Fall is in the air, can you feel it? No? Well, to be honest, me neither.
But I do know the fall season is well upon us. The kids are back in school, the ghosts and goblins have trick-or-treated, local oysters are popping up on restaurant menus and we have just turned back the clocks. Do you know how else I know it is actually fall? I recently returned from the High Point Market, my industry’s bi-annual tradeshow.
For me, Market exciting because for me it is a time of inspiration and discovery. It is my chance to re-visit favorite showrooms and seek out some new ones. I love to see what the big name designers have been creating in their studios and scoping out the up-and-coming trends. High Point Market is like the Fashion Week of the furniture and design world. With 11.5 million square feet of showrooms and event space to meander through, there is no lack of visual stimulation – and no way to see it all!
As with each season, there are trends and fads to be found. Which ones will endure for a while and which ones will quickly fade away? Only time will tell.
Shiny or matte, polished or brushed, hammered or smooth, all things metallic were haute, haute, haute this season. Gold and brass tones were still dominate the market but chrome is reappearing here and there. A comeback? We will see. Interestingly, mixing different metal finishes on the same piece is even more on point, so look for more of these combinations in the future.
Not all furniture is created equally. For example, many pieces are not designed to “float” in a space or be viewed from multiple angles. With the proliferation of open concept plans and free-flowing rooms, furniture is more often being placed away from walls and visible from all sides. This provides opportunities for manufacturers to create interesting sculptural pieces - whether it be an intriguing back on a lounge chair or an unexpected flourish on a console table.
Leather, hemp, limestone, and agate are among the materials being used in new and interesting ways. I found beautiful table lamps in the John Richard showroom that showcased clusters of real geodes, quartz crystals, and seashells artfully attached to the base and crowned by simple and elegant silk shades. In the Cyan Design showroom I bought a gorgeous small side table for a client that features a polished, silver travertine stone top that rests effortlessly over a nickel-colored metal base in the shape of a cluster of twigs.
Highlighting the artist’s hand was evident this market, especially in textiles. Phillip Jeffries, a manufacturer of exquisite wallcoverings, introduced a new series aptly named Fade. These painterly panels feature a graduated saturation of color printed on grounds of silk, paper weave, or hemp. The stunning visual punch of an entire wall covered in this product is similar to the “ombre” effect of graduated dye we have see on fabrics, and what we have seen in hair salons and runway shows the past few seasons.
DIMENSIONAL FABRIC APPLICATION
Tufted upholstery application is nothing new and a classic tufted Chesterfield leather sofa will certainly always be in style. However, sleek linear channel tufting, and slightly gathered and sewn fabric (a.k.a. ruching) are techniques popping up everywhere, adding visual interest to upholstered pieces and dressing up plain fabrics. Channel quilting gives a retro nod to Art Deco or can be totally modern. Ruching adds a softer, handcrafted touch.
So, that’s my two cents on the High Point Market show for this fall. Trends will come and go. Interior designers can help you sort through these emerging styles and fads to help you determined the right ones for you. I think the whole point is to have some fun and keep it fresh. You will always want some timeless classics accented with something new and exciting.