Another successful High Point Market is in the books. I had several people tell me that from a product standpoint, this was the best edition they had been to in quite some time — the introductions were that notable. Companies took risks to get out of their own comfort zones and to stand out from the fray, which makes my job all the more fun.
It’s undeniable that small space living is truly having an impact as product intros meant for apartments and condos and other tiny abodes were everywhere you looked. Dining tables shrunk into small rounds perfect for city dwellers. Petite drink/martini tables — ones that can be moved easily and have a miniature footprint — were plentiful and in an array of styles. Even entertainment consoles were slimmed down with a low profile but still long enough to accommodate huge flat screen TVs.
Several companies debuted more contemporary collections than they normally would, featuring simpler and more relaxed silhouettes, smoother lines and neutral color schemes for a broader appeal. On the other end of the spectrum, neotraditional styles also added a modern twist to traditional silhouettes for the same amount of sophistication.
When it came to finishes, warmer tones still reigned supreme. Brushed brasses, antique gold and gold leafing were around every corner, but I did see a few notable introductions in pewter and antique nickel. Saturated pastels — particularly lavender, robin’s egg blue and pink — were hot, hot, hot, and that really sumptuous burnt orange shade that reminds you of fall and changing leaves poked its head out of a few showrooms as well.
Beyond product scoping, I learned some stuff too. One afternoon I sat in on a seminar from Robin Wilson, interior designer and owner of Robin Wilson Home, plus expert on healthy homes and clean design (which in this case does not refer to minimalist). Sustainability and wellness is definitely not a passing trend, especially with Millennial influence on the rise. Non-toxic materials, eco-friendly products and vintage, refurbished items are viewed as preferable by a rising number of consumers, and Wilson discussed the dichotomy that this presents in our industry, where manufacturers want you to buy, buy, buy. The takeaway? By investing in producing and purchasing quality products that stand the test of time — and are thus not easily disposable — both sides can win.
Now, it’s time to switch gears as we head to the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market and Lightovation — check out our previews on page 28 to see products and event highlights. If you’re going, don’t forget about our Showroom of the Year Awards ceremony on June 21 at 6 p.m. honoring six outstanding lighting showrooms. See you there!