We will say to our clients “we’re headed to market”, but do you know what that means?
Market is where all of our vendors introduce their new products and where our industry goes to find things for their clients and their storefronts. So, the way this happens is like this – picture a big building or campus. Vendors rent spaces and roughly two times a year, depending on the market, they set up their space called “showrooms” to inspire us. We can touch, see, sit, etc. on the wares they are selling and decide if we want it or not. Some showrooms stay open year around and you can work with them anytime, but some only are present when there is a scheduled market.
The High Point Market in North Carolina is the largest furnishings trade show in the world, so we hit that twice a year.
High Point is the top banana, the big kahuna, the mother of all markets! It’s because most of the American-made furniture comes from a 125-mile radius of High Point.
So what do we really do there? Here is a day in the life at market…
- Waking up in someone else’s bed because there are not enough hotels in High Point, so you rent houses.
- Coffee – lots of it……………
- Day one in the morning, we hit vendors that have one of-a-kinds, antiques, specialty pieces and good breakfasts.
- Because High Point is so spread out in terms of buildings, the weather sometimes dictates our stops. You can’t just walk into most showrooms so you have to have a guide who wants to show you every detail of every new piece. Patience is not one of my virtues, so I take over and move us along. If it’s a line we are buying, we find our frame, find our fabric, select all the details for the piece and place the order- boom!
- We move on to an art vendor or an accessory line and they are always happy to see us! “Wow- here comes Lee Douglas!”. For many firms, the buyers go alone, but I take designers with me because it’s important that they are seeing what’s out there, what’s new, can vouch for the way the frames sit, etc. They are often looking for that perfect piece for their client, and if it’s not at High Point, it probably doesn’t exist.
- This happens all day long for several days with us exploring probably 120 showrooms, walking approximately 38,000 steps, writing on average 50 orders, picking up approximately 10 new lines and drinking waaaay too much wine (hence some of the purchases).
How, what and why I buy
I buy things for several different reasons. I buy for impact in the stores, some pieces I know probably won’t sell quickly if ever- but the shock value or the fact that it is so different brings people in my stores. I buy for our clients; I think I know what sells and what our markets like. I buy comfort and style in furniture and try to stay on the cutting edge with accessories and art while still staying affordable. I like to buy fillers so people can leave with something. For example, greens, candles and items that are feel-good buys are always on my radar. Finally, I buy for specific clients and specific shows such as the Omaha Street of Dreams or the Lincoln Parade of homes.
Market is not only in High point, we explore others such as Dallas for lighting and accessories and Las Vegas for good food, sun, gambling and shopping (just kidding, they are a great resource for furniture from the western side of imports and the world). Atlanta and New York City are good for gifts and new ideas.
So the trends we saw that stuck out are:
Wallpaper that peels off-
I just recently talked a client of mine out of this, then I showed up to market and it was everywhere! Peel and stick wallpaper that is bold in color and pattern, and when you are sick of it? Peel it off.
This is a layover from fall- but still huge! Florals everywhere.
Still huge- the horse, the bull, the goat, the llama. Both paintings and photography.
It’s baaaaack! And strong! Lighting, furniture accents, accessories, fabric- metallic accents and lots of gold.
Pieces that take you to another part of the world. Accents such as shell and feather necklaces on stands say “you are on trend”.
Not goin anywhere. Thin lines and unbalanced lines are evident in art, lighting and furniture.
Cleaner than ever
Unclutter, unclutter, unclutter
Ice cream colors and pastels
Yes pastels, but I still think anything goes. We saw pastels but we also saw a lot of blue, black & white and naturals. My vote is whatever makes your heart sing- we can make it current when it comes to color.
Bold pops everywhere…artwork, foliage, pillows- lots of neutrals with color pops
last year there was a lot of geometric patterned fabric, but this spring it’s on tile, wallpaper, furniture frames etc.
Lots of green accents to soften the lines. Green everywhere!
Ombre is big on fabrics. We picked some up for bedding for the Street of Dreams- wait till you see it in person!
We came, we saw, we conquered. And were bringing it all back to you!