My how this year has flown by. The temperatures have dropped, the leaves are beginning to turn, Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Autumn is here!
For many reasons, this my favorite time of year here in the Lowcountry. I welcome this break in the weather from our long and often sweltering summers. When tourist season is over, I appreciate the (slightly) less congested traffic on the roads and the increased elbow room on the beaches. And I enjoy the long shadows of the afternoon light that embellish the vistas of our beautiful landscapes in this part of the country.
But one of my favorite reasons to look forward to in fall is attending the semi-annual High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. With 11 million square feet of showrooms, this event showcases the absolute latest trends in home furnishings and accessories. Attending this event is both invigorating and inspiring. Designers, manufacturers, marketers, and trend-spotting, blogging journalists descend upon this furniture mecca to view the future of home fashion and have a little fun. I think of it as a sneek-peek into a crystal ball for upcoming interior decor.
So, what did I see?
You won't be singing the blues when you view these beautiful and intense hues. After years of seeing watered-down aqua and washed-out turquoise the tides of trendy tastes have turned to deeper waters for inspiration. Cobalt, cerulean, indigo, and that good old standby, classic navy, make new waves in home decor and capture the calming currents of the aquamarine ocean.
There is a reason purple is associated with royalty, it is rich, regal, and ready to rule. Drop something purple into a room and watch it command attention. Look for all shades of this intriguing combination of racy red and blissful blue to find its way into your future interior design palette. It is a color that can be masculine or feminine, loud or soft, bold or subtle, but it always makes its presence known.
Gold tones are coming back strong. After a very long run, the popularity of oil-rubbed bronze is waning, and so too are the silvery tones of chrome and nickel. Muted, dusty, matte-finishes in soft gold and champagne are turning up on everything from furniture to fabrics to accessories. Lillian August introduced a simply scrumptious metallic finish for casegoods called blah blah blah that had the slick look of metal but still allowed the warm, welcoming, weathered woodgrain to shine through.
RECYCLED and RE-IMAGINED
Who says recycled chic has to look old and time-worn? After way too many seasons of fifty-shades-of-gray, reclaimed materials have revived and reinvented their appeal. At one showroom I saw area rugs woven from recycled Indian silk saris. These beautiful designs were boldly colored and abstractly patterned. A visual feast for the eyes these exotic beauties are also a luxurious tactile treat for your bare feet.
Bars are popping up everywhere. From mobile carts, with their slick, chrome-y legs, glass surfaces, and demure casters to full-scale armoires fitted with mirrored innards and lighted, translucent shelves, these pieces celebrate the art of the libation and facilitate our love of entertaining. As well as functional these pieces are practical since many of us do not have the budget nor the dedicated square footage for a full-scale, built-in wet bar.
Lacquer was everywhere this year, from small "martini" tables to consoles to chests of drawers. A rich, lustrous, painted finish can transform even the most humble of of objects into something fun and unexpected. It is luxe personified.
Upholstering something in velvet does not have to mean it is off-limits. In fact, it is just the opposite, what more welcoming and relaxing textile is there? Whether a pillow, a chair, or an entire sofa, velvet beckons a sit-down-and-relax-a-while invitation to chill and unwind.
After my week of sensory overload I am ready to crash on a sapphire blue velvet sofa, ensconced in an aubergine room, with a plush silk carpet beneath my feet, and a shiny, sleek bar cabinet nearby.