Sunny skies and warmer temperatures were the perfect companion for this season’s High Point Furniture Market.

The key word was “optimistic”. The colors, styles and everyone’s attitude were buoyant and enthusiastic.

Let’s start with color. That’s always the first question everyone asks me when I return from Market. This season there were several, each one just as well represented in furniture as well as accessories and textiles.

Shades of blue and green adorned every showroom. In the blues the two most prevalent shades were aqua and navy. The aqua is a little greener than the ever-popular spa blue. It is a calming color and pairs beautifully with yellow, grays and greens.

Saturated tones like cobalt blues, emerald green and purple supplied plenty of drama. Spring green in hues from apple to Kelly-green a fresh explosion of color.

Gigi Sofa with apple green velvet fabric
Gigi Sofa with Apple Green Velvet Fabric

Designers and manufacturers were happy to bid gray a fond farewell. Emerging from the calm of pastel colors were bold and bright countertrends. That’s not to say you should ditch your gray furniture but you should seriously consider updating it with aqua, navy or green pillows and throws.

With all these optimistic colors, white was the most prevalent color for sofas. White and soft cream textured fabrics were a welcome change from the grays that we have seen for the past five years. All the new performance fabrics make white a doable color even for demanding households.

Cassandra Long Sofa by C R Laine
Cassandra Long Sofa with tight camel back and bench cushion. Fabric is a salt and pepper woven linen. C R Laine.

Sofa styles were motivating and fresh in both mid and over-sized options. Tight back sofas were trending. “Tight back” means no loose pillows requiring fluffing and straightening every time someone sits down. The backs were unadorned or featured a stitched grid or row pattern without buttons.

“Tile patterns and industrial grids offer their influence on what we think is an accessible contemporary style.” Says Heather Eidenmiller, director of brand development at Bernhardt Furniture. Grids were repeated in upholstery and case goods.

Bernhardt furniture grouping featuring four white accent chairs.
Bernhardt Furniture Grouping featuring Four White Accent Chairs.

Sofas with loose pillows featured two pillows over two seat cushions or two over a bench cushion. Bench cushions are just one long bottom pillow, fashioning a high-end style even when executed in casual fabrics. Piping wasn’t an obvious accent this year but nailheads were still strong especially on transitional and traditional upholstery pieces.

Lifestyle photo Bernhardt Furniture collection with a pair of D’Angelo Swivel Chairs in white leather. Sofa and chairs feature stitched grid pattern.
Pair of D’Angelo Swivel Chairs in white leather. Sofa and chairs feature stitched grid pattern. Bernhardt Furniture.

Options, options and more were available in leg styles. Lots of metal, a variety of wood finishes, Lucite feet and fully upholstered legs. Metal feet and furniture bases extended into metal trim that ran up the sides and across the back of some sofa and chair styles.

Aubree white sofa with wood trim by Bernhardt.
Aubree White Sofa with Wood Trim by Bernhardt.

Market trends are best represented by the upholstery fabric presentations. This season it was all about velvet, cut and solid, white performance fabrics and soft cream or aqua woven linens. Print fabrics were big and bold. Tribal patterns, florals, organics and geometrics. Tiger pattern was slowly emerging to replace over-played leopard and zebra.

So much to talk about and such a great show. A quick hint as to future trend topics . . .

Stainless and matte silver tones are still available but gold offered buyers the Midas touch they were craving. Lighting fixtures are multi-faceted, branching out in all directions. Organic beads and crystals very popular and finally, gray wood is out and new finishes are on the horizon!