Happy Wednesday friends!
Welcome back to week three of the One Room Challenge™. This weeks post is going to be all things High Point Furniture Market.
Need to catch up on previous weeks?
If you are not familiar with High Point furniture market, it is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world. Twice a year, interior designers, architects, and furniture stores flock to HP to view 12 Million Square Feet of Show space. What that looks like is 180 buildings and more than 2000 exhibitors. To break that down for perspective, I spent one and a half days at this last market and walked 12 miles.
Maybe next market I will challenge myself to walk the whole thing instead of riding 120 miles on my peloton. lol. jk
I have been to 20+ markets and I can honestly say, I’ve probably only seen a fraction of those exhibitors, its that big!
WHY I GO TO HP MARKET
I go to High Point Market for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is to shop and look for products for my clients. Being able to see, touch, sit and test out the product gives me the knowledge and hands on experience I need to confidentially recommend the product(s) to my clients.
I try to sit-test every piece of furniture I think I would specify. Usually, I try to pair up with a market buddy who is of a different height and size then myself, so we can compare how each piece sits based on our height and body type.
Beyond, the look and feel of the product. It is hugely important to understand the construction, quality and materials used in the product specified. It is my job to understand this and ask lots of questions that most people would never think to ask if they were to buy furniture from a retail store.
Do you know what your sofa is constructed of? Or the fiber content in your upholstery?
(designers excluded from these questions)
I also think it is really important to see the product and experience it in person to understand the scale of the item. I always look at the dimensions of a product, but lighting for instance is one item I think pictures will never do the product justice. It is always so much more gorgeous to see in person.
Below is an example of online images I used to spec my project, along side with my photos I took of the product in the showrooms. See how a piece can look totally different in person, just by the finish or fabric on it.
Fun Fact: I sourced almost my entire dining room while I was at HP market a couple ORCs ago.
Seeing new product introductions and trends. Being able to see new introductions that no one has seen yet is a huge advantage in my book. You really come away from market with a laundry list of distinctive and unique products that no one in the general public have seen yet. This is how designers keep their clients homes looking fresh and collected. It’s fun to see how trends take off and evolve over time. I love to make predictions on the trends to see how they will show up in the next market.
I always make time to walk thru the antique and design center to look for those one of a kind items or just something out of the box that adds that unexpected collected look to a space.
See my IG stories today for the trends I saw while I was at market.
Connecting. Beyond the sofas, rugs, lighting and accessories lies the people. Our industry is still and will remain a people business. The opportunity to meet one on one with my reps is invaluable. This is also a great opportunity to meet the product designers and owners of the companies. An opportunity to connect like this is rare. They really listen to our needs, wants and wishes and try to accommodate us best they can.
I also love being able to see my design friends from all over the country and meet new ones while in HP. I can’t tell you how many friends I have connected with here. We always have such a great time!
Every bit of my time spent at market adds value to my business and ultimately creates wonderful spaces for my clients that they will enjoy for many, many years.
This weekend was a whirlwind for me. I spent all day Sunday and half of Monday at market. My schedule was full of appointments from 8am-6pm Sunday but it was a very productive time. Despite the low attendance at this market, I really enjoyed spending some extra one on one time with my reps. And getting around was a breeze, not having to deal with crowds.
I also want to commend HP market for keeping us safe and healthy during this pandemic. We had daily temperature and health checks before we could get our entry bracelet for the day. Masks and social distancing were mandatory and hand sanitizer was everywhere. I never once felt uncomfortable being there. They did an excellent job.
Join me next Wednesday to find out what I found and sourced at High Point Furniture Market to bring my whole design together. In the mean time catch me on IG stories, you might just get a sneak peek at some more selections.
Be sure to check out the other Featured Designers below this week.