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Down to Earth is the Hottest Trend at High Point Market

Get the scoop on the furnishing and decor trends to come out of the influential High Point Market trade show, including a return to natural materials.

photos courtesy Weisshouse Furniture and High Point Market

Home furnishings are about to go au naturale. A return to natural materials was a noticeable trend at October’s High Point Market, says Cyd Mello, creative director at Weisshouse furniture store in Shadyside. 

“Earth elements were everywhere with organic finishes, linen fabrics, teak, raffia and banana bark,” says Mello. 

The Weisshouse team attends every biannual High Point Market in High Point, N.C., to stay on top of trends and to find “new discoveries and hidden treasures.”
For Mello, and several other Pittsburgh-area designers, it’s a can’t-miss occasion. 

Natural Finishes

Bria Hammel, owner of Bria Hammel Interiors in Mendota Heights, Minn., has attended High Point every year since she started her business in 2012. In 2018, Hammel served as a market “style spotter” — designers who are charged with scouring through High Point exhibitor products and identifying trends.

“We saw a major shift in the style of furnishings this market,” Hammel says. “Soft, smooth lines and more natural materials are starting to take over the high sheen, brass and crystal trends we have been seeing in previous years.”

Color trends are also shifting toward the more earth-inspired tones.

“The trend has been grey for many years, and now we are seeing other warmer neutrals in the mix,” Mello says. “We also noticed a lot of caramels. We brought back some distressed caramel leather chairs and a luggage brown cowhide.” 

Gold Accents 

Gold metallic finishes are still strong, as they have been for several seasons, says Vicci Franz of Vicci Franz Interior Design in McCandless. 

“You will see this finish on hardware, lighting, the trim on furniture — almost everywhere,” says Franz. “It is a wonderful opportunity to add a little luxury to a room.”
In the same luxurious vein, black metallic finishes, soft velvet fabrics, rich jewel tones and chinoiserie are also likely to remain popular. 

What’s Old Is New Again

“A definite theme we saw around market was the new take on retro,” says Hammel. “Antiques are making a comeback, as well as new pieces that are made to look imperfect.”

Materials like macramé and wicker — a nod toward ’60s and ’70s bohemian casual — will be hot for spring, plus fabric lighting fixtures and hanging chairs. 


Contrasting Elements

A majority of the showrooms at the fall season’s market displayed contrasting — even unexpected — pairings of materials and finishes, according to Alisha Gwen of Alisha Gwen Interior Design in Shadyside.

“I saw natural elements like raw wood combined with modern elements such as antique glass and gold,” Gwen says. “The pairings, while contrasting, create unique and successful looks.”

Contrasting elements, such as edgy silhouettes constructed with elegant materials and finishes, were also popular, Mello says. 


The Takeaway

“Fabrics, textures, and color patterns in the home décor sector always seems to follow suit from fashion,” says Hammel. 

Because people tend to update their wardrobe much more frequently than their homes, keeping up with design trends can seem like it could cost too much for the average buyer. Hammel says she encourages her clients to think outside the box, while still staying true to the architecture of their home. 

“Keeping the architecture of the home timeless and classic allows you to play and take risks with the furnishings,” Hammel says. “It’s much less expensive to swap out window treatments or a sofa than an entire set of kitchen of cabinets and countertops.”

Mello agrees the good thing about interior design is that trends can be implemented sparingly or with abandon to create different looks. So that piece that may seem too “out there” for a Pittsburgh home could be just right when used on a large scale, or in controlled amounts.

When styling your own home, Gwen says to forget what you are being offered at local stores, or what your parents’ or grandparents’ homes look like.
“I’m a firm believer that your ZIP code should not dictate your design style,” she says. “Your home should reflect your taste and lifestyle.”

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