High Dimension

What’s New in High Point

I have just returned from a whirlwind visit to the High Point Market in North Carolina, where I joined thousands of interior designers, decorators and furniture buyers from around the world, all buying at the market the latest innovations in furniture, lighting, wallcoverings and fabrics, accessories and “just what is needed” for their clients’ projects.

With thousands of businesses displaying their wares at the market, and only a day and a half to see them, I tried to cover as much ground as possible. The biggest observation I’ve had, much like the Richmond-based designers I’ve met while touring the showrooms – Kathy Corbett, Diana Mathews and Cathy Connon – is that the enveloping curves, fibers and natural materials, great texture and warm woods will continue to be important next year.

Loop all day…sofas and chairs covered in loop fabrics were everywhere. Tweeds, plaids and velvets were also prevalent. Vertical channel tufting made a strong impression on chairs, sofas and headboards. Natural materials mixed with metals and woods to add depth to console tables, chests, chairs and light fixtures. Some added texture by mixing grasscloth drawer fronts with wood and lacquer frames, while others gave their rooms a sculptural dimension with carved designs, metal relief designs , shell or bone inlays, and more. Some, like Alfonso Marina, presented their interpretations of historical furniture forms such as cabinets on supports enhanced with inlays, applied decorations and, in some cases, colors.

Headboards were oversized – some wider than the bed, some quite high – in wood, metal, upholstery and mixed materials. Bedding suppliers across the market have layered velvets and linens, highly textured tweeds and woven fabrics over pillowcases and duvets with chunky chunky knits.

Thibaut draped bedsteads with elaborate floral canopies lined in coordinating solids and finished with seamstress details – pleated skirts, contrast piping, decorative ribbons, tassels and pom poms. Room vignettes featured furniture in a mix of patterns and colors against walls covered in floral prints and Asian-inspired large-scale chinoiserie and textured grass fabrics.

At Annie Selke, the beds were covered in soft fringed sheets and vintage kantha quilts; pillows big enough – almost the full width of a bed – to use in place of a headboard or to add a soft layer to a metal bed; and oversized pillowcases in classic Liberty of London floral fabrics.

In the market showrooms cushions took on an added dimension in ball shapes and bolsters, and there was a profusion of long rectangular pillows – in lumbar and 16 x 40 inch sizes, to name a few. name a few. Traditional 20-inch squares in a colorful array of toile, chinoiserie, ikat, animal prints, stripes and geometric prints abounded.

The color stories ranged from neutral shades of gray and beige to bold jewel tones of sapphire, emerald and ruby. The hues of the woods ranged from forest to mossy greens and shades of brown ranging from mushroom to khaki, to camel and walnut. Softshell roses were used as accents and foils to browns and blacks in 70s-inspired abstract designs. Jaipur Living featured traditional oriental rug designs in understated color palettes. At Chelsea House, crisp blacks and whites, spring greens, royal blues and corals were enhanced by gold-finished accessories. Chaddock featured contemporary sofas and wood-framed lounge chairs in royal blue velvet with bright orange accents.

Wallpaper in general continues to grow in importance: scenic panels such as those created by historic companies such as Zuber and de Gournay have been featured throughout the market. Paul Montgomery, a Staunton-based wallcovering and textile maker, featured murals and printed wallpaper inspired by designs found in Colonial Williamsburg’s archives.

The antique stalls were brimming with unique furniture, lighting and accessories in styles ranging from Primitive to Louis XIV to Art Deco and everything in between. The offerings in the stalls of Richmond antiques dealer Justin Westbrook, for example, included an art deco inlaid pedestal armoire, a crystal chandelier and a set of late 19th-century gilt George II-style chairs.

New lighting designs from Currey & Company, Hudson Valley Lighting, Arteriors, and Visual Comfort also featured string lights, traditional canvas pendants in sleek, updated shapes, and sculptural chandeliers. Suspensions and chandeliers in woven rattan and other mixed materials continue to be well represented.

Look for more commentary on High Point market trends from three Richmond-based designers in the January-February issue of R•Home.