Seven Trends from the Spring 2018 High Point Market
This past April, I made my annual trip to North Carolina and the High Point Market, the world’s largest home furnishings and decor show. Designers from all over the world flock to this market to shop for clients, see the latest trends, attend educational seminars and reconnect with faraway friends and colleagues. Visiting High Point Market is an invaluable experience for a designer who wants to stay on top of what is happening in the design world. Here is my summary of seven trends I observed for 2018 and 2019.
1. Color: Black and white continue to be big color stories for 2018. White was popular for sofas, and black-and-white accessories and furniture were spotted in almost every showroom. White walls dominated this market, complemented by bright pops of color on pillows, artwork and accessories. Gray is still trending for furniture and as a wall color, but I feel we are nearing the end of the all-gray tendency. Deep blues and acid greens also made a strong showing, along with jewel tones. Blush pink, nicknamed “millennial pink,” has evolved into a deeper, richer tone after being so dominant in 2017. Gold and brass are still trending in metal finishes and lighting.
2. Texture: It was hard to miss this trend. Everything from rough, nubby pillows to soft, velvety sofas were the norm this spring. Wooden case goods such as bookshelves and cabinets were shown with sculptural and textured fronts, and many dining tables featured a textured raw wood finish. I spotted one dining table with a decorative wood element applied directly to the legs and one of its corners. Rattan, wicker and even rope were popular materials for many of the 2018 lighting introductions. New upholstery pieces were shown with heavily-textured fabrics, embossed leather (yes, leather is back), fuzzy shearling and soft, sumptuous velvets. Carpets were sporting a mix of materials, such as animal skin combined with wool or jute to create a textured high-low pile carpet.
3. Global influence: Tribal motifs, particularity African-inspired, were again heavily represented in the showrooms. Guatemalan textiles and other indigenous patterns on fabrics and carpets appeal to the global traveler. Rattan, wicker, jute and lush tropical plants in the popular boho style were strongly represented in many showrooms. Every year I spot one flower or botanical that seems to be the chosen star of the market. Last year it was the ginkgo plant; this year more showrooms than not displayed the African protea in their floral arrangements.
4. Performance: Fabrics and carpets that resist staining have exploded in popularity and availability. Today’s lifestyle is all about low maintenance and comfortable living. No longer limited in style and color, stain-proof nanotechnology has advanced so far over the past few years that the choices today are abundant. Sunbrella and Crypton are options now with most furniture manufactures, and the fabrics look and feel great. Consumers no longer need to worry about the dog on the sofa or pizza dropped on the carpet. Every showroom was proud to highlight performance fabric options.
5. Craftsmanship: Maker-crafted, artisan-made and bespoke items, whatever you want to call them, were a huge trend in home interiors. The made in America movement has strongly influenced today’s consumer, including those in the market for home furnishings. The resulting trend is a move away from cheap and poorly made foreign furniture and accessories. Consumers are seeking American-made handcrafted goods at reasonable price points. They want something that speaks to them and is unique in style and design. Many furniture manufacturers are meeting this demand with easily customized choices for fabrics, and stain colors for arms and legs. An entire building at High Point Market showcased artists and makers displaying their custom creations, photography, pottery, lighting, fabrics and wallpaper.
6. Feminine lines: Curves, rounded edges and soft fabrics for sofas and chairs were all trending this spring. Maybe it’s a swing away from the hard-edged and heavy industrial look that has been so popular for a few years. Many new furniture introductions were sporting soft, rounded edges. Even case goods had softened or rounded corners. Round nesting tables and tiny round drink tables were very prevalent, as well as barrel-shaped chairs.
7. Patterns: Big bold patterns in fabrics and wallpaper continue to be hot. Pattern on pattern, florals, and watercolor fabric prints are all extremely popular. Pillows layered on sofas or beds in contrasting colors and mixed patterns are trending. Many of the showrooms featured statement walls with oversize patterns on wallpaper or giant murals. Carpets have taken on a bold statement role, and many were vibrant, with wild patterns and bright colors. This trend is not something I would suggest for the long term, but it could be perfect as the focal point of a lackluster room.
It’s always fun to discover and report on the trends from High Point Market. Many of the things I saw in April will be showing up soon in local stores and on Houzz and Pinterest boards as designers and decorators jump on board with the latest products and colors. In all honesty, I mostly steer clear of all trends in my client work. Trends come and go, and often very quickly. It is much more important to fill your home with colors and furnishings that speak to you, whether they are “hot” or not.