High Point Market Report: New Traditional Won My Heart

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We just got back from the spring High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry show in the world, where we were dazzled by the newest looks in interior design. While I’m still flying high, I had to tell you about my favorite trends for 2016.

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The Nell Hill’s team was wowed by the consistent theme we saw at market: Designers celebrating the past by reinterpreting classic styles with a fresh new eye. It is right in sync with our look at Nell Hill’s: The New Traditional. I lost my heart years ago to timeless furnishings. But I like to keep a classic style lively by punching it up with a few modern or contemporary pieces. The designers at market this spring gave us lots to play with!

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Wood Furniture: Something Old & Something New

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I adore antique wooden secretaries and have used them in my own home. So I was drawn to this leggy beauty. What’s different? Proportions. It’s taller, thinner, a bit more exciting. The finish on this piece was also magnificent, following a 27-step process, where different stains are applied, then rubbed off to reveal the rich colors beneath.

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We have not carried classic claw-foot tables for years at Nell Hill’s, but this sensational table captured my heart.  Check out this designer’s interesting new read on “claw foot” …

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… the toes of the claw are spread, to perch on top of a Lucite ball. Talk about a conversation piece!

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For those of us who live with lots of books, finding great bookcases is a must. This charming painted chest brings in a fun floral shape to give the glass doors a playful look.

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Lots of our customers like to use etageres in their room plans, so I’m always on the lookout for great designs when I go to market. Loved this bamboo piece, with the juxtaposition of the natural materials and the more industrial shelving.

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This etagere, with its strong, clean lines, is classic yet edgy, an ideal transitional piece. I could see it in a bathroom, holding rolls of towels and jars of luxurious bath products. Or, in a formal study.

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You don’t have to have a beach house to adore the simple look of this weathered wood coffee table with its industrial-feel aged stone-like top.

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A classic, this document box end table looks like it’s been carried on campaigns around the world. It’s a smart addition to a living room that’s evolved and eclectic.


Upholstered Furniture: It’s all about the Texture

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We fell hard for the new upholstered furniture silhouettes we saw at market this year, classic pieces reinvented for a cleaner, more modern look. Like this wingback chair, reborn with simple lines and an edgy medallion fabric.

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When it comes to color palettes, everything is in now. Some designers embraced a bold mix of saturated hues and unapologetic patterns, like wide stripes. Others used quiet neutrals in a mix of textures to tell a room’s story. This sweet casual chair, which was so comfortable, I had to force myself to get up, was covered in a yummy, touchable velvet.

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I’m not super crazy about designers picking one look and forcing it on all of us. So I was excited to see so many different styles embraced in upholstered furniture this year, from a casual farmhouse feel, to mid-century modern, to reinvented antiques.

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In furniture upholstery right now, everything goes. We saw the range, from very casual textiles, which would be at home in my cottage, to sublimely sophisticated fabrics, like a tone-on-tone shadow print, the new answer to damask patterns of old. We’re ordering a furniture grouping that pulls in these wonderful gray and cream fabrics.

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We swooned over this black, cream and coral combo.

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And this green and tan treatment. Is anybody else this nerdy about textiles?


Lighting: Everything Goes

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Lighting is emerging from the shadows as a major design feature in well curated rooms. And at market, we were charged up by all the options. Minimalist lanterns like these are great over a table or island.

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Check out how these industrial pendant lamps were displayed, lying on top of a tall bookcase, with the ropy cords hanging down.

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Lots of the styles at market, from the clothing on the participants to the merchandise on display, celebrated the groovy styles of the 1960 and ‘70s, a style that inspired this refreshing pendant light.

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Shaped perfectly to hang over a kitchen island or dining table, this boxy light fixture of weathered white wood mixes country charm and industrial chic, with its trendy Edison bulbs.


Artwork: Strong Colors, Strong Lines

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I adore mixing a modern painting or two in with classic artwork in a traditional home. It gives the space a B12 shot, lots of energy and excitement. These strong, bold black and white paintings would be a powerful presence on a big, open wall.

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Botanical prints have made my heart flutter for decades. So I was a bee to honey when I saw these new botanicals, which are cleaner, simpler and stronger than the antiques I love so much.

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Abstracts, with big swaths of color and movement, can be arresting focal points …

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…or serene background visuals, depending upon the colors and strokes the artists use. They just make me feel great when I look at them!

We ordered, and ordered, and ordered, and in 90 days or so, the new furniture, lighting, artwork and accents will begin arriving at Nell Hill’s. Before I left, Dan gave me a lecture on how much merchandise our warehouse could hold, and that I was not to order more than we can comfortably fit. Ooops! Blew that one! Thankfully, I have a few months to prepare him, because the warehouse is going to be bulging at the seams with all these amazing new things.

Next Week … Come back with me to Innisfree, my cottage by the lake. I’ll share with you how I work dishes – one of my passions – into my cottage’s décor.