Two weeks ago I attended High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina. It was my third time attending High Point but the FIRST time I actually felt like I knew what I was doing. Attending a tradeshow/market for the first time can be so daunting! My first time visiting High Point was October 2017, I joined the Design Bloggers TourDesign Bloggers Tour and it was a good introduction to get the lay of the land. The second time I attended High Point was last Spring I joined the Business of Design group and added a couple additional days to my trip to make sure I got to see as much as possible. There is over 10 million square feet of showroom space so basically it’s impossible to see everything. No wonder it’s so daunting!
‘What is “Market”?’ you ask? Well, when interior designers refer to ‘market’ they’re usually referring to a home furnishings trade show. There are many home furnishings trade shows, and High Point Market happens to be the largest one. Other popular shows like Las Vegas and Atlanta are popular for their location and product offerings. High Point offers more upholstery and case goods while Atlanta offers gifts, decor, and holiday. Las Vegas is a mix of both and in good position to hit more west coast attendees! Attending market is a great opportunity to find new vendors, network with other like-minded designers/retailers, and take a peek at what’s trending in the home decor industry.
My Instagram Bookmarks posts (find the latest one here!) have proven to be an excellent method to isolate design styles and trends loving. There are parallels to what I’m loving on Instagram and what I was drawn to at High Point. Here are the 5 major trends I was drawn to at Market:
Caning was everywhere! Inset caning, while already a well-known detail in furniture, is being shared across more design styles by way of storage cabinets, stools, lounge chairs, dining chairs, etc. This material adds more texture overall, but still feels clean and approachable. Caning one of those ‘next level’ materials if you ask me. I was interested in checking out Bobby Berk’s new line with A.R.T. Furniture, but sadly didn’t make it into the showroom.
Linen has always been a luxe upholstery option, it has a long use life and wears beautifully with age. I was pleased to find more affordable uses of linen, although maybe it’s the origin of the linen which changes the price point? Food for thought anyway, yet a lot of the brands and showrooms were showcasing performance linen to make it more family friendly, and as a mother of young kids, I definitely appreciate this!
Like linen, I saw more affordable approaches to leather this year. Don’t laugh, clearly I know leather is nothing new, but definitely see different uses to what we’ve seen before. Leather accents like lumbar pillows, or leather handled trays, make it easier than ever to bring this material into your home. Even a year ago, leather accent chairs were more on the high end and now you can find them at more affordable price points. I will say, seeing leather at a variety of price points makes me want to understand further what separates a good leather from a cheap leather!
I went to market this year with the intention of finding new (non-rug) vendors to source from for my shop. I ended up discovering that a lot of brands are starting to cater to those looking for vintage rugs, and the irony is not lost on me! I discovered a few new vintage rug mediums, some of which I’m not fan of (I’m looking at you, screen-printed rugs!) but others I fell hard for, like those framed vintage textiles!
Framing an antique textile is actually a way more affordable and approachable method of owning something vintage and one-of-a-kind. The framed aspect makes it exceptionally unique, while at the same time being easier for customers to acquire as they don’t have to incur the stress involved in sourcing and investing in a large vintage rug. I get it, and I’m into it!
More artists representing themselves. I discovered Kader Boly when I visited Las Vegas Market a year ago in January. I fell in love with his work, his story, and his unique approach to creating incredible art! I bought a piece then and there and carried it close, even on the airplane! Seeing his work again and at High Point no less, has encouraged me to get this piece framed. And surprise – I bought a second piece!. I brought so many of my designs friend over to visit his work.
I also visited this beautiful showroom which was artist-hosted. The colorful modern art displayed over industrial surroundings was definitely eye catching.
Going to market is such a great experience. Naturally you connect with so many people interested in the same things you are, which makes it all so great and the long travel from the west coast worth it! Everyone a market speaks the same “designer” language; you just get each other! Overall, I had a great time and look forward to the next market!