High Point Spring 2012: The Year of the Side Chair

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Ikat chairs from Hickory Chair

Last week I was away, traveling to North Carolina for the fabulous High Point Market.  It was my second year attending Market, and this year was particularly exciting.  I was sponsored by three incredible showrooms – Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, and Hickory Chair.  While touring the showrooms, I spotted some fantastic design trends for 2012 – more color, pattern, and global influences than I’ve ever seen before were present in each showroom.  And the items with the most interesting designs were hands-down the side chairs.  Offering bursts of bright color and bold patterns, side chairs were being treated as the must-have home accessory, bringing in interesting design and statement decor with just one piece.

Here are just a few of the trends I spotted in the world of side chairs this year:

Asian Influence


There was a unique Asian influence throughout the Thomasville showroom.  Strong geometric patterns, and new takes on Chinese chinoiserie were present.  This stunning chair in a modern oriental pattern is a perfect example.  


And this bold floral pattern is a new spin on chinoiserie with an oversized bloom and bird motif.

Suzani Upholstery

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Suzanis took on a new form at High Point, as upholstery.  These chairs from Hickory Chair show how beautiful the suzani pattern can be in vivid shades of red and yellow.

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And I also love this more subtle design.  It’s a beautiful color palette for a room with grays and blues.

Chevron and Flame Stitch Patterns

Cool zig-zags were everywhere.  Chevron and flame stitch patterns were present on a number of very cool chairs.  This one from Thomasville definitely stood out.  The colors are soft and neutral, making this chair all about the pattern.

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At the Four Hands showroom I spotted this colorful chair in tones of gray, blue, orange, and yellow.   The classic shape becomes modern when upholstered in an unconventional pattern.

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And I fell in love with another chevron chair from Four Hands.  As I recall, this one swivels!  Swiveling chairs were another trend at Market.  Great for conversation areas in your living room.

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And while this chair from Drexel Heritage isn’t in a flame stitch pattern, I really like the idea of a flame stitch pillow on a cool black leather chair.  It’s a great way to bring pattern into a room in a small dose.

Original Designs by Hable Construction at Hickory Chair

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Hickory Chair and Brooklyn-based company, Hable Construction developed a collaboration leading to some unique chair designs.  The designs are simply beautiful, inspired by watercolors and hand-drawn illustrations.

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The upholstery fabric looks as if it has been painted on.

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And I really love this fabric featuring loopy doodles.  It’s fabulous on this old-school Indian cane chair.  

Other Unique Designs

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Ikat patterns where also present in new ways.  This ikat chair left me awe-struck, and I love the matching pillow for extra support.

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This black and white chair featuring a Greek key pattern was also a stunner.  Completely classic and a great chair for a traditional living room.

There were so many beautiful pieces to explore, and you can see more of what I loved tomorrow with Part II of my High Point coverage.  See you soon!
{Images taken by me via iPhone}

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