Pictured above are several colorways of the Baturi (left) and Niko Mod (right) wallpapers designed by Linherr Hollingsworth for Kravet Couture’s Boheme II collection.
Every six months, thousands of designers, furniture makers, buyers and other industry professionals gather in High Point, North Carolina. Here, they attend the world’s largest home furnishings market. The biannual High Point Market is not open to the general public. However, nearly seventy-five thousand trade professionals attend the event each Spring and Fall. At High Point, industry professionals gather to view vignettes, purchase products and track trends for the coming year. Each year, the High Point Market Authority selects thousands of exhibitors and invites dozens of panelists to discuss the assigned theme. This October, the theme of the Fall High Point Market was sustainability. The High Point Market Authority invited Laurence Carr, Nancy Fire and Jennifer Levy to craft eco-friendly spaces as part of their “Sustainability Stories” series. Though sustainability was the primary theme of this year’s Market, a few other trends stood out. From new takes on fringe and natural materials to antique detailing and unexpected pairings, we were truly wowed this year. Follow below to learn about seven interior design trends we noticed at the October High Point Market in 2021.
High Point Market Trends from October 2021
#1 New Takes on Fringe
One trend turning heads from showroom to showroom at this year’s market was fringe. From leather strips on light fixtures to ostrich feathers on ottomans, new takes on fringe were everywhere at the October 2021 High Point Market. Pieces that caught our eye while perusing the market include those from Baker Furniture, MadeGoods and Ngala Trading. Interior designers, furniture makers, writers and other industry experts all expect to see fringe continue its reign in 2022. For example, both Better Homes & Gardens writer Jessica Bennett and House Beautiful writer Mary Elizabeth Andriotis point to the highly textural trim as a major trend in the new year. In her article “These Are the Top 8 Interior Design Trends for 2022, Experts Say” for Better Homes & Gardens, Bennett quotes interior designer and principal at Curated Nest Interiors Erin Coren.
Coren expects to “see more fringe and decorative trim on the horizon” because fringe emerged as a major fashion trend this past year. According to Coren, “‘interior design is usually not far behind’” fashion, so fringe should find its way into more homes fairly soon. Quoting interior designer Julia Longchamps, Andriotis agrees in “These Are the Interior Design Trends That Will Be Huge in 2022” for House Beautiful. Longchamps points to fringe and other “chic and luxurious” elements as a “product of increased attention to detail” during the pandemic. Andriotis writes that Longchamps believes we will all “‘see fringe taking a front seat next year on furniture, especially sofas and ottomans.’”
Finding Fringe on Light Fixtures at High Point
At the October 2021 High Point Market, we certainly did see fringe on furniture like the Hallie Coffee Table from MadeGoods. However, we also saw fringe dangling from light fixtures. The NeKeia Collection by Keia McSwain and Ngala Trading is just one stunning example. A distributor of sustainably-sourced and ethically made lighting, furniture and other home goods, Ngala Trading presented their new collection – the brand’s first designer collaboration – at High Point Market this fall. The collection includes the Nairobi Pendant, the NeKeia Chandelier and the Ndidi Wall Sconce. All are made from premium leather and either nickel or brass. In his article “Ngala Trading to showcase NeKeia Collection at High Point” for Home Accents Today, Thomas Lester writes about the fringed fixtures. Lester quotes the company’s creative director and co-founder Lawson Ricketts.
Referencing the collection’s designer, Ricketts notes that McSwain “‘shares [Ngala’s] desire to bring luxurious African design to North America in a previously-unseen way.’” Ricketts believes that the new collection from Ngala “‘is the culmination of [the] artisans’ skill and passion, along with the incredible design aesthetic and eye for luxury that embodies Keia McSwain.’” According to an Instagram post made by Ngala Trading, “the NeKeia for Ngala Trading collection was designed entirely remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.’” Each piece from this collection stands as “a true testament to the strength in communication, excitement and dedication that was shared between…the designer, the product manufacturer and the artisans in South Africa.”
Designer and Style Spotter Keia McSwain Comments on the New Ngala Trading Collection
High Point Market Style Spotter Keia McSwain included the NeKeia chandelier in her segment for the “Style Spotters Summer / Fall 2021 Style Report.” Keia McSwain actually collaborated with Ngala Trading to create this incredible new line of chandeliers, sconces and pendant lights. McSwain celebrates the “freedom of movement and clean lines” in this chandelier as “bold and striking.” While we love the raw-edged, hand cut leather strips that make up this chandelier’s fringe, McSwain points to its brass base.
Alongside the Deneuve Cabinet front Julian Chichester and the Trieste Bench from Mr. Brown London, McSwain adds the NeKeia chandelier to a long list of pieces corresponding to this year’s brass interiors trend. The attention to detail paid by McSwain and the artisans who crafted these light fixtures recalls Julia Longchamps’ comment. View pieces from the collection here.
#2 Statement Wallpaper of a Very Different Stripe
Striped wallpaper is the second High Point Market trend on this list. From Stanton Gray and Kravet Inc to York Wallcoverings and Hancock & Moore, striped wallpaper was everywhere at High Point this season. In the Kravet Inc showroom alone, we noted two stunning striped wallpapers from the new Boheme II collection by Linherr Hollingsworth. These include Baturi and Niko Mod – both of which are pictured in this post’s featured image and can be shopped through LA Design Concepts. Find all the wall coverings from this collection online through LA Design Concepts here. One of our favorites is the Niko Mod wallpaper, which features a series of vertical stripes with half circles in varying tones of the same color palette. Nancy Fire and Jennifer Levy – both of whom designed “Sustainability Stories” vignettes for HPMKT 2021 – also chose striped wallpaper for their spaces. This High Point Market trend did not go unnoticed by publications reporting on the trade show either. In her article “10 LIVELY TRENDS TO UPDATE YOUR HOME THIS WINTER” for ElleDecor, Parker Bowie Larson writes that the stripes from High Point “will spruce up your living space.” Larson notes that stripes are “always a classic, and this year companies are using it in all capacities from furniture to fabrics.” Though stripes are indeed “a classic,” designers opted for interesting, innovative takes on the pattern at this season’s Market.
Stunning Striped Wallpapers from High Point Market
For example, York Wallcoverings presented their Moontide Wallpaper in Tan from the Artisan Digest Collection as part of their exhibition. This large scale wallcovering was inspired by the natural striations of agate and includes a variety of natural tones as well as gold specks. Find dozens of York Wallcoverings designs here through LA Design Concepts. Hancock & Moore also opted for a shimmering striped wallpaper. However, they chose a design from Philip Jeffries. Called “Parasol Stitch,” this Philip Jeffries wallpaper from the Spring 2021 collection is “reminiscent of resort awnings and sunshades.” Embroidered on a grasscloth wallcovering, these motifs strongly resemble the pendant light fixture chosen for this vignette. The “Lounger” colorway of this striped wallpaper was chosen by Hancock & Moore.
Nancy Fire also chose a Philip Jeffries striped wallpaper for her Sustainable Soirée vignette at High Point. Though Fire does not note which Philip Jeffries striped wallpaper she chose, it looks like one of the brand’s textured grasscloth designs. See shots of her vignette here. For her vignette, Jennifer Levy selected a custom, CAV design LEED certified wallpaper that resembles a desert sunset. According to her “Sustainability Stories” segment on the High Point Market website, Levy was “inspired by a warm fall evening in the desert [and] used the colors and texture of nature to inform her design.” Levy titled her vignette “Desert Breeze.”
#3 Antique Detailing and Vintage Silhouettes
Third on our list of High Point Market trends is antique detailing and vintage silhouettes. Over the last few years, attitudes towards both second-hand furniture and traditional designs have changed. Experts often attribute this change to our growing interest in sustainability and our increasing nostalgia for past periods in design history. In her November 2021 article “What’s Old Is New Again: Vintage Furniture Is The Hottest Home Decor Trend” for Vogue, Elise Taylor explains. Taylor writes that “in the social media age, popular, mass-produced items can feel over saturated in months and sometimes minutes.” Certain pieces might correspond to current design trends. However, vintage and antique furniture stands the test of time due to impeccable craftsmanship and artistic vision. Both of these are often severely lacking in mass-produced pieces from today’s fast furniture companies.
Vintage and Antique-Inspired Pieces from High Point Market Vendors
Vendors at this season’s High Point Market certainly flipped the script, exhibiting both antique and antique-inspired pieces throughout the show. Of course, there were those exhibiting in the Antique and Design Center – such as Chicago’s Architectural Anarchy and local favorite ARCHAIC. Alternatively, a number of other vendors chose to incorporate vintage elements. Theodore Alexander Furniture presented their Harlestone Club Chair, Northampton Chest and South Drawing Room Occasional Table. Each is crafted from Kahya wood and finished with brass ornamentation. As part of the brand’s Althorp Living History Collection, these pieces honor the painstaking craft of traditional furniture-making.
Additionally, Ambella Home presented their Tuffet Ottoman – a scalloped piece upholstered in muted floral fabric – and their Brooklyn Bench. Currey and Company presented a variety of glamorous, Art Deco-inspired pieces like the Artemis Leather Chair by Barry Goralnick. Across other vignettes, pleated skirts, tapered legs, decorative ferrules and fluted elements abounded. A favorite of Instagram influencers and interior designers alike, peacock chairs were ubiquitous as well.
#4 Unexpected Pairings
Fourth on our list of trends from High Point Market is unexpected pairings. Designers exhibiting at this season’s market played on other trends. They paired of-the-moment elements like brass, unfinished wood and rattan with surprising colors, styles and textures. These surprising juxtapositions provided dynamism and visual interest in everything from furniture pieces to home decor accents. For example, Classic Home presented their new Skylar Accent Chair. Bouclé upholstery, crocodile leather and an angular wooden base come together in this surprisingly sophisticated and cohesive design. Other unusual combinations include lucite with shag, black pencil rattan with white leather and hammered gold with gnarled driftwood.
#5 Wabi Sabi
In her article “Wabi Sabi Your Life: Six Strategies for Embracing Imperfection” for MarthaStewart.com, Gretchen Roberts defines wabi sabi as “the Japanese art of appreciating the beauty in the naturally imperfect world.” Quoting Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Roberts writes that “a wabi sabi home is full of rustic character, charm, and things that are uniquely yours.” In the home, Roberts notes that “wabi sabi celebrates what’s handmade.” As such, she recommends furnishing one’s home with “unique, quality pieces” made from “materials that weather beautifully, like wood, stone, and metal.” Pieces such as these allow you “to just sit back and appreciate what you own as you grow old with it, rather than fretting over cracked plastic or warped vinyl.” While hand-crafted pieces might not be perfect like those milled by a machine, “‘there is thought and work behind [them], not neglect.’”
With a focus on sustainability and craftsmanship, the wabi sabi aesthetic naturally took center stage at this season’s High Point Market. Several furniture manufacturers presented pieces inspired by the perfectly imperfect offerings of nature. PAIR’D Furnishings presented their CEIRA bench and ALANYA ottoman – made from solid oak and hand-woven wicker. ST2 displayed a variety of custom-made, hand-crafted pieces in their show space. From a live-edge dining table with poured acrylic inlay to a walnut slab live edge headboard with an embedded ebony field, each piece from ST2 celebrates the natural beauty of their chosen materials.
#6 Sustainable Sourcing
As mentioned above, this season’s High Point Market focused on sustainable sourcing and ethical manufacturing. In their resource “The Sustainable Guide To Market,” the HPMKT Authority notes that sustainability has become a major concern for both designers and consumers. Referencing the 2018 Sustainable Furnishings Council’s (SFC) Green Home Furnishings Consumer Study, HPMKT notes that “98 percent of respondents expressed concern over environmental issues.” A surprising 76% of respondents said “they’re willing to pay more for home furnishings that are environmentally safe and stylish.”
In response, HPMKT created a “green” filter for use throughout its online exhibitor directory. This directory allows users to hone in on makers, designers and vendors in the home furnishings industry that are marketing small-batch, locally-produced pieces. Abner Henry, Durham Furniture Inc, Eilersen and Greentouch Home are just a few of the eco-friendly brands that exhibited at this year’s HPMKT. Some of our favorite eco-friendly pieces from this season’s High Point Market, however, came from Laurence Carr’s Salon de la Circularité vignette. Pieces from SFC members Cisco Home, Currey & Company and Mill Collective featured throughout Carr’s vignette.
Our Favorite Pieces from High Point Market’s Sustainability Stories
Favorites from HPMKT’s Sustainability Stories vignettes include the Ovuud Slot Light, the Richard Armchair and the Kokomo Table Lamp. Outfitted with an LED bar, Mill Collective’s Ovuud Slot Light is made from rapidly renewable ash. The Kokoma Table Lamp from Currey & Company is hand-crafted by indigenous artisans from raffia and wrought iron. All of these materials are either recycled or upcycled.
Third, the Richard Armchair from Cisco Home is American-made in Los Angeles. Pictured alongside the Richard Sofa, this piece is upholstered with eco-friendly, eucalyptus-based TENCEL™ and Libeco Home linen. However, our absolute favorite piece from Laurence Carr’s vignette has to be the Chamcha Wood Cantilevered Console from Phillips Collection. Crafted from fallen trees, the Chamcha Wood Cantilevered Console table is made only from found materials.
#7 Stone in Everything from Light Fixtures to Furniture
In the “Style Spotters Summer / Fall 2021 Style Report” from the High Point Market Authority, Lauren Clement writes that “one of the most widely seen trends is the use of stone, wood, rattan and other natural materials.” One of the market’s style spotters, Clement notes that designers often opt for these materials because they “keep us connected to the outdoors, and to satisfy our longing for the grounding nature of organic pieces.” While wood and rattan were frequently found at High Point, we were wowed by the unusual ways makers utilized stone. At this season’s High Point Market, we noticed stone used in everything from light fixtures to furniture.
Our favorite stone pieces from this year’s HPMKT include Bernhardt Interiors’ Constantin dining table and the Ardesia Circular LED Pendant from Hubbardton Forge. Alongside Bernhardt’s wood and bouclé Anzu chairs, the sculptural Constantin dining table won a Pinnacle Award at the 25th annual ceremony. Hand-crafted by local artisans from Vermont slate, the Ardesia pendant light (pictured above) was also nominated for awards this year.
Next Year’s High Point Market
In 2022, High Point Market will resume its normal schedule. The Spring Market will be held between 2 and 6 April 2022. Next year’s Fall Market will be held between 22 and 26 October 2022. Registration for Spring opens next month in January. We hope to see you and all of our favorite brands at the next High Point Market!
Written by Elizabeth Burton