Navigating #HPMKT + Showroom Shout-outs!

I am over the moon excited to finally be attending High Point Market! After following from afar, via social media shares on Facebook and Twitter for the past three years (and blogging about it too!) I'll finally get to share my own experience with you. And what better way to kick off my first High Point Market, than to be invited to be a sponsored blogger for the event! Being a sponsored blogger means I've been selected to tour and write about two specific showrooms from #HPMKT- One of which I blogged about last Fall for Hadley Court called John-Richard Collection, and one that is new to me called Huntington House Furniture. 

You can see more fashion pairings at Hadley Court, here. Hadley Court is a Style Spotter this year for #HPMKT so I'm also very excited for her (Leslie Hendrix Wood)! Read how to follow the Style Spotters in my post at Hadley Court. In the meantime, you can see some of my favorite pieces for the J.R. Collection on Pinterest here.

Both showrooms I'm sure each will attract many market attendees, from two different sets of lifestyle designers and buyers. The John-Richard Collection is focused on fashion forward + luxury furniture design, while Huntington House Furniture prides itself on American craftsmanship and furniture design solutions to meet your needs.

I'll be writing more later, but for now, you can see some of my favorite pieces from Huntington House on Pinterest here. Monday I'll be touring their showroom!

While I've scheduled time from market week to tour these specific two showrooms, there are also others I have invitations to, plus several showrooms I had toured for Las Vegas Market that I am looking forward to seeing for #HPMKT. Along with my two assigned showrooms to tour, Huntington House Furniture and John Richard Collection, plus many I'll see in my travels, here is a Showroom Shout-out List of 15 showrooms I am planning on seeing this Spring Market:


Global Views



Gabby Decor 

20th Century by HKFA

Eastern Accents

Highland House

EJ Victor

Red Egg

Wesley Hall

Modern History


I've read (plus been warned!) that market can be very overwhelming, especially for a newbie! High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months. Here are more of #HPMKT's current demographics:

180 Buildings
11.5 Million Square Feet of Showspace
75,000 Attendees Each Market
More Than 2000 Exhibitors
100+ Countries Represented
Tens of Thousands of New Product Introductions
Approximately 10% of Attendees Are International

 One of my maps I created to help orient myself with part of the market area.

There is so much to see and very little time to see it all. I've mapped out a few of the showrooms I'd like to see during Spring, leaving time and space in between to just naturally take in all I am going to see. I'm sure I'll go to many others come Fall. Along with mapping out the areas where showrooms are located - which can be either easy access free-standing showrooms such as Huntington House, or showrooms within a building - such as Bernhardt, which is located within a structure called IHFC, and contains six buildings in one, with the Bernhardt showroom being 85,000 sq. ft. alone - I've got to be prepared not only to do some SERIOUS walking, but also account for the time it takes to get from one showroom to the next. Here are the main buildings I plan to get to:
Hamilton - Wrenn District

Intern Hall 


Antique & Design Center

Suites at Market Square

Along with touring the showrooms, there are also educational seminars, book signings, a designer showhouse, product launches. celebrity designer appearances, out-of-town traffic, seeing familiar faces & stopping to chat - plus weather conditions to contend with. The advice I've been given as a newbie to market is to plan and stay focused - which I can be pretty good at, let's see how I don't get too visually distracted by all the beauty, color, designs, and people. In the end, I think it's all about the adrenaline and all the shared excitement in the air - the energy and life the market plus the people will bring to town.

Two must see points of interest during market week: The Junior League of High point Designer Showhouse (you can read about by clicking here) and the Bienenstock Furniture Library, you can read in my previous post by clicking here.

I'm just so grateful to be back east to be able to be a part of it!!

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for market highlights - plus also follow my #HPMKT 2015 board on Pinterest! 


Exploring High Point - The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library

Coming up this weekend, Spring Market week will come to North Carolina, a furniture  industry design event bringing together buyers, designers, and media specialists (much like New York's Fashion Week!) to the town of High Point. And although many of the 75,000 attendees will be focused on touring the showrooms of the 180 buildings known as High Point Market, many will add a trip over to the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library to their plans, not only to see the library, including original, iconic pieces of furniture, but also to take in a little research time on period styles for their own projects. The library holds America’s largest collection of extremely rare books on furniture, and furniture history, along with thousands more interior design books, shelter periodicals, and antique auction catalogs, going all the way back to the last century! Although I too will be popping into the library during market week, I did bring my mom to also take in this bit of American history when she came up from Florida to visit.

The Bienenstock Furniture Library is our country’s only library dedicated to the preservation of history on the furniture industry, including furniture design, and it contains the country’s largest collection of extremely rare books on furniture plus  furniture design history. The library is free and open to the public, Monday - Friday, located at 1009 N. Main Street in the heart of High Point, just two buildings over from the Junior League of High Point, and across the street from a new fave shopping spotting for collectables here in North Carolina - Vintage Thrift and Antique Shop. My mom and I had stopped by on Saturday first, but I didn't realize the library was closed. When we went back during the week, we were graciously taken a tour and given more information about the library's history from its director, Karla Webb. Here are a few pics I took from touring Bienenstock Furniture Library...


While we stood in one of the front reference rooms, which included the library's fireplace and portrait of its founders, Sandy and Bernice Bienenstock, Karla explained that they  began collecting books about furniture and furniture design back in 1922, when this house, the Garyson House, was their family home. In 1970, The Bienenstock Furniture Library was dedicated by Sanfords, and Mr. Sanford was at that time President of Duke University.

For the library's opening in 1970, everyone in North Carolina's furniture industry turned out for it. The library has undergone a few changes to preserve its historical integrity, but one thing that has remained constant, besides the beautiful centrally located staircase is its historic exterior constructed of basalt. Today, the library is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes.

The library contains over 8000 books on furniture and interior design + many periodicals, including over 100 years worth of issues of Antiques Magazine. It was cool to see one publication from my birthday. My mom and I were even able to see the library’s climate controlled rare book room, which contains volumes dating back to 1640 and it is the only library in America that houses the original works of 18th century furniture masters Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite - which you can flip through, as long as you're wearing the clean white gloves given to you. 

The historic library is run by a volunteer board of directors - some of which include volunteers: Leslie Hendrix Wood (of Hadley Court), Leslie Carothers (of The Kaleidoscope Partnership), Stephanie Lowder (of Rare Bird Creative), and Jason Oliver Nixon (co-founder of Madcap Cottage). It is currently chaired by the grandson of the founders: Mr. Russell Bienenstock, who is the Editor In Chief of Furniture World magazine.

Students, furniture designers, interior designers, scholars, design bloggers and lovers of furniture and design from all over the world come to the library to conduct research.

And thanks to the library’s generous endowment by the founders, the library has given out scholarships to the winners of its annual furniture design and interior design student competitions. Recently, The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library Board of Directors announced the winner of their annual Interior Design & Furniture Design student scholarship competition whose first place winner, Erica Brooks of Virginia Tech who will receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue her studies in interior design - And Eny Lee Parker of SCAD won first place the Furniture Design competition will also receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue her studies in furniture design.


You can read more about Erica’s winning design in an article here at Furniture World - plus in my post I wrote for Hadley Court called High Point Happenings.

Just this past fall, Hadley Court design blog shared with you the opening of the Hadley Court Center For Design Collaboration Center at the Bienenstock Furniture Library (you can read about the Dedication here). The Center was designed for meetings, presentations, webinars and seminars  —   and the room contains the latest in AV equipment that library director Karla has been trained to use – to help make your visions come to life in a professional environment. For example, you can Livestream a design  presentation or record a video presentation to share on your social channels and website. If you’d like to reserve it for use, you can email Karla at info@furniturelibrary.com.


So yes - even with all the newness market will bring this coming Spring season, part of what makes market possible is taking in the nearby historical sites, such as the Bienenstock Furniture library. My mom and I enjoyed our time there, and I hope you will too!

By the way: Although this is a 'library', books may not be checked out - however, you can actually buy some of the books in the on-site book shop down stairs, or bargain book shop out past the garden in the carriage house. Not only are these books wonderful to add to your design library to reference, but they are great also to layer into a vignette to tell a story - of your own home or a client project. Funds collected from book purchases help the restoration of the historical books, drawings, documents and the library itself.

To help bring more awareness to this historical establishment during market week, the library will be hosting a BBQ boxed dinner - with Sweet Tea, tonite, Tuesday, April 14 from 5-7pm for market exhibitors setting up and you will get the chance to meet the High Point Junior League Showhouse designers. (Follow the hashtag throughout social media channels at: #JLHPShowhouse)

The 2015 Designer Showhouse takes its inspiration from the furniture-rich history of High Point. The designers have worked very hard to create a modern, livable space in a historic home, that had good bones but needed a little TLC. Many of the designers working on the showhouse referenced the Bienenstock Furniture Library to research their room designs. Visit the Junior League of High Point Showhouse site at jlhpshowhouse.com to learn more about the design house and learn about the designers and the cause this will be supporting. To learn more about the library visit their site at furniturelibrary.com

Junior League High Point - Designer Showhouse
200 West Farriss Ave
High Point, North Carolina
(336) 889-5479 

Bienenstock Furniture Library
1009 North Main, in the center of High Point (at the corner of N. Main & Design Place)
 Library Director Karla Webb
Follow the library's current activities and events via their facebook page at: www.facebook.com/BienenstockFurnitureLibrary

Thanks for stopping by - Hope to see you at the library and #HPMKT!


Outdoor Living - Deck Decor Planning for Spring

Moving to a new house can bring exciting new space challenges - and opportunities. Having a deck adjacent to an open-concept living room - kitchen area is (thankfully) having the best of both worlds to get back into doing some outdoor living + entertaining. In our Arizona home, the kitchen & dining were on the second floor - and in order for the hubs to grill, he'd have to travel not only down stairs, but through the laundry-room AND the garage (yes - PITA!). The challenge for utilizing these new spaces comes from not only planning their function, but also budget planning furnishings to best suit them, and our lifestyle. Similar to planning a new indoor space, an outdoor space can be divided into zones for different activities. In this post is the plan for the upper level of a two story deck - including investing in a outdoor dining table and chairs, plus new umbrella and a rug - all to work with existing planters, small seating area and grill. The deck below will (eventually) be more of a lounge area including a sofa, chairs, and bar, with an adjacent (gas) fire-pit set in the yard on gravel with 4 chairs, off the lower deck - creating three outdoor living zones - but first, is setting the area which will be used the most. Having a  plan helps to know what to shop for and deals to be on the look-out for. Knowing the measurements helps to know what sizes will fit best. Having the visual boards, not necessarily set in 3D as the space, but to give a sample idea of what the combination can look like, is not only help for a client, but it's a great tool to help spouses too. An even bigger help is pairing the two board types, a furniture / space plan and a sample board together as one... 

Sample Board for Deck Decor & Furnishings

Dimension Plan - To know the space available.

The wood floor covering is just to symbolize the deck, and helps bring forward the furniture plan. 

A Furniture Plan - fit to scale - birds eye view of upper level deck, which does include outdoor element of what is below (plants and pavers). The fireplace is inside the house, but it does create a bump-out onto the deck area.

All three plans together - or skip the dimension plan, and just group the Sample Board with the Furniture plan...

Coming up with a simple sample board layout helps when comparing options...

The hubs already has the grill and matte, plus we have a chair pair & 30" round table for a sitting area. The cart next to the grill is a wooden barcart I had that will be primed & painted with outdoor paint. The invest pieces will be the dining table, 4 wicker chairs, an area rug, and a new outdoor market umbrella (because the one we had in AZ took a beating from the sun + dust-storms in the past 3 years).

The only 'extra' will be selecting which cushions & pillows will pull together the decor style for the outdoor space - but definitely going with pairing classic Greek Key and Stripes...

Before any items will be purchased (unless a remarkable deal is found!), the deck will be pressure cleaned, and a painter will be hired to give it a fresh coat of a (dark) deck stain - Currently the deck is brown, but to better compliment the shutters on the front of the house, (plus create harmony for the exterior by having a consistent color palette) the deck will be stained charcoal (off black), which will work with either of the two dining table & chair combinations.

The dark set is available at Home Depot.
The lighter set is available at Target.

Outdoor cushions and pillows can be sourced now from numerous online retailers (such as Ballard Designs, Frongate, Home Decorators and Overstock), or your favorite local home decor stores - it just comes down to finding the correct sizes, patterns, and colors you desire to achieve your look. Although I was thinking to bring the 'blue & white' scheme outdoors, my all-time favorite, non-seasonal, outdoor pairing, is black, white, and green. 

For plants, it depends on how many or what style you want (for your region and weather conditions). While you may pick up some plants at a local home improvement store, such as Lowes or Home Depot, another option is to shop your local nursery, which then you are also helping to support your local community businesses. Here in North Carolina isn't as tropical of a climate / region as Miami or Phoenix, so for our deck and exterior landscaping, I'll be going with more hardier plants such as boxwood shrubs and conifers, such as cypress. Flowers are nice, but they also bring bees, so later layering in a few variegated plants (such as hostas) will help create layered interest through plants, and help to soften the look of the outdoor living space.

Now - all we need is some sunshine, and warm, clear weather to get to cleaning + painting the deck and eventually enjoy some outdoor living!

What outdoor space are you excited to get working on this Spring?

Thanks for stopping by!


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