Fall '21 High Point Furniture Market Update - trends, classics, and what I loved!

Updated: Feb 4

I just got back last week from the Fall 2021 Furniture Market in High Point, NC. This is a twice a year event (typically April and October) and all the vendors launch their new products and let designers and retailers know what they love.

I walked over 20 miles in 2 days of showroom tours, made a lot of great connections, discovered some new to me vendors, and sat in SO many chairs and sofas to make sure they're comfortable for my clients. I pulled on every drawer and knob to be sure things opened properly, and generally looked at and tested out everything. I've since sorted and cataloged over 500 images I took while there to share with clients and have pages of notes to reference.

Here's what I saw and loved, trends that I think I'll pass on, and what I'm looking forward to using in the next year with clients. If you follow me on Instagram (@carollanginteriors), you may have seen my stories where I shared a lot of this in real time, but if not, buckle up for my Market Digest!

1. Lead Times Are Still (mostly) Long

First off, I asked all my favorite vendors about timing. Lead times are still long and one freight delivery company is running 4-6 weeks from NC to NJ/NYC. Two years ago, that would have been 1-2 weeks, just for comparison. The range by vendor was 10 - 24 weeks, so the days of QuickShip are for now, gone. That being said, you can find some in-stock items. Century and Highland House have their own logistics company, so their shipping is much shorter, even though their lead times are on the longer side. But patience will still be a virtue. I still think in most cases, that if you can wait for the good stuff instead of shopping the first available item, you'll end up with a better lifetime experience with your furniture.

@Jamie Young (this was something vendors were advertising when it was the case!)

2. The 70's are back, baby!

If you love a groovy vibe, this is your time to shine. Kidney sofas and boucle were everywhere. I, for one, was not a fan of many of these trends. I design for busy families, and keeping up with a white boucle on a dining chair or sofa makes my stomach turn! I realized that I continue to skew towards classics, well-crafted and tailored pieces, and timeless material choices. I didn't even take many pictures of this trend, because it doesn't feel like me or like most of my clients. What's the old saying - if you lived through the era, you're less keen to repeat it?! Fortunately, no shag carpet in sight.

@Baker Furniture


3. All about the Lighting

For me, lighting stole the show at High Point. There were some really beautiful pieces I hadn't seen and I saw a few new lines I wasn't as familiar with. Even if you're not up for a big remodel or revamp, just changing out a chandelier, pendant or table lamp can sometimes give the allusion of a new or refreshed space. Don't forget to consider scale - I like fixtures that are 12" from the edge of a table and 30" - 36" above the table top depending on the height of the occupants. Sconces (and lots of plug-in options) were beautiful - my favorite was one with a wrapped arm from Hudson Valley lighting. These can mount anywhere you have an outlet and can be a beautiful option if you don't want to add wiring to your walls!

@Hudson Valley Lighting


4. Beach House Vibes

Do you like rattan? Do you want to live in a beach house? If so, there were tons of items the would have caught your eye this market. SO much texture, lots of woven items, and playing off the 70s vibe, definitely a lot of rattan. Light fixtures, chairs, mirrors, accessories - it was everywhere! I happen to love it, but it's a polarizing topic (I have two clients who are on team anti-rattan, so I get it!) What I did appreciate about it, was that it felt light and airy and would really add a pretty layer in a modern or traditional setting. And if regular rattan isn't your vibe, it came in colors (and a lot of black!)



5. Green is the New Blue

I love a blue scheme. REALLY LOVE a blue scheme. But there was a lot of one of my favorite colors everywhere this market - green! Upholstered pieces, lighting, wallpaper. It snuck in everywhere. It felt fresh and modern and as my friend Tricia at British Cottage in Red Bank (go there, you'll be so glad you did - and she has in-stock pieces!) once sagely told me, "all greens work together. Think about nature - you have a wild number of shades and it all works!" I love green and I have to agree!



6. Beautiful Details Matter

My head turned every time I saw a leather welt, a pretty trim (even on outdoor furniture), a gorgeous button or some other simple but effective detail on a piece of furniture. One thing you get by working with high-end custom manufacturers is the guarantee that your piece is special and won't be in your friend or neighbor's living room, too. Be bold and add that extra touch to make it yours - I brought a whole slew of new trims from Thibaut home with me to my design library, including some funky felt scallops!


@Miles Talbott

So, until April, that's it for my walking shoes. If you liked this, let me know or if there are categories you have questions about, I'll try to do some posts to answer. Just let me know in the comments!

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