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.

THE SUBTLE SOPHISTICATION OF SHAGREEN

by Marisa Marcantonio

Shagreen, stingray and shark skin, known in French as Galuchat (everything sounds better in French, don't you agree?) after a French master craftsman who worked with the material,  is recognizable by its tell-tale circular pattern of calcified scales on the surface and slight sheen. You can find beautiful antique shagreen pieces, often Art Deco period,  in a pale green coloration. But more recently, shagreen, both faux and real have made a comeback as a surface material. The appeal lies in the textural interest and subtle luxurious look of the varied skin.  It can be found in a wide variety of colors, on large and small pieces, making it a wonderful accent to both modern and traditional interiors. 

Photo courtesy of Garrison Rousseau 

A plethora of pastel-hued shagreen telephone tables made by Garrison Rousseau crafted in the Philippines make me swoon.  His assortment of beautiful furniture covered in shagreen is endless.

Photo courtesy of Century 

A classic Gueridon table gets the glam treatment with an inlaid shagreen top at Century Furniture. Note the charming hoof feet.

Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair 

Mixing a rich Mahogany and Rosewood alongside a faux shagreen, Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair channels Art Deco simplicity of form in the Margaux Table.

Photo courtesy of Walker Zabriskie 

Clean lines and plinth simple design provide a minimalist style in Walker Zabriskie's shagreen coffee table

 Photo courtesy of Kemble Interiors 

Based on a vintage design, this curvilinear custom coffee table by Kemble Interiors

through Dering Hall is covered in pale pink shagreen with a lacquer overlay. it is a great option for larger spaces. 

Photo courtesy of Gabby 

Soft curves covered in charcoal faux-shagreen on Gabby's Sutton Coffee Table through Candelabra.

Photo courtesy of DwellStudio

A sexy round low cocktail table, The Milo from DwellStudio from Zinc Door, is topped with grey faux shagreen and sits on a triangle-shaped black iron base.

 Photo courtesy of Made Goods 

Streamlined and covered in ecru faux shagreen, the versatile Sorin Nightstand from Made Goods can work double-duty as a nightstand or small dresser. 

Photo courtesy of Regina Andrews

 The Prism Mirror by Regina Andrews through Zinc Door covers all the right angles with a Deco feel. I am crazy about this piece.

 Photo courtesy of Two's Company

I cannot get enough of these trinket trays from Two's Company. Each season they come up with new designs, and I especially like the faux shagreen pale hues they do. These come in handy on every table.

Photo courtesy of Monc 13

 Beautifully quilted pieces of purple shagreen are like a puzzle on De Nacre et D'Orient's stunning inlaid jewelry box from Monc 13. The purple is jazzy.

 Photo courtesy of AERIN 

Providing a luxe spot to store baubles, AERIN'S sky blue embossed shagreen jewelry box trimmed with gold has a pretty closure detail. It would make a special gift anyone serious about pretty storage.

RIGHT SIZED: THE BEST STYLISH UPHOLSTERY FOR CITY LIVING

by Marisa Marcantonio

After years of attending High Point Furniture Market, trade shows and visiting showrooms galore, I have had plenty of time to hone my eye for upholstery. I find my tastes have changed over the years, and currently I am really liking tight-backed sofas and chairs, and pieces with a cleaner silhouette. I am in the process of an apartment overhaul and carefully considering everything I choose. As I think about what I would like to live with, I have taken a deep dive into the subject.  Examining proportion, pitch, length and depth in small, right-sized sofas and upholstered chairs, I seek pieces to complement city apartment living. Tight back, loose back, the reverse, tufting or not, roll arm or straight, exposed leg or skirt? Here is what I have come up with, and as you can see, there is no shortage of great pieces that fit the bill. I hope it will help you when making decisions for clients and your home. Being that the sofa is often the star of the living room, it is an important, considered purchase.

The only hard part is choosing! 

TIGHT BACK SOFAS:

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Berry Sofa from Century Furniture has a chalk white leg and long seat cushion that I love. Pared down chic.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

If you prefer two cushions, here you go. Wesley Hall does a loose seat tight back version, 1742-77 with deep sink-into cushions.

  Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

The 1009-2 Loveseat from Lee Industries is adorably right-sized.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

The Geranium Sofa by John Derian for Cisco Brothers with a high arm and minimal decorative accents is reminiscent of an early American design.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Oscar de la Renta designed Dutch Sofa for Century Furniture. I sat in it today at NYDC 200 Lex and I love it.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A nice thick, long cushion to sink into for naps on Lee Industries 3278-11 sofa makes it a contender.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

The Meadow Sofa from John Derian for Cisco Brothers can take lots of pillows.

 Photo courtesy of Kravet

Kravet's Tulane Sofa with nice turned leg and roll arm with tight back and seat for perching is perfect for one stop shopping- get your fabric and upholstery all in one showroom.

Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

Drexel Heritage's Tisbury Sofa with a roll arm and two pillows is another great option.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Century Furniture's Oldfield Sofa with a cross stretcher base and casters comes with two bolster pillows.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Ooh more bolsters! High sides and a tight back on the 1840-72 settee from Wesley Hall for those that want a piece with an historically-evocative silhouette.

  Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Hickory Chair's Monroe Sofa by Suzanne Kasler has a loose seat, tight back, exposed leg and curved arm.

 Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Howard

Sherrill Furniture's new Mr. and Mrs. Howard line is easy to love, as is this pared down chic two seater sofa with clean roll arm and light wood base with turned legs.

EXPOSED WOOD LEG SOFAS:

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A straight arm and loose seat and back on a Lee Industries Apartment sofa mean movie watching comfort. If skirts are not your thing, this has enough interest going on at the base.

Sink into a three seater, The Pelham, with loose seat and back from Kravet. A Lawson sofa is always a good way to go for a more masculine look.

 Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

The Templeton Apartment sofa by Jonathan Adler for some mid-century flair.

LOVESEATS:

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

A classic two seater, the Colefax Sofa from Hickory Chair. The addition of the tape trim at the bottom adds that extra special detail.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

 A nice two seater with straight arm from Lee

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Mariette Himes Gomez designed this girly Boudoir Loveseat for Hickory Chair with a sweet pleat

   Sometimes a small kidney loveseat is just the thing.

Oomph's new Tini Loveseat would work at the end of a bed as well as in a second seating layout in a larger room.

Currey and Company has this nice Lancaster Swedish Settee for tete a tete's.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Elkins Tufted Settee from Century Furniture is tailored and old world.

 Photo courtesy of Kravet

The La Salle armless sofa from Kravet is great for the foot of the bed. Cushiony cozy too.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

A tight seat and tight high back on Wesley Hall's 700-54 settee makes it a good piece for a hallway. The curved apron is a nice touch.

TUFTED SOFAS:

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

 Hickory Chair's Marler Tufted Apartment Sofa is a classic and refined for a sitting area or a nice add on in a bedroom seating arrangement.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Another classic tufted choice, Wesley Hall's 1740-77 sofa.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

Tufted with a tight seat this sofa 1331-03 by Lee Industries is gracious and the tailored skirt gives it polish.

SITTING PRETTY:

Photo courtesy of Dwell Studio

Dwell Studio's Mallory Chair has a touch of mid-century modness with tapered leg and cut out back.

Photo courtesy of Jayson Home

Milo Baughman-inspired, The Clarke Chair from Jayson Home rocks.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

I like the mid- century- meets- arts- and- crafts lines of this Lee Industries 1290-01 chair.

TUFTED BACK CHAIRS:

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Cozy for reading, Hickory's Holly Chair designed by Mariette Himes Gomez is like a tufted marshmallow. I mean that in the best way--

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Hawk's Ridge Chair from Century Furniture upholstered in a great color velvet is a good fireside chair.

 Photo courtesy of Beeline Home

Cozy time with a throw and a book in Beeline's T42 tufted reading chair has me dreaming.

 Photo courtesy of Lexington Home Brands

Lexington Home Brands take on a classic bridgewater chair, The Augustine.

 Photo courtesy of Mr. Brown

Mr. Brown's Lounge Chair has a nice deep seat and a few tufts for good measure. The curved back and slim arm are very appealing.

 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

The Julian Chair from Drexel Heritage with tufted square back and loose seat is long on English charm and a workhorse.

SLIPPER CHAIRS:

 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

Diminutive charm with the Elkins Chair from Century Furniture.

 This little darling, The Mini Chair from Oomph is the perfect pull up chair. Piping trim adds a little more oomph.

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Beyond. The new Charleston Slipper Chair from Charlotte Moss is part of the Century Icons program in specific showrooms around the country.

 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

With casters, the Cabot Chair from Drexel Heritage will fill in nicely when guests arrive.

TIGHT BACK CHAIRS:

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Century Furniture Emma Chair is like mini wing chair.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Perhaps you prefer an English-inspired armchair on turned leg with turned arms. Wesley Hall's 783 Chair has you covered.

Elite Leather has a version too, The Flores, created by Nathan Turner for them.

 The Pierre Chair from Beeline Home has a splayed arm and curvy back that adds some movement and personality in an upholstered piece. This one had me from hello.

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

I am just so taken with the cut corners on the Boyd Chair and it's upholstered leg from from Hickory Chair.

 Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture had a slightly deco rounded arm that worked well with a turned wooden leg and base.

 Beeline Home's Azure Chair is polished with a tight back and exposed chalk white leg. I like that it is really upright. Does that mean it will make my back feel better? Gosh, I hope so.

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

This go anywhere Virginia Chair from Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair with a small roll arm and tight back is good for the tall folk, i.e.,  not me!

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Hickory Chair's March Lounge Chair from the Gomez Collection is the epitome of refinement.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

 Cisco's Tulip Chair by John Derian has just the right amount of curvy detailing at the top of the back and always grabs my attention when I see it.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A curved back and loose seat on 1846-01 for a bit of polish from Lee Industries.

 Photo courtesy of Julian Chichester

The Virginia Chair from Julian Chichester has a nice profile and fit arms.