Life is usually better as a senior than as a freshman, and it's no different when you're, say, tasked with surveying 11.5 million square feet of showroom space to find the most stylish and interesting pieces of furniture and home decor.
That was the task at hand in October for acclaimed Houston interior designer Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors—you might remember her work from Houstonia's September design cover feature—who returned to High Point Market in October for her second and final assignment as an official market Style Spotter.
"I think I had even more fun this time—all the style spotters knew each other, so it was like a reunion, more fun and relaxed," says Flanigan.
As one of a handful of design insiders, Flanigan not only checked out the wares from over 2,000 exhibitors, but had special preview access to new product and line launches. As she did in the spring, Flanigan chatted with Houstonia on what styles, trends, pieces and details that are destined to hit stores in 2017 caught her eye. Is your home ready?
Gold, brass and the like have been dominating the metallic landscape when it comes to design for several seasons, and though Flanigan says these are still going strong, she's seeing them used in new ways, most notably paired with materials that are rougher and more rustic. Think copper with concrete, aluminum set with wood, lacquer with slate and brass with quartz, as seen on the light fixtures by Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort. The great thing about this look, says Flanigan, is that it doesn't require buying products with both textures.
"Look around the room as a whole—it doesn’t have to be one particular piece. Maybe you've got wood elements and leather and can bring in something sleek to contrast. We are doing that every day in our interiors, and it works especially well in kitchen design. You can have rustic wood beam on top of lacquered white wall bringing in that texture," she says.
Lines and shapes are a constant in design, but in the past few years we've streamlined from chevron zigzags to honeycomb and other geometrics to the humble, simple, straight line. "This was one of a couple things we noticed right off the bat," says Flanigan.
Right angles or simple vertical lines are bringing a more contemporary, streamlined feel to traditional tufted or quilted pieces, as seen on mid-century-inspired seating at Dovetail and a so-cool-it's-square leather ottoman by Roberta Schilling.
Have you been on Instagram lately? If so, the dominance of Scandinavian design is nothing new, and Flanigan reports that the look is making big inroads at High Point as well—"those influences are hitting the market in a pretty strong way," she says.
At heart, the Scandinavian or Nordic look is a blend of mid-century minimalism paired with soft, woven textures and simple, rustic prints. One of Flanigan's favorite examples at High Point was a rug by Magnolia Home, designed by Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines.
When it comes to color trends, "we're still seeing the pastel influence—I still saw a lot of rose this fall," says Flanigan, referring to last year's Pantone-endorsed blush and soft blue tones. But mixed in were some more vibrant gem tones. "Fuschia was really hot, and I saw a lot of lily pad green," she says. "It's still a natural palette, just done with much bolder saturation."
During her time in High Point, Flanigan says she and her firm were repeatedly drawn to natural textiles in surprising applications. "The woven materials were a hit with our texture-loving firm," she says, referencing a rope ottoman by Palecek and baby alpaca bedding by Imagine Home.
So go ahead, make your home a little more cuddly. It's Style Spotter-approved.