Last week’s High Point Market continued the positive energy permeating 2013 shows, even if unprecedented traffic patterns surprised some, confused others and disappointed a few exhibitors. The lessons I took away from these reactions are that your overall expectations should be in direct proportion to your marketing investments (time and effort as much as money) and that buyer behavior is more complex today than the days when they consistently shopped furniture first or stayed in the shelter of the IHFC whenever it rained.
One thing that has remained constant regarding this mother of all markets is its influence on trends. With so many resources in so many home furnishings categories at all price points in one place, there is no better venue to see emerging lighting looks validated by the context of the pieces that will ultimately surround them. So what stood out this fall?
A Blue Mood: Recurring colors in both displays and orders were different incarnations of this soothing hue. It looked freshest with several shades in a single item in patterns or ombre blends, but the solid that stood out the most was teal, which felt like a more livable version of Pantone’s Color of the Year, Emerald.
Jewelry-Inspired: Our industry has rightfully long considered fixtures to be “jewelry for the home” in terms of their ability to complete a room’s look and express personal style. But at this market, the parallel was more literal, with undulating silhouettes that resembled large-scale bangles and earrings, as well as the incorporation of fine, draped chain or inset cabochons. Currey & Co. even worked with an actual jewelry designer, Shannon Koszyk, on a showstopping new collection  that echoed her rock ’n’ roll luxe aesthetic, proving that the jewelry trend didn’t always have to be too precious.
Orient Expressed: While Asian influences are classics, the quantity of introductions bearing this style was noteworthy. Pagoda shapes were prevalent, as were traditional dragon motifs. These pieces found their way into unexpected settings, providing an element of surprise that was at once familiar and exotic.
We will be featuring these directions and many more in our December Dallas Market Preview issue of Residential Lighting. So you’ll be sure to put your most fashionable foot forward in 2014.