I have just returned from the International High Point Home Furnishings Spring Market where we spent the bulk of last week touring vendor showrooms and seeing new product introductions. While it is an exhausting week with a full itinerary, it is also energizes me and gives me a fresh new appreciation for the quality products that many of these companies create. I always look forward to sharing my knowledge and discoveries with my clients and readers. Why settle for mass produced and merchandised pieces when there are so many wonderful choices you can enjoy for years to come?
I am really excited to share with you the top 7 interior design trends that I observed on this trip. Some of these will be topics I have mentioned in the past that still have a strong presence or are being introduced in new ways; others are newer trends for this market or classic trends that never fade away. All of the trends that I am spotlighting were prominently featured in dozens of trade showrooms, spanning different styles and product lines.
I always preface talking about trends with one thing: Just because it is a trend does not mean it works for you. Embrace the styles that appeal to you and consider new ways to freshen up your interior décor. While I focus my interior design business on creating timeless environments for my clients, I do like to incorporate newer ideas and trends as well.
Here they are …
Acrylic Accents – I touched on this at last year’s High Point Spring Furniture Market , and it has become a very strong trend this market. The use of acrylic (or lucite) in the production of furniture pieces can lend a lighter, airier feel to a space. If you have a spectacular area rug that you want to enjoy, why cover it up with a bulky wood coffee table? An acrylic cocktail table still provides the functionality you need while keeping the view to your beautiful rug open. It can also balance out heavier pieces in a room. Some examples of this material being used can be seen in this gorgeous tufted ottoman, designed by HGTV design star and interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins for Leathercraft Furniture.
We had the privilege of meeting with Corey while visiting the Leathercraft showroom to talk about the line he just introduced for this company.Other examples of acrylic pieces are seen in this coffee table and the legs of this upholstered chair from Highland House.
I even spotted this material being used for the bedposts on this bed from Bernhardt Furniture
I also loved these stools from Ambella Home. I love the contrast between the bold red chevron print and the lighter feel of the acrylic legs.
Asian Influences – Pacific rim inspired pieces never really go out of style. These pieces can be incorporated into traditional as well as contemporary interior design styles. This style leans toward minimalism and can create a very soothing, uncluttered environment. There was a very strong presence of this influence along with the use of bold Emperor Red colors infused with black and white in several different showrooms. This vignette in the Wildwood Lamp showroom demonstrates the use of several different pieces with an Asian influence: The lotus leaf artwork, the table lamps with Foo Dog bases, and a pair of red ceramic bonsai trees.
The Natural Light also presented a beautiful, colorful Asian-inspired lamp.
A couple of other striking room settings in the Burton James and Bernhardt Furniture showrooms include the use of the bold red, black and white color scheme along with a dogwood branch pattern on fabrics.
Highland House also featured the use of Asian-inspired toile fabric patterns on several pieces in their showroom.
Perhaps my favorite was this fabulous writing desk by Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture finished in an eye-catching Emperor Red lacquered finish! This would be a great statement piece that could be worked into many different styles of décor.
Bright Florals, Botanicals, Birds and Butterflies – It was quite obvious this market that there is a strong move toward bright, colorful, and whimsical prints. The presence of brightly colored floral patterns on upholstered pieces and pillows was demonstrated in full force in the Highland House showroom.
This room setting, with a pair of chairs covered in a large floral print along with complementary throw pillows for the sofa, creates a very cheery, garden-like setting. This is a departure from the more subdued shades of gray and brown that we have been seeing for several years. I also love the occasional chairs shown here in a butterfly print along with the bold, bright abstract artwork on the wall.
The avian influence continues to be strong, and I have been noticing this for the past few markets. Birds are appearing in prints, metal wall art, lamps and bedding. Wildwood paired an avian lamp and wall art beautifully in their showroom.
The tropical bedroom setting at the Eastern Accents showroom was a great example of the introduction of some bright, tropical colors along with the whimsical flamingo heads mounted on the wall above.
Another vignette in this showroom displayed more great use of color: pillows in a floral print along with some colorful birds on a branch above the daybed.
Incorporating some of these elements into your interior décor is a wonderful way to infuse a fresh breath of spring into your home and bring some of the outdoors in; inject a pop of color into an otherwise ho-hum room by merely changing out a few throw pillows or accent pieces!
Classic Blue & White – This color combination is always in style! Celebrity designer Barclay Butera incorporates at least one blue and white element into most of his interior design projects. There is something about this classic, clean, crisp look that appeals to many people. You don’t need to have an entire room of blue and white; just incorporate a few pieces. Try placing a pair of blue and white ginger jars on your mantel, or introduce a lamp that has a blue and white ceramic base. Keep in mind that this color scheme works equally well for outdoor areas. Ambella Home spotlighted this new style of a traditional wingback chair covered in a fun, faux tiger print in blue and white. It seems I dressed appropriately for this day!
Another room setting by Ambella, with white sofas and accents of blue throughout, was a particularly striking display.
Icy Pastels – In complete contrast to the bold, colorful florals and blue and white color schemes, the use of pale pastel colors and patterns was equally represented at Market. The Pantone Colors of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, which I have discussed in earlier articles, appeared in many different settings. These shades evoke a sense of peace, calm and well-being, and create very soothing environments as a result. They can work very well in a more subdued, neutral interior space when combined with shades of gray, cream or brown. An ideal place in your home to introduce this color palette would be your bedroom; what a great retreat from what may otherwise be a busy and hectic lifestyle! An example of the use of these pale pastel colors is seen in two different bedroom settings by Bernhardt Furniture.
It is also featured in this living area created by Highland House.
This is a trend that is closely mirroring what we are seeing in women’s fashion; you might have noticed more of these pale, airy, ethereal colors on a recent shopping excursion for your spring wardrobe. It seems that, when it comes to color, there is a trend for every taste this year! Some may gravitate to the bolder more colorful palettes, while others prefer the softer shades.
Mix of Metals – While I have been seeing (and writing about) the use of metals in home furnishing products for quite some time, this year it really made a bang! The use of metals incorporated with other materials is a strong trend. I am sharing some images from the Bernhardt Furniture showroom, as they showcased some particularly striking pieces that incorporated metal in a more unique way. This could be an upholstered piece of furniture, a table, or even an armoire completely finished in metal.
I have not pictured them here, but warmer metals in antiqued or rose gold tones are also still very strong. Metal accents are being utilized in case goods, accessories, and upholstered pieces; this lends a more transitional or contemporary look to a room. Introducing a piece or two works very well, but be careful not to overdo it … too much metal can create a cold, sterile-feeling environment.
Tufted and Quilted – Though there is certainly nothing new about tufted or quilted pieces in home furnishings, this type of upholstered finish has really come to the forefront of home design this year. It is an interesting way to include a bit of traditional flavor in a piece that may have a more contemporary style. For example, Ambella Home introduced this new, edgier wing chair in a bold red, but tufted the back for a touch of traditional flair.
I have also been seeing the use of tufted upholstered beds for a few years, and this example of both a tufted headboard and footboard really accentuates the use of this upholstering technique.
I love this classically styled chesterfield sofa in a rich emerald velvet with a tufted back which was designed by Barclay Butera for Highland House.
What a striking piece this would make in any room! I also saw the use of quilting in lieu of the standard tufted style used on many upholstered pieces this market. This red sofa by Ambella Home sports a quilted seat and back cushion.
There is always so much to share after my market trip. Many new things, many recurring themes and some things we wish would just go away ☺. I return with a sense of energy and creativity that I look forward to incorporating into my interior design projects. Have fun with some of these ideas … if your home is feeling dull and dated, try a new direction. Follow what works for you!
Love Where You Live!