Design trends in photos from High Point Market: part 2

Hi everyone, I hope you have enjoyed my first two posts about the color and design trends I spotted this Spring at High Point Market. If you missed my color trend report you can catch up HERE if you missed the first four trends you can catch up HERE.  Today I have the last four trends I spotted at 2017 High Point Spring Market. 

Tribal Inspired

Touchy Feely

One of a Kind

Downsize Me

5. Tribal Inspired: We have seen lot’s of Moroccan inspired textiles and patterns over the past couple of years but tribal Africa is the latest craze. African textiles like Kuba cloth and Mud cloth had a strong presence in many of the showrooms. 

African tribal inspired lamp shade

Linda Holt Photo

African inspired patterns and design stood out as being an emerging trend.

African inspired textiles at Noir Furniture

Noir: Linda Holt Photo

Tribal inspired pillows were abundant all over market.

Black and Yellow African inspired pillows at Classic Home

Classic Home: Linda Holt Photo

These baskets, hand made in Africa were a big hit among show goers.

African hand made baskets

ALL Across Africa:Linda Holt Photo

6. Touchy Feely: Texture is an important element in almost all home decor right now. Everything from furniture to pillows, throws and accessories are shouting out “touch me”!This sculptural, faceted console from Vertuu is a perfect example as is the brown armoire from Noir in the second image above.

Faceted textured wood on console

Vertuu: Linda Holt Photo

Large scale chunky throws like this one below from Aviva Stanoff are very on trend.

Large scale knit throw

Aviva Stanoff: Linda Holt Photo

Artwork was very textural at Market with thick painterly brush strokes seen on paintings and more sculptural work like this piece from Palecek.

Organics and texture at Palecek

Palecek: Linda Holt Photo

This new collection of pottery from Continental Home made quite the textural statement.

textured pottery

Continental Home: Linda Holt Photo

Even pillows that generally don’t have a whole lot of texture were adorned with crystals, feathers, thick embroidery and all sorts of tactile delights.

pink jewel encrusted pillow

Nourison: Linda Holt Photo

Obviously, these textural couture pillows are more art for the sofa and not so much for weekend napping.

Gold metallic pillows

Linda Holt Photo

Textured carpets and shag rugs are making a comeback as well. This was a wall hanging at Loloi but I think it is also a rug.

Loloi: Linda Holt Photo

7. One of a Kind: Similar to the old Burger King commercial, today’s homeowner wants it their way. Manufactures have taken note and furniture is now available in a multitude of fabric and finish options. Not only for high end custom furniture but even the big box stores are offering more choices than ever before.

finish choices at Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall: Linda Holt Photo

On another note, I believe the tide has turned and individual artistry is once again in high demand. We have grown weary of filling our homes with “made in China” soul-less junk. Everyone seems to be on the decluttering band wagon and getting rid of all the useless “stuff”.  Going forward we are focusing on owning less but surrounding ourselves with unique items that speak to us and have meaning. High Point Market was full of so many creative artists and designers producing beautiful bespoke items for the home.

Custom lighting from Lousie Gaskill is a perfect example. Each piece is made from vintage glass and lighting pieces so no two are alike. 

custom blue and gold chandelier from Louise Gaskill

Louise Gaskill: Linda Holt Photo

Textile and lighting designer Aviva Stanoff presses plants, crystals, felt, corals, and all sorts of organics into fabric to create glorious pillows of which no two are alike. 

Ginkgo pressed pillow fabric

Ginkgo pillow by Aviva Stanoff: Linda Holt Photo

8. Downsize Me: This final trend was on my radar as we get ready to move from a large house in the country to a small, more urban apartment. Housing studies continue to show that babyboomers are downsizing in huge numbers and millennials are forgoing the big house in the burbs to remain in the city. The vendors have taken notice and I spotted more modular and smaller scale pieces than ever before.

Ambella Home had quite a few options for smaller modular pieces that are flexible depending on individual needs. I especially like the pie shaped upholstery pieces that doubles as a table or seating depending on the homeowners needs.

modular furniture

Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo

These small fun accent pieces from Berhardt can be used individually or grouped together and arranged at will. 

stone chess-like pieces for tables

Bernhardt Furniture: Linda Holt Photo

These small tables from Highland House can be used separably as side tables or grouped together for a custom sized, colored and shaped cocktail table.

modular hexagon tables

Highland House: Linda Holt Photo

More modular seating from Ambella home works equally well for seating, as an ottoman or with a tray as additional table space.

yellow green ottomans with contrast welt

Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it! The eight trends I saw at Spring Market. I hope you enjoyed my pictorial report. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below which trends you like or dislike. 


What were those designers thinking? The Hampton Designer Show House

Before I was in the design business I would visit show houses and look at the rooms simply from a personal perspective. If the room happened to be decorated according to my taste and done up with colors I liked I would declare it a hit. If it was anything else, I would immediately dismiss it as ugly. I was quite the critic!

Now that I am educated to the design process and I have friends who participate in show houses, I look at the rooms with a totally different perspective. Such was the case at last weeks Hampton Designer Showhouse. Some of the rooms were simply beautiful and appealed to the masses. They were decorated in soft soothing colors with tasteful accessories that were appropriate to the Hampton location.

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Design by Kate Singer, Linda Holt Photo

Some of the other rooms were very well done they just happen not to be my taste. Ironically it is those rooms that I give the most thought and attention to. I try to guess what the designer was thinking. I want to know what their inspiration was for the room. There are so many moving parts and decisions that go into creating a show house and sometimes the designer has to use what is available even if it’s not their first choice. I learned this when I participated in the One Room Challenge which was a virtual type of show house.

So no matter if I was a fan or not, I studied the rooms and here are a few of the common threads I observed within all the rooms of the Hampton Show House.

TEXTURE: This was my number one observation. Rich luxurious textures were a major theme within the house. I keep hearing opulence in interior design is making a comeback and many of the show rooms proved this to be true.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Giant over scale chunky throws were in many of the rooms adding luxurious layered texture as well as thick textured carpets, fur, grass cloth covered walls and sumptuous fabrics. This room, designed by Melanie Turner, was my favorite room in the house. The fabric she chose for the window treatments was riddled with holes which added even more texture to her all white room.

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo

Melanie Turner Design, Linda Holt Photo


Get out your giant knitting needles and get to work!

How cool are those giant cable knit pillows against the faux bois wallpaper?

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

Mabley Handler Design, Linda Holt Photo

The master bedroom designed by Mabley Handler was a sumptuous retreat filled with luxurious textiles as well as a shiny silver dresser, sleek leather chairs and textural grass cloth clad walls. Notice too the statement chandelier which looked like a wedding cake. The layers hanging down are fabric. I loved this room and had to use restraint because I wanted to touch everything, lay on the bed and roll around on the rug.

The black and white bedroom below designed by Elsa R. Soyars was interesting. Not only was it filled with lot’s of different textures like the sculpted rug, a velvet bench with a fur throw, linen and silks, it also featured a black macrame hammock directly next to the bed. This was one of those instances where I would have loved to ask the designer her thought process on the hammock (as well as her placement of a life size deer on the opposite side of the room).

Elsa R. Soyars

Elsa R. Soyars

STATEMENT LIGHTING:Big statement lighting is nothing new but this show house had some very unusual pieces.

Notice the big chunky macrame table skirt adding even more texture to the mostly all white room. Speaking of white rooms…the majority of the walls in the show house were either painted white or covered with grass cloth.

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Marie-Christine Design, Linda Holt Photo

Another primarily white room with a chunky throw, pillows, a thick textured carpet and a geometric statement chandelier.

Statement lighting was in every single room including a powder room so small I couldn’t get a photo of much more than the light and a tiny glimpse of the ceiling and wallpaper.

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

Steven Stolman design, Linda Holt Photo

LACK OF BRIGHT COLOR AND PATTERNS: With the exception of the powder room above and the master bathroom (below) there was very little color or pattern in the house. I would say the master bathroom though had plenty of both color and pattern for the whole house!

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

Tilton Fenwick, Linda Holt Photo

I will leave you with my final image of the kitchen. Just like the proverbial wedding gown at the end of the fashion show, the kitchen is the room that set the tone for the whole house. White, bright, beautiful and a wonderful mixture of textures.

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp Design, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

Bakes and Kropp, Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it. My take on the 2016 Hampton Designer Show House. I hope you enjoyed my virtual tour.







Trend Alert: Mad about plaid

Being of half Scottish heritage, I think I have plaid in my DNA. My maiden name is MacFarlane and as a kid I remember my dad wearing a bright orange and green tie that was “The MacFarlane Plaid”. My mother joked she thought it was one of the ugliest plaids and that she should have married a Campbell because she much preferred that clan’s dark green and navy plaid.

Plaid, or Tartan actually goes back as far as 100 BC, created by ancient Celtic populations. As early as the Roman conquest of Britain in Julius Caesar’s day, the Celts of Scotland and Ireland wore primitive tartans. Each clan or tribe wore their own unique plaid which was associated with their specific region or district of the country. Your clan’s plaid colors and pattern would quickly identify you as friend or foe. Actually, not unlike the Bloods (red) and Crips (Blue) of today.

I’ve always associated plaid with European country homes, Ralph Lauren, rustic cabins and Christmas like in these images below.






Technically, plaid is really not a trend since it’s been around for centuries but what I have started to see is a new interpretation of plaid. A fresh spin so to speak with updated colors like on this chair I spotted last week at the Boston Design Center.

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

I wonder if any of  my clansmen ancestors would have worn fushia plaid even if the dyes were available at the time.

Plaid rugs are becoming very on trend. This is the latest window display at Stark carpet at the Boston Design center.

Stark Carpet

Stark Carpet

Plaids are also on full display at Kravet Fabric with at least a dozen panels displaying plaids in almost every color and size.

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Plaid is one of those prints that has a lot of personality so if you really love it take a look at this room done by Anthony Baratta.

Anthony Baratta

Anthony Baratta

A more subtle way to bring in plaid is to use it on the floor like in this fresh and airy beach house designed by Victoria Hagan.

issa Cullman

Victoria Hagan

Using plaid on a piece of furniture is also a fun way to bring in plaid without too much of a commitment.

BHS design

BHS design


Also, don’t forget about pillows and accessories as a way to add a bit of plaid.


Since this post is about plaid I want to share with you one of my most coveted possessions. This tiny book entitled Scottish Clans and Their Tartans has been passed down the generations and has ended up with me. It is so old that there is no publish date on it. My great grandfather’s name is written on the inside in pencil but it might go back even farther.

clan book 3

The book gives a brief history of all the Scottish clans with their corresponding plaid. Here is my ancestral plaid on the left and my late mother’s favorite, the Campbell plaid on the right.


I agree that the MacFarlane plaid isn’t for everyone but at least it makes a statement!

How about you? What do you think of the return of plaid?


Lighting trends: Sputnik chandeliers

One of the highlights for me while touring the showrooms at High Point this Spring was seeing all the new lighting introductions. The shapes, sizes and materials were varied but large, over scaled, statement lighting is still very much on trend. 

One shape I saw over and over again was the ” Sputnik shape”.  These spiky shaped chandeliers had their hey day back in the 60’s and now once again, what is old is new again. Sputnik chandeliers are definitely trending but often with a twist. Take a look at a few that I spotted that would compliment a variety of different decorating styles.


The one above from Arteriors is the classic atomic shape that was so popular mid century.


Chaddock show room High Point Spring 2014

The Chaddock Furniture showroom featured one adorned with crystal flowers for a more elegant look. (notice the trending mauve color on the walls).

sputnik lighting3

I love these beautiful blown glass ones. They look like exploding fireworks and they and come in several different colors. (I took this shot while rushing to some event and never did get the manufacture’s name).

sputnik shape3

This one above, also from Arteriors, has a more Steampunk or industrial look.  The stripped down look is all about the exposed Edison light bulbs.

So what do you think about the return of the sputnik chandelier? Just a passing fad or a trend that is here to stick around for awhile?


When NOT to follow the trends

There are many ways to have fun when decorating while incorporating the hottest new trends but it’s also important to understand when NOT to follow the trends. When building or renovating ignore the trends no matter how tempting when it comes time to choose fixed elements. 



Unless you are planning on doing a major renovation within 8-10 years it’s best to stay clear of trends when choosing fixed elements such as tiles, flooring, and cabinetry. Otherwise, once the trend is over you are stuck with a dated feature that is costly to change out. Remember when accent tiles were so trendy back in the 80’s and early 90’s?  I fell prey to that trend and used vegetable and fruit accent tiles in my “new” kitchen back splash.




Today there is no shortage of trendy tiles and ways to apply it.  Colored glass tile is very trendy and I adore it but I just can’t help thinking today’s colored glass tile is tomorrow’s dated accent tile.


Thin strips of stacked glass tile applied on the vertical is also very trendy.



As much as I like this look, I think this bath will soon look dated with the tile application and vessel sink.


Bold tile such as this chevron pattern is so much fun and it makes for a great magazine shot but this kitchen will look dated once chevron is no longer “hot”. (Not to mention there are no upper cabinets for storage).


Brightly colored high gloss cabinets are also trending but I wonder if these homeowners will still love this kitchen say 5 years from now.



The bold floor below is lots of fun but when the geometric trend ends this bath will be left behind.



Maybe this fabulous hallway by one of my all time favorite designers will stand the test of time but if not, it is going to be one expensive redo.



My advice? When choosing fixed elements  for your home, to get the longest “shelf life” so to speak, it’s best to go safe even if you feel it is boring. At least things won’t look dated in 5-10 years.

Neutrals, classic lines and timeless materials with traditional application will stand the test of time. This kitchen by Victoria Hagan could have been designed yesterday or 10 years ago; it is beautifully timeless.

Best to incorporate today’s trends in easily replaced furnishings, fabrics, accessories and of course my favorite…paint!

I would love to hear from you. Do you follow the trends? Have you ever regretted a trend you used on a fixed element in your home?

It’s Baaaack….Shocking Color Trend

Last week I attended Design Camp Seattle, put on by celebrity designers Lori Dennis and Kelly Ellis. The line up of speakers was amazing and I came away both inspired and informed. The opening speaker in Seattle was Bill Indursky, founder of the online shopping site V& M.  Bill spoke on trends and as a color consultant I was  interested in hearing what he had to say about Color.

Bill Indursky speaking on Trends 

Hang on to your paint brush because according to Indursky, the Gray trend is over and Beige is back… shocking I know! Seems like just yesterday (wait…it was yesterday) all we saw were shades of Gray. Now it’s all about Beige and Brown. I might have doubted this fact except when we walked into the Seattle Design Center where the Camp was held every single show room had nothing but Beige on Beige with dark brown wood furniture. In fact, there was not a Gray sofa or Gray wall in sight.

Bill explained the trend back to Beige is partly due to the  popularity of the raw wood/industrial/rustic trend but bottom line is that people want to feel safe. Beige represents stability, durability, and plays off one of the other hot trends which is antiquity. Brown represents security and gives people the feeling of being connected to the Earth, organic and grounded. Seems like good qualities to have in our home considering all the stressful things that have been happening  in the US lately.

Restoration Hardware

The rule of thumb is that trends usually last for about 10 years. The Gray trend is only about 4 years old so if Beige is indeed the new neutral it will be interesting to see what happens to Gray.

Nancy Braithwaite Designs

So there you have it. Beige (and Brown) is back…Gray is SO 2012.

Oh, and Bill told us he always dresses in one of the major trends when he presents.  His outfit is inspired by  “The Ancients”.  Greek, Roman, and Egyptian inspired elements are all trending right now both in interiors and in fashion.

What do you think about Gray vs. Beige?  Do you think the Gray trend is over?

If you would like help deciding what neutral is best for your home give me a call.




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