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7 Trends from High Point's 2023 Fall Market

My sister – Melissa Hart of Melissa Hart Interiors – and I just got back from the Fall 2023 Market in High Point, North Carolina, which is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) furniture and interior design trade shows in the country. The show happens twice a year, although my sister and I usually only go to the October show because it's a big time commitment, especially since I have to take time off from my regular 9-5 job in PR to attend.


This year's show was fantastic as always. After five days of walking around and viewing hundreds of showrooms, I saw seven distinct trends that I think we'll continue to see in design heading into 2024.


Trend 1: Safari chairs

Safari chairs have been around since Danish designer Kaare Klint introduced them in 1933, but it was Swedish designer Arne Norell who really popularized them in the mid-twentieth century with the debut of his Sirocco chair in 1964. Vintage versions of Norell's design go for at least a few thousand dollars, if not more, on sites like 1stDibs, although Norell still sells the chair brand new. And, you can still buy Kaare Klint chairs through Carl Hansen & Son.


This fall, the design world collectively decided that every showroom would have a version of a safari chair. But of course, each furniture manufacturer has tweaked their design slightly to offer a somewhat unique look that still remains true to the spirit of the original design. My favorite reinterpretation is Lee Industries' ode to the safari chair, which they showed at market with a combination leather and shearling upholstery in a few different colorways, including new versions in navy and sage green. I also found a few others online that are pretty cool, too!



Trend 2: Mushrooms

I don't know if there's a group dictating trends for the design world, but for some reason we saw mushrooms everywhere at market. We mostly saw them used as decor pieces, but I am far more interested in how some brands are interpreting the mushroom look in furniture and lighting designs.



Trend 3: Aubergine

Sage green was the color we saw everywhere at the Fall 2022 Market. And, even though Benjamin Moore has announced Blue Nova as its 2024 Color of the Year, aubergine and shades of purple were actually popping the most at market this season. Aubergine has surprisingly more neutral properties as a color in design than you might think, so I would keep an eye on how it evolves in use in the year ahead.


Trend 4: Mohair

Mohair, which is a soft wool that comes from the Angora goat, is not a new upholstery material by any means, although it is a luxurious one that we've seen in past seasons' showrooms. This season, many brands had at least one if not multiple items upholstered in mohair velvet, with notable dyes including blues and terracotta browns. Given the price point (one mohair we saw is priced at $630/yard), I'm not sure we'll see real mohair break into the mass or "fast furniture" markets, but we could see faux mohair, e.g., lower grade velvets made to mimic mohair, begin trending. In fact, here's an example of a faux mohair chair that CB2 is selling for anyone who wants the mohair look for less.



Trend 5: Polished nickel and chrome lighting

This market we saw a healthier mix of brass and polished chromes and nickels – which to me signals that the latter are coming back into style. Note: I don't think brass is going anywhere, as it's still a fan favorite for many. I myself am definitely regaining an affinity for polished silvers after seeing so many beautiful new debuts at this season's show. The online photos of these items do not do them justice, so please excuse the photos I took of them at market...!



Trend 6: Statement tables

I don't know if this is an actual trend, but I think it should be. We saw a lot of unique tables at market, everything from unusual dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, accent tables, you name it. To me, table design is evolving across showrooms to focus more on statement table pieces. I don't think that every table in your space needs to make a splash, but I love the idea right now of having at least one statement table in my home. Some of my favorites from market are linked here.


Trend 7: Cork

I'm not going to lie, this is my least favorite trend this season. Like burl wood (which is still trending, by the way), cork isn't everyone's cup of tea, but nevertheless it's beginning to trend into showrooms. Cork is a sustainable material made of wood, harvested by peeling back the tree bark and shaving off layers of wood, negating the need to cut the whole tree down. Cork as an upholstery material has been in use in Europe for many years already, but is just now making its way to the US market. In the spring, only a few US manufacturers had the ability to fabricate cork as an upholstery material, but more are gaining access to do so.


So far, cork fabric in the US is limited to small items since cork is not a breathable fabric and is a tricky material to manipulate across larger surface areas (this is why you won't see it on armchairs or sofas). But, potential advancements in how the material is manufactured could very well change all that.


Here are some photos of the cork items we saw at market, including a lamp and cabinet.


Finally, I want to give an honorable mention again to boucle, which is STILL in vogue. Last year, I wrote a blog post in which I predicted we would see more unexpected uses of boucle in 2023, including new colorways. As expected, this market we saw fresh dyes on boucle upholstery, with the most common new colors being amber red and varying shades of blue. Will this continue in 2024? Yes, and I'd be willing to put money on it!

All this to say, there's a lot going on in the world of design right now. Do you have any favorite trends?


Happy nesting,

Christine

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