The buying team is back from another trip to High Point, North Carolina for market. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, The High Point Market is the largest home furnishings show in the world. Over 11 million square feet spread out over close to 200 buildings makes for a lot of walking, but it is THE place to see the best of what the home furnishings industry has to offer. The buying team travels to High Point twice a year for the fall and spring shows. Each trip is about seven days and that is hardly enough time to see all that we want to see. From large furniture showrooms to small accessory booths, High Point Market is filled to the brim with home furnishings and decorative accessories of every variety.
This market was quite exciting as there seemed to be a buzz in the air and an energy we hadn’t seen in a few markets. There was also color! Now, this may seem like a given at the world’s largest furniture market, but the last few years have seen a very, shall we say, quiet palette. To put it bluntly, the world was turning greige there for a while. But thankfully, the industry leaders seemed to be hankering for a little pick-me-up as much as we were. There were aquas and oranges, chartreuse and lilac to name a few. Yellow seemed to be everywhere. Hickory Chair is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and their showroom was awash in celebration with vibrant pops of color at every turn. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, who rarely play it safe, wowed us with upholstery in daring hues highlighted with brightly colored art and accessories. Everywhere we went, colorful accents brought everything to life.
The other color story this market seemed to be a warming trend. In addition to the gray and oatmeal tones that are still dominate; we saw an increase in warmer honey tones. Ralph Lauren showcased a desert inspired collection that was truly a breath of fresh air. It was a neutral palate, but a new neutral palate. This beautiful caramel beige was a pleasant addition to the foggy shades we have become so familiar with in recent years.
Besides color, I think Lee Industries had some of the most exciting news this market. First, they are launching a new Luxe Collection. Slifer Designs will be one of a select group of retailers carrying this addition to the Lee Industries line. The collection is centered around 10 high-end fabrics discovered by the daughter of company founder, Bill Coley, in Belgium. The designer of these fabrics discovered he was allergic to synthetic yarns after many years of working for his family’s weaving mill. He set out to create natural yarns that could be woven in a painstaking process to create truly exceptional fabrics. This collection of fabrics is luxurious but unpretentious. The thickness of the yarns make the fabrics weighty and substantial-a truly beautiful compliment to Lee’s seemingly endless array of upholstery styles.
The other news from Lee caught my attention immediately. Lee is introducing Nanotex to the residential furniture market. Nanotex is an EPA approved treatment for fabric that transforms it into a stain repellant “super fabric” without changing its look or feel. From what I understand, Lee is the first furniture company to take advantage of this technology for the residential market. And as the mother of twin four year olds, I will be the first to say “Halleluiah!”
There is so much more I could share about market. It is always an exciting and exhausting endeavor. The buying team selected some pretty fabulous things that will be rolling into our showrooms very soon.
Our "guest blogger" is Vandy Schaefer.