Last week I spent 4 days in High Point North Carolina at Furniture Market (that’s right ladies although it was work- I didn’t have to put anyone to bed or yell at anyone to get to school on time- HEAVEN!). I went with two great friends, we toured 6 huge showrooms in-depth (Hours and Hours) and did drive-by’s on dozens more (maybe hundreds- my aching feet would have guessed thousands)- really fun! (Design Porn as my husband calls it) High Point is a town in NC that comes to life for two weeks of the year with huge showrooms in fantastically enormous buildings to show each companies latest and greatest furniture, lighting, carpets, accessories and fabric. It is most frequented by furniture showroom and furniture store owners, buyers and employees. Increasingly Interior Designers have been going, this gives you a much more in-depth understanding of various lines you can offer to clients and a greater more macro understanding of the industry at large. Plus, it keeps you on the pulse of what trends and directions the industry is going in and how to creatively use various looks in clients homes. Going with friends (other interior designers) gives you additional eyeballs to see the bevy of ideas. The two friends I went with - Fabulous Designers Heather Vaughan and Betsy Bassett - were so much fun. Both have a different way of looking at and applying each thing we saw, thus heightening all of our takeaways from the experience.
If I had to boil it all down to common threads I would say- the Restoration Hardware “greige, distressed, vintage, flea market” look was in full force (weren't we done with that by the second or third Restoration Catalog? Apparently not, they saturated us to death with the look). There was a ton of deconstructionist looks from lighting to furniture to rugs and accessories in all aspects of urban-industrial and somewhat organic (which was refreshing).
Great organic rusted metal sconce from Currey and Company
Currey and Company- comes in many sizes and shapes
On the flip side, there was also more of the clean “Modern” look of paired-down case goods with no molding, clean lines and contemporary hardware only this time in colors. Color, color everywhere.
Hard to tell this is an amazing “stop you in your tracks” Aqua glass covered night stand at Worlds Away.
Great fun side table from Worlds Away
Color Color everywhere at Worlds Away- notice the great Yellow lacquer coffee table- they came in every color.
In the middle of the two deconstructed/distressed and the clean lined contemporary colorful there was something else……. Mid-Century and Art Deco styling in lighting, upholstery, case goods and accessories (this seemed new and interesting to me).
Mid-Century styled chair (uber comfy) at Hickory Chair- the great thing this photo illustrates is the mixing of styles in the showroom scene, everything goes with everything- well done HCC!
Channeling Dorothy Draper at Hickory Chair
Retro styled chair at Bee Line by Bunny Williams
Very Deco club chair at Century- it’s huge, comfy and it swivels!
The thing I really liked in the larger showrooms we toured was an emphasis on comfort (finally), cleaner silhouettes (not so much contemporary but I would say clean traditional to transitional) and comfortable (worth repeating)!
Chairs at Hickory Chair – clean, classic and beautiful (comfy as can be)
There was also a dotting (as well as the literal plopping) of ethnic in the styling of traditional,transitional and contemporary- Asian, Moroccan, African, and European (English-although for me this does not necessarily suit the ethnic category as much as the “I'm well traveled look that abounds)
Union Jack perch at Pearson Company- Absurdly comfortable!!! (Union Jack was absolutely everywhere)
More from Pearson- the scale of these chairs was so cool!
Hickory Chair stools (Mayan inspired)
Asian inspired side table by Hickory Chair
Chinoisere meets out of Africa at Hickory Chair
Asian Eterge at Bee Line
Great Safari fabric at Pearson- also terrific chair!
Absolutely Fab tortoise chair at Century
Century does it again- unbelievable table, can’t wait to order this!
About 8-12 years ago some of my clients wanted me to basically make there houses look as though they were very wealthy (fancy, over-designed stuff-yuck!). I thought this so strange and often misguided, in New England the real way for your friends and coworkers to see you as “loaded” is to use thread bare antiques, oriental carpets that your golden retriever chewed and books “Old Yankee”. Never talk about or mention money and keep ‘em wondering. Now the world has changed (thank god) and the new posh is not about having fancy and expensive, it’s about looking relaxed, well traveled, worldly and well read. Anything that looks as though you tried too hard is OUT! but unlike the “Old Yankee” look- comfort is most important.
Hickory Chair (English trekking chair)
Basically- “CASUAL and COMFORTABLE” in any form or style that represents who you are.