I always return from my visit to the High Point Furnishings Market feeling energized and inspired by all the wonderful product lines and new introductions. There is always so much to see in such a short period of time. It is, at best, a whirlwind tour!
After spending several days and visiting dozens of vendor showrooms, I am excited to share with you some of the top trends that I spotted.
1. Bold Colors and Patterns: Yes, color is back! This has been refreshing to see after several years of the ‘great gray-out’. Several showrooms featured bold, bright colors with hot pink taking the lead role. From upholstered furniture to artwork and rugs, vibrant hues were readily found. The bright fuchsia-colored chairs and bold patterned drapery fabric found in the Ambella Home showroom were our first hint of this colorful trend.
Bright, jazzy colors were also prominent in the Woodbridge Furniture showroom with products from C.R. Laine and accents pieces designed by Tobi Fairley.
The octagonal shaped accent stools covered in a bold pink and orange striped fabric would add a fresh pop of color to any environment, and they handily tuck in under a console table.
The use of a bold, graphic-patterned fabric on an otherwise traditional piece of furnish gives it a breath of new life. Accent chairs in The Tomlinson Companies showroom were covered in a bold geometric print; the more traditionally styled occasional chair from Kindel Grand Rapids in a wide cabana striped fabric is a new look!
2. Blush Pinks and Rose Quartz: In complete contrast to the brighter colors, the Pantone Color of the year, Rose Quartz, was equally present. This soft, delicate hue adds a touch of femininity and romance to its environment. A wallpaper used as an accent wall in one room setting at the Ambella Home showroom is a great example of how this color is being used in combination with its Pantone partner, Serenity. It works well with neutral colors to create an ethereal look or pairs with deeper, richer shades of blue or gray for more contrast. This pair of tufted armless chairs (left) in blush pink against a backdrop of midnight blue creates quite a striking setting.
3. Greek Key Motif: A classic symbol that has been used for centuries has come to the forefront of home furnishing trends. The Greek Key emblem was sighted in many different product lines in many different showrooms. From wallcovering to bedding and even casegoods, this motif kept popping up over and over again.
I particularly liked the used of this symbol in an accent tape used along the skirt of a sofa and the metallic finish on the base of this lamp.
4. Curves, Curves and More Curves: Sexy shapes and curves are everywhere! This is a nice complement to the other straight lines and track arms on many other upholstered pieces. Upon entering the Ambella Home showroom, we were greeted by a display featuring a curved front sofa along with a pair of accent chairs with curved backs. What a great conversational setting!
More great shapes abounded in upholstered pieces we viewed at Kindel, Karges and Councill.
5. Nailhead Trim: A juxtaposition to the more feminine curves and colors is the strong influence of nail head trim on upholstered pieces and casegoods, lending these pieces a more masculine touch. I am seeing nailhead trim in different sizes and styles on the same piece of furniture, as seen on the two chairs from Leathercraft Furniture. Notice the smaller size along the arms and a larger more widely-spaced version along the base of the chair.
Some other interesting examples of this finish technique are seen in several pieces from Ambella Home.
One room setting shows several products with a nailhead trim application: sofas, accent ottomans in leopard print and even the coffee table show how different variants of this technique can be successfully used in the same room.
Celebrity designer Corey Damon Jenkins skillfully uses nailhead trim accents on several pieces he has designed for Leathercraft Furniture. He takes some traditionally inspired pieces such as the Bergere chair and wingback chair and gives them a new twist by adding nailhead trim. The black leather sofa (right)has an abundance of metal studs outlining the entire piece — which looks great on a piece of furniture that is ‘floating’ in the room rather than backing up to a wall. His cabinet with padded leather doors shows off a unique use of nailhead trim as well.
Consider using a piece or two with this feature in any room of the home; it works well in both a more traditional style of interior décor and a more contemporary one.
6. Lucite: This clear material continues to be a strong trend in home furnishing products; I think it is here to stay for a while. It is appearing in new and different ways … note the use of this product in the arms of this chair from Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth, Carter, Directional. You certainly won’t need to worry about these arms soiling or staining with use over time!
Lucite works equally as well as an accent table or on the back of dining chairs from ST2 Furniture.
I think it is especially appealing to mix this material in with other mediums such as wood, metal or upholstered pieces. For example, a bench with lucite legs from Ambella Home shakes up a matching dining table and chairs, and clear legs on an accent ottomans from Bernhardt keeps the view to the foot of the bed open to see the accent nailhead trim pattern.
A lucite cocktail table can help to keep a room from feeling too heavy and provides an open view to a stunning area rug that you may not wish to cover up with a solid wood table.
7. Tufted Pieces: The use of tufting on upholstered furniture also continues to be a strong trend; from deep tufting to lightly quilted surfaces, it remains quite popular. An updated wingback chair from Ambella Home uses tufting placed on the outside as opposed to where you would traditionally expect to see it. The lightly tufted back of a sofa from Leathercraft Furniture translates well into a more transitional style of décor.
The fabulous upholstered bed with the deeply tufted back from Bernhardt Furniture makes quite a statement in any bedroom!
I am just touching the surface of all the many interesting products that we saw at market; there are so many wonderful and creative pieces to use in any style of décor! I urge you to break out of your comfort zone and update an area or two in your own home with newer styles that appeal to you.
It can often be difficult to know how to successfully combine styles and pieces of furniture to create a harmonious and well-balanced interior that is not only stylish but also inviting. If you feel overwhelmed by this process, I urge you to visit my guide, How to Work With an Interior Designer. This is a complimentary guide that can be downloaded from my website to help you navigate the waters of working with an interior design professional. It can answer many questions you may have about this process and what to expect, no matter who you may choose to work with on your project.
As always, Love Where You Live…. And if you don’t, do something about it!
Allison Havill Todd is President and Director of Design of Alpharetta-based AHT Interiors, www.ahtinteriors.com.