MODERN MOMENTS: LOOKING FOR CONTEMPORARY PIECES AT 220 ELM IN HIGH POINT

by Marisa Marcantonio

Consider the array of furniture launched every year.  Right now, pared-down lines and comfort seem to be the order of the day when it comes to contemporary style,  and clean yet softer silhouettes in furniture design are seeing an uptick. Modern furniture is the hallmark of 220 Elm, my other High Point Market sponsor this fall. 

The building, filled with among other things,  Italian, Swedish and German collections, is the go-to spot for streamlined design at market. Europe is a stylistic bellwether, and is often where  design trends and movements launch. Whether it is color or material, the trend usually makes its way to the US a year or so later. This being the case, I always keep an eye on what is coming from across the pond, for some version of what is being seen there will eventually be making its way to us.

As I made my way around the showrooms, I was struck by the bright, clear colors as well as the mix of warm woods with softer lines. Modernism has been moving away from super sharp lines with sleekness towards a more organic style that uses sinewy  lines with warmer materials. Read on to see my discoveries.

Many companies are playing with the form of the classic wing chair, paring down the curves. Palliser's Thoreau chair, covered in a graphic black and white diamond pattern, is a spot to lounge.

Stripes have an ability to create excitement in a space. The graphic nature they possess give them a chameleon quality, they provide the unexpected. When used on a slipper chair, here at Skyline, the impact of a strong stripe is undeniable.

Capturing a sense of space-age fun, the mod Globus Chair, originally designed in the 1960's by Overman International swivels for extra retro appeal.

The Woodbrook Designs showroom featured primarily wood furniture, but made in interesting ways, like mixed with resin.  This organic tree, base and all, seemed to be growing out of the cement floor. Since hotels and offices also use this resource, I could see the tree being used in  a creative way, perhaps as a great addition to a majestic lobby in an African game reserve.

A highly reflective chrome side table  appropriately called Reflection in a biomorphic puddle shape had an Anish Kapoor quality to it.

Scandinavian design is known for super clean lines, and have become beloved for their "just the basics" appeal. This tiny little egg-shaped nesting table at Woodbrook is fun yet useful.

The Leif Petersen showroom is a destination for high end Italian design. Standout Italian industrial and furniture designers are carried here, and Peterson hand picks companies to rep after visiting Salone del Mobile in Milan each year.  Giopato and Coombes designed this chair for the Italian company Miniforms.  The Valerie, an organically-formed carved wooden chair has a back that resembles the branches of a tree in a refined way.

While walking the halls I discovered a company I did not know called Younger.  They have well-priced designs that tap into the current retro modern trends. I found some nice pieces like this one. A nickel cantilever base supports the modern Leo armchair, giving it a modern twist.

Mid-Century modern lines and bright yellow velvet upholstery with contrasting trim on Younger's Spencer sofa. This minimal piece would work well in a playroom or space that would benefit from a Mid Century dose.

One of the reasons I love High Point is that there are good things to find, you just have to look. AtDesign 9, I found this chic pared-down leather-covered love seat, perfect for a breakfast nook in a city apartment.

It's truly amazing what is being done right now with hair on hide rugs. The category, defined by Jin Ho and Kyle Bunting, has really come into its own. I love this multi-colored Puzzle patchwork rug made of a variety of colors from Mat The Basics. The price is right and the design has a playful element.

At Innovation, this fun poof covered in an orange blue and white geometric pattern is great for seating or a spot to place a book. Why not add a conversation piece to a seating area?

5 STYLISH ROUND MIRRORS FROM HIGH POINT THAT GO FROM OPULENT TO ELEGANT

by Marisa Marcantonio

Mirrors are one of the most effective design tools that can be used to great effect in a variety of ways. Whether you need to to open up a space, welcome visitors in an entry, or  add a beautiful element above a mantel or console, reflective surfaces can work wonders.  I noticed these round mirrors at High Point Market, and their versatility and beauty caught my attention. Big on brass, the warm metal adds a vintage feel, while nickel is a crisp choice that can work in casual settings to Deco ones. Here are the top 5 round mirrors that deserve a second look.

Emporium Home

With small rock crystal studs emanating from the brass frame in a radiant pattern, Emporium Home's glamorous round mirror brings the jewels into focus.

Regina Andrew's small round version with gold petals has a French 1940's vibe.

Celerie Kemble for Maitland Smith

Diminutive and darling, Celerie Kemble's scalloped white mirror for Maitland Smith with stud surround would look great displayed in multiples, or in an area that needs some reflection.

Photo courtesy of Mirror Image

Making its debut at market, Michael S. Smith created a line of mirrors for Mirror Image. His oversized Celeste star has deco-overtones and a dramatic presence.

Photo courtesy of Arteriors

The Ollie Mirror from Arteriors is crisp and straightforward, with a smooth, unadorned nickel frame. I like it for its simplicity.

YOU KNOW IT'S WHITE: SPOTTED AT HIGH POINT MARKET SHAPELY LITTLE CHAIRS WITH PERSONALITY

by Marisa Marcantonio

When it comes to furniture design, it is easy to think it has all been done and you have seen it before. That is, of course, until you  cover a market such as High Point, where innovation is all-important. Newness, for an editor, is increasingly important. For companies, it  helps attract a new audience, and maintain an existing one.  To stay relevant, companies must continue to evolve. Home trends are starting to move at a quicker pace, and newness is expected. Most design is derivative, meaning it is tweaked and adapted for today, but rooted in a design vernacular of the past. Searching for sparks of innovation and newness, I look for eye-catching things that have not been done before.  When I came across these personality chairs, seen below, I realized they each had something unique to say, in their own way. Try adding an interesting conversation piece to a seating arrangement.  It is like inviting a really interesting gregarious guest to dinner, they make life more fun, less expected.

Barry Dixon created some upholstery pieces in his follow-up collection for Arteriors. This unique Ceylon Dining Chair, inspired by British Colonial India, has a pointed back, tight seat and curvaceous sides, supported by a painted white frame and nailhead trim. The stark contrast of white upholstery and white frame highlights the strong lines.

This feminine metal upholstered chair from Global Views won me over. I was instantly drawn to its painted metal finish resembling plaster and the sinewy curved lines. Both elegant and interesting, this chair can take on a completely different look depending on how it is upholstered.

Small side chairs are useful and can be used in a bedroom, dressing room, seating area or flanking console tables. A low profile kidney bean shape make this a charming  chair new by AERIN for E.J. Victor.