The annual fall High Point Market in North Carolina is where interior designers see what’s ahead for the next year in home furnishings. While the typical party atmosphere was gone because of physical distancing, trends emerged loud and clear.
We talked to Patrick Madden of Madden McFarland Interiors and Sara Noble of Noble Design, who each attended the market in October. The words they said most often to describe the home furnishings on the horizon: comforting, refreshing, and happy.
Madden: “There was a slight push to more traditional and classic design. In upholstery, there was a nod to tufting, curves, and romance. Traditional, classic frames with rich fabrics and warm caramel leather will always be welcomed. There were traditional wallcoverings—wallpaper, for sure, is back. I saw traditional and classic not only in the upholstery, but in the case goods and even the accessories that were used in staging. We’re seeing traditional case goods coming back with warm wood tones. From accent tables to bar carts and cabinets, they appeared to be clean, well designed, and appointed.”
Noble: “The look was granny chic. For example, throw pillows matching the draperies. It was a fun nod to Southern style. I also saw more traditional looks. For example, monogrammed chairs.”
Madden: “I found myself noticing—and liking—the idea of stacking. End tables with multiple shelves, cocktail tables, even door fronts of cabinets and buffets. It really gave an interest visually to the pieces. Now that more of the manufacturers are giving us the option for multiple finishes, you can get creative and greatly change the look of the pieces. Nesting tables are always popular and there were several new introductions.”
Noble: “I saw lots of bright yellow. It was often paired with French blue. I also saw a lot of lilac. Really cheerful, happy colors.”
Madden: “I felt that they are moving away from the grays and pivoting a bit more towards the warmer tones again. Deeper colors. Olive greens, chocolate, ochre. It was nice to see the rich palette back in the swing. I love mixing the saturated tones with mahogany, walnut, and ebony woods. It has such an inviting, warm appeal.”
THE BIG THING
Noble: “Cane. You’re seeing cane barstools and chairs, cane everything, indoors and outdoors.”
Madden: “Caning and woven rattan was strong. From dining chairs, occasional seating, mirrors and cabinets, woven rattan and caning made itself known. The mix of the natural material with rich tones of the solid wood really gave the pieces an inviting, relaxed elegance. Painted rattan on mirrors and cabinets was also popular. That natural element was also found on light fixtures.”
Noble: “Lots of acrylic. Acrylic drapery hardware, side tables, coffee tables and legs on upholstery. Plus, a lot of brass light fixtures, hardware and accessories.”
Madden: “The use of brass accents on hardware, door pulls, and accent trim was solid. The touch of brass gave some of these pieces the perfect balance of traditional and transitional design. Upholstered chairs with exposed wood accents and detail were very sharp. Club chairs featuring a simple wood trim for interest to others with more intricate wood frames were wonderful ways to introduce more interest and pizazz into your aesthetic.”
Madden: “With accessories, I found a push between the classic, traditional, and large organic shapes and natural influence. The organic shapes and sizes are a fun way to add style and interest. Marble, carved bowls, plaster-of-Paris shapes and vases—I definitely saw the natural element still being very strong in this category.”
Noble: “While many of the furnishings were a little more traditional, more modern light fixtures stood out. I noticed screen-like LED hanging fixtures from Tech Lighting.”