Fashion Forward

- Friday, May 03, 2013

Spring Forward in Home Fashion

If I asked you to name a city that hosts an influential fashion show twice a year you would no doubt think of New York or Paris or perhaps Milan. But what about High Point? Yes, the small city in North Carolina does just that, only instead of haute couture, it showcases the latest emerging trends in home décor, as in the fashions your house will be wearing in the seasons to come. And just like those uber-chic cities, the semi-annual, week-long celebration in High Point draws buyers from around the globe to take a look at what’s to come from furniture and accessory manufacturers, and the taste makers, who market them. The High Point Furniture Market is considered the destination for top trends in home fashion.

As an interior designer, the trip to market is both invigorating and exhausting. I go with the intention of sourcing specific items for projects I am currently working on but sometimes I find myself venturing off in a totally different direction because of something that inspires me. Then, after about five days, my brain is on sensory overload, my feet hurt, and I just want to come home to re-group. Now that I have been back recuperating for about two weeks, I think I can give you a brief synopsis of what I saw, what I liked, and what trends you can expect to see for home décor in the near future.

If you were to spin the color wheel you would find one side of the spectrum more popular than ever and that would be the blue, green, and yellow tones. But these are not the wimpy watery blues, subtle sage greens, and mellow yellows of past seasons, as the volume has been turned up considerably. Think nautical navy, grassy green, and sun-kissed saffron. The palette has been pumped up and it delivers a powerful punch to even the most bland of neutral backgrounds, like a Lily Pulitzer print towel lying on a sandy beach.

Speaking of the beach, resort-chic is hot, so pack your bags and head on down to Palm Beach, or any other chic, upscale, ocean-oriented resort destination for that matter. Sophistication and relaxation are the keys to easy, breezy style. Did you catch the premier of Mad Men this season? The cast was in Hawaii, in the late 1960’s, where a mix of mod mid-century chic was set in a tropical locale, and it was absolutely glorious. Asian influences, geometric rattan, martini tables and seashells all co-mingled on the sets of the show and these were in full view at the market in High Point.

Luxurious, exotic details, from burnished gold, to hammered leather, to cut velvet, all had supporting roles in High Point. Golden threads spun through the fabric on lampshades added glints of shimmer and shine. Tooled leather accents, on the fronts of chests of drawers and the backs of chairs gave these pieces an added dimension and presence. Nail-head trim made a strong showing at last fall’s market and further defined embellishment with Moroccan and Indian patterns. Fringe had a comeback as well, but in a more interesting way than the usual pillow trim. I purchased a nautical-themed, rope-fringed mirror for a project in Colleton River Plantation where I wanted to play-up the coastal theme. Traditional velvet took on a whole new look with patterns cut into the fabric on everything from pillows to throws to upholstery.

And finally the call of the wild is still prevalent, only now with an amped-up attitude. Cowhides, normally shown in their natural colors, were showcased in hyper-realistic colors such as chartreuse and raspberry. Frankly-faux is the new norm, and is fun to boot. The unexpected punch of color adds drama and a sense of fantasy.

Looking into the near future for interior design trends, I could not be more excited by the options. The overall mood at market was fun and fresh and even optimistic, drawing upon the past but updating it with a new twist and vision. We are moving forward, cherishing what we love from classic themes and then tweaking it to suit our modern lifestyles.

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