Recently I had the pleasure of attending High Point Market with two members of our design team. If you’re not familiar High Point Market is the largest furnishings and accessories design industry trade show in the world, which takes place twice a year. A to-the-trade-only event, High Point attracts over 75,000 visitors per market, to view tens of thousands of new products from over 100 countries, housed in 180 buildings…

In the Vanguard showroom: “If a chair dressed like me…” Photo by Joey Yoder

Needless to say, we saw — and loved — a lot, and of course we didn’t see all of it.

Our tour through the showrooms was guided by our desire to prioritize American-produced furnishings, and my own aesthetic, which, if you know me, you know that my designs  are about warmth and welcoming in all of the environments we create; and, where appropriate, with the proper restraint, tribal chic is my personal jam. (Since I’m a gatherer of tribes, this is fitting.) I love things made by hand — textures, natural materials, found things, a twist of modern, a dash of gilded glam; and, it is known, I do like black.

The timing of the show perfectly coincided with the shopping we needed to do for an updated install at our client’s house — a historic Tudor in Piedmont that we were sprucing up for showing during the 2018 CSL Heart of the Home tour.

As a designer, to be able to see in person, sit on, and touch, items and brands that I have only seen online before, to get more personal experience with even more quality lines for my clients so that I can confidently recommend them, and to gather deeper knowledge from the vendors, of functions and features, is priceless and a pleasure.

Speaking of pleasures, the donuts and cake pops were delicious, too. Yes, I just said that. I find it only slightly disturbing that people who know me delight in my falling off the health train, but that’s another story all together.

Is it donuts? Is it art? Both.

We attended the event on the invitation and arm of the brilliant Kimberley Seldon, host of the design-industry podcast, Business of Design, author of several books on running a design business, and mentor/coach to new designers. Kimberley goes to High Point regularly, so to have her and her rock-star online media manager Cheryl Horne guiding us and introducing us around, gave us the best insider’s view of this already-insider show, plus the experience of instant community.

Julian Chichester innovates with bold colors and vintage-inspired shapes.

One of our favorite vendors was there: Julian Chichester. New British classics in timeless deco shapes with a current, vibrant color palette — think your favorite Izod Lacoste shirts refreshed, as interpreted through a 1940s vintage glamour to create furnishings and colors so unexpected, like a modernized, up-to-date interpretation of London’s poshest flat. This showroom truly stood out.

Oly was another stunner. Many things in the very-now palette of black and white; a limited palette puts the attention on texture and warmth, the interesting shapes, and surprising pastoral details. The owner of the company is the sole designer, producing only twenty new pieces each year, resulting in a very intentional and highly-curated collection. Fun fact: These pieces are made locally, in Berkeley.

Oly Studio’s showroom features shape and texture through non-use of color

I wish we’d had more time! With two days of shopping, we did what we could. On our second day, we encountered the Antiques floor in one of the buildings, which, itself, could have taken our attention the entire time.

We could have filled a shipping container with everything we wanted to bring home. Maybe next time… until then we’ve returned with many new resources and renewed excitement for creating warm, welcoming, livable environments for our trusting and discerning clients. Next up: Paris!


A version of this article appeared in the Piedmont Post

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