Recently, I attended the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, North Carolina. This is the showcase of everything new and exciting in the furniture and design business. Designers, buyers, retailers, and manufacturers all descend on this small town twice each year to see what everyone else is doing. For me, this is usually a source of great inspiration. This year, I left uninspired by what I saw…..but incredibly uplifted by who I met and got a chance to talk with.
One of the highlights of this market was meeting design legend Bunny Williams in the new showroom for her new product line, Bee Line Home. I am now carrying Bee Line home here in Knoxville thanks to my sales representative Roe Pitts. Bunny is truly an interesting person who has a unique perspective on design, and who has lived a life full of doing what she loves, and creating beautiful interiors along the way. Her classic book, “Affair with a House” is one of my favorites, and chronicles the evolution of her country estate. Her partnership with John Roselli in Treillage is also an incredible story of interesting travel and places…..again coupled with beautiful objects from around the world. Bee Line Home gives fans and consumers the opportunity to purchase some of her all time favorite pieces which she has beautifully reproduced.
Another highlight was meeting Alexa Hampton. I had met her a few years ago when she introduced her first collection for Hickory Chair. This time, she was autographing copies of her new book, “The Language of Interior Design” at the Visual Comfort lighting showroom. She has designed a collection for them that is beautifully chic…and of course, since it is from Visual Comfort, it is affordable. She is so gracious, and an inspiration to me knowing her history and the fact that her father, Mark Hampton, was one of the greatest designers of all time. The book is beautiful, and richly showcases many of her projects. The book is interesting because she speaks to so many different styles and can’t be categorized to one look. This is something I strive to do in my own work, and is the result of listening to what your clients have to say and to what they want.
The final highlight was meeting legendary designer Michael S. Smith and Elle Decor editor Margaret Russell at the Press Party in the Baker showroom. The showroom is of course unbelievably large and even more beautiful. They have created an entire Michael S. Smith home in the showroom to showcase his new product line for Baker. I have enjoyed watching his career develop….even before his most recent honor to design the private living quarters in the White House. It was an incredible experience to walk through his brilliantly laid out spaces and soak up inspiration. His look for Baker is classic but fresh at the same time. It walks a fine line between the 18th century and today. This is a tricky place to be because there has to be enough fresh elements to keep the look current….but at the same time has to referrence history enough to make the look classic. He is a master at this mix.