Sunday, October 18, 2009

High Point Furniture Market October 2009-Day One

Day One-High Point Market (NC)

Day one at the High Point (NC) Furniture Market was long and tedious, but not without its rewards. Beginning at 8:00 A.M. this morning, we walked out of our last appt at 8:00 P.M. Deciding that your now famished at that hour is not such a good idea considering that the town of High Point is a city of around 100K people, whose population swells by 85,000 visitors during market week. To say the least reservations for dinner are difficult to obtain, and the pickings are slim. We ended up at Liberty, a local Steak and Brew house at the towns biggest mall. Seems like the owner’s favor a patriotic decorating scheme, with walls covered in photos, paintings and even sculptures of Lady Liberty. I began to think that perhaps the gift from the French had ulterior motives, to sabotage the American asthetic! Here I think they may have succeeded. The food was excellent, I had a filet, and Caroline had Shrimp Grits. Both entrée’s were darn good, but maybe anything would have after today’s non-stop schedule.


ABOVE: The beginning of the 12 million sq. feet that we will attempt to cover, starting Day One!
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­First exciting thing: Lee Furniture’s upholstered outdoor furniture. Look at the pictures, below, and see for yourself: White Linen Dining Chairs fully upholstered in a outdoor solution dyed acrylic fabric; A Sofa upholstered in Taupe Velvet made from outdoor solution dyed acrylic, and an upholstered Ottoman/Cocktail Table in outdoor solution dyed acrylic, trimmed in outdoor nail head trim. This was an incredible feat by Lee, a market first and one that we can’t wait to have in our stores. The outdoor furniture is now available by special order.
We also liked the High Dining Bench that was with the High Dining Table from The Old Wood Company (see below); the new Upholstered Dining Arm Chair with a floor length skirt; a pair of Swivel Chairs in a leather slip cover (yes, a leather slip cover) in a light shade of olive green Leather.


Also at Lee we met the owner of The Old Wood Company,, maker of a fresh line of indoor Dining and occasional tables made from reclaimed lumber, finished with non-toxic finishes. The collection is a fresh take on being green without sacrificing design or scale. The case for green product is definitely enhanced with this line.
A favorite was the Iron Scissor High Dining Table (shown with Lee High Dining Bench, above) made of American Chestnut hand Planed with Natural Steel base, the Parlor Round Occasional Table in Oak Weathered Grey, and the Woodie Dining Table in White Oak Fumed+Oil.


Next stop was at Bennett Galleries, a Knoxville, TN based importer of reproduction Italian antique furniture made in small workshops throughout Italy. The owner is a veteran of Italian furniture importing and manufacturing, and the prices were amazingly fair considering the dollars continual slide against the Euro. We loved the wonderful inlay and waxed finishes that lend an authentic patina to this collection.


Another exciting discovery, actually a re-discovery, was of the venerable Kindel Furniture Company, the last remaining high-end, independently owned furniture manufacturer in Michigan. Some of you may know that at one time, prior to the early 1930’s, Michigan was the furniture capital of the United States, and with production that far outweighed the production of the new furniture market start up of 1909 in High Point, NC.

We hadn’t intended on stopping at Kindel Furniture, I thought they were just another of the stodgy old guard furniture companies awaiting their eminent death. But as we passed by in our chauffeur driven Buick, complements of General Motors, I spotted a stylish Dorothy Draper style chair lacquered in Orange.
Hummmm…that’s interesting!


We stepped into the showroom hoping to avoid attention any lurking sales persons, and were immediatley met by, well, a sales person, Marc Roberts, who could not have been more charming. Marc, formerly of the stylish home furnishings store Seaside Home ( in La Jolla, CA. Marc, a stylish man himself, was well informed not only on the late Interior Designer Dorothy Draper, but he enthusiastically espoused the new direction of Kindel and The Dorothy Draper Collection for Kindel, a new collaboration with Carleton Varney (Ms. Drapers former understudy), the current president and owner of Dorothy Draper and Co. in New York.

Photo's: Carlton Varneys Collection of reproduction Dorothy Draper Furniture for Kindel Furniture.

A brief history on Ms. Draper taken from the Kindel Furniture Web site:
“From the 1930’s to the 1960’s, Dorothy Draper was the most famous decorator in America. A pioneering businesswoman and expert colorist, she used her trademark cabbage-rose chintz and neo-baroque plasterwork to create innovative and dramatic interiors for apartment houses, hotels, restaurants, theaters, department stores and private homes.” “This collection is versatile in its offerings of painted and wood finishes. The articles of furniture are reproductions adaptations and inspirations from the Draper’s corporate design work at such institutions as The Greenbrier Hotel, The Mark Hopkins Hotel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Hampshire House.”
“The world of Dorothy Draper is one that combines old-world glamour with a current lifestyle and a wink of reverence for the past.”

Photos: Dorothy Draper, and her iconic chest commissioned by the Government of Spain.

Wow! In many ways, in her work we could see her influence on our own design philosophy, and we love this collection. Some of you not as familiar with Dorothy Draper may have unwittingly seen her trademark Chest in the background of a scene from a Sex in the City episode when the show’s star, Cary Bradshaw, was in the Editors office at Vogue in NY. The black lacquered pair of signature Chests was originally designed by Ms. Draper as a commission from the government of Spain.

Kindel is cool and getting cooler! They also represent the luxe mattresses manufacturer, HYPNOS, Ltd. ( This line of handcrafted mattresses from the British royal mattress maker, is priced from $5,000 to $8,000, with the top of the line bed going out at $20K.
Hästens may serve the Swedish royal family, but Hypnos is the proud holder of the Royal Warrant of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Hypnos has long supplied ultra-mattresses to the British royal family.
The company claims the late Queen Elizabeth slept on the same Hypnos mattress for 67 years, and that it required only minimal re-stuffing the one time it was refurbished. Cool-i-o!


Almost finished, but a quick cocktail party and launch of furniture Designer Jiun Ho collection at Bolier and Company ( Bolier, founded by Christian Plasman, the former President of Baker Furniture who was responsible for bringing in well known designers to create their signature namesake lines for Baker. Ho, the fast rising designer from San Francisco created a line of occasional tables. The Indoor tables were topped with lacquered red tops over wood bases trimmed in steel or with gold leafed metal. Outdoor tables were powder coated and styled to work in multiples, with stacking and connecting tables alternating “inny” and “outty” table shapes.

Photo's: Boiler and company showroom in High Point; Designer Juin Ho; and Mr. Ho's outdoor occasional tables.


Last stop: To meet the venerable, and still living, decorator Lillian August at the Hickory White Showroom. Ms. August was a gracious party host and took time to personally show us the line, and her current and previous fabric and textile designs. We hadn’t seen this line before, and we were favorably impressed. In addition to the line for Hickory White, Lillian August designs lighting for Currey & Co., and fabrics for Robert Allen and Fabricut, all of which are carried at Cabana Home Stores.

Photo, below: Ms. Augusts Antiquaire collection for Hickory White Furniture


All for now, I've got to get to market!

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