Rough Luxe: The now virtually iconic Belgian aesthetic, originally credited to designer Axel Vervoordt and which has been moving steadily up the trend curve for the last few years, continues its reign. Also referred to as Rough Luxe, this distinctive design genre once again captivated buyers’ attention with its characteristic easy-going, distressed finishes, generous scale, grayed color palette, plain linen fabrics, and general lack of pattern and ornamentation. Curations Ltd. got the look just right with its subdued collection of Euro-inspired furnishings.
French Influences: Speaking of Europe, furniture designs with a distinctive French accent have been creeping back into the High Point mix for some time now, and were almost impossible to miss at market. French dining tables, beds, bergeres, commodes and chaises, most with a distinct antique aura, turned up around every corner, and even inspired the names of introductions, such as Stanley Furniture�s new Arrondissement collection.
Hip to be Square: There are those who contend that the word ‘transitional’ simply evades the central question of whether a design is traditional or modern. High Point helped put that question to rest with a bevy of designs that could be defined as neither. A case in point: the Hickory Chair Furniture Co.’s Mad Men-inspired seating pieces. The company did a masterful job with this essentially transitional look, pairing its angular furniture frames with Hable Construction’s new collection of painterly fabrics. The loosely rendered watercolor look of the textiles served as the perfect foil for the sharp, angular profiles.
Simply Modern: There�s simply no other way to describe the ubiquitous streamlined furniture that ebbs and flows in popularity. While far from a viral trend, a la Mad Men looks, contemporary styling revealed its importance this spring by virtue of its solid, if quiet, presence. The fact is, there�s always a market for a simple, no-fuss aesthetic, exemplified by this beautifully executed bedroom by Groupo Tomasella.
Geometry Lesson: In the fabric category, geometric prints were front and center and stood out as the statement-making pattern of the season. The appeal of geometrics stems from their strong graphic impact combined with an uncanny ability to work into almost any type of setting. Navy blue on a crisp white background was the palette of choice for these vivid patterns, followed by chocolate brown and white, orange and white, and a sunny yellow and white combination.
A Kinder, Gentler Style: As always, classic, traditionally styled furniture had a strong showing in High Point. Designers with a more traditional bent seemed to embrace a kinder, gentler time when furniture was scaled for smaller, more intimate settings rather than cavernous great rooms. An example of this look can be found in the delicate Ferndale arm chair from equestrian and interior designer, Julie Browning Bova, who created a new home collection for Stanford Furniture. (Riding boots not included.)
Tufted Perfection: Designers can never get enough in the glamour department, which accounts for most custom-looking upholstery embellishments. Look for tufted details on sofas, chairs, benches, ottomans and upholstered headboards, including the monumental Rhapsody sleigh bed. The result was an aura of old-fashioned Hollywood glamour. The only drawback? These pieces require a little more vacuuming to keep those tufts lint-free.
Shell Mania: Seashells surfaced as a major decorative embellishment on small occasional furniture pieces and accessories. A few of the standout, shell-encrusted pieces were Tommy Bahama�s new table lamp, crafted from a cluster of translucent shells that emit a warm glow from a bulb within; faux hydrangea blooms made from tiny lavender sea shells from the Karen Robertson Collection; and a shell-covered table in the Moorish style from Currey and Company�s new Montauk Moroccan collection.
Organic Design: In keeping with an overarching trend toward organically inspired design, High Point was a treasure trove of both furniture and accessories distinguished by gracefully aged patinas and natural shapes. One remarkable piece in this vein was VanCollier�s Hawes pillar candle sconce, inspired by the nubby branches and fan-shaped leaves of the ginkgo tree. The imperfect, undulating shape of the sconce is complemented by the antiqued-gold finish, which becomes beautifully animated in candlelight.
Romantic Lighting: Always one of the more interesting and edgy categories, the residential lighting category did not disappoint. Among the highlights were table lamps with bases of sea coral and antique-gold finished faux tree branches; crisp, architecturally inspired wall sconces; and all manner of chandeliers dripping with bijoux. Among the standouts was Astele’s Rabane pendant light featuring cascading layers of hand-blown glass squares.