Emily Morrow Finkell “Design Spectator”
For FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY
PART I & II of DESIGN Issue
High Point Spring 2016 Market Trends
If you’re not acquainted with the High Point International Home Furnishings Show, it’s time you got acquainted. Not only is it is back and better than ever, it’s drawing attendees from all over the world. High Point is stronger than before thanks in part to the creativity and ingenuity of the clever entrepreneurs who exhibit there. Drawing upon at least a decade of perspective, it is an exciting chapter in the world of color, style and design. I found myself downright giddy at the vibrant colors commingled in spaces as well as the variety of design styles. Gone are the quiet corridors of various buildings scattered around downtown High Point. Today you’ll find everyone from the offical High Point designated “Trend Spotters”, to independent design bloggers, digital and print shelter magazine editors, endless catalog buyers, retailers and internationally renowned fashion designers.
Spring 2016 High Point market was not only rich with colorful color combinations, fashion icons like Aerin Lauder, Kate Spade and Cynthia Rowley are crossing over into furniture and accessories. Their approach to fashion is not unlike that to interiors. Cynthia Rowley stated for The Designers Guide to High Point “I started with color, materials, and storytelling, the same process I use to design my fashion collections. I feel that fashion inspires furniture design.” They are “dressing the home” in much the same way they are “dressing the woman”.
Dressing the home in 2017 is going to be fun for homeowners and interior designers alike. Walking throughout showrooms like Stanley Furniture, key statements are certainly fashion-inspired. with black and white ticking, menswear herringbones and window-pane plaids. Other trends harken back to the 80’s with high-fashion floral patterns in rose quartz pink and grass greens; Eastern Accents reveal the equestrian-preppy look in navy blue and cognac brown. The coastal aesthetic is casually expressed in the watery blue and white prints with sea life motifs in many of the spaces. “Country house chic” feels familiar showcasing blue velvets trimmed out with super-sized nail-heads and grayed-over wood finishes. Plastery-whites and pastel hues are found in watercolor florals, muted stripes, creating a feminine softness throughout the market. Gray is still king in every possible way. Wood trims, fabrics, metalllics, wallcoverings, furniture and accessories were strongly infused with shades of gray, some light and cloud-like and other grays were dark charcoal or graphite.
Beyond dressing the home with an expression of colors, there’s a lot of added “bling” for visual effect and Nourison’s showroom did not disappoint. Their newest introductions highlighted laser-cut, metallicized leather pillows and rugs as well as a “bedazzling” variety of applied sparkle. There was a wealth of mixed metals, creating a glamourous vintage Hollywood feeling. Currey & Company, in their newly expanded showroom, continued setting the pace in the latest metallic finishes with polished or brushed brass, gold, silver, nickel, tarnished silver, and also black. Currey & Company expanded their use of their “Raj” mercury glass, the “Dark Beauty” black metals and enhanced it all by layering strands of beads.
While literal colorful combinations are visually stimulating, the serenity of whites and calm of grays, established the ideal backdrops on which the Pantone 2016 colors of the year of Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue. Pantone’s Rose Quartz was not only a literal application of a color trend, it also inspired the use of actual quartz crystals in pink. Quartz was used in lighting, picture frames, bookends and was pitched as a way to improve the indoor air quality of the rooms where it’s used.
Fashion and luxury were central themes regardless of the designer or the brand. Jamie Drake, Barclay Butera and Bobby Berk each exclaimed the relevance that “fashion” brings to market introductions. Berk states that “fashion connects us to the emotional part of ourselves that wants to be both an individual and a part of the greater whole.” No longer does a luxurious piece of furniture have to be fussy or pristine. Many of the furniture casegoods featured built in “smart features” such as usb ports and power outlets. Today’s luxury consumer appreciates the technology as much as the fashion, and has expectations that the looks will be refined and mix harmoniously with other pieces.
All in all, Spring 2016 Market was a great success. I speaking with a few exhibitors, overall attendance was up once again from the past show and the attendees were placing good orders. Interior designers and retailers were enthusiastic about going back home to their clients with details of the fresh new looks and innovative approaches to mixing styles.