Sunday, April 10, 2011

The amazing High Point Market

I have always loved furniture, even as a young child.  I remember thumbing through the Sears catalog, circling items that I wanted for my bedroom (a canopy bed was at the top of my list).  As an adult, my love for furniture only grew as I became more aware of the vast variety of styles available, and one of the highlights of finally buying a house in Atlanta was picking out furniture of my own, instead of the hand-me-downs that I had used as a newlywed.

When I was invited to attend the High Point market, with a behind the scenes guided tour of five showrooms,  I accepted the invitation immediately.  High Point is legendary for a furniture aficionado like me, and the High Point Market in particular is the pinnacle of the home furnishing experience.  It is the largest home furnishing industry trade show in the world, and it attracts visitors from all over the world.  The sheer number of languages that I heard spoken is a testament to the international presence of the High Point Market.  With over 10 million square feet of space, and over 2,000 showrooms, it is an immense but amazing place.  I had never visited before, and I was looking forward to it as much as my children look forward to going to Disneyland!

The mood was very upbeat, and the attendance was strong with an estimated 80,000 plus visitors this year.  There is a feeling that the economy is turning around, and the showrooms were packed with designers and buyers looking for what’s new and fresh in the world of home furnishings (approximately 1/3 of the attendees are designers, and 2/3 are retail buyers).  The High Point market is definitely a place where the latest and greatest in trends are presented and discussed.  It is also like a testing ground of sorts; some of the showrooms that I visited noted that the High Point Market is their primary place to see first hand how designers and buyers react to their offerings, and the reactions determine what their products lines will contain over the next year.

The trends that I observed and read about were interesting.  Customization was mentioned at just about every showroom that I visited; the designers and buyers like to tweak the designs and furniture colors to suit their client base, and many of the furniture lines can deliver on this.  One showroom noted that the collector’s approach to purchasing furniture is alive and well.  It is rare for people to buy a matched set of furniture these days, and furniture makers are delivering unique and eclectic accent furniture lines that suit this style of buying.  Even in the world of outdoor furniture, the last bastion of purchasing an entirely matching set of furniture, there is a trend towards the art of the mix.

The High Point Marketing Authority also noted the following trends:
  • Furniture that shelters, and makes the home feel like a sanctuary. Upholstered beds, deep wing chairs, products that are made in the USA (the patriotic element of shelter), antique and retro styling
  • Bold florals, fruit, and vegetable style fabrics
  • Strong pops of color in both furniture finishes and fabrics, and fair amount of light toned wood finishes (driftwood and oak colors, whitewash) mixed in with the dark and medium tone finishes
  • Menswear inspired patterns and fabrics (I even saw a sofa that was upholstered in men’s suiting fabric)
  • Focus on shapes – lots of geometrics, and the trellis and Greek key motif were quite prominent
  • Tribal and cultural designs, particularly in fabrics but also in hardware
Here are a few images that I took during my whirlwind day.  I am going to post more details in future posts about the amazing showrooms that I visited, including Century Furniture, Hooker Furniture, Sligh Furniture, Theodore Alexander Furniture, and Hickory Chair.  I learned so much about furniture and presentation and the sheer variety of choices out there – I can’t wait to share my discoveries with all of you, but it is truly too long for one post!  More to come.

Please note that all of the images were taken by me, with my humble camera.  There was so much to see that I feel as if I wasn’t focused on my photography skills, so please forgive the quality of the photos!

Century Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta for Century Furniture

The mix of traditional and contemporary was a signature look at Century Furniture

A piece from Century Furniture's outdoor line - this piece was a best seller at the market
A new line introduced at the spring market - Monarch by Century Furniture
A vignette from the Hooker Furniture showroom
A room scene from Hooker Furniture's new Harbour Pointe collection.
Hooker Furniture's Mélange line features accent furniture that are designed to mix into any home decor design
Beautiful detail on a piece from a chest in the Mélange line
A variety of finishes available on chairs from Hooker Furniture.  Interesting and vibrant colors in wood finishes were seen throughout the High Point Market.
Great office furniture, scaled smaller than in the past, and geared towards the latest in technology, was  beautifully displayed at the Sligh Furniture showroom.
A charming 'D' shaped desk at Sligh Furniture.
Custom color cabilities on many of the products at Sligh, with a very short lead time.

At Theodore Alexander, the Keno brothers were on the floor to showcase their new collection of furniture, composed of expertly and exquisitely crafted original pieces with a classically modern flair.
Hickory Chair's new showroom was filled with light, and there were beautiful pieces of furniture to discover in every room.
This was one of my favorite rooms - with the Candler bed upholstered in a beautiful Hickory Chair fabric.
A view of one of the rooms featuring the Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair collection.
Mariette Himes Gomez for Hickory Chair

Have you ever been to the High Point Market?  I highly encourage a visit for those of you ‘to the trade’!  The next market is October 22-27, 2011.  For more information on the High Point Market, please visit http://www.highpointmarket.org/.

To visit my store, Quatrefoil Design, click here – come see the brand new art and scupture items in the store!
To subscribe to my blog by email, click here.
To follow my blog on Facebook, click here.
Twitter: @TTIBlog
To see design, architecture, art, and decorative books that I recommend, please visit the Things That Inspire Amazon store.


  1. I'm struck by the perfectionism of you americans in your approach to decorating, these pictures look outstanding.

  2. Great to read about the cutting edge trends. Did you see much 'honeysuckle' or turquoise?

  3. Hello Holly,

    How are you doing today? Thank you for dropping by. It was really nice seeing on my blog. :-)

    Wow.. I feel I was there with your pictures! It's amazing. So much inspiration. Thank you for this post. I know you had a lot of work to make it. Buy I'm sure you had fun too, right? :-)


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  4. Thanks for featuring Hooker Furniture. Some of their pieces and finishes are amazing. The paper-lined and patinated commode is great.

  5. What a beautiful market...such a fan of the table from the outdoor line. It would be perfect on my patio!!

  6. "Strong pops of color in both furniture finishes and fabrics..." Very good.

  7. Thank you for sharing.. everything was beautiful.

  8. So inspiring! A bit of Mark Rothko in Oscar de la Renta, interesting. Thank you for sharing such great information.

  9. Oh, I miss going to High Point, taking the long drive from Canada and seeing all the showrooms dressed to their best (and the florals that week!). Loving the colours and I used to look at catlogues when I was young too. I had to get them from my American aunt who would save them for me...........such bliss! XO

  10. Your comment about the sears catalog brought back so many memories to me, who is old enough to know what a sears catalog is. I, too, used to cut out pics of curtains and furniture and make doll houses out of old shoe boxes. Oh, the good old days.

    Thanks for sharing the latest trends. I would love to have you stop by our site and see our collection of custom hardware in unique designs and finishes, although we dont yet have a tribal design. Will have to work on that.

  11. Holly...looks like a lot of fun! So glad to hear of the robust attendance....from others I know that attended, it seems things were jumping over in High Point..they all felt it was a much better season than last season which isgood news for everyone! I love the Candler bed as well, its gorgeous..and the Monarch dining set by Century is beautiful. Looks like you got to see a lot of goodies! Two trends I liked the sound of was "the sanctuary inspired living" and the menswear influence..both great inspirations. Glad you had a great time...thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Holly...I was there too, and Hickory Chair was also one of my favorite stops. As always, Suzanne's rooms were perfection. To Jenna: I saw lots of 'Honeysuckle and Turquoise', but more so in the medium price-points. The two colors were frequently mixed with golden yellow. That scheme was everywhere.

  13. Love the chairs from Hooker (with the floral print) - thanks for sharing the recap!

  14. Everything looks so fresh!! Thanks for sharing!
    Kathryn Trotter

  15. What an amazing opportunity! I love the bed by Hickory Chair too. Gorgeous.


  16. I agree...thank you for sharing with everyone! It seems that market revealed fresh and upbeat with classic pieces. I love the caged chandeliers...beautiful twist!
    Renee and Angela


  17. Lots of wonderful images! Everyone is talking about the great attendance and optimistic mood which is so great. Hickory looks especially fabulous. Looking forward to seeing more soon!

  18. What a fun trip! Century is a great line! I like Hickory Chair, too. I used to always love the Baker and Council Craftsman pieces I found at Furniture Craftsman and Matthews Furniture. But then CC went out of business, as did Furniture Craftsman. Did you ever shop there? That store was so different. It was tucked back in the woods and appeared to be a house that had been added to over the years. Rooms and rooms of gorgeous furniture.

  19. Lucky, lucky you for having the behind the scene look at High Point! I am loving the 2 "chicken wire" drum shades around chandeliers above that Century table.

    Thanks so much for sharing what you saw!
    xo Elizabeth


Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails