It’s totally selfish that I’m writing about the High Point Furniture Market, but ultimately my staging clients will reap the benefits! I have been clearing my storage space and making room for fresh and very exciting inventory for Stella staging and re-sale.  

The High Point Furniture Market is open only to people in approved trades like buyers, designers, decorators and architects. It is not open to the public. As a stager, I am now one of those approved trades. Yeah!!!

This is the largest home furnishings show in the world, drawing some 75,000 people from near and far twice a year to High Point, population about 115,000. The Market generates more than $6 billion (with a B) a year for the local economy.

The Market features cutting-edge design and antiques in everything for home and garden. It happens over three days in the spring and in the fall. My first High Point Market is October 14-18. I can’t wait! This is a marathon of shopping. I’m going to hydrate, get some sleep and wear comfortable shoes.  

The history of the Market 

Well, North Carolina was and is still a furniture mecca. The town of High Point is centered on the furniture and design world. The first furniture factory opened in the late 1800s, and thanks to a plentiful supply of hardwood lumber, the industry flourished. The first Market was held in 1909 and by 1929 North Carolina was the fifth largest furniture-producing state in the U.S. The Market continued to grow over the years, now encompassing more than 11 million square feet of showrooms. 

Courtesy: High Point Market

More than just furniture

I can’t wait to explore the High Point Market’s more than 180 showrooms of furniture and furnishings, but I’m also excited to learn about new trends and design techniques. At the spring show, the global trend forecasting agency Fashion Snoops named “symbiotic” its trend for 2023/2024. Symbiotic means products that are inspired by nature and channel an organic sensibility. Think wood, stone, marble and shell and furnishings in natural colors. We’ve talked about nature-inspired design, using natural elements in decor and the 2023 colors of the year were connected to nature. I wonder what the next trend will be? 

There are dozens of opportunities to learn at the Market. Bobby Berk of Queer Eye fame is giving a talk about how good design is good for your mental health. Jessica Bantom is speaking about the importance of cultural identity in design. There are also talks on rugs, technology, sustainable fabrics and how real estate trends are impacting design.

Science and design

What does neuroscience have to do with design? I hope to find out. An organization called Science in Design is giving talks at the Market on neuroaesthetics and cognitive architecture. They teach designers about how to use beauty to promote healing. An experimental event called “iMotions” will analyze emotional reactions to design. It’s a whole new fascinating world. 

Prepared for anything

I don’t know what I will find but I’m pre-renting a U-Haul. Stay tuned… I can’t wait to share my finds with you!