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Designer POV: Cheryl Kees Clendenon reviews High Point Fall Market 2011

Guest contributor Cheryl Kees Clendenon of Kitchen Details and Design shares her favorites and not-so favorites from High Point Fall Market 2011.

High Point Furniture Market week is a twice yearly highlight of my working life. I love the crowds, seeing the new introductions from fave manufacturers, discovering that “really cool” piece and most of all the free martinis in IHFC. Yes, the truth is out. And, guess what? The free martinis (as well as all the other libations proffered during market week) do induce me to buy more for my showroom. Great marketing at it’s best. This trip only had two “what was I thinking” or “what was I drinking” orders and those were cancelled after the fact. See. I am improving!

Here is the wrap up of my “bests” and “worsts” of the October 2011 High Point Furniture Market! These are but my own, somewhat sardonic designer observations and opinions based on the 4 days we were there but even then, did not see it all. Feedback is always welcome but likely to be ignored.

Best Showroom:

Hands down Lillian August for Hickory White. Loved it. My two (ahem) younger designers loved it. My client’s loved all the photos I sent. Let me tell you, I WANT her merchandising person! As always fabulous color, texture and a great mix of vintage wood and mirrored looks styled with Elle Decor flare.

Most disappointing showroom:

Bernhardt Interiors. I love many of their affordable and stylish pieces and sell the hell out of it, but puhlease! Get some merchandising help. Hell, pay my ticket to High Point and I will help you. The garage sale/warehouse look is not good for business. A bit of styling, lighting and ambience goes a long way. Some drinks help too.

Biggest turn off in a showroom:

No pictures at Schnadig showroom. I mean, really? Bad news for you because now I do not recall any pieces and will not be able to spec a single one. Clearly this means I can’t share any pictures here either.

Most awesome creativity in a showroom:

Luna Bella. These guys need to add some more new pieces but seriously they rock the most creative space.

Best selection of fabrics:

Vanguard. For the price, love them. Lillian August had great introductions too but is at a higher price point.

Worst selection of fabrics:

Almost all the rest. ATTENTION: not everyone lives in the midwest. Us warmer climate folks need some lighter weight fabric guys. For some manufacturers, it just AMAZES me how poor the fabric selection is lately. I do not care if grandma is the senior stockholder, get some good advice on fabric assortment. This is one of the reasons we torpedo a vendor from our showroom. Design clients will do COM, but retail clients balk at the additional cost.

Best find:

Low Country Originals. Designer turned manufacturer. (what a GREAT idea!!) Gorgeous lighting pieces. Makes a statement but is not for the budget conscious.

Best party:

Halo. And yeah we were not even invited and did not loiter long enough to crash it. But the hundreds of bottles of Moet shouted out “great party about to happen”. Maybe next year.

Trending ideas:

Lots of nature inspired art. Think shells, coral, insects, etc. Loved Pheromone by Christopher Marley, Natural Curiosities and, Spicher and Company

Shagreen EVERY where ( and what is not to love about shagreen?) Saw gorgeous buffet at Bernhardt Interiors, Lillian August has to die for cocktail table and Made Goods made good with several shagreen mirrors

**Large geometric patterns with Ikat is showing up more at traditional showrooms like Massoud.

**More color showing up ( thank you Gods of style!)

**Mixing fabrics on seats and backs of chairs. Massoud did this well on a colorful piece.

**STILL seeing way too much of the restoration hardware/buckets of bolts look but some showrooms were starting to refine pieces to simply hint at the old without actually taking a sledgehammer to the piece. Welcome respite if you ask me.
Fore more information about Cheryl Kees Clendenon and In Detail Interiors, a full service design firm and 3000 sq ft retail showroom please follow her to her website.

  • Lucas Pedrosa

    Luna Bella looks like a good resto, and not just a mere showroom.


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