High Point 2019
Not all goals are as fun as this one that’s been creeping its way up our list at SYI for some time now:
Get our booties to a trade show.
CHECK, Check, and Check. Earlier this month, Susan and Keri finally managed to extricate ourselves from project work and community boards and carpools and girl scouts and oh-my-life-is-so-full - for an old-fashioned road trip to High Point. The verdict: Totally Worth It.
Q: WTF is High Point, Sus?
A: It’s a giant trade show for furniture and home accessories, in High Point, North Carolina. (Where everything was actually in bloom in early April - while our town, which is actually named for its blooms, was still as gray as everyone’s walls and cabinets circa 2010.)
It was a whirlwind, let us tell you. In two days, we went on two High Point Style Spotter tours (led by Courtney McLeod and Laura Thurman ), which exposed us to makers and vendors off the beaten path. We met owners and heard their stories; one of them gave us homemade granola while her cat eyed us warily from a red cane daybed we’d love to put in just about every home we’ve ever worked on. We went to three educational presentations about the state of the industry. We visited 25+ vendors to see and sit on and touch and feel.
So that we can say we called it before it made it to the midwest, here are the trends we noticed: ornate stitching detail, shagreen for days, long leather fringe, the return of 1970s rust, orange and brown , and art deco-futurism so pervasive that we wonder what Kelly Wearstler is going to do now that everyone is in on her look. Oh, and there was a general #obsession with millennials - and, of course, their money.
That said, we are home and back to reality, where every day we look for products that work for you.
Something responsibly made.
Something with character.
Something that makes life a little easier and a lot prettier.
Something that makes your space feel like home.
A red cane daybed. (Really, we’re pretty sure everyone needs this.)
So, we are sharing some beauties we found that check all those boxes. Because we were thinking of you, our lovelies, back at home, during every. showroom. happy. hour.
1. Furniture with drawers and doors. Casework is hit or miss, honestly. A piece that looks great can often feel cheap - even if it isn’t cheap at all! And then you find one that looks great and doesn’t feel cheap - and it costs as much as your kid’s out-of-state tuition this year. One of our best finds was a company that makes solid furniture in an array of woods and colors, all sustainably sourced and made in America (West Virginia to be precise). These are timeless, well-crafted pieces, in a mid-tier price range, with color options we are still swooning over.
2. Dining tables and chairs. If you know Susan, you may know that dining tables are the bane of her design existence. We found a handful she doesn’t hate, which felt like an accomplishment.
3. Rugs. Friends, the RUGS. We are still wiping the drool off our chins. Antique, one-off, new. We were simply overcome by the rugs.
4. Art. These are of course mass or limited production, but boy, did we see some beauties. Now, first and foremost we support local art. First Fridays are a great way to spy and buy wonderful art in Bloomington, and Nashville is filled with artists, too. But sometimes there isn’t budget for originals, or you need a certain size or palette or subject, or that je ne sais quoi that you haven’t been able to nail locally. Enter: the global economy.
5. Sofas and chairs. High Point is like Disney World: you are overstimulated and your feet hurt. But it’s also different, because everywhere you look there is a comfortable place to sit. In fact, it is your job to sit on all those chairs and sofas. So, since it’s your job, you must take your free bevvie and hors d’oeuvre and sit the heck down. Here’s what made some seats stand out among the rest (no pun intended): single bench cushions without the center crack that creates a no-sit-zone. Cozy chairs that are not so deep you can’t get out of them. Cushions that are soft but hold their shape. Swivels. Oh, how we love swiveling furniture.
6. Lighting. Lighting for days. Lighting for your 2-story entry way. Lighting for your bathroom. Lighting for your kitchen. Lighting for your living room. Lighting for your bedroom. We were totally lit about the lighting. Honestly, we are getting almost as slap happy writing about all of this as we were experiencing it all.
We could go on and on: luscious faux fur blankets. Rattan hammocks. Valets. Trays. Mirrors. Stuffed squirrels playing poker. Fur-covered bathroom accessories. Yep. Fur-covered bathroom accessories.
Obviously we’d love to source you any of these things at any time.
But, listen. If it all feels a little icky and commercial, we hear you. We will never abandon antique dealers and flea markets and local makers. Casework and rugs are often best sourced vintage. While you could shop etsy or Chairish or eBay, get out (now that we do have blooms in Bloomington) and go to our favorite local dealers first: Jeff’s Warehouse in Bloomington and Good Used Furniture in Columbus.
Wherever and however you furnish your space, look for things that bring you joy. It feels different to live in a space you love. We promise.