The High Point Furniture Market wrapped up its spring exposition this week. Basically, it’s a six-day party for the interior design industry. Some 80,000 flock to North Carolina for the event every April. Well, it’s a party – and a workout. High Point is the biggest home furnishings trade show in the world. Visitors need a map, a shuttle bus, sensible shoes and a lot of stamina to make their way around hundreds of showrooms full of furniture, rugs, lamps and accessories.
Diana was there, and she came home exhausted but full of insight about the latest trends. Here are her comments:
This year, the theme is all about “lifestyle.” What does that mean? For one, furniture makers offered clean, crisp, well-organized displays that were so perfect they lulled you into a fantasy. It was like imagining yourself driving your convertible down with the top down on an oceanfront road on a sunny day. You’re living the dream – or at least you can within these displays!
All of it was geared to capture those rare moments when the kids are happy and healthy, and all of life is in perfect harmony. Finally, you don’t have to hold your breath anymore. You can exhale. Isn’t that we all want? We long for those precious, perfect moments to last forever.
Furniture manufacturers spend millions of dollars trying to figure out what you long for in your life. They pay consulting firms wads of cash to try to understand you and your buying habits, so they can help you feather your nest. And if they can’t exactly figure it out, they will dream up a theme.
But there’s a fatal flaw in this manufactured theme. That perfect lifestyle isn’t mine and it likely isn’t yours. My life revolves around three young boys. Yours may include messy teenagers or rambunctious grandchildren. High Point’s elegant mahogany library with the high ceiling and the rolling ladder wouldn’t work for us. My three-year-old would be clinging terrified to the top while his older brothers raced the ladder from one side of the room to the other, shrieking with hilarity. We’d all end up in the emergency room. Disaster!
Ditto the glass-top dining tables with dove white slipper chairs. That $100-a-yard silk would be covered in peanut butter and jelly within a day. The glass would be smeared with milk. Crumbs would be ground into the $25,000 Aubusson.
At High Point, the displays are exquisite. The pitch is enticing. Far from the chaos of a house with three growing boys, I’m buying every bit of it. The problem is, the trade show is selling a lifestyle that doesn’t exist for most of us. Maybe even all of us.
The key to success is to design for the life you live right now – not your fantasy life. We’re practical and pragmatic New Englanders. We want good jobs, a good education for our children, and communities with good values. We are thrifty and very resourceful. We know quality and we prefer it.
At Furniture Consignment Gallery, you can design for the life that you live every day. Our showroom is full of furniture and accessories that fit our imperfect – but wonderful – lives. And you can achieve the look that suits you and your family for less, which leaves more on the budget for the truly important things.