The world’s largest furnishings industry trade show, the spring 2016 High Point Market event wrapped up in April. The event offered furniture and interior professionals much to consider in terms of design and home furnishings. The following trends were displayed on showroom floors:
Plexiglas and acrylic
In recent years, mid-century modern (mod) has experienced a revival due in large part to popular shows such as Mad Men. The style takes inspiration from the period between the 1940s and 1970s, when people sought to incorporate simple and modern elements into their homes. Key design elements included contemporary patterns, unfussy structures, and materials that not only look natural, but which promote seamless flow, making it possible to achieve a chic look in a comfortable environment. For that reason, Plexiglas and acrylic are an ideal choice for achieving mod-inspired interiors. Leslie Hendrix Wood, a style spotter for High Point Market, calls it “the ultimate neutral” and praises it for its ability to update a space. At market, pieces such as Grace & Blake’s Bella trunk, Interlude Home’s Ava Bar Cart, and Modshop’s Lucite collection showcased both materials.
Mixed displays of wood
A classic material that has been an essential part of interior design for centuries, wood continues to be featured at the market in new shapes and styles each year. Depending on the type of wood, the material can offer warm and rich accents to a space. Wood was seen in more modern pieces, such as McGuire’s desk, which features solid mahogany in a waterfall design, and Alfonso Marina’s armoire, which played with Prima Vera wood to create a unique two-toned pattern. Wood veneer also made an appearance at the Made Goods’ booth. The company covered a buffet in the veneer; the result gave the piece an attractive Rorschach quality. Some furniture makers opted to showcase the material in a more organic state. For instance, Phillips Collection cut and combined slabs of pipal wood to form a coffee table surface. The edges were prepared in a way that maintained its natural elegance. The same company brought a console table that did not stray far from its original form. Rather, it kept the freeform structure as the base, treated the material to enhance the wood grains, and cut the top flat to serve as a surface.
A material that is similar to acrylic, brass is in great demand. Designers are pairing the material with neutral fabrics to bring interest to home furnishings. Beth Dotolo, the co-owner and principal interior designer at Pulp Design Studios, states that the combination creates “a luxurious, modern look.” Bernhardt dedicated an entire bedroom to a mix of neutrals and brass, which appeared in a bedframe, lamp, side and console table, and studs in an accent chair. Century Furniture highlighted the material through a geometric-inspired base for a console table complete with marble top. Other uses of brass at market were found in the Shine by SHO space. Its Celeste Bar, a simple white cabinet, was upgraded with brass rectangles. Placed in the middle, the rectangles draw the eye and create a hypnotic effect from the contrasting colors.
Geometry is clearly a leading trend in decor. From accent tables to rugs, the use of clean lines to form structured shapes appeared in many pieces. The key takeaway from the event was that geometry and patterns work best when incorporated simplistically into design, so there is harmony and uniformity. Prominent pieces demonstrating this trend were created by Theodore Alexander, Artistica, and Shine by SHO. The latter two design and manufacturing companies shared elegant tables with bases that featured circular shapes that provided an airy feel. Theodore Alexander enhanced the look of a simple side table with sharp angles that formed triangles on each of the four sides of its base. The triangles were connected with cube-like framing. More soft looks could be found in a Worlds Away cabinet and Bernhardt chair. Worlds Away added channels into its cabinet, rather than leaving it stark, while Bernhardt used geometry in its metal framing and opted for softer and more pliable material to construct the seating. In terms of floor coverings, New Moon Rugs stayed on trend with neutrals and a recurring diamond print throughout. The diamonds, comprised of black lines, overlapped at the points for more geometry.
Art and artisans
One-of-a-kind works not only adorn walls on canvases and frames, but their presence can be enjoyed through furniture and accent pieces. The market was a place to share art in the form of cabinetry and room dividers, as well as buffets and storage units. Manufacturers, such as Alfonso Marina and Michel Ferrand displayed clever and practical designs. In particular, Made Goods crafted a room divider with individually bent wires. Connected into a large structure, the piece serves as both a mock wall and as a visually appealing art form. In addition, the design and manufacturing company John Strauss Furniture Design displayed a buffet featuring a blue- and black-toned finish, which resembled waves found in watercolor paintings.