High Point, NC – April 2016, When you don’t have a leg to stand on. Sit. Lie down. Welcome to High Point Market, acclaimed as the largest home furnishing trade show in the world in just real estate space alone. Also, HPMKT is one of the oldest trade shows around with incarnations since the early 1900’s, known to those in the industry and in the know, as merely, High Point Market. This celebration of all things furniture and home furnishings related is held twice a year, once in the spring and once in autumn. The level of organization at first glance is impressive to say the least. I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Market at the April 2016 High Point Market industry trade show. It was an insightful and educational weekend on everything furniture related.
One of the biggest appeals of HPMKT is the sheer volume of space provided to display what each brand has to offer in the world of home furnishings and design. For the event, there were exhibitors of all merits including established industry giants to folks starting their way with humble beginnings. Despite, whatever clout they may carry, everyone present was either in the business of buying or selling. The difference between large and small businesses were distinct in terms of what they were capable of with product ideas offered and space provided. Notable example, Ashley® Furniture, proclaimed as the largest American home furnishing maker and retailer is capable of catering everything to everyone and recognizes and promotes lifestyle trends. On the other hand, O’kids is eagerly trying to capture the niche market of all things kids’ furniture. No matter, what product ideas are being offered, every brand has a story and a voice that deserved to be heard.
Throughout High Point Market, there were many showrooms of new product offerings. While attending HPMKT, I was in a curious search for product ideas in home furniture and furnishing accessories that provided new design choices and elements in the world of fashionable furniture marketed towards those in search of new trends.
More often than not, we hear industry terms tossed around such as innovative and creative but these are ideals that rings absolute in so many facets. The word we always look towards is: trend. What’s trending right now?
Reclaimed wood design has been around for a while but only recently started gaining more momentum as a source of environmentally friendly building. However, there are new designs that incorporate that reclaimed wood look and feel but it’s not really reclaimed wood.
Bluestone is gaining some popularity due to it being a cheaper alternative to marble.
PU leather or fake leather. PU leather is heavily requested and manufactured as a lower price point to genuine leather, it also provides an arguably eco-conscious alternative.
Whimsy. This is a style I like to label as not quite traditional and not quite contemporary.
Beyond merely buying and selling of all things home furnishing, there was also the vibrancy of celebration in the air. Some showroom displays provided an impactful and sensational appeal. Everything about High Point Market grabs your attention as a visual feast first from the architecture of the new exposition building with modern appeal juxtaposed to the old Market Square building with old school industrial foundations. Within the buildings were showrooms displaying straight forward product ideas to lavish showcases of living style intended to be indulged with sight, scent and touch.
Designers, vendors, buyers and all home furnishing industry folks engaged in meetings and dealings. There were busy folks all about HPMKT and most were very eager and helpful to talk to you but one of the best things is that this event is hosted in High Point, North Carolina. The attendees included people from all over the world but many of the folks who work the event are local. Granted, this trade show can work anywhere as intended but it wouldn’t have the same feel if it were elsewhere.
From a traditional and practical standpoint, furniture is typically provided as a means to an end. Frankly speaking, at the end of a long day, your couch provides you the place of comfort for where you rest. Furniture, as long as it were functional; it was substantial. However, through the influence of refined tastes and freedom of expression, the design appeal of furniture has been elevated to project form whilst providing function. Nowadays, furniture is not only a place to rest but it’s also a lifestyle.