Highlights of High Point

The best finds at the ultimate furniture show

Even after 30 plus years as an Interior Designer, I still look forward to my annual four-day trip to High Point for the furniture show. It’s much like the kid in all of us visiting Disney World, and you never tire of it - you always want more, and there is something for everyone, be it traditional, transitional, and contemporary, loft and industrial looks to lodge and Asian-influenced furnishings and accessories.

The majority of the manufacturers in the mid to upper-end showrooms I visited also featured a few different looks, and it carried across the board from case good manufacturers to upholstery as well as the artwork and accessory showrooms for a complete look.


Glamour was one of the themes that seemed to carry through to all styles as it evoked a bit of Hollywood glitz, and who doesn’t need a little of that in their life!

Wood frames have less carving and are scaled down in size, while the wood finishes have lightened up from the dark espresso of past years, to lighter burled woods, walnut swirl veneers and light-colored painted finishes.  Some manufacturers featured the addition of gold and silver egolmise and mirrored, leather or faux Shagreen finishes to drawer and door fronts as an option to their case goods and occasional pieces.

Big this year, were higher paint sheens and metallic finishes.  The gloss finishes shown white, or a bold color for an accent piece create a brighter, more upbeat mood in a home, but at the same time, it adds style and pizzazz.   Coupled with the “high shine” trend, gold returned as both an in-demand paint hue and as a key metallic choice. 


On the upholstery end of glamour, it seemed like every showroom featured fully upholstered beds with tufted headboards and nail head accents while the upholstery and bedding fabrics of are natural silks, linens, mohair and leather with lots of decorative pillows. 

Sofas and chairs also with tufted backs and arms were plentiful and many were shown in a combination of leather and fabric.  Fabrics return to neutral colors, of white and off-white, the elegant appeal of black continues along with the new mainstays of gray, from charcoal to dove. Add a touch of accent colors of yellow, pink, hibiscus, and softer shades like celery and French blue, along with nature’s colors of vineyard green, olive and water lilies on cream.  Crewel fabrics on linen, burlap or silk were also shown as a combination fabric on upholstered pieces. 

Shimmering accents of crystal, mirror and glass with gold, silver or nickel were also carried into the accessories and artwork frames.  Patterned or translucent lamp shades have replaced the trim and beading of the past few years.

Of the natural fabrics, linen was big and shown in combination with leather on the frame and cushions.  Warm whites, tawny tans, grays and “barely-there” coral and green are some of the colors shown in fabrics and wall treatments and accessories.

Wood finishes also lightened up to more natural wood tones and a “hand scraped” feel to table tops and case goods with metal accents in brushed aluminum and stainless steel and natural stone is still big on occasional furniture tops. Both table and pendant lighting with drum shades and crystal accents add a little bling.

Lofty Ambitions

With more large cities converting buildings to residential spaces, the loft and industrial look was seen everywhere!  Finishes of stone, reclaimed pine, stainless and brushed steel deliver today’s functionality with an inspired historical design.  Even this look got a touch of glamour in accent and accessory pieces as touches of bright metals and color were added to lighting and accessories.   Neutral fabrics and leathers remain as top sellers.  I did find some unusual patched leather area rugs as well as full hides that would be a great addition to these interiors.

And with her own touch of glamour, fashion designer Lily Pulitzer introduced her new furniture line at this year’s show, bringing her colorful world of fabrics to the home.

With so much to see, it is impossible to give credit to all styles and manufacturers.  I will be looking forward to using some of what I found in upcoming projects.

Joann Fullen, ASID is an interior designer in Pittsburgh PA

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