10 Highlights from High Point 2011

I left my first trip to High Point Market over the weekend. It’s so much fun to see new goods favorite designers have created, discover new sellers, and most important, take what for a test drive.

The twice-annual event in High Point, North Carolina, is perhaps the world’s largest trade show for the furnishings industry. More than 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world present their products to buyers, designers as well as the media in more than 10 million square feet of space. The 2011 fall market runs through Oct. 27.

Here are 10 furniture styles that popped up in the marketplace; some are familiar, some put a twist on existing trends, and some are brand new.

1. Reinventing the wheel. It was a pleasure to meet Joe Manus of Shiner. I’d admired his corrugated cardboard fittings at Dealers, a favorite East Atlanta store, but had no idea how far his talent spread.

The very best thing about visiting the treat-filled Shiner stall was lounging on this rockin’ mattress (it literally rolls back and forth). I wish I had had hours to take a real snooze.

2. Sustainable design. These rockers were one of Manus’s earliest layouts. Everything is crafted from materials that could have otherwise wrapped up in a landfill.

3. Live borders. Live-edge furniture hasn’t gone out of style, and is much more popular than ever. Also, a focus on sustainability in the design world is significantly more prevalent than ever.

Instance in point: Robin Wade Furniture, which focuses on green practices from choosing only sustainable timber (frequently trees that were already down), to hauling it no more than 60 mile to their studio, and even making sure their leftover bits are put to use. The rotted-out hole within this coffee table adds so much character and reminds you of this tree’s previous life.

4. Peacocks. Whether it was peacock blue colors on walls and furniture, oversize peacock feather patterns onto a rug, as well as peacock statues to tuck on shelves and tablescapes, this proud bird was a popular theme at High Point.

This vignette is from the package of amazing rooms by Global Views.

5. Wild lights. No longer dull wallflowers with simple layouts, sconces have gone crazy. This textured Horn Sconce in Barbara Cosgrove caught my eye from across the jam-packed booth. I would love to use 2 of them to flank a fireplace or a mirror.

6. Favorite lines extend into new places. I’ve been a huge fan of DwellStudio for decades, and it was a joy to find out their furniture in individual. I also enjoyed seeing the lineup they have created in combination with Global Views, particularly the Polish decal glassware.

DwellStudio’s Hans Leather Chair is inviting and comfortable; ideal for a mid-century space in addition to a man-cave. The caramel leather fabric option is even more scrumptious in individual than it’s in its online listing.

7. Groovy menswear-inspired design. While Jonathan Adler’s stall had amped up Happy Chic to an even more joyful chic flat, we have some peeks of menswear-inspired fabrics blended in, such as these fun, plaid, buttoned-down Mrs. Godfrey seats.

Watch more menswear-inspired design

The Jonathan Adler stall was merchandised into a series of groovy rooms such as this one.

8. Stepping up the natural look. While nature-inspired components still reign, the Serge p Troyer Collection has taken them to a whole new level, gilding branches to make an elegant table foundation, and designing an oversize antler-inspired floor lamp. Oh, how I want that floor lamp!

Watch more natural components in action

9. Brazilian beauty and craftsmanship. I am so thankful we popped into Platinum Decor on our way back to the car. Not only were they some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met, but the Tissot lineup, made by Brazilian designer Guilherme Tissot, knocked my socks off. This is the Laos Table Base, which looks like a cube cut from the middle of quite a large shrub, but is really a clever wood mix. The table has been paired with the Galle Dining Chairs, which have contemporary contemporary style with a unique Brazilian twist. As you can see, my marketplace partner Michael is powerful comfortable sitting in one of them.

10. Lacquered finishes. The glistening finish on Tissot’s curvaceous Tulipa Dresser includes all of the way to the drawer pulls, which makes it an eye-catching piece for an entryway, living room or bedroom. The adjoining seats are the Revival Dining Chairs with an clear back option.

What’s your favorite trend? Are you really going to High Point this year?

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