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International Furniture Market

Designer Notebook: High Point 2015, part 1 - Details Abound


Designer Notebook: High Point 2015, part 1 - Details Abound

Twice a year, tens of thousands of interior designers and home decor store owners descend upon the small, sleepy town of High Point, North Carolina for High Point Market. The event brings together more than 2,000 exhibitors across 180 buildings in one location. It's a designer's dream! For me and JBi, this is an opportunity to see the latest products from the top manufacturers in the home product industry. I'm looking for new furniture, lighting, accessory and art I can use to put together great rooms for my clients.

While attending a trade show can certainly be fun with numerous parties and meeting leaders in the industry sounds, it's also a ton of work. On average, I'll visit 100 or more showrooms over a 5 day time period - that's 20 or more showrooms per day. It's a lot of walking, talking, sitting (trying out all the furniture from trusted and new manufacturers so I can be assured the highest quality for my clients) and learning about all these products.

And, yes, there are certainly some great moments. This year I had the privilege of meeting Gary Inman, a distinguished designer in the resort and hospitality arena. He gave a great talk on the Art of Collecting (look for something on this topic in later post). Previous years gave me the opportunity to meet Thom Filicia and Barclay Butera, two amazing designers and founders of great brands of products I use on a regular basis.

So, back to Market. Each year, I look for a common thread in the products manufacturers are showing. A few years ago, in the midst of the recession, I noticed that furniture had a distinctly simple feel. Manufacturers had simplified their profiles and used more reclaimed materials. Everything appeared very modest, even for the higher end manufacturers. As the economy continues to improve and the furnishings industry is seeing a great rebound, manufacturers are starting to be bold again in their design choices with an increased use of patterns and finer details in casegoods. I believe these trends will continue for a years to come as the industry continues to bounce back and homeowners want to fill their homes with the finer things in life.

In this room by Thibaut, the wallpaper and chair fabrics  (three different ones, by the way) fill the room with color and pattern. I saw this over and over in manufacturers of all levels and types of products.  


This beautiful use of ribbon by Hancock & Moore is another example of details done the right way. 


Over and over, casegoods are moving away from the overly simple and rustic look to a more refined aesthetic with beautiful details. Taracea's small bar cabinet is created using wood inlays in a houndstooth pattern. A contemporary use of the inlay technique and simply stunning! 


Another example of detail in casegood by Century Furniture shows a bar with stunning chrome details as metal inlays and other details on the base.


And, Bernhardt, one of my favorites, dare not be left out of the game with this stunning aged brass bed and lacquered capiz shell nightstands. 


Even the live edge movement is getting into the groove. This maple table by The Table Factory has a metal zipper detail down the middle that would be the talk of any dinner party or gathering around this table. 


Even art is getting into the game. These screen prints of geodes by Natural Curiosities are highlighted with gold leaf details that make them shine! Literally! 


Upholstered furniture is seeing an increased use in details as well. These two pieces, one by Henredon and one by Taylor King, show the level of detail possible with upholstered furniture.


So, where does this leave us? Well, I believe in a good place. Designers have more and more great products from which to choose and homeowners will likely start desiring an increased use of details in their own homes. That sets us all up for some great design to come down the road in the coming years. 

And, of course, if you're ready to start bringing some extra detail to your home, you know who to call (that would be me, right?!) - go to this page to get started redesigning your home.




High Point - Color Stories

A trip to High Point Furniture Market for an interior designer is pure heaven! We get to see great new products, meet up with our trusted reps and gather new vendors from which to select products for our clients. The last blog entry focused on the new gold we're seeing in finishes and fabrics. The other big trend is a return to color. We're not talking about a few subtle shades, but big and bold jewel tones. By combining the jewel tones with softer versions of themselves or neutrals, the bold colors become a real sophisticated design element, rather than just a use of color for design's sake. Compared to Market last April, the color stories have been turned up and that's exciting!

We're seeing color show up in many different incarnations - painted case goods, fabrics, lighting, accessories. Here are some of our favorite example of this bright and bold use of color.







So, which color will you want to use in your next project? We'd love to hear your ideas!



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Highpoint International Furniture Market: The Recap

Twice a year tens of thousands of interior designers converge on Highpoint, NC to see the latest and greatest furniture, lighting and accessories at the Highpoint International Furniture Market. This is an opportunity for the design industry to see the new designs from top manufacturers and get a sense of where we are trending, in terms of furniture styles, colors, shapes, etc. Jason spent 6 days walking showrooms to hand select the lines he will be using to create his looks throughout the year. Seeing the products in person is critical to JASON BALL interiors. This allows us to see the quality of the pieces, evaluate the finishes, construction, and durability, and occasionally meet the designer or company owners. Building these personal relationships with the companies ensures that if problems do arise they will be taken care of with urgency and care.

In walking the showrooms, it was clear there are some exciting trends coming up that will likely surprise the design community - marquetry, case goods with sculptural, hand-carved details, upholstering case goods and mixing textures and materials on the same piece. We also noticed that wood tones are darkening up from the lighter woods of the past couple of years. Here is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what JASON BALL interiors saw at Highpoint.


Here a beautiful dresser shows the type of hand-carved details seen throughout Highpoint, particularly on bedroom furniture. Compared to the casual feel of the furniture the past few years, these pieces have a certain level of formality. Could we be headed back to a style in which home furnishings are more traditional or formal? Only time will tell.


An intricate, geometric patterned fabric is bordered by nickel nail heads in each door panel. The nickel pull in the center of each door adds a little extra bling.


Graceful curves of this chest of drawers are highlighted by the two-tone look with a painted finish mixed with stained wood on the same piece.


A fabulous headboard with inlaid woods in a geometric pattern - the grain patterns all flow towards the middle of the piece creating a beautiful, natural art piece.


The small Bombay chest is with its asymmetrical flower motif over a lustrous silver finish keeps the piece from feeling too traditional. Perfect as a nightstand, dresser or hallway chest.


Besides the painted and carved details, wood finishes are also becoming highly stylized and complex. Here a set of occasional tables are first stained a deep chocolate color followed by wiping the piece with a white wash. After wiping the white wash away, the lighter color is left in the deeper grain patterns of the oak, highlighting the beautiful flow of the grain.


We've seen the use of mirror gain in popularity the last few years. However, these pieces are usually completely mirrored. The new trend seems to be mixing mirror with other materials. This stunning piece, with it's arabesque fret work and inset mirror is a real show stopper. We saw pieces in similar fashion but using metal and mirror. Notice the slight distressing of the wood and that same white wash treatment seen previously.


The world of Highpoint International Furniture Market is an exciting one. There are new products to see, new vendors to meet and innovations throughout the exhibition. With some type of event or party nearly every night, this event is where the design community converges to stay connected. From all signs, especially in talking with designers from around the country, the interior design industry is in relatively good shape. It will be an exciting year in the world of interior design.

Be sure to check back often for more exciting news from JASON BALL interiors.


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