Hi Friends! Itâs me, the Traveling Designer, back with another adventure. This time I am taking you inside the interior design world with a trip to High Point, North Carolina and neighboring Greensboro for the nationâs largest furniture market. High Point market is “to the trade,” which means it’s for designers and retail buyers only and not open to the public. But I thought it would be fun to take you behind the scenes for a little peek. If you see things you love, then you can likely find them through a designer or retailer in your area.
Each year High Point Furniture Market is held for a week in the spring and again in the fall. This is one place I find the latest and greatest in interior design and home furnishings for my fabulous clients around the country. Twice a year here on The Traveling Designer, I will be bringing you highlights from High Point market. And since fall market will be here before we know it, let’s get you up to speed on High Point, the market and the great eats and treats in surrounding areas.
If you’ve never been to the High Point Furniture Market, it’s hard to even imagine the millions of choices in design that await you there. Unlike markets in Dallas or Atlanta where showrooms are housed in a building or two, the High Point market encompasses blocks and blocks of the city including several multi-story high-rises along with many small downtown store fronts like the lovely Oly Studio Showroom shown above.
One of my favorite stops at each market is Interhall, the main floor of the International Home Furnishings Building, where many of the hottest companies show their wares. In fall of last year, Barclay Butera’s Interhall display (shown above) was stunning. Walking the aisles at Interhall is a way to see the latest, hippest and most trendy items at market. With the plethora of manufacturers to choose from in High Point, finding the good stuff is sometimes like finding a needle in a hay stack. It’s great to know you can always go to Interhall and find some of the hottest picks of the show. Some of my favorite Interhall finds over the last 10 years include Barclay Butera Home, Bungalow 5, Dransfield and Ross, Julian Chichester and Shine Home.
There are so many other amazing manufacturers represented at High Point in their own large showrooms that I can’t even mention them all. But there are a few stand-outs that I am sure to see each and every market including Hickory Chair Furniture (this is part of their lovely Suzanne Kasler collection shown above), Oly Studio, Visual Comfort Lighting and Soicher Marin artwork. If I see just these four each season, I go home with a slew of new ideas and inspiration for my work and feel like the trip was a success!
A few of my favorite finds at market this April included this stunning green lacquer chest from the Oscar de la Renta collection for Century Furniture designed by the talented designer Miles Redd.
Also fun were these great quatrefoil stools from Dransfield and Ross.
And Barclay Butera hit a home run with both his collections. His Barclay Butera Home collection didn’t disappoint with graphic patterns and his amazing wing chairs.
And his new Barclay Butera Lifestyle collection gets the award for Most Bang for your Buck!!
What many people that visit High Point Market don’t know is that there is much more inspiration in the area than just at market. And if you are not a designer or a buyer but happen to be in the area, be sure to try out these great places to sleep, eat, drink and shop! High Point and neighboring Greensboro are great little towns with fabulous restaurants, great shopping and cultural experiences that make the bi-annual trip to North Carolina not just work, but a truly enjoyable experience.
The chic Proximity Hotel is much more sophisticated than you would expect in an area this size. Located in Greensboro, the Proximity is the first LEED Platinum hotel in America. And for those of you who are not familiar with LEED design standards, this means the hotel has an extremely high rating in eco-friendly and sustainable design elements. So not only is it hip and cool, it is earth-friendly too.
Nestled inside the Proximity is a fantastic restaurant with a menu and wine list that would stand up in many an urban city. Printworks Bistro’s menu is based on fresh, local ingredients and creative comfort foods prepared in the French Bistro Style.
One of their specialities is muscles and the fries are to-die-for!
Also high on my dining choices in Greensboro is Bistro Sophia. With a sophisticated menu and an amazing sommelier, Bistro Sophia brings beautiful salads, high quality fish and meats paired with savory sauces, yummy side dishes and lovely desserts. And if you are feeling a bit daring, I suggest letting the sommelier surprise you with a wine selection. Bistro Sophia’s goal is to bring relatively unknown but superb wines to the area and it is great fun to discover new favorites upon the sommelier’s recommendation.
When you need a little retail therapy, there is no shortage of great shopping in the area. The Shops at the Friendly Center is an open-air mall and is home to places like Anthropologie, J. Crew, White House Black Market, and much more. It was a life-saver for me in October when my luggage didn’t arrive with me and I had to give a talk to 300 people the next morning at 7:30 am. The Friendly Center was one-stop shopping for my entire new wardrobe!
And if local merchants are more appealing to you, you should definitely check out Downtown Greensboro. On Elm Street you’ll find loads of antiques, jewelry, quaint coffee shops and local boutiques that are recommended by my fellow Traditional Home’s Top 20 Designers to Watch, Kristen McGinnis who resides in New York, but calls this area home.
So there you have it, a taste of High Point. I’ll be bringing you my favorites from the fall market in October, and, until then, I will be bringing you more exciting trips to other fabulous locales.
I’m off to pack…Happy Travels!