Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sourcing Interior Inspirations – Why I Go to High Point

“The next six days that matter.”

HP Mkt Cal  homepagead (2)

A most distinct privilege, as an interior designer, is to have entree to one of the best furniture shows in the world . . . in High Point, North Carolina.  Even though I’m able to take more frequent advantage of visits, as I live a short drive away, I never take for granted the special access I am able to have to such a huge variety of trade and industry-only showrooms!  With over 11.5 million square feet of showroom space, (yes, this isn’t a typo), I can’t even begin to cover every venue in the six days of this show.  Aside from examining and experiencing the many product lines, there are all sorts of events, seminars, and exchanges of new concepts in design.  While it can be quite a bit to process, I always come back energized from being immersed in the field I so love!


(Trend predictions?  We’ll see a continuation of:  classic, modern, new traditional, jeweled tones, mixed metals, painted finishes, Asian flair & bold graphics.  This room, bathed in purple and accented in gray, is indicative of the trends experienced in the European shows.)

Since the market is geared towards appealing to our visual sense, I’m going to step back and let you “stroll” the virtual halls and buildings with me, via a sneak preview.  I’ll unveil my market finds, in a follow-up post.  You’ll be in the “know”, even before some home design magazines hit the newsstands!

On the morning of October 17th, I’ll be having breakfast with Barry Dixon!  (Well, actually, he will be the guest speaker for the WITHIT Education Breakfast.)


As a WITHIT member, I’m excited to be able to hear this world renowned interior designer expound on his presentation, “Organically Inspired: Referencing the Natural World Beyond the Window in the Modern Interior”.  I’m a huge admirer of his work and can’t wait to see more!  (And for a 7:30 am breakfast, you know I have to be a BIG fan!)

Some of the vendors will be unveiling new showrooms.  Hickory Chair and Pearson are moving to the North Hamilton complex.  They will be in fine company with several other distinctive manufacturers.

Hickory Chair

Not only will Hickory Chair be in an exciting new showroom, they will be the location for several fabulous market events!  If you are in the industry, come meet up with your Twitter & Facebook Design friends on October 17th!



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For the past eleven years, I’ve considered Pearson as my “go-to” line, for some of the industry’s finest quality upholstery.  I think they offer wonderful construction, comfort and fabulous custom options!  In comparing their pricing with some of the well-known catalog companies, they bring a higher value story to my clients.  I love that they are a North Carolina manufacturer, about ten minutes from the center of the High Point Market.  The food concept of, “from farm to table”, is not too far-fetched, in parallel, when I’m able to provide the Pearson experience to my clients.  I can have it delivered directly from the plant to their home.  I not only consider how products are made, I also consider how far they have to travel to a destination.  Pearson allows me to bring clients to the showroom, between markets, for a hands-on shopping experience!

While at market, I’ll be on the prowl for some great accessories!  These are the “icing on the cake” items which can take a simple setting from dull to divine.  I zero in on great lamps as they can serve the multi-purpose of function and fashion.  If a room needs a new life, I’ll often scrutinize the lamps to see if they are up to par.  (No lighting pun intended!)

HP Lampst

(Lamps are taking their cue from organic shapes, with the ever popular gourd lamp still holding its own.  Asian influences have been very strong, as the historic, clean lines work well with almost any style and period in design.  Drum shades, which once graced 50’s & 60’s retro decor, will probably be interpreted from simple to pleated, and I hope, with a few more edge details.  Of course, one can always add a bit of trim or braid, for a personal touch.)

A new exhibitor, for the upcoming market, will be Snug Furniture, a truly artistically inspired line of casegoods and upholstery. According to Snug’s Creative Director, Maybelline Te, “Snug Furniture explores shapes and forms that are both fresh and familiar. Each artistic design reflects the essence of the Snug Life---functional | beautiful | personal comfort that is truly at home now.”  I had the honor and privilege to feature the Cocoon Chairs, shown below, at a tabletop event in the Charlotte area.  I’m so excited for my dear friend, Maybelline, as she and her partner, Alex Hendricks, will share the Snug lifestyle in their Interhall Showroom!

Snug (Snug’s sculptural pieces can be appreciated in all types of interiors.)

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A doyenne of interior style, Bunny Williams, will also be debuting her BeeLine Home collection, during the fall market.  She has written several books about the subject of interior design.  Her experience, at the famed Parish-Hadley design firm, as well as her accomplished career at her own firm, Bunny Williams, Inc., brings her talent full-circle with this lovely line!  Her collection will be found in the Wesley Hall Showroom, at 310 North Hamilton.

Antiques Center

Looking for the true one-of-a-kind piece?  The Antique and Design Center will definitely be on my agenda for a visit.  This new venue will be opening with a preview on Friday evening, October 15th.  With over 50,000 square feet of treasures from all over the world, their website declares the showroom to be “swoon worthy”.  I can’t wait to see if that’s true.  (And hopefully there will be an early 20th century fainting couch to catch me!)

Meanwhile, a first, not only for the High Point Furniture Market but also for the home furnishings industry, will be the big reveal of the winner of Project U Design on October 20th!  (You can read all about it in my previous post.)  There are now three finalists . . . students from the Savannah College of Art and Design, who will be waiting with baited breath to see if their wing chair design will be selected to be produced by Century Furniture.  I can only imagine, when I was a student, what an impact this might have had on my career!  Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite chair.  Just click on the link, below. 

HP Mkt.jpg Project U

Yes, my dance card will be full, as I waltz down the side streets and aisles of a wonderful world, filled with design inspiration!  I’m reviewing my market books, my wish lists, and I’ll have my camera ready to take it all in.  One of the reasons folks hire an interior designer is to help them sort through all of the choices and to provide the best possible options for creating a surrounding that say’s, “Hello, I’m home.”  For that, I’ll put on my best walking shoes and hit the market trail! 

(In my humble opinion, comfy feet = happy market!)

HP Mkt shoes

Shouldn’t you experience the best about design?  I’m just a phone call away!

All my best!  Wanda

Some other great lines to see, while at market:

John Strauss Furniture and TLS by Design – Showplace

Eloquence – Interhall

Scott Thomas – 525 North Wrenn – Tomlinson Bldg - *New Location


Storibook Designs said...

Great post Wanda. I thought the winner was already chosen for Project U.... did they just decide to extend it?

Yvonne Blacker said...

Oh, I wish I could make it down there for Project UDesign at Century House and to see all the new products/beautiful showrooms! I will be looking forward to your recap!

Wanda S. Horton - Interior Designer said...

Thanks, Sarah and Yvonne! Sarah - They narrowed it down from five designs to three and the final selection will be announced on Oct 20th, at market. Yvonne - I wish you could join us, too! I'm going to try to take lots of pics and some videos for future blog posts/YouTube posts. Should be fun!

Tracy said...

great post!! Can't wait to see what you post after market since I once again won't be able to attend. I'm counting on you to show me your favorite finds and trends!!

averydesigninteriors said...

Great post! You covered it all. Oh how I wish I could be at High Point with you.
People you must hug from me:
Maybelline Te
John Strauss
Tracy Hiner
Leslie Carothers
Anyone I forgot including, and preferably, George Clooney. Ok, really not George because I am married, but can't I just think about it...?

Laura Holland said...

Thanks for including Hickory Chair in your blog post! We had a great market in our wonderful new space! I enjoyed meeting you and appreciate all your support!