While there were some buyers and sellers who boycotted High Point Market, April 16-20, in protest of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (the controversial Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex, and gives the state the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation that preempts local ordinances), the spring event took place without significant disruption. Overwhelmingly, it was business as usual, promising that plenty of fresh, new products will be moving through the retail pipeline in the weeks and months ahead.
The spring market saw the launch of many high-investment, whole-home furniture collections, as well as smaller capsule collections. Among the most notable were French architect Jean-Louis Deniot’s glamourous collection for Baker Furniture and Charlotte, NC-based interior designer Barrie Benson’s collection for Highland House. Part of a new generation of Southern designers redefining Southern style, Benson has made a name for herself by transforming interiors with an unorthodox mix of styles and color palettes. At Highland House, she showcased her maverick talent for pairing both traditional and Mid-Century furniture forms with vintage textile patterns in offbeat colors and combinations.
Bernhardt Furniture unveiled the 52-piece Savoy Place Collection, a refreshing change of pace in a market filled with gender-neutral pieces. Targeted to young female furniture shoppers who have a passion for romantic style, Savoy Place is one of the prettiest and most feminine collections the company has introduced in years. Design hallmarks are metal cabriole legs in the Radiant Silver finish, a low-sheen light-colored casegoods finish called Chanterelle, and understated upholstery also in the Chanterelle colorway.
Stanley Furniture presented the new 78-piece Virage Collection, which is informed by Mid-Century Modern French design and shown in a decadent brown wood finish with cherry veneers and antique goldleaf highlights. Virage was also offered in a matte gray Basalt wood finish on pecan veneers with antique silverleaf highlights. For fans of French and English country styling, Stanley’s new 80-piece Juniper Dell Collection in the 17th Century White finish fits the bill.
Hooker Furniture introduced two large, whole-home collections, Auberose and Curata, in its mammoth showroom. Auberose is a 75-piece European country group distinguished by its large scale, grandiose forms, dark finishes and heavy distressing. In contrast, the 60-piece Curata Collection offers spare, modern designs crafted of oak veneers for use in the bedroom, dining room, living room and home office, where the modern worker now spends more than five hours a day sitting at a desk. Hooker addressed the issue head on this market with three new desks that encourages standing rather than sitting while working. There’s the 36-inch-high Bancroft standing desk and the Curata work station, which pairs a conventional desk with a standing desk in an L-shaped configuration.
In the world of upholstery, sofa and chair specialist Wesley Hall cut a broad stylistic swath this spring with wide-ranging statement fabrics. Highly regarded for its on-trend textile picks, the company’s most noteworthy offerings included a vibrantly colored Native American blanket pattern and a grand chinoiserie pattern to name but a few.
Generally speaking, wallpaper and textiles are on a roll, both literally and figuratively, at High Point Market. Increasingly, it’s becoming the place where important statement patterns and colorways make influential debuts. A leader in this regard is C.R. Laine, which showcased Petit La Roche on the contemporary Wells wing chair. The loosely drawn, overscaled agate pattern in vivid shades of cobalt and fuchsia was designed by Tobi Fairley for Duralee. Meanwhile, Kravet customers got a glimpse of the new Kate Spade fabric collection based on the brand’s iconic prints and vibrant color palettes, which will be followed by the fall release of the Kate Spade wallpaper collection. The upstart Tempaper brand of self-adhesive, removable wallpapers made its first appearance at High Point Market, introducing a new group of romantic chinoiserie patterns, rounding out its otherwise contemporary geometric lineup.
Finally, hands-down designer favorite Thibaut introduced Bridgehampton, a collection of spirited classic patterns in bold and carefree colors inspired by the fashionable New York coastal community. Among the many standout patterns is Waterford Floral, a loose ikat-inspired design in vivid pink and orange on a fresh white ground. Thibaut also did a bang-up job with black and white—another on-trend look appearing throughout the spring market.
The next High Point Market will take place October 22-26, 2016.