Twice a year, I and 80,000 other retailers make the pilgrimage to High Point, N.C., for the High Point Market, which, in my opinion, is the best in the world. This Mecca of the home furnishings industry, with its 10 million square feet of showroom space and 2,000 exhibitors, is one of the best sources for inspiration in interior decorating. And this spring, I was blown away by what I saw at High Point. The styles, colors and trends were the most exciting in a decade. I couldn’t wait to get back and share with you all my “best of show” – the emerging trends and hottest looks of the season. …

For the past few years, it seemed like everything they showed at market was brown, brown and more brown. Don’t get me wrong – I love brown, but enough is enough. This year I went to High Point craving color and was dazzled by what I saw. Everywhere you turned, you were drenched in vibrant hues that sent a jolt of joy through your whole body, like marigold yellow, Clementine orange, parrot green and fuchsia.

But it wasn’t just the color scheme that was exciting this year. It was also the fresh take on traditional designs that also sent my spirits soaring. For instance, one of our favorite furniture makers, C.R. Laine, showed a furniture grouping (pictured above) that knocked the ball out of the park: a Chesterfield sofa covered in black menswear herringbone fabric paired with spool side chairs, the seat cushions done in parrot green with black piping. I was breathless!

The showroom pictured in the snapshot above seemed to encapsulate market this year: fresh, clean, inviting, invigorating. When we walked past this furniture-filled breezeway, I was instantly sucked into the gravitational orbit of blue and white, one of my favorite color combos. I loved how my old friends were reinvented through this crisp transitional furniture and playful paper lanterns.  I wanted to throw a party in this space!

I am a bargain shopper from the word go, and one of the things I enjoy most at Nell Hill’s is seeing shoppers do a double take when they look at one of our price tags because they can’t believe how inexpensive some of our merchandise is. So these inventive light fixtures made me snap to attention. The creative exhibitors took the same lanterns we carry at Nell Hill’s and outfitted them with simple bulbs on electric cords, the kind you can pick up at the hardware store. We’re going to copy their idea and show our customers how they can do the same in their homes, turning these inexpensive lanterns into unique chandeliers to put over their dining room tables (three hanging in a row would look sensational), on their screened porch or over a kitchen island.

Our ongoing quest for color repeatedly drew Becky, Marsee and me into showrooms like the once pictured here, filled with vibrant tones and fun shapes. Of course, we went pillow crazy! But, how could you not when you have choices like these? If you’d like to perk up your sofa or side chairs this summer, just add a few accent pillows loaded with color. You will find a garden of them at Nell Hill’s in the next few weeks, as our shipments start coming in.

I’m also a big fan of furniture made by Lee Industries. I really liked their new take on traditional dining room groupings. Instead of chairs, why not pair your rustic table with a pair of booths, covered in a washable slipcover fabric like these? We thought this combination was perfect for young families!

Painted furniture is still huge. And we fell for these distressed painted console tables because they are loaded with style and incredibly inexpensive — perfect cheater pieces you can use for a bed stand or buffet, or even as a cabinet to hold a bathroom sink.

I couldn’t pass up this super cute dining room set, made by the same company as above and every bit as affordable. With the dining room chairs covered in blue buffalo check, the grouping feels like it’s straight from Sweden.

I continue to get turned on by what designers are doing with lamps these days. This ceramic lamp in today’s hot, hot, hot turquoise color is just a sample of the fun accent lighting we gobbled up at market.

I am a sucker for tradition, but I really like what designers are doing today to give classic pieces a fresh new feel. Wing back chairs, like the one pictured here, are a perfect example. Today’s wing backs have smaller wings, lower arms and less girth, which makes them easier to use in conversation groupings. Covered in hip fabrics like this geometric pattern in marigold yellow, these pieces fit in well with décor that ranges from modern to classic.

At Nell Hill’s, we have a hard time keeping wonderful bookcases in stock, they are so popular with our customers. And no wonder, because you can’t beat them when it comes to defining a space. Thankfully, we found loads of fabulous bookcases like the one above, so all three of our stores will be full of great selections.

Anyone else out there a fan of the TV show Mad Men? These funky green leather chairs (which are not only comfy but also swivel!) would look ideal in Don Draper’s office, wouldn’t they? And, they would look amazing in yours too! The mid-century look is really big right now in furniture, accessories and lamps.

Check out these fabulous baskets! You could hang one on your front door or on a wall. Prop one in an empty, lonely corner. I’ve even had customers use great baskets like these as mailboxes. The wood boxes in this snapshot are also divine. They are attractive storage units that also add visual interest to a room. Stack two together and use them as an end table, place one on top of a cabinet to fill this unused space, slide one under a leggy end table to give it more visual weight or put one onto the shelf of a cabinet.

Marsee, Becky and I all adore garden accents, so we got into lots of trouble in this showroom, ordering garden statues, urns and baskets with wild abandon. I couldn’t resist all the texture and that aged patina.

This was the market of the magic carpets – each one had the mystic ability to steal our hearts. This fall, Nell Hill’s will be filled with a huge selection of area rugs because we are expanding our selection exponentially. You’ll find everything from classics patterns to more contemporary pieces.

A Few More Finds …

*Contemporary Artwork.  I found a great selection of artwork, including more contemporary pieces I know my customers will love. I ordered a number of nudes, which are copies of lovely sketches.

*Animal Prints.  “You still can’t go wrong with animal prints,” Becky shares. “It’s just a classic staple in design and seems to be so transitional. We ordered a zebra sofa. I can’t wait!!”

Trucks toting all our treasures will begin arriving soon and will continue to bring in the new merchandise from High Point well into the fall. Come check it out soon!

Next Week … Don’t let your hearth be a big, dark hole during the summer months, when your fireplace isn’t in use. Next week, I’ll share a few fabulous looks you can steal to make your hearth shine.

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37 Responses to “High Point Market Report: Color is King!”

  1. Anita Chaplick Says:

    What a day brightner. I could totally redecorate my house by what I saw in your blog. You always manage to pick the best of what’s available. I need a “Mary Carol/Nell Hills” day!! Will be up to the Briarcliff store soon!

  2. maureen Says:

    Can’t wait to see what goodies you will be showcasing! I love color and welcome it!

  3. Laurie Blaswich Says:

    Hello Mary Carol,
    I heart your blog!! My mom turned me onto your advertisment in TO star.Simple tricks can make an old room seem new again. From there I found your blog, I’m having a wonerful time looking around, You are so talented, lots of great inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing

    If you get a chance, please visit me sometime.

  4. patti g Says:

    You always make my day brighter, and my imagination more fluid with “what could be” ; always with a budget in mind.

    Hugs! patti

  5. patti g Says:

    You always make my day brighter, and my imagination more fluid with “what could be” ; always with a budget in mind.

    Hugs! patti

  6. Priscilla Says:

    Thank you so much for supporting High Point’s Furniture Market!

    my home town for the past 33 years :)

  7. margaret Says:

    Love the turquoise ceramic lamp! How can I go about getting one from your store? Live in VA now, but still miss being about to shop in the stores.

  8. Donna Mason Says:

    Mary Carol,
    You inspired me when you were my speaker for Women with Heart in Richmond, VA for the American Heart Association and you still inspire me. I am so thrilled to be able to keep up with all your activities through this blog. Just makes me want to come first hand how wonderful all your items are in person! Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us! Best wishes, Donna Mason

  9. Shelly Miller Says:

    Hi Mary Carol,

    Are you bringing the female garden statuary that’s laying down in the second to the last picture home with you? :–)

  10. susan hagen Says:

    Could those darling wing-back chairs sit at either end of a dining table? Loved them!! susan

  11. judi hindman Says:

    Who makes the wing chair shown above? Will you be carrying it or could I purchase it in San Diego, CA?

  12. Lisa Cullen Says:

    Hi, Mary Carol. I have all of your books and hope one day to visit your stores. I just fell in love with one of the carpets in your photo (the two-tone blue with multi-color pattern). Is there any chance of finding out more about this carpet? Thank you for sharing all of your ideas—I truly look forward to every post!

  13. Mimi Tafour Says:

    Loved the light fixtures. Will you offer any in the photo? I want to convert a can light in renovated bath to a pendant light or preferably a small chandelier. Can you offer anything to accomplish that? THANKS.

  14. Pat Warner Says:

    Looks like a trip to Atcheson soon!!! Great ideas and photos from your trip to NC!

  15. Debra Kilby Says:

    Fabulous eye candy!

    Do you carry light brown buffalo check material? If not, so you know where I could find it?

  16. DiAnn Grimes Says:

    I love that green leather chair!!! It would go in ANY decor (I THINK!!). You always find the most wonderful things to share with us. I sure wish you would come to Texas and open a store–coming to Kansas is great fun, but….Love your Atchinson store so much!!!!!!!! I come in every time I am in Kansas.

  17. Cynthia Says:

    when will these beautiful finds be available in the stores?

  18. Kerry Says:

    LOVE the painted furniture!!! Can’t wait to see them in person!!! Which store will they be in????

  19. sheila Says:

    Love your finds- Do wish your store was here in Florida!!

  20. Jennifer Says:

    I love the distressed dressers – will the painted ones be available in the stores?

    Thanks so much :)

  21. Mary Carol Says:

    Debra—We have a chocolate and tan buffalo check fabric in the Briarcliff store. Call 877-746-4320, ask for ‘fabrics’, and they will be happy to send a swatch out to you.

  22. Mary Carol Says:

    Shelly—That is not a piece I ordered, however, if that is something you would be interested in we can find out the details—877-746-4320.

  23. Mary Carol Says:

    Margaret—That torquoise lamp is one that I ordered at High Point. If you want to leave your e-mail or phone number with Janet @877-746-4320, she can notify you when they come in–probably 3-5 weeks.

  24. Mary Carol Says:

    But of course Susan—depending on your space–great idea!

  25. Mary Carol Says:

    Judi—That is a C.R. Laine chair and we will be getting them in within a month–approx. Call the store for the ‘how to’ of ordering our furniture–Janet @ 877-746-4320.

  26. Mary Carol Says:

    Not sure Lisa, exactly which rug you are referring to, however, we are getting lots of new rugs in from our market trip. They will be arriving within the next several weeks. Call the store for more details—877-746-4320.

  27. Mary Carol Says:

    Mimi—After the buying trip we have tons of new lamps coming in daily–however, no ceiling or electric type lighting.

  28. Mary Carol Says:

    Cynthia—They are coming in day by day—Lots of lamps have already arrived!

  29. Jo Ann Sutton Says:

    Love the bookcase. Is it black and can you tell me the dimensions and price?

  30. Jo Ann Sutton Says:

    Love the bookcase. Is it black and can you tell me the dimensions and price?

  31. Jo Ann Sutton Says:

    Love the bookcase. Is it black and can you tell me the dimensions and price?

  32. Mary Carol Says:

    Kerry and Jennifer—The painted furniture will be coming to the stores soon—primarily to the Briarcliff store—approx. 8 weeks. If you would like to be put on the pending list just call Janet @ 877-746-4320.

  33. Mary Carol Says:

    JoAnn–Thank-you for your inquiry about the bookcase shown in the blog this week. That little beauty is 72(W)x85(H)x17(D) and sells for $6,721.00. Call if you need any more information–877-746-4320.

  34. Mary Carol Says:

    So fun visiting with everyone, have a great weekend and we will see you back next week!

  35. Elli Davis Says:

    I have to admit I do like brown, and the classical colors and color combinations. But I cannot help thinking that rooms with for example blue, green or yellow(ish) furniture look much better and brighter (obviously). Good choice of pics, by the way, the bookcase is fabulous, and so is the dining room set.

  36. Gwen Says:

    Absolutely love these little green leather chairs! I live in Wisconsin and am wondering if you can tell me who they are made by and if you know of anyone in Wisconsin carries them. Thanks so much.

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