High Point Market 2017 - A Newbie's Takeaways

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.

High Point Market with  Alison Giese Interiors

High Point Market with Alison Giese Interiors


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!

Market Picks

Were any of you at High Point Market this week?
Yeah, me neither.
Something about living in Brazil...

It doesn't matter, though, because a handful of other bloggers and designers got their Instamatic on, and gave us all a glimpse of what we can plan to see in the coming months in terms of furniture, and accessories.

There were some fresh things I was happy to see on the horizon, but a bit surprised that some trends (framed coral?  rustic/industrial?) still seem to be having some time in the limelight.

Here's my pics among the iPhone images,  remember, "Going to Market" is about inspiration...

A tufted, tangerine leather sofa.  Crazy love.

Punch-colored throws over masculine chairs.  Divine.
Source: houzz.com via Susie on Pinterest

Mary Macdonald's line for Robert Abbey lamps - I'd use a pair with a more curvy, traditional console.

I sort of sit and stare at this desk.  One of the few glimpses of chrome I saw in a sea of brass and gold.

Can you tell I'm drawn to accessories with graphic statements these days?  Ottoman by Barclay Butera.

The peacock-blue velvet of the sofa won my heart, but I'm also crazy about the somewhat manly take on the tufts.

Clearly, hides (and even more now) skins are having a moment.  Get thee some.

Awhile back, I snatched up a malachite box and lighter for a song.  I doubt the going rate on this amazing tray is quite so kind, but if I were designing your room, you can bet I'd be trying to talk you into it.

...and finally, for all of you who loved and commented on the light fixture in this post, here ya go:  The Meri Drum for Oly Studio

Trendspotting: Curvaceous-Legged Tables

This elegant, warm, and feminine office featured in the latest Traditional Home stopped me in my tracks. Specifically, that desk! With its exaggerated, bulbous legs. What a brilliant way to feature such striking curves; to set the dark silhouette against the glowing backdrop. I immediately coveted it.

Source: google.com via Alison on Pinterest

Interior Design by Julie Kays for the 2011 Pasadena Showcase House

... and look! The same piece turned up a few pages later in this room designed by Mark Williams.

In fact, these curvaceous models are popping up all over the place. A more rustic version:

Source: traditionalhome.com via Alison on Pinterest

So, where's a gal to source one of these lovelies? This version on Alice Lane is pretty, but will set you back nearly two G's. Pretty, but no can do.A quick search on Ebay yields some styles with potential. I'd touch this one up with a darker stain, and drop the leaves down to use as a great entry table for a small space. Still, it's more barley twist than truly curvy.
I think you could really work some magic on this small, corner version - Buy it Now for SEVEN DOLLARS, people!
Again, this one doesn't offer the same unique silhouette, but I do love the ebonized finish.
Not quite the perfection I seek, but totally do-able, and I trend I can certainly handle more of.

Brazil: Mix Masters

Over the last two years, I've tried to become a student of Brazilian design. Well, if not a student, then at least a keen observer. What I've taken away is that the Brazilians command the skill of mixing traditional and modern styles, and they do it with effortless panache! It has made me rethink my aesthetic, and crave a touch of modern in my own home.

Look closely, and you'll see recurring themes: a love of all things Ea
mes, posh-Euro-traditional lines, GORGEOUS wood floors, and a large dose of irreverence.
Mix 'n Match chairs 'round a table are one of my newest obsessions - second only to the settee and chairs combo.

In fact, I think dining rooms (aka sala de jantar) offer a prime opportunity for mixing styles.
Did you notice, too, that natural light is a key styling ingredient? Yes, the sun shines brighter down here. Noted: Bare brick and tulip table. Yum.
Two years ago, I would've passed over this golden damask-futon-room with a brisk "Ugh." Now, I've studied it and love it! I keep thinking how beautiful everyone's complexion must be, softened by all that warm, gold light.
Ethereal, no?
Are you a rather traditional person who is opening up to a touch of modern, too? I say roll with it!
*images via here