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Singing the blues, and going for the gold

The semiannual High Point Market, the furniture and interior design industry's equivalent of New York City's Fashion Week, did not disappoint this spring. As a former Style Spotter for the High Point Market, I saw that two trends overwhelmingly outshone all others: the wonderful color of blue and the luxe finish of gold.

This lovely hue was prevalent in almost every showroom, a testament to its universal popularity. Classic navy was paired with crisp white. Shades of springtime periwinkle debuted. Pops of peacock blue made bold statements. In addition, cobalt, sky blues and icy gray blues rocked the new collections.

Halie wallpaper and fabric in navy from Thibaut's Enchantment Collection shows the big Chinoiserie trend. Chinoiserie is a creative style that reflects Chinese influences. It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of China and is asymmetrical in format, with whimsical contrasts of scale.

The chic Blue Leopard Wall Sconce epitomizes Reprotique's mission to create pieces with a current twist on classic design elements. The Lucite sconce would be perfect in a well-dressed powder room.

Wesley Hall's Audrey wing-swivel combination chair was a hit. It was decked out with a 3-inch fabric band down the center in Rafael Indigo, adorned with a Greek key tape. This type of trim adornment is a great way to turn a simple upholstered piece into a glamorous one-of-a-kind item.

The Macau Drawer Chest from Century Furniture's Chin Hau Collection is exquisite, with the case in Century's Chinese Blue finish and the fretwork drawers in its Cloud finish. Century has some of the best color finishes in the industry, and this combination is one of my favorites.

Iconic interior designer Bunny Williams created this sapphire blue and brass mirror for Mirror Image. The large, stately mirror would look divine over a dining room sideboard or entry table.

Luxe gold was everywhere at the spring market, whether it was burnished brass, polished brass, gilt or gold leaf. It epitomizes opulence, but is being shown in fresh new ways with inspirations echoing back to the 1940s through the 1970s.

The definitive statement piece of the entire market was Bernhardt's introduction of the sexy Tom Ford-esque, '70s-chic Kensington Upholstered Poster Bed. Made of plated brass with a tightly machined frame, posts and canopy, it is juxtaposed with a padded upholstered headboard in crisp buttonless tufting. This bed had me wanting one for my own master bedroom.

Both timeless and functional, the attractive Jean-Louis Chandelier by Currey & Company is made of wrought iron and sheet metal, with black Marbella shades with a gold leaf interior. This task light would be great in a home study, or over a sleek dining room table.

Emporium Home is one of my favorite vendors, as it always has a fresh edgy take in its lifestyle collection each market. This Flirt Table's fluted design in an antiqued gold leaf finish would look just right by a chaise lounge, with room for a book and your favorite drink.

Bernhardt also introduced a new collection, Jet Set, which captures a glamorous look with origins in French design of the 1940s and '50s. The Jet Set Round Dining Table is indeed modern art, with a six-point cage pedestal of high-shine brass plate and a fancy-face sapele wood veneer top. I imagine eating dinner in a Paris-inspired dining room at this table.

The starburst-shaped Jiten Sconce by Arteriors in antique brass is breathtaking, shown here with eight clear tubular light bulbs. It works as easily on a wall as it does on a ceiling.

Michelle Jennings Wiebe, ASID, is founder, president and principal designer of the interior design firm Studio M Inc., based in Tampa. She is the Style Spotter emeritus for the High Point Market. Studio M specializes in luxury residential design. Wiebe serves on the board for the Interior Design Department at Florida State University and speaks on design and social media.

Where to find her: @StudioM_ on Twitter Studio.M.Interiors on Facebook on the Web (813) 221-5260 by phone

High Point Market by the numbers

The High Point Market is held twice each year, for one week in April and another in October.


180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of show space in High Point, N.C.


75,000 attendees for each market, more than 2,000 exhibitors


Tens of thousands of new

product introductions

On the Web

For more information, go to

Singing the blues, and going for the gold

05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 2:26pm]
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