Last week I introduced you to my friend Elizabeth Morten from Dovecote Decor. Having lived near High Point for over 30 years, Liz is an expert when it comes to navigating the gargantuan furniture market. Liz has generously offered to write a guest blog post in my "What We've Learned" series, sharing with with us her insider's view of High Point. I know you'll find her post as informative as I did!
High Point is logistically difficult to navigate. Having shopped "The Market" for at least 20 days per year, for the past 25 years, I know my way around, and oddly find the experience energizing. The main hurdle is lodgings, and I would recommend two locations. The Proximity hotel is the new chic LEED green hotel in Greensboro, and is close to the airport. The food is excellent and the commute to High Point is about 25 minutes. You will find the high end design crowd at the bar.
My second choice would be to stay at the Graylyn Estate in Winston-Salem. It is the former property of R.J. Reynolds executive, Bowman Gray and is now operated by Wake Forest University. I walk the grounds often, and it is far from the madding crowd, but really the same distance as Proximity, though a few more minutes from the airport. Prices are extremely reasonable, and dining in Winston Salem is much more accessible during market. You will miss the night scene, but in my opinion, you do not want to stay in High Point during market, you will want to retreat. If you stay at Graylyn, you will want to eat at 1703, 2 minutes down the road. The menu is inspired, and the food, mercifully, during a long day at market, is served at your pace; you can linger, or dine majestically and healthily, albeit quickly.
Now, down to the brass tacks of High Point. The heart of HP is the IHFC (International Home Furnishings Center). Go there first, (shown below in red) since that is the transportation hub. Receiving a Resource Guide in advance is key. Ask the market authority to send you a copy. It is easier for me than the website, which is surprising. For parking, I'm one to pay the piper. I have good luck on Wrenn, between Green (rear of IHFC) and Russell. Many hotels have shuttle service to the transportation terminal at the IHFC.
If you are not snagging "one of a kinds," your first stop is InterHall in the IHFC. Walk through the main entrance (Commerce) and walk down the hall to the right. InterHall is the must see, juried space at market. These are Brooke's people and they are my people. Interhall represents boutique vendors, with different styles with uniformity of scale--read, not super-sized. This is hybrid furniture, often made of sustainable materials, in Asia, with small production runs. You will wait months and months for most things from InterHall, but the look combined with price is worth the wait.
If you are coming from access to large design centers, many of these vendors are unique to HP. As you walk up and down the aisles, you will see an escalator. When you finish shopping InterHall, return to the central escalator and window shop floors 2-4 of the adjacent Design and Green (meaning the street behind the building). Chelsea textiles has spectacular Gustavian and mid-century pieces.
As far as I'm concerned, in the IHFC, InterHall and floors of 2-4 of "Design" and "Green" are all you need to see. Your next stop is the highly worthy, outdoor furniture location. Go back down the escalators to InterHall and retrace your steps towards the IH food court. There is a sneaky exit behind the dining tables that will put you on the crosswalk to the outdoor furniture vendors. Walk through most of those showrooms, on that floor, there are some gems.
Commerce Street runs in front of the IHFC, when you finish get back on commerce and go in the C and D building (walking away from the big building, towards market square (arrow), it will be on your left. The C and D has a one of my favorite vendors, and has many excellent resources.
We posted our coveted Carson and Co decoupage lamps, and furniture last July. Susan's card table is another heart stopping, hand touched product. These artisanal vendors are the heirloom tomatoes and regional goat cheeses found at farmers markets. You will not find them in the urban design buildings or most regional markets. They show in North Carolina. High Point is Captain Crunch on a shelf next to white truffle oil, next to beef jerky, adjacent to organic free range chicken eggs, picked this morning!
This is a 17th and 18th century print decoupage treatment for a card table that can be customized completely. Her showroom is 41 and the telephone is: 704-332-5955 Click here to read our previous post about her cottage industry. When you are finish the C and D building, walk across the street to market square. Market square has a new juried equivalent of InterHall, called Salon. It was a disappointment in April, but looks more promising this fall.
Start on the ground floor there, and power walk the suites. I have trained myself to pass the junk quickly, and not sift for nuggets in every stall. Don't forget to see the Wind Rose when you've reached the second floor. It is just behind the door to the wall dividing the suites from market square. When you've done the suites, go back to market square and use the escalator and run some laps around those floors.
If you are there on Saturday afternoon, hop into Hickory Chair for the Alexa Hampton book signing.
Hickory Chair is hosting the signing at their NEW showroom located at 330 N. Hamilton in High Point, on Saturday, October 16th from 3-5 p.m. I have met Alexa and seen her chic collection at Hickory Chair, she is incredibly friendly, as are all the reps at one of the few designer showrooms where the furniture is still made down the road. I love going through the showroom and actually meeting designers such as Thomas O'Brien and Mariette Himes Gomez. I have still not told you about several other important manufacturers in outlying showrooms. Come around for my next post, and thank you so much Brooke for the guest post!
Thank you so much Liz! Steve and I are so excited to visit all of these wonderful vendors.
Are you going to High Point? I'd love to know any of your favorite vendors too.
Hope to see you there!
if you would like help creating the home of your dreams, email me about our design services. You can also purchase many items found here on Velvet and Linen as well as "to the trade" furnishings through Giannetti Home. Email Kelly about the details.
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