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Behind the Scenes: How We Shop for You at Markets

Sourcing furnishings for your home isn’t a job I take lightly. With two kids, a hyperactive dog, a new kitten, and an insane schedule, I know how important it is to invest in the right furnishings — ones that bring you ease, functionality, durability, and peace of mind. & beautiful style, of course.

This is why I love, LOVE our local design showroom here in San Antonio. It’s where we have access to our network of trusted vendors and partners, those we regularly work with to bring you the best possible pieces for your home.

However, our partner showroom isn’t the only place we go to source smart, beautiful investment pieces. There are also several large-scale markets held throughout the year, where our favorite vendors — & new gems waiting to be discovered! — showcase their entire product lines. 

High Point Market, located in North Carolina, is one of the biggest, hosting hundreds of vendors in both the fall & spring. We joined an enormous crowd of designers this fall, and attended for the very first time. Today, I can’t wait to show you behind the scenes…

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Why Visit High Point Market?

So, what’s the draw? What makes High Point Market such a mecca, & why is it worth the trip? A big overarching benefit of observing the market as a whole is clearly seeing emerging trends and using it as a source of inspiration for our designs. (Keep reading to see what interior design trends we spotted this year!)

Our go-to local showroom vendors have their expansive flagship venues at market, so we loved getting the chance to visit them and really understand their ethos and goals. With their full collections on display and opportunities to sit-test, open drawers, & carefully inspect pieces, it was reassuring to verify the quality and craftsmanship we value. 

We also had the opportunity to meet the CEOs & VPs of smaller and emerging companies to learn their brand mission, vision, & goals, to ensure they align with ours. 

Beyond the showroom experience, High Point Market offers a fantastic opportunity for professional growth. There were presentations and seminars to educate designers & foster networking…. buuuut, to be honest, visiting 2 dozen showrooms took all our time. However, we did meet friends & industry experts in person to catch up on all the design industry news! So fulfilling all around.

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The Verdict: What We Loved

Visiting High Point Market is like competing in an Olympic event. We were up really early each day & stayed as late as the market was open – saying we were exhausted is an understatement. Fortunately, the showrooms fed and caffeinated us, and with sofas & chairs everywhere, we were able to take a literal load off when we needed to.

Was everything at Market gorgeous? No, we certainly found plenty of “janky” things (Colleen coined the term on our trip). Don’t worry – those will never make it into our clients’ homes. What did we love? From the many exclusive vendors we visited, we found a few favorites.

Moody & Immersive: This showroom was a vibe! With a huge sofa that practically swallowed us (pro tip: seat depth & back height matter), a blazing fire, and moody walls, there was so much to love & we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here.

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Fabrics: Of all the showrooms we visited, this space had the best fabrics. The quality was evident in every sample, and the variety of colors & patterns was vast.

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Quality Comfort: This showroom was a big fave for all of us. Every piece we sit-tested was comfy and looked great, too. This vendor is great for families – their sofas will hold up to life with kids.

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Sensory Experience: While their furniture pieces were underwhelming, we had to give this showroom a top prize for styling. This speaks to the psychology that your senses can be easily tricked – a gorgeous showroom can make you feel like the furniture is nicer than it really is. Styling really can make a difference, & I was surprised at how few vendors put effort into it.

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Lighting: There was so much to see here, but the lighting? Insane! From large, bold statement fixtures to more understated designs, the range of creativity in lighting was serious eye candy.

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The Takeaway: Interior Design Trends for 2024

High Point Market was absolutely fun and inspiring, but one of my personal favorite takeaways is having greater confidence in the lines that we’re already specifying. In particular, we knew we loved our top 2 upholstery lines, & now we love them even more!

In general, High Point Market was evidence that while quality furniture is an investment, you get what you pay for. Real hands are building each product, making sure the seams are perfect & construction is solid. And I can assure you – we can feel the difference. Meeting the people behind the gorgeous designs was also special. When buying furniture, brand stories matter, and the small & personal vendors were my favorite.

As for the trends, we certainly saw some broad themes in furniture:

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Earth tones: Bye bye, sad gray storm cloud houses. Cozy warmth is back in a big way with browns & other earth tones, and I’m relieved!

Curves: Gentle curves & scallops were everywhere, from sofas to sideboards and accessories. We’re definitely seeing a shift from hard lines to soft, sweet shapes.

Textured, Colorful Fabrics: We saw SO much gorgeous texture in upholstery. A mix between boucle & tweed seems to be especially hot right now – we saw it everywhere.

Motion & Sofa Beds: I’m not talking about your grandparents’ pull-out sofa or recliners, here… We were pleasantly surprised to find an exceptionally comfortable sofa bed & that motorization on sectionals and chairs can be beautiful!

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How to Shop Smart for Your Furnishings 

High Point Market was a whirlwind, and it feels great to check it off my to-do list. After reflecting as a team, we don’t plan to go regularly in the future, but this initial visit was an important trip for us. Our main goal was to rank our go-to upholstery, case goods, rugs, & lighting vendors, top to bottom, based on quality. We accomplished all of this & more. Our mental catalog is massive, and we can’t wait to share it with you, our clients!

When it comes to selecting furniture for YOUR home, expensive does not always mean comfortable, but something exceptionally comfortable will be an investment — so make it the right one! 

If you’re ready to let us guide you and your investment in the best way possible, let’s connect

Xo,
Shawna

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