Last week, I took the plunge into what is a right of passage for any interior designer: attending High Point Market in North Carolina. It's hard to describe just what High Point is, but in a nutshell, it's a town built up entirely around the furniture industry, consisting of over 11 million square feet of showrooms featuring the latest in furniture, lighting, art and accessories. To say it's mind-boggling is an understatement. To say it's an eye-opener in terms of the business of interior design is yet another.
I was grateful to have seasoned professionals as my guides, who were able to help me whittle down (to some degree) the enormity of the endeavor, so I could focus on meeting with vendors who's products I will likely go to for projects. Although there's certainly the benefits, nearly the requirements, of strategizing, I was also glad to stumble upon things I hadn't necessarily planned on.
I followed the leader of our group to a panel discussion at Aidan Gray on Global Resourcing. Let's just say designers who specialize in antiques and imports have seen it ALL! Hearing the wild stories about treasure hunting in foreign countries for that amazing piece or artifact, learning about the crazy logistics involved in managing projects abroad, and all the inherent things that get lost in translation was delightful AND insightful!
Not having any prior exposure to what's "hot" at Market, I can't speak to what looked new, but I can tell you the things that caught my eye, and are likely to catch yours in the near future of interiors:
- Global Influences: From tons of rattan furniture (the pinnacle being from Palecek) to African textiles and baskets, to Indian block prints, the World was on display...and I LOVED it!
- Size Matters: There were several items and details where scale was exaggerated. I saw table lamps that were nearly 4 feet tall, and beautiful cabinet hardware of a Seuss-ian size. All to dramatic, and maybe a little tongue-in-cheek effect.
- Industrial Style - I was a little surprised to see the Industrial/Steampunk style still going strong, but it is. Word of Caution: I believe this trend has the shortest shelf life of any I saw.
Easily the most delightful aspect of Market was meeting people I've only known by social media. Nothing inspires me more than hanging with creative souls, and I'm so excited to now actually know some of my old "Insta friends," and to have made some new ones! So, yes, I survived, and yes, I'm ready to go back!