The furniture market takes place at High Point market twice a year. If you are in the design and furnishings industry this is the place to go to find out what will be happening in furniture design in the next six months to one year.
Many of the products are prototypes which go into production following their success at the show.
Despite the fact that the market covers over 10 million square feet, it is pretty easy to pick up on the leading trends. Here are a few which stood out the most.
1) Lighter, more sophisticated wood finishes
Halfway through the first day, Scott was getting tired of hearing the words ‘burl wood finish’. You may think of a different time period when you hear burl wood, but that ‘look’ is definitely experiencing a roaring comeback. Don’t believe me?…
As you look at these photos, you are also seeing trend #2, just giving you a hint…
And while some of these products are not specifically ‘burl wood’, there was a clear trend to polished finishes showcasing the grain of wood, including matching starburst patterns. After a few years of unfinished, raw wood it was a breath of fresh air to see a return to a sophisticated use of materials.
2) Gold finishes
This is the number one reason why I do not like to ‘match’ all the finishes in a home. One of the fastest ways to date a home is to use the same finish on every selection through out the home.
Many clients question the decision, for example, to have light fixtures in a different finish than the hardware on the cabinetry. But I think if everything is the same, you can not achieve a collected look. Instead your house becomes defined by the decade it was completed in (brass fixtures, so eighties, oil rubbed bronze, 2000’s).
The Wall Street Journal had an article the other weekend about plumbing finishes proclaiming brass was back. I think you just need to match the style of your home, but that is another topic altogether.
In the meantime, gold is the finish of choice in the furniture design world. You can easily see it in the photos above, but I specifically asked the trend setting team at World’s Away and they did not even hesitate about which finish was hot: “Gold, gold, gold” was the answer.
Clearly it is a warmer, softer gold, not a glitzy, tacky gold, but it is definitely a departure from the chrome of the last few years. And, while there was a lot of gold used in conjunction with wood grains, there was also a lot of gold trim used with white painted finishes.
3) Textured Tables
Accent tables made with unique materials are still strong, and the materials used continue to grow.
Here are a few examples:
A lovely entry table with crystalstone top (and gold base)
Penshell, mother of pearl, shagreen and bone tops:
Glass (smoky antiqued) and acrylic:
This console was one of my favorite pieces!
Tired of silver mercury glass, how about smoky, bronzed glass?
4) Washed Rugs
Rugs can really set the tone of a room. For many of the commercial spaces I work on, the rugs need to be really bright and trendy, especially in the apartment models. But, for a residential interior I prefer a softer, more sophisticated palette.
Washed rugs have an antiqued or aged look. Some vendors call these collections Oushak, regardless of their heritage. These rugs are often hand knotted and more expensive than a machine made rug. But, they are very classic and provide more design flexibility.
The rugs still have hints of color, they just don’t scream at you when you see them. For me, this helps provide a sense of a calm, orderly interior. I understand that many people do not want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a rug, but if you are willing to upgrade for your next rug, I would highly recommend going with this style.
So, there you go, the high level on the key trends. And, I have to say I am happy with all of them. I am very excited to see our retail store decked out in more sophisticated wood finishes and softer colors.
The only downside is that these richer materials do bring with them a higher price tag. And, while I am disappointed by that, I am hopeful that consumers will come again to appreciate a higher quality finish and move away from the disposable furniture of the past decade. I do hope for that, and will certainly do my part to educate my clients on this approach.