Interior design signals in all forms and manner permeated the showrooms of vendors and manufacturers at the fall High Point Market in High Point, N.C., Oct. 19–24. I saw sophisticated and clever gestures aimed toward millennials through boomers everywhere I walked, clearly showing diversity in the marketplace.
But first I started with a champagne toast at Currey & Company, which crafted a signature aperitif, a raspberry sorbet. Hospitality is a theme of High Point Market.
Color signals remain strong in wood finishes and fabrics as seen in the dresser from Century Furniture and the fabrics from Thibaut.
Alexa Hampton used a sophisticated interior design signal in the room she designed for her collection at Hickory Chair. By mixing an iconic Cowtan &Tout chintz in soft tones with a graphic aubergine wallpaper, she connected the dots for the millennials and boomers. No longer will chintz be considered stuffy. The green velvet on the sofa is slightly more saturated, which adds to the impact.
Vintage is another emotional signal that connects with all ages. What better way to reach out to free spirits of all ages than with a Vespa? Another trend is regional artisan products such as shown at Lowcountry Originals located Bluffton, S.C., in the Lowcountry.
In every room setting at Bernhardt Furniture, the vignettes sent effective interior design signals. I’ve long admired the magic created by Ron Fiore, creative director. No matter if you live in an urban condo or rustic retreat outside the city, the elements of each setting were spot-on. So I asked Heather Eidenmiller, director of brand development, what strategy the company uses to deliver its brand message.
“At Bernhardt, we think about design direction and cultural relevance all the time, yearlong, constantly. The new ideas and styles we bring to High Point Market, and our stories around them, are an organic result of that continuous learning and thinking.
“Our CEO and president, Alex Bernhardt Jr., and our creative director, Ron Fiore, travel the world, observing people, markets and environments. Our merchandise teams do the same — physically and virtually. As do we in marketing — we keep a constant sharp eye and ear on international fashion and changes in the way people live and want to live.
“So, when we arrive at High Point Market, all of our learning and thinking are exemplified in a few key ideas, gestures and directions — and that’s our story, those are our messages.
“We think it’s important (at High Point Market) to help fast-moving time-crunched designers, writers and buyers to notice and to understand the cultural relevance and worth of what we are offering.”
After six days in North Carolina, I headed home with my mind spinning and stimulated. My takeaway: Design is a luxury experience but it’s not about a lot of fluff — it’s about beautiful, appropriate materials and the careful attention a designer uses to personalize the client result.
Faith Sheridan, ASID, is a leader in creating luxury interiors tailored to the lifestyles of the Pacific Northwest. Sheridan holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology with a minor in philosophy from Creighton University in Omaha and started her career working with inner-city, gifted and special needs teenagers before transitioning to interior design. Sheridan is a Past President of the Oregon ASID chapter.