STYLING AND STORYTELLING AT 2013 HIGH POINT MARKET: THE SHOWROOMS THAT INSPIRE

by Marisa Marcantonio

One of the highlights of visiting showrooms at market year after year, is seeing the evolution of styling.  The way a space is designed can reinforce as well as set trends.

Velvet upholstery, gilt and brass finishes, parchment, linen and leather-wrapped pieces were just some of the dominant design elements designers used when styling their spaces at this fall's High Point Market. Styling and creating relatable living spaces, showrooms put their best design foot forward. The benefits of a well-designed showroom are twofold. Buyers and designers can envision themselves living there, but they can also be inspired to buy into the complete package they see, and recreate a facsimile of this in their own spaces.  It becomes, if you will,  an idea incubator. The interior designers and stylists putting the room schemes together at market need to wear two hats, that of designer and merchant. The showrooms that have historically  set the tone for beautifully styled spaces at market-- Hickory Chair and Baker, are being joined by Bernhardt, under Ron Fiore, the former creative director of Hickory Chair, and the designer collections of Mr. and Mrs. Howard at Sherrill Furniture,  Celerie Kemble for Henredon, and AERIN at EJ Victor. The best style comes from the influence at the top of the market, where all eyes watch what is being done at the highest level. Luxury elements then trickle down, making their presence felt at every level of the market. Just seeing how many showrooms brought in Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, the greenery du jour, you get the sense companies are taking their cue from what they are seeing used by today's best designer talent.  Enjoy the tour and pick up styling tips galore.

At E.J. Victor, the AERIN Collection included new pieces to round out last market's debut. I liked this streamlined chocolate sofa with handsome tufting and the gilded coffee table with bamboo detailing.

This season, she added light finishes, that included a chalky white leg option, as well as a chic parchment coffee table. I welcomed the lighter versions, they showed the collection growing in a nice direction.

A fireplace can help a showroom by providing a focal point. In this case, the seating arrangement is in a large space. The white finish is also used on her new lighting with Visual Comfort, seen here.

Bringing in greenery, fresh flowers and decorative elements bring a space to life. See the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in the corner of the dining room area? Well, it adds a touch of green to bring the outside in. 

 This is just one of the many showrooms that used velvet upholstery in a rich color. A deep bottle green velvet added a sleek comfort to barrel-back dining chairs.

Gold on gold, a recurring theme of Lauder's,  in an area where the art ties in with the furniture. A 1940's inspired gold painted wood framed game chair with suede upholstery.

For comfort and additional seating, it is hard to deny the appeal of a sectional sofa. Note the window treatments- cream panels with tortoise matchstick blinds recall what you would see done in a pretty New York apartment.

It's the little details that make styling, in any setting, key. A seagrass basket, often used to hold logs, is used for sports equipment. I like a real-life moment.

The Baker showroom always wows. To launch their new Jacques Garcia collection, a striped fabric is shirred to create a patterned wall. A striking modern art piece makes the setting feel instantly livable.

In a smaller space, art plays a role, this time, a black and white abstract painting is the perfect foil for rich wood pieces.

A black lacquer console and white upholstery are related by framed circular butterfly art.

At Henredon, Celerie Kemble worked in color for the follow-up to her launch assortment. Using coral and blue through patterns and solid upholstery she showed you can go bold.  See the Fig Tree? Kemble designed a great chevron bone inlay planter for it.

Teal upholstery was big at market, which I was glad to see, since I have a teal blue velvet sofa, very similar to the  color used here.

Last market this mirror-backed hexagonal-section bookcase was more Hollywood Regency in black. This market, it was reinvented in gold with a bright coral interior.

Taking their cue from men's fashion and the current rage for all things brass and vintage, Bernhardt's Ron Fiore created a chic haven with chocolate brown upholstery and brass detailing.

The round cocktail table was a showstopping piece of last market. A zebra hair on hide rug and pale upholstery on a sectional lighten this look. Oh look, another Fig Tree here too!

Another area that encourages pattern and texture mixing, with navy, black and white. The bone inlay table is a busy pattern but if you increase the pattern scale in the chairs as shown here, it can work.

Teal and white, check.

This etagere has been added to my Greatest Hits list of all-time best etageres. The tree provides something pretty to fill a corner.

In Alexa Hampton's rooms at Hickory Chair, she infused the windowless area with vibrant color. Aubergine and chartreuse jazzed up her classic pieces, complete with wonderful design details. So is there a shortage on these Fig Trees since they are all at High Point?

I love Galbraith and Paul, so I was happy to see one of my favorite wallpapers used with velvet upholstery and Muriel Brandolini fabric pillows. I cannot say enough about this sofa.  A sheltering tuxedo arm with bolster pillows? So chic.

But wait, this sofa is a traditional work horse too, when you need a large 3-seater. I thought long and hard on this color green for my sofa, but instead decided teal velvet was more me. She covered the walls in geometric Quadrille and coordinated a Lee Jofa chintz giving it a fresh take with the geo mix.

Look at the skirt and upholstered leg on the Allen Chair. Not sure I have the space for this at Casa Marisa, but I might need to free up  some room.

When I entered the Sherrill Showroom last year, I felt like I was walking into a Phoebe Howard-decorated home. From wallcoverings to rugs, she transformed the series of rooms with decorative detailed touches and architectural work that had heretofore, not really been done on this scale. Not only did she make her Sherrill designs covetable, she brought her own antiques to layer in,  similar to the way she designs for clients.  Her experience as a shop owner and designer makes this sort of thing a natural extension of her work.

A faux finish resembles wood panelling in a living room space.

She created a seating area in a bedroom setting, with the palest blue upholstery mixed with crisp white accents.

Chinoiserie took the form of green and white at Century. Fretwork fabric on a kidney bean sofa and pagoda lamp coordinate this fresh vignette.

Pale blue will never lose its allure. Perhaps because it is soothing and like a calm oasis.

What a great color pairing in Century. Two large seating groupings are connected by French blue and red with pops of mustard yellow.

This market brought William Yeoward to High Point, where he debuted his collection with Jonathan Charles Furniture. I adore Yeoward's distinctly British take on design. His pieces, including quirky and classic details were inspired by antiques he owned and those he wanted to make available. The line included light cerused finishes, rich carved wood detailing, and was scaled well, to fit into smaller city and country settings. Nothing was on-steriods huge, thank goodness. Scale is so important when translating antiques into new designs. I was asked to remove the photos I showed, due to a pending magazine exclusive, so stay tuned, as I will be sharing his collection in detail, soon.

Mixing in some of his beautiful Osborne and Little embroidered fabric panels, a moment with a grey sabre-legged marble-topped table.

How could I resist a visit to Palacek, to see the newest additions to the Jeffery Alan Marks Collection? I missed seeing him at his book signing, but was able to take in his great styling, seen here. The thing he did so well with this line was to work with what Palacek does best- woven materials, textural woods, and rustic finish treatments. The pieces have a pared-down, casual California vibe. He added a darker wood finish this market.

Thibault, known first and foremost for their energetic color-infused preppy prints, has joined forces with my friends Oomph. The bright finishes of their mirrors, consoles and tables complement the comfortable upholstery and beds Thibaut has in their collection. It is a match made in color heaven.

I passed by Festoni, and they have made a feature vignette a signature. Here, blue and white artwork, grey and black upholstery is popped with bright pillows, a curvy metal coffee table and coral cushion on a  gilt bench tell their story.

 Mr. Brown has been into turquoise and orange the past few markets. This shade is just so uplifting. They had a great mix of materials, as always, and this Directoire-inspired chest of wood and metal won me over.

Vintage-influenced pieces are everywhere, and the white sideboard at Bungalow 5 gets down to details with graduated nailheads and round pulls on white linen.

Perfect for cabin and lodge decor, Currey and Company took things in a rustic direction with bark-covered pieces.

THE PEACOCKS OF HIGH POINT:

I also noticed another detail worth noting: peacocks. These winged creatures have become the It Bird, the preferred taxidermy to style with. I spotted the bird above is at Lee Industries.

He might like to know he has a friend across the street from Century over at Lee.

STYLISH TRAVEL: ON MY WAY TO LYFORD CAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

In a few days I am headed to the Bahamas and the trip is sure to be a beautiful escape.  With the palest hue of pink as it's signature shade, Lyford Cay, located in Nassau, is a pristine spot frequented by New Yorkers and Brits seeking all-things leisure: sun, sand, sailing and play.  The enclave, founded in 1963 by E.P Taylor, recently received a design overhaul by New York-based interior designer and architect, Tom Scheerer. A long-time Bahamian resident, Scheerer understands the Bahamian lifestyle, sense of tradition and tropical temperament of island life. The result is something I have been eager to see, so having the opportunity to visit is a terrific way to start the new year.  Looking forward to sharing some island style with you upon my return!

Photos Peter Estersohn for Town and Country

The pink and white new tented area houses The Little Club, surrounded by Palms.

The Living Room at The Lyford Cay Club is surrounded with brown and cream painted palms on grass cloth. Seating areas include cozy sofas upholstered in Quadrille fabrics and wicker chairs. Every spot seems intimate in this large room.

The view of the other side of the room, that leads out into the entry. Touches of pale green dot the room to play off the palest pink in the print.

 The dining area in The Yacht Club has a rich royal blue painted floor, and a sailfish as a focal point. Clean and crisp, like a freshly pressed dress shirt, the room is simple and comfortable.

A covered seating area is curtained to let the breezes pass through. A plantation table in the center of the room creates a gathering spot.

An seating area of the  bar with cane-covered walls and coral colored touches.

THE DETAILS: 

Tole Agave potted in an antique urn by artist Tommy Mitchell reads dry heat. 

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lilly

Durable teak and delicate bone inlay in Serena and Lilly's Starburst Tray makes a nice addition on an ottoman or can serve as a makeshift bar in a pinch.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

The Bruni Chandelier from Made Goods resembles spiny coral, and it's round shape is perfect for illuminating center halls.

Photo courtesy of Soane

Nothing says tropics like pineapples. Soane's stunning Pineapple Lamp in antique nickel is on my short list.

Noir's canopied Gigi Chair in woven rattan has island appeal.

In a cerused light finish, Century's curvy backed dining chair adds a light presence.

Diminutive little Jenna slipper chairs from E.J. Victor are a favorite of mine.

With a lattice back and cushion seat, Global Views light wood armchair has an elegant air. 

Photo courtesy of C. Bell

Fretwork sides and round nickel pulls on the new C. Bell Collection Sarge Desk makes it a winner for it's Chippendale interest and substantial size.

Photo courtesy of Bungalow 5

A simple silhouette with classical lines, the white lacquered Porto Dining Table from Bungalow 5 is sleek and chic.

 X-based bunching tables from the newest Bernhardt collection are simple and functional.

 Always have a place to set a drink with Emissary's ceramic octagonal garden seat with lattice detailing.

Global Views does it again, with a laser-cut fretwork detailed marble coffee table with plenty of surface area for stacks of books and hurricanes.

Photo courtesy of Oomph

Backgammon is a frequent past time that is best paired with rum drinks. I hear the Rum Dum is the thing to swill. Oomph's table has room for each player's glass.

Photo courtesy of Circa Who

A foyer could benefit from the addition of breezy natural bamboo, like this vintage console and mirror from Circa Who.

A nightstand that actually has space to put things is key. This two-tiered version, the Rennie, from Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill does the job well.

A great pediment and column detail on Mr. Brown's vast bookcase brings a touch of English to the islands.

Cut-out doors and a light limed finish on Studio A's cabinet provides storage and surface area for  a dining room or living room.

 Photo courtesy of Haymarket Designs

Monogrammed beach towels from Haymarket Designs come in a zillion bright and cheery patterns and colors. They make great thank you gifts. I was going to get them for my mom in Florida, but she beat me to it.

Photo courtesy of Helen Kaminski

When you would rather go incognito, Helen Kaminski's wide-brimmed raffia hat does the trick.

Photo courtesy of Quadrille/Taigan

For the beach and lunch under an umbrella, Quadrille Shorts in their Aquarius print.  I will be taking along my Quadrille tote bag as my carry on, a job it has performed well for years.

Photo courtesy of Jack Rogers

I'm not advocating wearing these with the coordinating shorts above (!), try pairing these Quadrille for Jack Rogers with all white for a polished look.

Photo courtesy of Della Terasi

Light up the night in a Della Terasi silk Mandarin Tunic made of Fortuny fabric.

Photo courtesy of Shellkare

Keep cool in a versatile Kate linen Kaftan by Shellkare with beautiful embroidery and beading.

Photo courtesy of Sail to Sable Sail to Sable's linen Flirty Dress is in the perfect shade of shell pink Bahamas homes are often painted in.

Photo courtesy of Chance

Updated classics, like Chance's striped sailor shirt in aqua and white stripes broadens the Breton 's match-ability.

Photo courtesy of Trina Turk

With a singular shining sun charm, Trina Turk's chain link bracelet is simple and elegant on the wrist. It would work well with the striped boatneck shirt above.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

A nautical Knot bracelet from J. Crew adds a glimmer of gold with classic knots.

Photo courtesy of Julie Vos

A clear aqua Chalcedony hangs from a chunky gold chain on Julie Vos's long Robi necklace that adds a bit of color to a tunic for evening. It is the same necklace pictured above with Della Terasi's silk top.

Photo courtesy of Kotur

Ombred silk on Kotur's blue stried straw bag with silk tassel has charm, with just enough space for the basics.

 Photo courtesy of Annabell Ingalls

Mixing raffia and leather, Annabell Ingall's Sunny Bag is a good carryall tote bag for lugging beach stuff.

CURVES AHEAD! 20 STYLISH CHAIRS FROM HIGH POINT

by Marisa Marcantonio

Sweeping lines and curvilinear details  are helping to redefine the side chair. Working with positive and negative space, silhouettes are becoming more important. Often referred to as "personality pieces," these chairs provide an interesting place to perch that adds exciting detail to a room scheme. Curves lead your eye around a piece, allowing the attributes of the chair become the star. As always, comfort is key, so curvy must provide the addition of personality as well as the invitation to stay awhile. Here are the High Point Market finds that bring sexy back.

A new dining chair from Drexel Heritage has tailored tufting on it's curvacious back.  Clean lines and comfort converge.

Taking the wing chair and adapting it, this Drexel Heritage chair with a lower back still envelops the sitter.

Century had fun with a cut-out wood framed back here, calling upon classic Chinoiserie fretwork details for  a geometric element. Their Chin Hua collection was one of the high points at market.

Like an early American antique modernized in metal, Zentique fuses Klismos with classic. You may want too add a cushion to the burlap seat.

Bringing the arms of the classic Klismos chair around for a wider embrace, this Noir perch would make for  a great desk chair in a study.

I love this  Chinese chair from Century with it's low profile and crisp white finish, it looks fresh and exciting even though the inspiration is centuries old.

Phoebe and Jim Howard's foray into furniture was big this past market with their new launch, Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture. A neo wing chair they did with Sherrill has a low roll arm and curvy yet less wrapped sides.

Another Klismos! Hey, if it's been around this long, you know the silhouette works. What is nice about this chair is it has a low back so it works pulled up to a dining table or along the walls when not in use. An upholstered seat and back make it comfortable.

With a back that follows the curves of a wooden Chippendale chair, this version from Mrs. Howard for Sherrill is upholstered, again, for cozy purposes. A carved wooden leg has just enough decorative detail.

Bunny Williams' Beeline Home just came out with a curvy-backed tufted and upholstered side chair too, and the scale of it is just perfect. Not to mention the raspberry linen upholstery and white frame! Sold!

A great chair for a living room seating arrangement, Lee's upholstered armchair with tight back and lose seat is reminiscent of a classic French bergere with a comfortable pitch.

A straight back and cut corners on Lexington Home Brand's wood framed chair with tight back and lose seat is another winner. The back cuts in and the seat has a barrel shape that supports a nice, thick cushion.

Mixing highly polished wood, chrome and leather, Lexington Home Brands new side chair has deco sensibilities with Mad Men-allure.

Geometric cut-outs form octagonal and square patterns on the back of Palacek's white bamboo chair. Florida residents, you need these for your game tables!

I have a thing for upholstered legs. Michelle Nussbaumer did them so well in her Greystone Maison de Luxe Showhouse chairs, and here they are again. They provide an unbroken line that does not detract from the form. A softly sloping back give this chair from Hickory Chair just the right amount of detail and the padded arm is just wide enough. 

If you are channeling great vintage finds, and who isn't these days, then you too will find this modified woven wicker Peacock chair from Palacek amazing.   

Upholstered with cut out arms, Gabby's vintage-inspired chair can transition from a desk to a seating area in no time.  If you are working with a small space, this is the multi tasker for you.

This chair just has so much to add to the conversation with personality plus. Shrinking the wing chair down using its best attributes, Julian Chichester added tufting and nail head trim along with a tapered bobbin leg to make it fun fun fun.

Turning the settee silhouette on its head, Mr. Brown just launched a sexy, tailored high - backed piece with arms that rise out of the seat. 

Low and lean with a tight seat and back, this Mr. Brown wing chair is a little bit Jetsons, a little bit Brit bad boy. All curves, it borrows the tapered wood leg from mid century while being distinctly of this day and age.