Trends from High Point Mar­ket

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - Real Estate & Homes - BY GRE­GORY VAUGHAN gre­gory@kel­ley­de­

I am back in the de­sign stu­dio after a busy week at the High Point Mar­ket in North Carolina sourc­ing new fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories.

After days ex­plor­ing the show­rooms, gaz­ing at light fixtures and sit­ting on so­fas, my photo li­brary — and my mind — are loaded with im­ages and ideas I can’t wait to put to use. I re­turned car­ry­ing bags full of fab­ric memos, fin­ish sam­ples and cat­a­logs show­cas­ing stylish new trends and po­ten­tial trea­sures for my clients.

“Mar­ket” is ba­si­cally Fash­ion Week for in­te­rior de­sign­ers. Here are a few new trends that caught my eye and that I an­tic­i­pate will be in­flu­en­tial for the next season or two.


Grey and beige (aka “Greige”) has con­cluded its dom­i­nance after sev­eral sea­sons of “play-it-safe”

neu­trals and more spec­tac­u­lar col­ors are com­ing on strong. I ap­pre­ci­ate a clas­sic neu­tral, but given this op­tion of crank­ing up the vol­ume I al­most al­ways say, “Yes, please.”

On the sub­tle side of this trend are the balmy blushes and pale pinks fea­tured in up­hol­stery fab­rics and wall­pa­per back­grounds. On the bolder side are the bo­da­cious blues and glam­orous greens that adorned ev­ery­thing from wall col­ors to painted case goods.

An­other color I saw every­where caramel, es­pe­cially caramel col­ored leather. Al­most ev­ery ma­jor show­room I vis­ited had some of this de­li­ciously hued leather fur­ni­ture on dis­play. And why not? Caramel mixes beau­ti­fully with al­most ev­ery other color. Its fan­tas­tic with blue, green, black, char­coal, ivory, and even gray.


You may have thought this 1960s and ’70s throw­back was a pass­ing fad, but it’s here to stay. Warmer than the pol­ished brass of the 1980s (and much more for­giv­ing), brushed brass lends an in­stant so­phis­ti­ca­tion with ev­ery­thing from chan­de­liers to plumb­ing fixtures to cof­fee ta­bles and ac­ces­sories. Some of my new fa­vorites were found in the Vis­ual Com­fort show­room. The col­lec­tion de­signed by Thomas O’Brien had an in­cred­i­bly rich, time-worn patina that only bur­nished brass can pro­vide.


I love find­ing pieces that have in­ter­est­ing de­tails, whether softly sub­tle or state­ment wor­thy. Fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories fea­tur­ing the tac­tile ap­peal of ham­mered met­als, limed oak ve­neers, fuzzy faux fur and sand-blasted glass were every­where. Four Hands has long been a “go to” show­room for tex­tu­ral trea­sures and it did not dis­ap­point. I found case goods and up­hol­stery pieces show­cas­ing beau­ti­ful sur­face de­tail­ing.


In the Low­coun­try, it’s easy for us to em­brace the ca­sual and laid-back vibe of coastal col­ors and sim­ple sil­hou­ettes, but this look isn’t just for states with beaches. Coastal chic is as much about at­ti­tude as it is lo­cale. Cool pal­ettes, of­ten with a punch of sat­u­rated color com­bined with un­fussy de­tail­ing, re­minds us that easy liv­ing is at home any­where. A modern wicker set­tee can fit in at a home by the lake in the moun­tains as eas­ily as an Adiron­dack chair can blend in on the porch by the May River.


Many show­rooms fea­tured tight back so­fas, and ev­ery­one from fur­ni­ture mak­ers to my clients are lov­ing the look. I no­ticed tight back fur­ni­ture in nearly ev­ery show­room I vis­ited. In the Lil­lian White show­room, the Au­rora sofa not only fea­tured a tight back and a sin­gle seat cush­ion, it also show­cased a sleek kidney shape. The sofa was up­hol­stered in a plush vel­vet and un­apolo­get­i­cally glam­orous and modern.

High Point is one of my fa­vorite events of the year be­cause I am able to be the first to get my hands on new prod­ucts for my clients. I have al­ready started de­sign­ing some of my fa­vorite ideas into my projects. Stay tuned to see how I use th­ese trends in new spa­ces.


Bold color is mak­ing a strong re­turn to in­te­rior de­sign for fur­nish­ings and ac­ces­sories. Sat­u­rated hues are re­plac­ing the se­date neu­trals of pre­vi­ous sea­sons.

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