Personalizing furniture: A theme at High Point Market
More mixing of colors, designing your own furniture, and more desire for American-made and eco-friendly products were just some of what we heard and saw at the Fall Furniture Market at High Point, N.C.
The High Point Market is made up of 11.5 million square feet in 180 buildings and draws some 75,000 exhibitors and buyers. We covered a lot territory in five long days, which culminated with tours of Kincaid Furniture Company’s upholstery and case goods manufacturing facilities.
Our group of 96 business owners and interior decorators was the largest buying group there from a single company.
Home Accents Today Magazine’s retail editor Susan Dickenson told us that consumers are looking for more personal services from retailers and a more sensory experience in their use of home furnishings, in other words, more personalization.
Providing homeowners with more choice and the ability to be sure their room design and furnishings will not be like their friend’s or neighbor’s was a common theme in showrooms and in discussions with home furnishings representatives./p>
There is much more ability for consumers to select not only the furniture fabric, but also arm styles, legs, back styles, tailoring, dimensions and other features and benefits. Younger has its “Younger Solutions,” Kincaid has its “Custom Select,” Taylor King has its “Design Your Own,” Drexel Heritage has its “Customize,” to name a few.
Talking with TV personality, interior decorator and furniture designer Libby Langdon, we heard first-hand how her line of Braxton Culler furniture has been developed from thousands of one-on-one conversations with consumers in their personal living spaces. She’s designed a line with a wide array of gorgeous fabrics and variety that can fit how different people live and what they really want, whether it’s for indoor or outdoor spaces.
The value and eco-benefits of American-made were clearly evident in my visits to the Kincaid facilities in Hudson and Taylorsville, N.C. Seeing the care and individual expertise used to make these case-goods and upholstered furniture was a real eye-opener. As two employees were setting up their machine for the next products to be made, we asked one how they measured for the different settings. “It comes from 24 years of experience,” he said, “with a proud smile on his face.” And, he thanked us for our business. Later, I was told that these craftsmen and women know their own tape measure intimately-they know exactly whether the precise measurement is on the line or to the left or right.
As for eco-friendly: Good stewardship has resulted in lower costs – which mean greater value for the consumer. We saw how scrap pieces of hardwood and sawdust is now recycled into fuel used by the plant, as one example.
Buyers at the market were clearly interested in knowing what products were American made so they can definitively tell consumers. It was wonderful to see that some manufacturers have persisted-through four generations at Kincaid-and others are returning to our shores for production.
ABOUT DECORATING DEN INTERIORS:
Established in 1969, DDI is the largest home furnishing franchise business in North America. Each interior decorator has access to thousands of samples of designer window, wall, floor covering, furniture and accessory products, all brought directly to the each client’s home or office. Decorating Den’s experts are featured in interior decorating magazines, journals and books, such as “Decorating…the Professional Touch,” by Decorating Den’s Director of Design, Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID, DDCD.