Twice a year more than 75,000 designers, architects and home furnishing retailers descend on the sleepily little town of High Point, North Carolina. They come to discover the latest trends in home décor, buy for their retail stores and furnish client’s homes. This “for the trade” only event is a not to be missed event. If you can’t find it in High Point, it probably doesn’t exist.
This is not a show for sissies. With over 180 buildings and 11.5 million square feet of show space to explore you need to come prepared to do a lot of walking. My job is to visit as many showrooms as possible during the six day show to discover all the latest trends and colors that will be showing up in home décor shops 6 to 9 months from now.
How do you decide what the trends are? After a couple of days you start to see certain colors showing up more often than others. Particular images and patterns such as floral or stripes, begin to appear in more and more showrooms. Color is the easiest fashion to track.
Blue is still very strong, from rich navy blue and peacock to all shades of denim. A new colors that I really liked were fuchsia pink and yellow. Watch the fuchsia tones start to out pace orange in accessories and upholstery. Brown is back in furniture finishes such as burly wood and mid-century modern honey brown. Gray finishes are still popular as is the color but now it is being punched up with these bright new colors.
Trends cross over all price points. You can find the same colors being displayed in high-end showrooms like Baker or Bernhardt as well as more moderate priced showrooms. The only difference is the quality with which it is executed and the fine attention to details.
The three biggest trends that I saw this year were gold, minerals and velvet. I believe the strong luxury market is driving these trends. Consumers are feeling better about the economy and want to update their décor with luxury looks.
The industrial décor look that we have been seeing over the past three years is truly starting to wan. Designers and retailers get tired of displaying and working with the same styles season after season so like all trends, their shelf life is very short. The industrial look stuck around so long because consumers weren’t willing until now to invest in new home décor purchases.
Gold and brass have been trying to push into the market for the past 12-18 months. But gold leaf and reclaimed wood don’t go together. Now that we are moving into a more luxury look, its time has finally arrived. Gold leaf and dull, flat brass is in, not shinny brass.
Minerals and stone such as agate, crystals, alabaster and petrified wood were the most exciting trend that I saw throughout market. These materials aren’t new to the home décor market but they are being used in more interesting and colorful ways.
Alabaster lamps have been around for decades but now, alabaster slabs are being used for tabletops and shelves for liquor carts. Agates are colorful works of nature. Due to size limitation they are most commonly seen in lighting and home accessories.
Slabs of crystal make wonderful small accent tables. Many manufacturers are using crystal to accent hardware for dressers, cabinets and breakfronts. Some of the crystal knobs are polished and smooth while others are rough and chiseled.
Velvet, one of my favorite fabrics, was in every showroom. Velvet just feels good. The colors are vivid and inviting; from bright pink sofas to lemon yellow pillows. Velvet will be the fabric of our lives for the coming seasons. And for those of you that cringe at the thought of your active family on a velvet sofa, don’t despair. Synthetic velvets are easy to clean and very durable.