As a perennial hub for the home furnishings industry in the U.S., High Point is also known for its vibrant mix of vintage and antiques offerings. Whether it’s decor, furniture, art, or even jewelry, smart shoppers head to High Point for pieces from top dealers. Though this season’s market is unfortunately cancelled, there are still countless vintage finds to be had from the experts who call High Point home. We spoke with two such folks, Stephanie Schofield of 214 Modern Vintage and Karen Luisana of the Antique & Design Center of High Point, to get their take on what’s popular, what’s next, and what makes a design really shine.
What are some of the pieces & dealers you’re most excited about right now?
Stephanie Schofield: We love a little bit of everything over at 214, from sculptural vintage Kagan swivel chairs in caramel velvet (from Steph Schofield) to monumental pieces of studio pottery from the Hudson Mercantile and warm, welcoming woven Danish settees from Tandem. DinnerpARTy brings fantastic etchings by Raoul Ubac. Gillian Bryce always has an amazing vintage sculpture (or two or three… or ten!) while we can count on Robert Massello to bring the Karl Springer. And we’re always fans of vintage art from Trilogy Antiques. Plus it might be time to finally treat yourself to that vintage Gucci bag from Beth Poindexter.
Karen Luisana: The most exciting thing to me is that there aren’t great differences in terms of the excitement from space to space or, as you ask, standouts. Of course, some exhibitors have a stronger design aesthetic and merchandise their collections in a different way, but the overall effect of the show is that all together, the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Our customers coming to the ADC in High Point are expecting everyone’s A-game and our dealers don’t disappoint!
What are some of the trends you’ve been seeing so far in 2020? What have people been most interested in?
SS: 2020 has been derailed a bit and I think trends will respond as a result; things are going to slow down and purchases will be more considered, comfortable and familiar — nothing too outlandish or wild and wacky. I see a continuation of strong but rounded silhouettes in furniture for now, with natural materials surging, including wood, stone, woven materials and natural fibers.
KL: This is a tough one, nowadays! I remember years ago when we went through the “à la Veranda” phase, with everything needing to be in the greige color palette; then there was shabby chic; then there was industrial; Mid-century modern, etc. Boy… we’ve come a long way from those days. Explosions of colors, textures, inventive techniques in art, in furniture, and oh my… wallpaper is even back with a bang! Now, all the styles are mixed together in such a powerful way, whether minimalist or maximalist, and it’s those personal antique and artisan elements that breathe life into each installation.
Put things together that one doesn’t normally put together, and voila! It works. Eighteenth-century furniture with Mid-century modern original art. Large folding screens used as dividers or on the wall as the focal point. Overscaled and exaggerated proportions — collections of smalls, encased, hung or grouped on tiny pedestals for that layered effect. We’re seeing it all. We’re seeing outsider art mixed with the classics. Anything goes if it’s done in a provocative, personal, yet pleasing way. Repurposing still works if a fresh, current vibe is attained. Gilded fragments on Lucite and metal bases; new art in antique frames. The list is endless.
What kind of trends do you expect to see for the rest of the year?
SS: Hopefully art is where buyers will step out and try something different and express themselves — I think that could be a natural reaction to the crisis. Creativity surges during times of tumult, and that’s a world away from the concept of “trends.” Creative expression and a moving away from trends could actually be the new trend, if there is one!
KL: Everything in the antiques world seems to be hot right now — it’s being copied in many of the new product showrooms, so it’s important for our dealers to continue to evolve as trendsetters. While staying in touch with what’s hot in different parts of the world, our antiques dealers stretch themselves artistically to find the best offerings available to present at each show. Antiques with a rich history enhance every setting in the interior design world, even in extremely modern interiors. They’re also needed in the hospitality market to make every project a standout.
How are dealers and the vintage community as a whole working virtually right now? How do you think this might change the way we work in the future?
SS: It’s never been more clear that digital HAS to be one avenue of a multi-pronged approach to selling. We don’t know what the future holds, but I think for many of us this time has allowed us to explore new ways of operating. “Out of adversity comes opportunity…” Ben Franklin had it right. This is a great time to innovate and implement new strategies in your business that you can carry on into the future.
KL: It’s extremely apparent (especially now) that design and antiques shows, pop-up shops, and regular retail shops must all be combined and augmented with an online presence. This isn’t to replace the more standard venues, but to enhance the overall selling opportunities that each business needs to have to survive and thrive. Reaching that larger audience is imperative.
214 Modern Vintage
|Beth Poindexter Couture|
|Gillian Bryce Fine Art|
|The Hudson Mercantile|
|Trilogy Antiques & Design|