Insider’s Guide to High Point Market

An Insider’s Guide to High Point Market:

My first visit to High Point Market was quite the trip! I attended a whirlwind two-day tour with ten other design bloggers, and we were so fortunate to have our tour arranged and sponsored by High Point Market Authority and The Design Bloggers Conference.  While it was my first time attending, being with the pros and on a curated tour helped give me a great sense of market. I would love to share some tips, trends and highlights to help you plan your next visit. Also, check back over the next month, as I’ll be sharing two additional posts featuring even more of our showroom sponsors and the design trends I spotted at market!

Tip 1: Pack The Essentials

Bring comfortable shoes, period. There are more than 2,000 showrooms to visit and miles to walk! High Point and the entire market area is very walkable and feels like a quaint little town (of only showrooms!). Also, I recommend bringing your camera to document all the inspiration (print out pictures and create design boards and inspiration boards back at the office) and I love a chic backpack so you can roam hands free.

One of the lovely ladies from DKOR Interiors. Bring a camera and document everything! There is so much inspiration and you can’t take it all in at one time.

The world of Ralph Lauren at EJ Victor.

Trend 1: Performance Fabrics (& Bullion Fringe)!

The above and below photos were taken in one of my very favorite showrooms – EJ VICTOR. This is a do not miss showroom! I love how it’s curated by designer + brand, there are entire rooms dedicated to brands such as Kelly Wearstler (below picture) and Ralph Lauren (above). I spotted some FABULOUS bullion fringe (it’s making a huge comeback) on this ottoman from the new PERENNIALS SOCIAL collection.

The Perennials collection has the cutest tag line, “From Kids to Cocktails” and everything can be made in their performance fabrics so there is nothing to worry about with a white fringed ottoman – yes please!

The world of Kelly Wearstler at EJ Victor.

That fabulous Perennials Social performance fabric ottoman with bullion fringe!

The performance trend continued with two other heavy hitting brands in the fabric industry. First, we visited SUNBRELLA’S booth and I’m continually impressed by the designer collections they put out. Sunbrella is well-known in the industry for their weather and stain resistant fabric, but many still think of them first for outdoor fabrics. This year they have been working with interior designer Brian Paquette to curate a collection based on color, texture, depth and plush upholstery details. I’m familiar with and already recommend Sunbrella fabrics to my clients with kids, but I was impressed with all the upholstery details, colors and textures — Brain convinced me to do full interior rooms in Sunbrella!

Sunbrella’s MAKERS collection.

The blogger group at the Sunbrella booth.

Next, we heard from Crypton Fabrics. Cryton is a treatment to make fabric stain resistant and they have been partnering with many brands to offer Crypton fabrics as choices for upholstered pieces. They did a fabulous demo to show wine beading up on their treated fabrics. This makes the white upholstered dining chairs from Rene Cazares even more appealing!

Wine beading up on Crypton fabric.

Crypton Fabric on chairs at Rene Cazares showroom.

Tip 2: Make a Trip Out of It!

With Willa (our baby girl) being so young, I few in and out very quickly for 48 hours at market. It was not enough time! I recommend going for the full four days. There is really so much to see and only so much you can do in a few days time. The best way to start planning your visit is here on the HPMKT site. There are lots of hotel, homes and Airbnb options but you MUST book very early and plan ahead. I wanted to be in and out quickly so I flew into (GSO) Piedmont Triad Airport (less than 15 miles from High Point) and I stayed at the Sheraton Hotel (nice but nothing special). Staying close by is great for the free shuttles to market and back from the hotels. If I was to do it over again, I’d definitely book a house with friends! 

Trend 2: Details, details, details!

I saw some very thoughtful details on furniture pieces while at market. It’s certainly what can set a designer piece apart from something you see on the mass market like West Elm or Pottery Barn. I’m always trying to educate clients that “designer furniture” is not necessarily more expensive, they may not be as familiar with the brands or retailers, but it’s often a quality piece that is more thoughtfully designed. Here are some of the details that caught my eye:

Bernhardt Furniture’s Sweater Bed.

Bernhardt Furniture had this fabulous sweater bed and then created a bedside table with an enlarged cable-knit. I have never seen either of these ideas! Also, some of their new materials are fabulous! The stone on this credenza is quite the modern statement.

Credenza stone detail at Bernhardt Furniture.

The Henredon showroom at High Point Market.

Hardware detail on a Henredon chest of drawers.

The details at the Henredon showroom were also very impressive. This modern X hardware was another detail I’d never seen before. How fun would this piece be in a modern master bedroom or chic tween room? The two pictures above are just a small taste of their huge selection. I was also interested to learn about another line they carry, which feels a bit younger and more contemporary, Drexel Furniture — I’ll share more from Henredon and Drexel in upcoming posts as they had so many great pieces.

Somerset Bay was another new-to-me line that had coastal appeal. The wood inlay details on this bedroom set are so beautiful! They also used grasscloth and had many color options for gorgeous buffets.

Tip 3: Book Appointments & Get in the Know about Parties!

There are LOTS of people at market. If you really want to learn more about a brand and interact with the representatives, it’s a good idea to book an appointment ahead of time. Also, the showrooms are so generous with fabulous spreads of food and drinks to keep your energy up — and there are lots of fun parties and dinners to participate in! Make sure to connect ahead of time with brands you purchase from or want to start a relationship with and ask if they are hosting any after hour events. I found the after hours event were a great way to network and meet other designers.

Trend 3: Accessorize with Color

As has been the trend for sometime, neutral walls still reign supreme with most clients. With walls often getting painted white, gray or now version of taupe or greige colorful accessories seem more readily available. I loved these cute and colorful lanterns from Hudson Valley Lighting, perfect for a breakfast nook or kid’s room! Below at Bungalow5 there is a fabulous selection of trendy furniture and they have the BEST selection of colorful lamp bases.

Cute colorful lanterns from Hudson Valley Lighting.

A line up of blue lamps from Bungalow5.

If you’ve never been to market I hope this post helps you to feel like a bit more of an insider! Don’t be intimitated, everyone was so sweet and their are folks everywhere you can ask for directions. I may even be leading my own tour next year and would love to have you there!

Check back over the next few weeks for two more posts on High Point Market. Thanks for reading An Insider’s Guide to High Point Market, and please comment on your experience if you’ve been and have anything to share with readers.

XO – CLAIRE

Many thanks to all our trip sponsors listed below. This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own – as always!

Bernhardt Furniture | Century Furniture | Crypton Home Fabric | E.J. Victor | Exquisite Rugs | Heritage Home Group | IMC – Interhall | Karastan Rugs / Mohawk Flooring | Littman Brands | Lloyd Flanders | Modern History Inc. | Rowe Furniture | Sunbrella / Glen Raven Custom Fabrics | Universal Furniture