Whenever I return home to Chicago from High Point Market, the seasons appear to have changed since I left. This fall, I came home to find red and gold leaves on the trees and on the ground, and a chilly breeze blew through the buildings that wasn’t there when I left. Each year, fall seems to come a little earlier, but after High Point Market — without fail — I find myself looking to the new year and thinking about what’s to come.
Though we lived for the moment in High Point, many of the reps I spoke with had one eye on the present and another on the future. With so many colors, finishes and techniques being used today, the products and displays in each showroom demonstrated an industry-wide commitment to upping the ante at this market. At Fairfield Chair, the new Live Edge Collection of dining tabletops preserved the beauty and natural look of the wood, ensuring each piece would be wholly unique. Artisans at Bungalow 5 wrapped desks and nightstands in leather by hand. The craftsmanship, innovation, attention to detail — all of it combined to show off what makes furniture more than what we sit on every day.
But even with so much positivity right now and so many manufacturers pulling out all the stops, uncertainty remains. As we look to the future, we’re all feeling the apprehension as we wait to see what will happen with tariffs and the economy, but in a way, that feels somewhat uplifting, like we’re all in this together and facing the dragon together. When I asked some about tariffs, they sighed and said that they had faced tariffs before and they’d do it again now.
Most reps told me they planned to wait and see what happens, and at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can do. As I said goodbye as I walked out of the showroom, most people said to me, “See you in January! It’ll be here before you know it.” And even though it’s only December, I find myself glancing over at my empty suitcase sitting in the corner, just waiting for January.
I’m not one to read tarot cards, so I cannot know everything that is to come in the new year, but in these pages, we’ve tried to give you the tools to start your 2019 off right. Our Idea Board (page 18) focuses on two colors we see becoming popular in 2019, and on page 12, we want to help you prepare should the 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods go into effect. And though it may be too late right now for interior designers to launch a holiday decorating service, Suzanne Morrissey’s feature (page 34) gives insider advice on how to start for next year.
I hope that as the colors change again and you all await the January markets, you stop and remember to be present for the moment. What will come will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.
Photo: Unsplash user Chris Lawton