Birthdays and Christmas only come around once a year. Market in High Point, North Carolina comes twice a year and it's just as good!
Can anyone go to High Point Market?
What is Market? While there are several "markets" in the United States, the main one is held in High Point, North Carolina. Every year, furniture, fabric, and art vendors from all over the world come together to showcase their newest and coolest pieces. Market isn't open to the public. To attend Market, you have to be a wholesale buyer, an interior designer, or a furniture vendor.
Designers go to Market for several reasons:
Networking and meeting other cool designers and vendors
Checking out the newest furniture, lighting and furnishings before they hit stores or the internet.
Finding out new lines and trends to bring back to clients
To be surrounded by stunning furniture and artwork
Bloody marys everywhere you go
What is High Point North Carolina like?
North Carolina's High Point is a sleepy little town except for the two times a year when Market happens. Every April and October, High Point hosts a flurry of designers and vendors showing off their new products. You can barely get a hotel room or a dinner reservation, so if you are going, book early - plan like you are going to Coachella.
New concepts like Chelsea on Green, an antique and vintage market that is open 365 days of the year, will hopefully make High Point a year-round destination for designers.
What are your favorite tips for first time visitors to Market?
Wear comfortable shoes…you'll be walking all day
Bring a backpack or something small (but stylish) to carry your business cards and water
You will need an extra battery pack for your phone to capture all the wonderful content for IG or Tik Tok.
There are a lot of opportunities for food, coffee and bloody marys, but sometimes you get stuck and you really need a pick me up, so carry small treats like granola bars or candy to keep moving.
Lastly, mapping out your route for the day to see various vendors and lines is crucial. It's easy to spend hours at 1 or 2 showrooms and then forget that you really needed to see your favorite designer speak at a panel or check out that one vendor in the IFHC building where you need to sit in that sectional.
How Does An Interior Designer Shop for Clients?
When I go to Market, I usually have a client who needs certain items, so I prepare beforehand. I will bring a printed copy of floor plan with dimensions, a list of the items they need, and swatches of existing or recently purchased furniture, as well as copies of any mood boards that have been approved.
While at Market I take lots of pictures and text them to my client while I'm there. When you act fast, sometimes you can even get better pricing while you’re at Market than any other time. One of the benefits of being at Market is that you get to see and touch finishes and fabric samples, test drawers, and most importantly, sit on the furniture to see how comfortable it is and how snug the seat back cushion is.
What are the Biggest Design Trends for 2022?
This Market featured lots of natural fibers in furniture, lighting, mirrors, and even art. Cane furniture is as popular as ever – which surprised me (I think it's totally overdone). Lighting and furniture featuring organic, sculptural elements were inspiring. Although they often convey a tropical or beachy appeal, the sculptural pieces can work just as well in transitional and modern homes.
One of my favorite things about Market are the celebrity collaborations with lighting and furniture lines. The collaborations with Kelly Wearstler, Susan Hable, and Thom Filicia were personal highlights. A new collab I was swooning over was with an architecture firm called Carrier and Company out of NYC and Soicher Marin - my go to line for chic artwork.
PRO TIP: In designing a beach house, opt for natural materials and sculptural shapes that could work just as easily in a home away from the water. This way you avoid coastal clichés and give your space a more elevated, designer appeal.
What are the Best Places to Shop for Vintage Accessories at Market?
One of my favorite things to do at High Point Market is to stock up on great inventory for styling accessories for clients. We call this ‘Cash and Carry’ which means you can go to a vendor and either order new pieces or purchase items which can be shipped back via a shipping company or you can throw it right into the backseat of your car. Our favorite stops to shop vintage and ‘Cash and Carry’ are the Antique and Design Center, Schwung and Blue Ocean Traders. We also found a new place this Market called Textures, which sells the most amazing wood sculptural bowls and giant teakwood dining tables straight from the island of Bali.
PRO TIP: When it comes to cash-and-carry and shopping vintage, it’s harder to be strategic about where to go and what you’ll find – always leave some room in the car for spontaneous goodies!
How was this High Point Market Different from Past Years?
Typically, I attend Market with three designers who have been attending for over a decade. Due to my previous visits, I knew what to expect, how to get around, and which vendors were a "must see" and which ones I should check out if I had missed them in previous years. Verellen is always at the top of my list for the most inspirational, trend setting and coolest vibe of all the showrooms. The line is owned by a couple from Belgium so the furniture always feels fresh, innovative and unlike anything else you would see at High Point. I think what sets them apart is that the place is run by family but also has several amazing “friendors” that showcase things like ridiculously good art, lighting, and accessories. Some 'friendors' in the past that I have coveted include one that creates pressed flowers into custom art pieces and another that creates a divine tableware line that feels handmade.
Peep this little video I took at Verellen. It'll make you swoon!
The past two Markets I stayed with designer friends at an Airbnb in Winston-Salem, about 25 minutes away. This time I stayed at a hotel in Archdale about six minutes away from downtown High Point. It was ideal because I could Uber or take a shuttle from the hotel to any building in High Point. The downside: the hotels in Highpoint and anywhere close to Highpoint are really old, smelly, and certainly not fancy. But, I lived to tell the tale - smelly floors, paper thin walls and all! Since dinners and parties go on until the late evening, as soon as I get back to the "hotel" I'm exhausted and go straight to bed so I'm fresh for the next day.
Every time I attend Market I discover new vendors and products to use in my clients’ homes. Showrooms like Verellen and Made Goods are always on the list year after year because of the amazing artistry of the products. But, this Market I found a couple of fabulous new vendors like Roberta Schilling Collection, Howard Elliott, and Our House designs - a North Carolina based furniture company that will deliver in 10 to 12 weeks (a miracle these days!).
Want to see more? Here's a cool round up from my last day at High Point!
Next up on the blog…
I’ll show you some items I sourced for a client’s beach house from High Point.
Until then - if you’re ready to get to work on your own home renovation, get in touch here! Let's do this!