Our Favorites from High Point Spring Market

Ohmygosh. The Nell Hill’s team and I just got back from the spring High Point Market, and I am looking for the words to describe how fabulous it was this year. In all my years of going to home furnishings markets, scouting for the unique mix of furnishings and accents that come together to make the Nell Hill’s look, this year’s High Point Market was the best yet.

In case you are not familiar with High Point Market, it’s the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, drawing 75,000 people to High Point, North Carolina. This is the show where hot new designers are discovered, the newest designs are revealed and decorating trends are cemented.

Our beginning was inauspicious this year. Our flight out of Kansas City was delayed, and by the time we reached Atlanta our connecting flight was long gone. Instead of waiting for a flight the next morning, and missing valuable shopping time, at midnight we rented a big van and set out on the five-hour drive to High Point in the rain. By the time we arrived at our hotel at 6:00 a.m., we knew each other’s life stories front and back!  The snapshot above is of our designer Kristen, all smiles at her first market, despite zero sleep.

We forgot our fatigue as soon as we walked in the doors. I don’t think we slowed down all day, because our enthusiasm was fueling our fire. You’ll see, too, when all the wonderful things we ordered begin to arrive at Nell Hill’s in about eight weeks. Until then, I wanted to give you a snapshot of our favorites. Above is a bed by designer Bunny Williams – fresh and fun.

There have been years at market where there was one main look echoed by all the designers. Not this year. To my joy, there were so many different looks, so many possible combinations, so much visual variety, that there was guaranteed to be a look that set your heart on fire. We loved the whimsy of these delightful headboards, capped by two yellow benches. Sensational!

Two of our favorite furniture makers, CR Laine and Lee Industries, were mixing it up with fabulous combinations of textures and prints in their upholstered furniture groupings. We went through hundreds of exhibitors’ spaces, and no one beat their look. They knocked it out of the park. We worked with the reps to design custom pieces for Nell Hill’s using the newest fabrics. I cannot wait for them to come in!

I swear it is not a requirement for working at Nell Hill’s that you have to love the color blue. But we all seem to share an all-consuming love for this hue. Our buying team gravitated to the wonderful ways this ever-popular color was being shown, through upholstered furniture, bedding, accents and more. The designers were pairing blue with lots of green this year, a look we adored. One vendor allowed us to design our own ready-made pillows, so we went to town!

The array of artwork was also staggering and fabulous. We snatched up Audubon prints, graphic photos, florals and abstracts. It’s all fresh, exciting stuff.

We discovered gorgeous wood pieces that will harmonize perfectly with the eclectic blend of furnishings, accents and artwork we ordered. Our shopping list included everything from the Sudden chair (featured in this month’s House Beautiful) from Althorp Estate in England, ancestral home of Princess Di, to more rustic rattan pieces. We adored the kitchen island in the photo above – practical and stylish.

We prefer evolved looks at Nell Hill’s, so we don’t just order a showroom full of furniture as displayed. Instead, we pull the best from myriad companies to build our own to-die-for rooms. We found some deals this year, and purchased pieces that span the spectrum from high end to high value, so there will be something for everyone. Case in point: These cheery pillows will help customers stretch their custom bedding budgets and look amazing on upholstered furniture.

Now, the hardest part is waiting for the trucks to roll in loaded with all these fabulous finds!

Next Week … Come to Innisfree to visit my garden, full of spring blooms.