Many of you may know that several times per year there are events that Interior Designers, Decorators, and boutique store owners attend called Market. These 'markets' take place in large cities; Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, and High Point North Carolina to name a few. They are the places where top vendors in furnishing, lighting, art, decor etc set up inspired spaces for Interior Designers to try out products for clients and potential clients. It is where the trends of the year are displayed. I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you that our dearly beloved Covid effectively put the kabbosh on many of these events in 2020. Designers can still do what they need to do without attending these events, however, it is at these events that we can most effectively and efficiently learn about and experience the latest and greatest in just about everything we are specifying for a project.
So to Market I went, and this time it was a bit different. There were announcements every few hours reminding all of us to maintain social distance, wash hands hourly and keep masks on. Usually there are several live panel talks on anything design related and those were not happening. Was everyone wearing masks? Yes. Was there the standard yummy food & drink offerings at the larger vendors? Well- kind of, but it was extremely pared down, and some vendors just opted out of that altogether. Would I trade it for the alternative of the past year? No way. There was a palpable energy amongst the attendees that can only come with a perspective from all that we missed out on this passed year. Essentially, I think we were all grateful that rather than sitting at home staring at a computer screen deciphering if what we were looking at was the correct color or how it might feel to sit in or whatever, we were able to experience items first hand and have real human interaction. I know our world is moving more that way- where business and work is done remotely, but there still is no replacing human connection.
All of that to say, Market was fabulous- not because it had the most events or incentives. Because compared to recent years, it was lean. I eeked as much I could out of what they offered. I found some new vendors. I met some great new people. And I found some just plain fun stuff. For me, this is what it's all about. Learning, growing, expanding, and educating myself on the current trends.
It's always energizing to be around people who are passionate about what they do. It has a profound ripple effect; it motivates me to find new and better ways to do what I do and in turn enhances the experience for the people I'm helping. For all of that I am so thankful- perhaps more thankful than I would have been had I not known what it means to live through this past year.
Ones of the goals in all of this is to immerse myself as much as I can and create connections with people who are like minded so I can best serve my clients. This market was unique (not only because of the current global situation) but also in that I was actively seeking out vendors that are on the west coast (or at least closer than North Carolina). All of this has been perpetuated by a perfect storm of Covid, weather related damages to one of the largest foam manufacturing plants, and freight boats losing half of their products at sea among other things. This has motivated designers to pay closer attention to where they are sourcing their items from to increase the likelihood of receiving the items in a timely manner. Additionally, I am more than happy to support businesses that are closer to home for a variety of reasons. This past season has taught us to step back and take stock of how we do many things. I'm certain there will be some lasting effects of the changes made and only time will tell, but I do feel this is an opportunity to dig into our local (or at least nearby) economy to find new ways of doing things and new providers.
So much fun decor:
Here is a (small!) sampling of chairs I found that I liked for one reason or another- I did the comfort test in EVERY one. If they weren't comfy, they didn't make the cut.
And some fun and unique lighting finds:
Market is also trying to distill down what I've seen and share it. To that end, here is a non-exhaustive bullet list of some of my take-aways:
*Organic, naturals and earthy decor are still going strong and easy to find
*Faux sheepskin chairs/ottomans were in almost every showroom
*Side chairs with exposed wood arms
*Blues are more prevalent again
*Wicker/cane is in everything from seating to lighting to beds/furniture
*Lots of fabric/textiles have semi abstract patterns that reflect nature- ie bark
*Pretty, modern takes on floral prints in small doses, like on pillows
*Simplicity is still the name of the game both in accessories & furnishings
*Green is continuing to make it's mark, reflecting our need for outdoor influence
*muted colors are still in the majority
*Outdoor spaces & entertaining are taking front seat
*There still is a more elegant approach in design, however, the amount of vendors that are carrying those items is less.
*Of course certain vendors tend to have their own aesthetics- if more formal is the order of the day, there are still plenty of vendors that provide that. Even within the more formal decor, clean and simple is where it's at. If it's furnishings, the wood part tends to have simple lines- without applied mouldings or complex, multilayered carvings. A stark contrast to that would be the types of ornate motifs on furnishings seen in the Tuscan era of in the early 2000's.
I searched high and low at market (literally-- one builiding has about 15 floors) to find new and different furniture and other vendors. If Market is nothing else, it is NOT is uninspiring. In the process of sourcing new, larger items for projects, I came across some fun & new luxury items that I was super excited about. This lead me to the idea of capturing 5 fabulous finds from market to share with my readers. My qualifications were simple: 1) they needed to be versatile enough to fit into most homes/lifestyles and 2) that they were a smaller, decor type item that could have multiple uses.
So stay tuned if you want to view my Top 5 Fabulous Finds from Spring Market. I purchased a limited amount of each just in case you too become inspired and want one for yourself (or a friend!) One box has been delivered (yay!) and I am currently waiting on the other four. As soon as they arrive, you all will be the first to know! Can't wait to share them all with you and see what you think!