High Point Furniture Market Highlights 2014

It’s always exciting to view the upcoming furniture and lighting lines for the next season!  As an experienced, market goer, I started my trip a day before market began to save myself a day from the large crowds of fellow designers, buyers, bloggers and just enjoy the show!  I planned the trip by quadrants of the map to ensure that my time management stayed on par.  No parties and red carpets this time- all business!

My first day, I viewed Tomlinson Showroom where #trending designer Barry Dixon was featuring his new upholstery line!  I was impressed and look forward to offering a new mix of transitional upholstery pieces to our market area in Orlando, FL.  Christopher Guy Showroom was next and as I strolled through noticed a more eclectic mix of wood tones and even noticed a little canning detail added to what normally would be an all “Zsa Zsa” room to make the vignette appear more relaxed. This was the start of what I saw throughout the market:  mixing older collections with new with a few surprises in the details!

What did I see over and over at market??  Gold metal accent furniture/lighting and the color of the year- Pantone color tones everywhere…on accent walls, lighting, leather, fabrics, and rugs!  I couldn’t resist and yes I purchased a few accent pieces for our showroom to give our store a fresh look!  Some of the unique finds were agate encrusted light fixtures and decorative agate accents such as trays and boxes. Sliced agate stone pieces are polished and added to sconces and decorative accessories.  The tricky part of selling these items is that each one is unique and special!  I sure hope my Emporium Home star-burst sconce orders looks similar as they will be showcased as a pair in our showroom.  Fun fact about agate- they are the oldest stones in recorded history!   Shagreen hide texture is still hot but now more affordable- Shagreen is a textured parchment or rawhide made of vinyl or actual animal hide from sting ray or shark used to accent tables, lamp bases and accessories.  It has been described as sting ray or elephant leather look.  We recently added a soft touch of shagreen wallpaper made by Thibaut at our newly expanded showroom reception curved wall from far away it looks neutral but up close you can appreciate the subtle texture.

Let’s talk about rugs…I love rugs because they anchor any room.  I visited rug showrooms such as Nourison and Feizy this market to confirm that transitional rugs are taking a more front and forward aisle placement than the hand knotted more traditional rugs near the sides or backs of the showrooms.  To make rugs more affordable vendors are adding viscose or blend wool/art silk to give the rugs a soft hand than a more traditional rug would have by using silk only.  I also enjoyed seeing the new Loloi collection called Journey- it is made of wool/viscose, power loomed and the color story is easy to blend with most neutral transitional designs.

High Pont Market 2014

Because our interior design showroom is based in Florida…I was on the hunt for outdoor furniture and accent lines to offer our commercial and residential interior design market.  I succeed my outdoor mission by visiting Elaine Smith pillows, Kanoa, Sunpan, and few others!  Special attention to details in fun prints and colors in Elaine Smith’s pillows- they are rain and drool proof which makes these pillows a gem of a find for Florida weather.  Meeting the owner/designer Elaine was a real treat because she certainly takes pride in her work- we look forward to being a retailer and receiving our first order.

On to accessories!  I am always happy when strolling through Cyan Design’s showroom because their marketing team does a great job at creating color themed vignettes that are vivid and creative.  Highlighting their colorful blown glass chandeliers, accent furnishings and accessories…I did not see Pantone (purple) colors in their showroom but noticed rich candy apple red accents on their main entrance (could this be a hint for an upcoming color of the year?)  Congrats Cyan design for another successful and beautiful display showroom at market- I took plenty of photos for product questions that may come up for our chachkies online store and showroom customers.

I’m not sure if it’s because Spring is here and color is blooming but I picked up on several showrooms featuring custom color painted accent furniture and fabrics.  Yes, you read right…”painted framed furniture and fabric”  not to be confused with stained finishes.  I think this would be fantastic for a beach cottage, beach condo, or guest house!  Because it’s Florida…I have to admit we’ve designed a few tropical themed home away from home oasis!  I’m not the hit you over the head with palm trees or beach themed accents for such spaces but a splash of color using painted furniture accents is a more sophisticated way to add that tropical flair!  Last day was spent getting reconnected with Stanley Furniture, Lorts furniture, Marge Carson, Curate, and Vanguard Furniture.  It was refreshing to see a more transitional, eclectic mix of finishes such as silver/gold, and neutral greys and white finishes mixed with darker furniture.  Mix and match of collections using artisan glass and antiqued mirror accents is the way to revive your older traditional pieces with a fresh new look.

Now the downside of market is half of my orders are on back order until late summer to early fall!  In a nut shell, market was refreshing and inspiring  yet I was ready to go home and catch up with work and home life- we can’t all live in fantasy forever!  I made new friends from all across the country and connected with social media experts as myself (It’s always fun to finally meet in person).  We look forward to featuring the new lines and updating our showroom for our open house on May 22nd.   Believe it or not our travel agent is already booking us for the next  Fall High Point Furniture Market to do all over again!