – especially above when paired with a bold monochromatic black white and grey graphic rug from Creative Accents.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #8: wicker and rattan in organic shapes
We’ve seen a lot of natural materials in the home over the last few markets – caning, rattan and wicker. This market, however, I saw these natural materials being translated into more organic, amorphic, and fluid shapes.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #9: PLUMP IT UP 2.0
It appears that COVID not only caused our own bodies to balloon by adding a few pounds to our frames. Upholstery has also followed suit and many frames seen at High Point Market were visibly more plump and rotund. Before the pandemic, upholstery silhouettes were leaning towards curves and more rounded shapes. (A lot of that I attribute to the recent passing of Vladimir Kagan, sparking a renewed interest in his work). In the spring of 2019 I also reported of plumped up upholstery but now we are bursting at the seams, with a much higher crown than we are accustomed to. Seating is fatter, wider, and as I mentioned earlier, it is literally bursting at the seams. A sensation that some of us know all too well these days!
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #10: natural wood finishes
Several furniture manufacturers I saw at market opted to ditch staining their wood frames. Instead, either a matte, clear coat was used or some vendors opted to show their wood frames in their natural, raw and unfinished state. There is something so pure about unfinished wood, but as most people, I worry about how susceptible it may be with no polyurethane to act as a stain barrier. It is a struggle between form and function. In this case, form was the winner.
HIGH POINT MARKET 2021 FURNITURE TREND #11: making a statement with matching stripes
Last but not least, stripes and meticulous pattern matching was a detail added to make older styles look fresh and new again. Guess what – it worked! Not only do they make a statement, but each piece looks fresh, new, and really exciting. One would never know that they’ve been in the line for a while!
So there you have it – the Spring 2021 furniture trends I observed at High Point Market this past spring market. This market was a good, but short market for us. Normally I am in town for 6 days but this market was cut back to 3.5 days because of so much work that has to be done with the reopening of our expanded showroom.
THE HIGHPOINT MARKET INSIDERS TOUR
There was so much information to absorb this market. The good news is that the High Point Market Insiders Tour will be back and I will be leading another tour on the first day of October market. The Insiders Tour is a one day tour sponsored by High Point Market and is designed to give new designers to market a quick overview of all that High Point Market has to offer (a LOT) to make the experience to market a good one. I’ve already started to line up the showrooms that we will be visiting and we have a couple of surprises up our sleeves. I can’t wait! The sign ups will go up on the High Point Market site in the next couple of months and first dibs will be given to those designers who signed up for April 2020 but were unable to attend.
I hope you enjoyed my overview of the Spring 2021 furniture trends I saw at High Point this past market. As you can probably tell, I love keeping abreast of all that is going on in the world of interior design and sharing my findings to further elevate the profession of interior design.
Please note that if you are a designer and are interested in joining our trade program, please do so here. If you need help sourcing for any of your projects, we are equipped to do so.
If you are a consumer and are interested in any of the items featured in this post, everything is available through our showroom and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and details.
I’m looking forward to market in October. Until then, I’ll be opening up a new showroom, co-working space for designers, and the Experience Center for Monogram Appliances. It is a true collaboration and it has been exciting to see it come to fruition. We are ALMOST there – you can follow along on our progress on Instagram. Check Stories, as that is where I share all the behind the scenes (the good stuff!) Wish me luck!