In April and October buyers for furniture stores and interior designers from around the world gather in High Point, NC to be wined and dined by furniture manufacturers and vendors. More than 100,00 people who are involved with home decor, furniture, or art gather in over ten million square feet of showroom space in 180 buildings to look at what is new and trending. For us it’s just a short drive up the road, but for many of the other thousands of industry professionals, it’s a long journey. It has to be worth it to spend four or five days away from your store and your customers, being inspired and tempted. We plan our trip weeks in advance, making appointments with the representatives at the showrooms we believe fit our store and our customers. The showrooms are made to entice the buyers to buy! There is plenty of delicious food to keep us from wearing down after walking as much as fifteen miles a day, and exotic top-shelf adult beverages to keep us in good spirits. There are fabulous fresh flower arrangements everywhere and weeks of work that have gone into making the spaces beautiful and inviting.
This year we have seen all shades of the color gray go from being a trend in the showrooms to being core. That is, gray is considered the chosen neutral for everything from painted walls to upholstery and painted furniture. We’ve all seen this coming for several years, but this year the color trend predictors have made it official…gray is not going anywhere. For every trend in design, there is a counter-trend which makes for balance in our choices and gives us variety to choose from. The rustic finishes have replaced the outdated shiny woods because of the casual lifestyle we all live these days. No one is interested in polishing glossy woods or protecting easily scratched finishes from daily use. Now our tables and chairs are made from reclaimed woods and rustic finishes that stand up to our families and friends. The counter-trend to the rustic look that we have become accustomed to is seen in metallic finishes, with gold coming on strong. The metallic finishes aren’t high gloss either, even they are muted and have an aged look that makes them easier to care for and live with.
We saw color that ranged from pinks and corals to soft whites and blues. The colors we saw were bright and cheerful or dark and intense. Sofas and the bigger pieces in a room are still neutral with rugs and pillows used to add “POP” to the space, The prevailing belief is that buying the best quality sofa that you can afford in a soft textured neutral and using art and accessories to add interest and pizzazz to the room makes more sense in the long run. Furniture trends don’t move quickly…change is slow in the home furnishings industry. We have been on an easy living path for quite awhile and we don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.
Written by Lynn Leake | Photography by CR Laine and Lynn Leake