High Point Market is a designers dream. Imagine 12 million square feet of beautifully displayed home design trends. Imagine a gathering of 75,000 of your closest design colleagues from 100 different countries. Imagine the largest home furnishings show in the world. Each of these is a mighty proclamation, but for attendees of the High Point Market, the twice a year market does not disappoint. It lives up to its reputation as the single most important gathering in the interior design and home furnishings world.
This trade only market (meaning design or home goods business owners) is a vast resource for eligible attendees. It provides not only trend setting offerings of furniture and home accessories, but also educational and networking opportunities for the industry. It’s for serious retail home furnishings buyers, interior designers, architects and product designers. Unlike markets like Atlanta’s Americas Mart where buyers source everything from gift, to decor, the High Point Market is more the big picture for larger furnishings, rugs, art and lighting. It is vignette after vignette of live, in person displays.
While the market may be viewed as too mysterious and glamorous to relate to you, there are many reasons it pays off as you, the consumer. As an interior designer, I am expected to be well informed of trends. To design a space for you that would end up being a short lived (trending out) aesthetic wouldn’t be professional. As a small home boutique business owner, how could I expect my clientele to feel confident in their purchases if I wasn’t an informed member of the industry?
What is the history behind this semi-annual, highly anticipated market? What was new at the October 2019 High Point Market? And who are the trend setters and industry leaders in today’s interior design world?
- Demographics. The origins of the market dates back to 1909 and the Southern Furniture Exposition. Today’s High Point Market consists of 180 buildings with 12 million square feet of show space for 2,000 exhibitors. Each market highlights tens of thousands of new product introductions. Imagine 200 football fields of beautifully displayed product from manufacturers and vendors displaying a full range of price points.
- Designers. Productive interior designers not only go to the market to “shop,” we also go to learn. We set ourselves up to observe and experience trending products. We learn about the business of design, and best practices for successful client experiences. We learn from design superstars and innovation experts about how to manage social media and our own outward personas. We network with vendors, colleagues, and other industry leaders, which is an invaluable tool that translates directly to you, the consumer and client.
- Retailers. There are furniture and home goods sales people, and there are informed home goods sales staff. How does your favorite home boutique know the chair featured in the store is a good value and comfortable? It’s tested. In person market experiences by a bricks and mortar store will far outweigh an online purchase. The market provides touching and feeling moments for buyers so you can have confidence in your purchase.
- Consumers. The trade only eligibility means the general public must rely on the market experiences of the buyers who attend the High Point Market. When choosing an interior designer find out who sets aside the time to attend the market. Find out who has taken advantage of the many learning opportunities by industry leaders. When choosing a place to purchase home furnishings have confidence in those who spend the time and effort to attend. They will be well informed through the market experience. Their experiences will be curated and edited for this market, for you.
- Trends. Basic neutrals combined with natural finishes are trending and incorporate highly textured, layered products. Patterns are making a return, but in wallpaper. Bold, saturated color is presented, but only as accent furniture items or a focal wall feature. Wall décor (art) is expressive and large in scale. Outdoor furniture takes on indoor furniture qualities. Blue and blue green was the color of the market season. It’s neutral and natural.
Terri Bennett is the owner of Terri Bennett Interior Design.