After all these years, I finally decided to make the pilgrimage to High Point Market. Although I was there for four days, I felt as though I barely began to explore this vast market place. More than 2,000 exhibitors in a total of 180 buildings, showcase their newest collections of antique and contemporary furniture, as well as the dazzling array of lighting, accessories and much, much more. While I have had plenty of experience shopping big shows and generally know what I am looking for, even my eyes were glazing over at the end. Advice to the first time market attendee: Make sure you do your due diligence before your trip. You won't make it to every showroom, so prior to arrival, plan your visit and make a list of your "must sees." Otherwise, it all becomes a big blur!
My first stop was the Antique and Design Center, a collection and antiques and vintage vendors, showcasing furniture, lighting, mirrors, accessories and art. For the most part, I was impressed with the range and quality of the offerings--a mix of European antiques and mid-century furniture and lighting.
One of my favorites is French Bleu Antiques, a lovely husband and wife team offering interesting high quality pieces in an attractive display.
Another must see is Delray & Associates, an eclectic mix of European antiques, lighting and accessories. Carol Pollard is a stand out for mid-century furniture, lighting and accessories, and I loved visiting with David Lindquist of Whitehall Antique, based in Chapel Hill, NC. A charming and knowledgeable dealer, David explained to me the wonderful story of "Museum Bees," a collection of wall hangings made from 19th-century frame fragments.
After a couple of days at the antique markets, I ventured to the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) building to check out the new products. The first floor alone is 80,000 square feet! The first four floors are mainly accessories and lighting, whereas the top floors house furniture showrooms.
Here are some of my favorite finds:
In addition to High Point Market showrooms, there are some stand alone shops as well. A few of my favorite stops are Bobo Intriguing Objects, Schwung and Eloquence.
Eloquence is a beautiful, light-filled showroom on two levels with an impressive array of French antiques mixed in with high quality reproductions.
A note about Southern hospitality: in every single showroom, shoppers were offered a variety of beverages, and in many cases, a full buffet of appetizing dishes. No doubt this was all intended to keep the customers in the shops, but it was done in a gracious, welcoming way. The entire week was a "who's who" of the design world and there were parties and receptions galore. Two of my favorites were hosted by Kravet and Kate Spade Home Collection
There were two recurring themes in all of the markets I visited: horses and flowers--they were everywhere! Here are some of my favorites:
I am delighted that I was able to experience this market that I have heard about for years. It is quite an undertaking to put this show together, and it is clearly the result of hard work and many hours of labor on the part of the organizers and vendors. It feels somewhat like the Super Bowl of the furnishings world! The challenge is to weed through it all to find some treasures. After going once, I am already looking forward to my next visit to High Point and to making new discoveries!