High Point Market Fall 2015 | Design Blogger’s Tour | Part I

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If you’ve never been to the High Point Market, it’s very difficult to explain what it is. But with over 2,000 showrooms, some as large as 80,000 square feet, spread out over dozens of square miles, it is nearly beyond comprehension.

That is… until one starts to walk the market. Then, for me at least, it is very easy to comprehend. My right foot let me know good and early that it was not happy and I just as stubbornly ignored the pain, stuck the foot in a bucket of ice when I got to my hotel room.

The next day it was better.

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By the third day, the pain was nearly gone.

The primary purpose as many of you know was to be a member of the design blogger’s tour.

In all honesty, I could not have asked for a more lovely, gracious, talented group of women. We visited 15 showrooms over the span of three days.

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Here we are. What’s really fun is that we came as members of the press, not as designers. That gave us access to the media center which had great coffee and food when we had a second to eat!

After our tour duties, I was left with about 9 hours to visit some showrooms on my own. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, but all-in-all, I got to see a tremendous amount and learned a lot too!

Of course, I took 100s of photos. It has been a lot of fun editing them and deciding which ones are blog-worthy. Since there are so many I want to share, this will probably be 3 posts.

There is so much at market that I bet someone else doing a report could say that the showrooms are full of strong masculine shapes and dark colors.

That is true, but it’s also full of intense vibrant

COLOR

It’s not entirely gone, but there is a lot less gray, ashen and cerused wood. The wood tones are rich and luxurious.

The Main Trends At the High Point Market Fall 2015

  • Color
  • More Color
  • Gold (and brass)
  • Organic materials (and shapes)
  • Clean lines leaning towards modern styling even with companies known for traditional furniture
  • Lots and lots of flowers!
  • Animal prints
  • Hollywood Glamour/fun/feminine curves juxtaposed against strong assertive masculine shapes.
  • Mirrors and mirrored furniture
  • Lots of lucite
  • Chinoiserie

And now… for the images. All of them except for two are mine! In the spirit of how generous others have been to me, I’m totally fine with other bloggers taking one or two (per post) with a link back, of course.

 

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Design blogger Kimberly Ward taking a few with our wonderful organizer from Esteem Media, Luba Hrynyk in the Ambella Showroom. I’ll have more of these candid photos of our group. If that sofa looks familiar, it is… It was featured in this post in a photo by Meredith Heron.

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Another show-stopping vignette at Ambella Home. Ambella was one of our favorite sponsors. We only had 30 minutes per showroom and this one we could’ve lingered at a while longer.

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The secretary from Ambella was closed just before I took this. When closed, it looks like it’s all drawers in the center section.

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On Day Two, we went to Wesley Hall which I will feature in another post, but right next door is CR Laine.  WH was our last stop of the day, but I had booked a foot massage for 2:15 which gave me exactly 25 minutes to run around like a lunatic and take as many photos as I could and then run to the foot massage! (natch, CR Laine is a good half mile away from the main building)

While at CR Laine, I did also get to meet the phenomenally talented Holly McLay Blalock who creates these masterful vignettes. Believe me, the photos do not do these pieces justice! In person, it’s all unbelievably gorgeous!

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The wallpaper is from Fromental and I need to find out more about it, but I understand that it’s done digitally! Love this ottoman! The mix of patterns is absolutely wonderful and part of Holly’s genius!

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Tobi Fairley’s Elle chair that she named after her daughter in a way cool leopard fabric.

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Inserting a cool mirrored chest from World’s Away. More from them coming in another post.

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Back to CR Laine. The end table is by Woodbridge Furniture as are most if not all of the end and coffee tables at CR Laine. Tobi Fairley who introduced the two pieces below last market has also designed many beautiful pieces for Woodbridge.

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I was bemoaning how the sun was pouring in and “ruining” my shot, but I actually like the effect here.

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Natural Curiosities had one of the best showrooms in the entire market with the most wonderful art walls ever!

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Kate Spade for EJ Victor. Sorry, I don’t know where this image came from and I looked and looked. I wished I had gotten to see this in person! Really pretty and fun! For more info and other images, there’s more here at Architectural Digest

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The elegant fashion designer Cynthia Rowley in the middle of an entire showroom of couture furniture she designed for Hooker Furniture. She said that she loves it when the furniture doesn’t match. It doesn’t match and it doesn’t clash either. That’s talent!

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Everyone gasped with delight when we saw this fun desk at Hooker Furniture designed by Cynthia Rowley.

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One shot from another wonderful design blogger’s tour sponsor, Thibaut. There’s more to come from them!

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On Day 2, I managed to make it at the end of the insanely talented Lisa Mende’s cupcakes and champagne reception at the Kenian Showroom. Lisa staged and accessorized the entire showroom. Glorious is the first word that comes to mind! And I found a wonderful new Designer Friendly source as they have some wonderful pieces! Like these pretty Chinese Chippendale-style rattan chairs in lots of great colors!

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A close up of this gorgeous vignette designed by Lisa Mende. Love the lamps by Barbara Cosgrove. Wallpaper by Thibaut.

PinkroomsettingwithGeorgiaChestandWorthingtonChair(photo source:) Two more pieces from Kate Spade’s new collection for EJ Victor.

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I always love visiting Wendover Art. There’s more coming from them too. This show featured lots of large gorgeous pieces like this pair of Chinoiserie panels.

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At the very end of day 3- I got sucked into Eastern Accents Showroom on my way out of the Suites at Market Square. I just had to get a little cup of their delicious punch and took a few shots of some pretty pillows while I was there.

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One of my favorite stops on day two was at Dwell Studio where I was mesmerized by these two mid-century influenced chairs upholstered in Ming Dragon with a black ground. Aren’t they stunning?  By the way, I did confuse this with the iconic Chiang Mai Dragon by F. Schumacher. This one is pretty durned close but about a third the price.

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We’ll close this edition with another stunning piece by Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture with a detail of the wonderful hardware.

Oh gosh… there’s much more and this week, I should be able to manage a second post come mid-week.

xo,

Laurel

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5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Ann - November 6, 2015 - 8:25 PM

    This is a truly amazing blog. I so so enjoy.Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - October 29, 2015 - 8:36 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    Loved both of these posts! You know I’m all about color, and if I design a snoring neutral room, there better be some great art to pull color from for accents, or my client will be purchasing some art.
    I’m glad to see the resurgence of wallpaper, always used it in half baths. Thibaut, Phillip Jeffries oh MY!
    Love the dragon fabric on the chairs, Chaddock, Ambella, Century are some of my fave showrooms.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 30, 2015 - 4:26 PM

      Hi Heather! Thanks for stopping by! I think pale rooms can be so beautiful too, but if they’re too one-note, that’s when I begin to snooze!ReplyCancel

  • Lyn C. - October 27, 2015 - 8:01 AM

    After reading your response to Sylvia, regarding a ‘negative’ response to your contact page, I couldn’t resist checking it out. Our Laurel writing something ‘bitchy’??! Not possible. I can only conclude that it’s absolutely confounding what some people, like your anonymous reader, find upsetting. I saw absolutely nothing to criticize and instead found you delivered the message of your busy-ness as to new projects with your ever present, lighthearted humour. Unfortunately, writing publicly, which clearly takes courage no matter how benign the words, opens you up to occasional punches from the dark side of some people. Hiding behind anonymity underscores their awareness that it’s a low blow. Shame on them. However, please take heart! Don’t change your writing or your approach to your much appreciated blog. It’s joined my other two favourites, Habitually Chic and Slim Paley for favourite reads over morning tea.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 28, 2015 - 3:00 AM

      Hi Lyn,

      Thank you for the support. That’s very much appreciated. Yes, she’s a bully and a coward. I’m sure it made her feel very mighty to put someone down and to do so without any possibility of repercussion.

      We’ll see… She’s not a happy person. Happy people don’t bash total strangers without any provocation whatsoever! Have to say, I’m dying to know who the former client is. In a way, it’s a twofer. It’s an F you to both me and my former client as this woman obviously did not trust her friend’s recommendation. Oh well… onward!ReplyCancel

      • Dolores - October 28, 2015 - 8:07 AM

        I am so sorry that this happened to you, Laurel. It was most unkind!I do not have a thick skin and would feel awful reading her verbal assault.
        I know that intellectually, I could neutralize her nasty message and resign it to the ‘junk file of life’,but emotionally, I would still feel the sting upon the first read.I wonder what makes people so callous as to take pleasure in denigrating others? But you know- there is such a thing as ‘karma’..and eventually, she will find that out 🙂
        xoxoReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - October 28, 2015 - 9:40 PM

          Thanks Dolores. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often and I’ve never actually printed out one of these, but it happens about 2 or 3 times a month.

          Every time, it’s like what? I feel the stingy bite of the bitchslap. Of course, a part of me is going… Are they right? Am I a bitch?

          Let me think… lol

          Okay. Yes. I’ve had my moments. Doesn’t everyone? (please say, yes.) But not on my contact page! And not very often because I left a bad sitch and my autistic son is out of school.

          But she was going on like I had personally denigrated her.

          Yep. Karma is her bitch! lol I figure with someone like that what they most likely really need is a hug. It’s a shame. I would’ve given her one.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Boyd - October 26, 2015 - 8:35 AM

    I love Kenian Imports. Their set of three bamboo trays are among my most used and prized decor items. They are indestructible too!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Beth Hamilton - October 25, 2015 - 8:44 PM

    Thanks for taking us to market, Laurel. Looking forward to the rest of your posts. Loves- the lines of the sofa in the first photo (although I’m probably always going to be a white or cream sofa person) and the lovely Cynthia Rowley console for Hooker in the last!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2015 - 8:16 PM

      Hi Mary Beth,

      That is a very cool sofa. Lovely design that’s not something you see all over the place either. Cynthia had something for everyone from ultra feminine to exceedingly masculine and a lot in between. Very interesting. We were fresh then too, because it was our very first stop!ReplyCancel

  • Maria - October 25, 2015 - 2:36 PM

    Wow! Lots of color indeed. I am still in love with my cool neutrals and wood tones. I have to wonder how long you could actually live with all the color/patterns in your home – your eyes never have a chance to rest. Love your blog Lauren! I have used many of your information for redecorating my home. You do wonderful work!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2015 - 8:14 PM

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for the lovely comment! The next post will be more solid and neutral. That’s an interesting observation. These showrooms are indeed only designed for one week out of the year! I don’t see it so much now, but maybe 10-15 years ago, would often open up a magazine like Elle Decor and it was like Barnum and Bailey on acid. lol I couldn’t figure out for the life of me, with all of the choices available, how they managed to come up with something I couldn’t bare to look at for two seconds! Everything here is completely tame by comparison.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Mason - October 25, 2015 - 11:28 AM

    When we built our home 25 years ago, I painted almost every room a different strong, bold color: from red in the Dining and Powder Rooms, to a lovely green/gold in the Living Room and Den, and Periwinkle blue in the Kitchen and Breakfast rooms,primarily because we couldn’t afford the furniture we liked, so at least we had something that we loved in each room. As we’ve added upholstery, curtains, rugs and pillows—-I find I’m still drawn to the colors we used when we first painted the house. As I’ve debated through all these years of neutrals whether or not just to paint everything a warm taupe—-I’m happy to see that color is coming back as a real player!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2015 - 8:10 PM

      Hi Nancy,

      That’s so cool! I’m often drawn to the same colors. Or should I say that there are certain colors I’m consistently not fond of, like maroon and bright purples, magenta (except in tiny doses)ReplyCancel

  • chris blair - October 25, 2015 - 11:15 AM

    Hi Laurel — I want to go with the Benjamin moore paint that is comparable to St. giles Blue; however, I’m confused as to whether it is Blue Belle or Bluebell?

    thank you!!

    Chris BlairReplyCancel

  • Phyllis Sullivan - October 25, 2015 - 10:14 AM

    Ohhhh YUCK! Colors/style have taken a cue from fashion mixing strong color patterns. Think this decorating trend is like the midi skirt and leisure suits lol!
    Horrible. Have just done my first floor in WHITE! And OMG I love love love it!
    I’m an artist and think the white is so calming and beautiful. Now have second floor hall in white too! Will do more rooms up stairs in white too.

    Have so enjoyed your newsletter! It’s wonderful!

    Thanks. PhyllisReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2015 - 8:08 PM

      Hi Phyllis, Thank you so much! This is true and something I realized while back in design school. Design, architecture, art, fashion, even music are closely aligned no matter what century it is. I like color but I also LOVE white. I’ve always said that I could live in a completely white home.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvia - October 25, 2015 - 10:14 AM

    First off, I want you to know that the very first thing I do EVERY Sunday morning is make a cup of coffee, sit at my little table with my ipad and open your blog…..and read it , most often many times. I so love your posts and I keep them for reference going back to them for advice. You have no idea how I have used all the information that you have posted about chosing paint colors – amazing informaton. I am not a designer, just someone who enjoys interior design and have fun changing up rooms in my home.
    This weeks posting is exciting to read and see! Lucky us, that we have more HIgh Point information and pictures coming in the following weeks………
    Thank you so much for all that you share, and your humor is so perfect……you make all your trials and tribulations fun and funny !
    thanks again.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2015 - 8:05 PM

      Hi Sylvia,

      Thank you so much for such a darling comment! It very much helps to make up for stuff I get on occasion from some interesting creatures.

      Seconds after I hit publish, I opened up my email to this:

      Name: Test
      Email: [email protected]
      Phone Number:
      How Can I Help?: this is hands down the BITCHIEST contact me page I have ever read. I recently purchased a home in Bedford and was referred to you by a former client of yours. I would never use you. You’re words disgust me.

      ***

      Isn’t that fun? Oh, and the darling sent it via a fake email address.

      I know this because I wrote back thanking her for letting me know that the contact page was effective for weeding out undesirables. :]

      This is the message I received seconds after I sent it.

      Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

      [email protected]

      Technical details of permanent failure:
      Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain test.com by mx.spamexperts.com. [108.59.11.79].

      The error that the other server returned was:
      550 no mailbox by that name is currently available

      ***

      copied verbatim from my email.

      Not to worry. She can’t see this.(unless she goes to the library or something. lol) I blocked her IP address.ReplyCancel

  • Jean Sharp - October 25, 2015 - 9:40 AM

    Thanks for another informative blog. I agree with Diane’s comment on the rooms’ fussiness but I do get some color inspiration from them. I do not like the 50s 60s feel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 10:00 AM

      Hi Jean, There is definitely a retro trend going on. Some of it is reinterpreted better than others.

      The only styling that bugs the hell out of me is what I call erstaz furnishings. The styling is neither here nor there. It is vaguely traditional but then, has a curved rail or something just because some designer thought it added “something.” But it feels wrong. The proportions are wrong. Or something’s too heavy, too curly, or the finish looks very manufactured.

      There really is nothing new under the sun. It’s just a matter of bringing back something old and making it fit into today’s lifestyle that suits most people. Most people still want those really large pieces of upholstered furniture. That would be fine if we had a 600+ square foot living room with 10 foot ceilings. But most of us don’t have that luxury.ReplyCancel

  • Lyn C. - October 25, 2015 - 9:28 AM

    I never entered the realm of grey interiors but am happy to hear they seem to be on the wane. Our winters in Canada are too long to endure without visual warmth and colour though grey interiors remain popular here for now which has always puzzled me. This post heralds a change to the happier, IMHO, with the return of bold colour and pattern. I especially liked the beautiful Thibaut and Fromental wallpapers which lift the vignettes, or would any room, to the stars. Let’s hear it for the Power of Paper! And thank YOU, Laurel, for bringing these posts to us- always interesting, informative and, typically, laced with your gentle humour. Sounds like roller blades might be handy for your next trip to the Market?!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 9:52 AM

      Hi Lyn, I think I said just before that there’s still a fair amount of neutral. Someone could also fill a couple of posts with very neutral spaces and many of them are very lovely. There’s also a lot of dark furniture. Some of it is bordering on dreary, but a lot of that may be a function of the showroom lighting. Some showrooms are beautifully lit and others, not so great. Some showrooms get natural light and others, not a peep.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - October 25, 2015 - 8:46 AM

    These rooms looks too busy, too fussy, too formal for me. I do, however, love the various colored sofas. Makes me ready to move on from my safe, neutral sofa!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 9:50 AM

      Hi Diane, I can see what you mean by some of them. And there’s a lot MORE formal in many of the showrooms I visited.

      I’ve always liked lots of different things. I like the patterned look and the solid look as well. I’ve often found it interesting that two people can look at the same piece of furniture and one sees formal and another sees casual. I think a lot has to do with past experiences both good and bad. I’ve had a couple of clients, I think both were the husbands who had an absolute hatred for any kind of caning. They felt it looked like grandma no matter how cool or classic the piece was. I certainly respect my clients preferences. I don’t always agree, but that’s what makes things interesting. ReplyCancel

  • Betsy - October 25, 2015 - 7:51 AM

    Looks like late 50’s, early 60’s….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 9:46 AM

      Hi Betsy, and 30’s and 40’s too! The furniture is larger, still for the most part. That, I could do without. Fortunately, not all of it is super-size.ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - October 25, 2015 - 7:42 AM

    Hello, Laurel!Your post this morning was pure eye candy for us color addicts! I can appreciate a beautifully done neutral room, but I am always invigorated when I am surrounded by a happy jumble of colors and pattern. I am happy this morning! 🙂
    Can’t wait for more photos. Thank you.
    Love the navy and salmon sofa( my living room colors) and the Faux Chinese Chippendale chairs ; have them also in my own house, laboriously sourced through ebay.
    Hope you had a wonderful happy day with your Mommy- mine will be 90 yrs old in a few months.Thankfully, she lives close by..ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 9:45 AM

      Hi Dolores, I really appreciate Holly Blalock’s eye in the CR Laine showroom. I’ll also have some quieter images. I think there’s something for everyone. Thomas O’Brien’s vignettes for Bernhardt are neutral and sans pattern, but no less elegant. ReplyCancel

  • Magdalena - October 25, 2015 - 3:25 AM

    Wow. Thank you for walking your little feet to a pulp for your gorgeous report!
    I am enjoying reading it in bed in my dear friends’ home in Munich on a cold Sunday morning.

    I am so happy to see more color and vibrant patterns, florals and interesting shapes in American interiors.

    I can’t wait for the second and third post …. Love MagdalenaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 9:43 AM

      Hi Magdalena, It’s cool and gray in NY too, but we need the rain. There is definitely more color but I’ll have some less colorful photos as well. ReplyCancel

  • Susan - October 25, 2015 - 12:57 AM

    I sure hope you made it to the Wildwood Lamps/Frederick Cooper, Jonathan Charles and Chelsea House showrooms! If not, please put it on the top of your “must see” list for April. I can promise tha yout will not be disappointed!
    P.S.- after you have checked them out, if your right foot is hurting like that again (or even if not) a visit to the Jonathan Charles Pub is an instant cure 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 25, 2015 - 2:21 AM

      Regrettably, I didn’t make it to those showrooms Susan. And worse yet? I hadn’t been to High Point since 1996. You may ask how I’m able to do this business without going? Surprisingly well, actually. And when I started my biz in 1996, the majority of vendors snubbed us lowly decorators. Thankfully, times have changed!ReplyCancel