Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Last weekend I made my first trip to High Point Market (HPMKT), the largest international home furnishings industry trade show in the world! Held twice a year in High Point, NC this year's market boasted some pretty impressive stats:

  • 180 Buildings
  • 11.5 Million Square Feet of Showspace
  • 75,000 Attendees Each Market
  • More Than 2,000 Exhibitors
  • Over 100 Countries Represented

As a design professional, I was thrilled to finally be attending HPMKT and looking forward to all the design inspiration I'd encounter. I was also excited about sharing new, innovative products with my clients back and design enthusiasts home.

I arrived at High Point on Friday and instantly realized that they weren't kidding when they said going to HPMKT would be like nothing you've ever experienced before.  It was a designer's wonderland! HPMKT is the mecca of the home fashion industry and it, by far, exceeded every expectation I had. 

As I visited showroom after showroom, I spotted several design trends along the way.  This week I'll be sharing which trends really stood out to me at market, recapping my experience as a first timer at market and sharing photos of my favorite showrooms and products I discovered while there.

I'll start with these 2 decor trends:


Floral pattern and lots of delicate design details were abound at this year's market. 

In the Highland House showroom, there was no shortage of floral prints on everything from upholstery to drapery.

This settee, with its delicate frame, bold color and floral upholstery was an absolute showstopper.  

I also spotted floral designs used in innovative and unconventional ways at this year's market. 

The work of talented designer/artist Tommy Smith is an excellent example of this. Tommy uses materials such as steal, brass, copper, gold leaf to create stunning floral masterpieces. I found myself marveling at the intricate detail featured in all of his pieces.

This stunning gilded piece, measured over 48 inches and would make a great focal piece in any room.

I was blown away by Tommy's innovation and creative manipulation of traditional materials.  Each of his metal sculptures is hand made in his North Carolina studio.


Organic texture and eco friendly products were also big at HPMKT.  

I spotted accessories, found objects and textiles rich in texture and elemental in composition in almost every showroom.

Gloval Views

Jaipur Living

And just in time for summer! While at HPMKT, I was introduced to this amazing product by EcoSmart. 

EcoSmart Fire

If you're thinking of planning a revamp of your outdoor space or looking to create an outdoor space with an unexpected design element this is the product for you. 

EcoSmart Fireplaces are fueled by clean burning, eco-friendly bioethanol (denatured alcohol) and come in an array of styles suitable for any decorating style.

Because bio ethanol is clean burning, EcoSmart Fireplaces do not need a chimney or a flue no gas or electricity connections are required to operate the EcoSmart fireplaces and fire pits, making this a great product for either an indoor or outdoor space. The company also specializes in turning traditional fireplaces into eco-friendly ones.

Wouldn't this look lovely at a sunset soiree in your backyard?

Textured Metal Sculptural Wall Art at Gold Leaf Design Group

Colorful, organic and eclectic at Selamat Designs

Reams of handmade paper on display at Gold Leaf Design Group

These hand-loomed pillows from Meson Del Coco tell a story of Mexican tradition passed down through generations of master artisans in small towns in Mexico.

Hand-loomed Wool Pillows

I was fortunate enough to speak with Martha Leano Chaurand, owner of the company while at market. Here is Martha showing off her favorite pillow from their spring collection.  

She explained the intricate process of creating these beautiful pieces and why it is so important to her to preserve the Mexican textile tradition for generations to come.  Her company even offers classes in hand-looming. 

As you can see, my trip to HPMKT was full of a variety of experiences and this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. HPMKT is a great place to discover one of a kind finds as well as the latest products from both well known and up-and-coming vendors.  

In addition to being a great source for home furnishing, HPMKT is also a great place to connect with other design industry friends both new and old. In my next post I'll be sharing a few more trends I spotted at High Point, showing you photos of fabulous new home decor products and talking about all of the people I met while I was there.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Have you ever watched a television show and found yourself admiring the color of the main character's sofa, a handsome piece of artwork mounted above the fireplace or the inviting shade of paint color on the walls?

As a designer, when I watch television, I often find my eye wondering beyond the actors and into the background, studying the set's design. From attending my first Broadway play with my mother as a little girl to watching family sitcoms with my children today, I have always been intrigued by art of set design.

Set design is just as important as the story being told. A well thought out set transports viewers to the space and time being depicted, allowing the story and characters to truly come alive.

I love the set of ABC's hit family sitcom Black-ish, featuring Anthony Anderson as "Dre" and Traci Ellis Ross as Rain"Bow". The setting is fresh, inviting and reflects an ideal contemporary family's lifestyle.

Maxine Shepard, the show's Production Designer, did an amazing job creating a stylish yet comfortable home.  Her design for the show reflects how thoughtful and intricate a process interior design can be. She includes family photos, clothing, artwork, books, toys and other thoughtful, tell-tale signs that create a space that feels current, authentic and lived-in.

Through color, lighting, furnishings and pattern, set design creates a specific mood for the entire production and reflects not only the characters, but also the time and place of the show.

Set designers spend lots of time researching the story's characters to better understand what the character's space might look like.  They work with directors, producers and even costume designers to make sure they get every nuance just right.

Just like in real life, how a space is decorated is a reflection of those who live there.

Each episode, I am so impressed with the level of detail included in the show's design. 

The twins, Diane and Jack, share a bedroom that features bold color and fun pattern.  The furnishings are practical for children their age and make the space feel genuine to the characters' personalities. 

What I also love about the show is that instead of using custom pieces, the set's designers chose to incorporate pieces from retailers readily available to the public such as Target, IKEA, and Crate & Barrel.  I recognize many of the items used on the set.

One of my favorite spaces on the show is Bow and Dre's bedroom.  I love the contemporary yet warm and cozy feel of the space. Some of my favorite features of their bedroom are the tufted bed with nailhead trim, the rich wall color and the dark wood floors.

The benefit of the set designers choosing accessible furnishings is that recreating a similar look in your own home is completely doable.

Here's a bedroom design board I created inspired by Bow and Dre's bedroom on the show.

For purchasing information and more details about each of the items shown in the design board I created, click on the direct links below:   

LampsBenchCurtainsBed, Nightstands, Wall Art, Wall Color, Blue Pillows, Purple Pillows

The cast's chemistry coupled with the genuine set design make for a truly winning combination. Black-ish airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm on ABC. Tune in this week and I'm sure you'll feel right at home!