High Point Market is the place to view the latest trends in home furnishings and fabrics. New colors are introduced, influenced by trends in fashion, film and pop culture. Twice a year we march the halls and visit hundreds of showrooms to see what’s happening in the industry. It’s not just the latest designs and colors we’re after; new manufacturing techniques and materials constantly change, and we are constantly learning and seeking improved products for our clients.
This spring it’s all about nature; reclaimed woods and unusual materials dominate the showroom displays. With the emphasis on sustainable and responsible use of materials, we see many new, creative ways to use natural materials for furniture finishes, such as bamboo, cork, woven grasses, shell, glass, and leather. Wood furnishings such as tables are making decorative features out of marks and uneven edges that in the past would have been considered flaws. “Natural edge” tables are a creative way to use all of a slab of wood, instead of cutting and planing the best parts from the center and leaving a lot of waste. Marks, holes and stains in boards recycled from old buildings provide evidence of their eco-friendly reclamation. In fact, hand craftsmanship is a big direction seen at Market, with embroidery and beading everywhere, from fabrics to pillows, furniture, lighting, mirror frames and wall art. It seems the more technology rules our lives, the more we appreciate the handmade. We love this global-chic table of recycled woods from Made Goods:
The serenity found in nature seems to be a common thread in collections. Stone, a color that incorporates gray and brown, is the new neutral. From a gray-brown driftwood-like finish for furniture to oatmeal-toned natural linen, it’s a warm tone that is easy to live with and is a fresh change from the espresso browns of the recent past.
Ikat prints appeared in many showrooms on chairs and pillows, adding globe-trotting flair as well as a graphic punch that blends traditional and modern. Even though it was popular, there are so many interesting patterns and ways to use them I think we’ll be loving our Ikats for a long time to come.
Nature also appears in printed fabrics, with birds, branches and leaves used in a modern, fresh way. We really like the new prints by Duralee designer Thomas Paul, whose modern prints have a real accessibility – you don’t need a modern-style home to use these stylish designs.
Clean, crisp color is also big in the news. Orange has been softened to a more coral-orange color that’s a great accent with either neutrals or brights. Blue and white has also come back in a big way. We really loved this blue and white room by Joe Ruggiero and the Miles Talbott showroom, featuring his Chevron fabric for Sunbrella as snappy curtains on a four-poster bed.
Graphic punch was also seen in many showrooms, as interior design finds the simplicity of one or two colors an appealing change. White painted furniture frames set off bright fabrics, such as in this sharp ensemble by Joe Ruggiero, done in his signature Sunbrella fabrics:
We were happy to see that traditional looks are still going strong, as consumers appreciate its timeless style – Ralph Lauren is now part of the Kravet family, and is showing blue and white fabrics with pine and wicker.
Shabby Chic, the classic cottage look by Rachel Ashwell, is being relaunched at Miles Talbott showroom. While traditional may make a comeback, it has undergone a makeover to become clean and modern – less floral, more textures, and no more puddling skirts. Clutter is banished to hide in interesting storage pieces incorporating reclaimed woods or edgy metals. These eclectic collections must be carefully edited, as consumers move past shopping as entertainment, into a less-complicated look that has personal meaning. Once again, interiors have a story to tell. It is unapologetically individualistic, with just a touch of the collector – a direct backlash against the packaged, over-merchandised lines of recent years. To be honest, it’s a relief to see quality and uniqueness triumph over price alone.
Copyright 2010 by Kerry Ann Dame. All rights reserved.