There’s never a dull moment in the design world. Between the trade shows, design award parties, and show houses, there is always something happening for the industry. But one of my favorite events of the fall is High Point Market in North Carolina. 

There are so many reasons to love High Point! Discovering new vendors is of course, a big highlight. There’s also the community, catching up with my design friends who are spread all over the country. And best of all, the design inspiration is second to none.


Laura U Interior Design Takes on High Point Market


High Point Market 2018 just wrapped up and it did not disappoint! So today I want to share a recap of my whirlwind trip (how much can I cram into just 2 1/2 days?), plus highlights from my favorite showrooms.


Day 1 – Architectural Digest Party

I arrived to Market a couple of days late, so I went straight from the airport to the Architectural Digest party. Yes, it was a rush, but knowing I was headed to a party full of design leaders, great friends, and even a few HGTV celebrities made it all worth it. 

It was a fabulous evening and I had a wonderful time catching up with some of my design friends:


Laura U at High Point Market Day 1


But at the end of the night I was beat! I turned in early to really tackle Day 2 with fresh eagerness. Hitting all of my favorite showrooms in just 2 days was upon me.


Day 2 – Performance Fabric Playground Day

The highlight of Day 2 was participating in the Performance Fabric Playground event. This event gave participants the opportunity to test eight brands of high-performance fabric against things like lipstick and red wine. I was thoroughly impressed with the moisture-wicking, oil-resistant fabrics we tested, especially the Crypton fabric. Crypton has a special place in my projects and in my heart, as I actually used that fabric on the couch for our home.

Revolution Performance Fabrics were another standout, and I loved getting the inside scoop on how these stain-resistant materials are developed. Because I design so many homes for families with young children, investing in great fabrics that aren’t easily ruined by stray markers, paint, or wads of gum is an absolute must.


Testing Crypton fabrics at the Performance Playground event


Revolution Performance Fabrics really impressed!


After I finished fabric testing, I visited Corbett Lighting, Century Furniture and Bungalow 5, just to name a few of my favorite showrooms. You’ve heard the expression kid in a candy store? There’s a definite similarity to an interior designer at High Point Market. I have my go-to design houses that I return to time and time again, especially in my projects. And even though they are so familiar to me, I’m impressed by the way they also surprise me every year.



Day 3 – Instagram Takeover Day
High Point Market graciously invited me to take over their Instagram for a day while I was there, so I spent my last day visiting all my favorite showrooms that I couldn’t get to the day before. My intention for the takeover was to give  followers my take on the essentials, as well as some trends they are sure to see in the coming year. 


If you missed the takeover, here’s a peek at some of the pieces I shared:
Bernhardt Swivel Chairs at High Point Market
Bernhardt: I was blown away with the 400+ new intros they made this fall – it’s amazing! One of the pieces I’ve absolutely fallen in love with is their swivel chairs and I was honored to be offered a 1-hour in-depth tour. 


Corbett Lighting at High Point Market


Hudson Valley Lighting: How gorgeous are these Martyn Bullard fixtures for Corbett Lighting I saw?! They’re still giving me design butterflies.
Highland House Furniture at High Point Market


Highland House Furniture: There are so many details I love about this little chair from the showroom. I love the channel-tufted back, subtle curves, and contrast piping. 


Century Furniture at High Point Market


Century Furniture: The bold colors of these pieces paired with an eye-catching photograph have me dreaming of finding my next travel design destination.


Kelly Wearstler at High Point Market


EJ Victor: They were killing it with one of my favorite brands – Kelly Wearstler !
These showrooms hit it out of the park in terms of capturing, not only what’s been fueling my own design inspiration, but what I think will become the biggest trends for next season and beyond.


Top 3 Trends
Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite pieces, let’s chat about what design trends I see on the horizon. And after seeing all the new introductions at High Point this year, there were three trends that stood out to me:

Chairs: Swivel chairs are in! These are perfect for a living room, sitting room or lounge.

Retro designs and autumnal colors: I’m not talking about the sleek and simple lines of the mid-century modern designs that have been so trendy lately. I’m talking about the pieces that are a mix of 50’s retro-futuristic and colorful 70’s chic.

Lilac: My prediction from 2 years ago is finally here!Lilac is blooming in design houses this season and I’m loving it.


Design trends at High Point Market

Rattan at High Point Market

Green chair trends at high Point Market 2018

An Interesting Note…I’m not one to get too political, but the recent increase in tariffs certainly had an effect on the buying behaviors of the designers I spoke to. With proposed cost hikes anywhere from 5 – 25%, there was a rush to order. In fact, many in the industry are predicting increases as early as December 1…so if you’re anticipating a design project, my recommendation is don’t wait!


I had so much fun at High Point Market and can’t wait to take my inspirations and pour them into my next projects! You can see more of what happened during my trip, by heading over to Instagram and be sure to check out the event highlight for more behind the scenes fun!
A special thanks to Hannah Swiggard at for taking such great photos!