Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019

I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology has made them so much more interesting and better.  I still find the hunt and curating exciting because I always see new and improved items to make your design projects interesting and updated.

Back in Black

This market, the dramatic black color came back and was popular everywhere.  There were black and white and black and gold items galore, in accessories, art, lighting and furniture.  The black and whites were also evident in the tribal look with Moroccan style rugs, which brings up another big influence this market – tribal. 

Nature Calls

The animals continued to run wild at market, and were just part of the landscape, as in nature.  They have almost become a neutral blending into the landscape.  Many more examples of nature were present as well.  Lots of wovens on natural products were found just about everywhere.  There were items made of wicker, rattan, cane, rope, hemp and sisal.  Also, another natural material that continued everywhere was the use of minerals and stones.  I saw lots of feathers used on accessories and even lamps!  Sometimes the feathers were fun, but in other instances, they created a look like that of a plucked chicken.

Knock on Wood

Just about every manufacturer showed a lot of light woods, but the dark ones are also coming in stronger than previously, so a little of something for everyone.  No matter what the wood or material, I was struck by the abundance of large scale coffee tables: a dramatic, strong accent and anchor to a room.  In addition to this, there continued to be combinations of materials – wood, acrylic, metal, concrete and glass, keeping things mixed and different.

Neutral Still Reigns Supreme

There were some bright, colorful fabrics and I noted a lot of blues and greens, but the neutrals were still king.  Fabrics tended toward texture, as they did last market, and there were more performance fabrics available from the manufacturers.  The fabrics had a nice hand or feel and the manufacturers are finally providing enough variety and choices to meet all needs, with easy upkeep, whether it’s for children, pets or red wine.  These upholstered pieces are continuing to provide more motion, from swivels to a sectional with six or eight recliners in it!

Green and Blue Make Strong Statements

Green and blue have been hot colors in the past but this year they were more prevalent in all kinds of shades and tones.  I saw them used in bedding, wallpaper, accessories, sofas, and chairs.  Both colors invoke a calmness in any setting and gentlely welcome you into the space.  They was everywhere and they make the perfect accent colors for any room!

I’m betting that with Houston being the most diversified city in the country we will find the perfect setting for all of the above! Some of these trends have already started to arrive in our interior design showroom in Houston, TX.  If you need assistance incorporating these designs into your home please contact our interior design studio to arrange a consultation to start living in the space your deserve!

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Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019 I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology...

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Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets...

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Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets and even drink red wine, and still be able to have light colored upholstery!   Slowly manufacturers started offering it on their upholstered pieces and we didn’t have to order COM (customer’s own material) to have a sofa or chair made with performance fabric.  As the word about performance fabrics has gotten out, and the demand stronger, many more brands of these have come on the market and the options are really exciting and diverse.  However, this can all be confusing because the fabrics have different benefits and attributes so you have to decide how you are going to use them.

Woven for Texture

The performance fabrics available now are no longer flat colors but have mixed weaves to create texture.  There is a handcrafted artistry look that is tactile and visual, as well as boucles, jacquards, chenilles, velvets and outdoor leathers for texture, and patterns of all sorts that offer beauty, comfort and durability.  The fabrics can now be moisture wicking, antimicrobial, anti-odor, quick dry, antistatic, wrinkle resistant, self-cleaning, flame retardant and even have protection from ticks and mosquitos.

Traits to Choose From

So where do you start and how do you decide which one to choose, other than just the color and texture?  You need to know more than just “it’s a performance fabric.”  Each one will have different benefits and attributes, as previously mentioned, so you have to decide where they are going to be used: indoors, outdoors in the sun or even indoors in windows which receive a lot of sunlight.  Next, ask yourself, are you using them for upholstery or window coverings?  Look at some of the possible traits:

  • Stain Resistant
  • UV & Fade Resistant
  • Durability/Abrasion Rating/Double Rubs
  • Mold & Mildew Resistant
  • Bleach Cleanable 
  • Odor Resistant
  • Solution Dyed
  • Breathable
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Various Warranties 

Fabrics for the Outdoors

We all expect the stain resistance from performance fabrics, but a select few will have UVA resistance that is perfect for us where there is sun exposure, inside or out.  The double rubs (amount of wear) will vary from maybe 12,000 – 15,000 count on some Sunbrella fabrics, but can go up to 100,000, or even more, with other brands.  You may also want to inquire about pilling (small balls of fiber on the fabric surface) on some fabrics.  Solution dyed usually indicates you can use bleach because the yarns were dyed before the manufacturing.  Breathability can be important if you are upholstering something and have to incorporate a vent for air to go out when you sit, like on a bench.  Mold and mildew can grow on fabrics if you do not keep the dirt and soil removed from them because leaving it there is what allows this to happen.  Some performance fabrics do have the mold/mildew resistance attribute to alleviate this issue.

Cleaning Your Fabric

Let’s talk about how to clean performance fabrics.  Remove any debris first and don’t let it stay on the fabric for a long time.  Don’t ignore it and think you will get back to it later.  You should apply clean water and blot it, but don’t rub it.  Next, you can wash the fabric with soap and water and blot it again.  This should do a sufficient job cleaning the fabric.  It’s possible that you could still have something visible on it.  I did when some raccoons got into our outdoor fireplace and partied with soot all over their feet on some red Sunbrella cushions.  When I washed them in soap and water there were still some little black spots leftover from the footprints.  I took a Q-tip and applied some bleach to the spots and they disappeared with no difference in the red color.  I did rinse it so not to leave the bleach on the fabric forever.  Another story I have is about a client whose engineer husband didn’t believe what we said about the performance fabric we were recommending for their sofas.  He applied mustard to the sample and his wife wiped it off with a damp cloth.  She brought it back clean, although the paper it was attached to was yellow.  It’s always best to check with the manufacturer, though, just in case.

Available Fabric Types

Due to the growing popularity of these forgiving fabrics, whether you have pets, children, love red wine or just want to have that white seating without the worry that someone might spill something, make your life a lot easier and check out what is currently available.  The list has grown from the few fabrics available when I did the first blog to now, and I’m sure there will be more and more than the list I will supply you below; but at least this shows you many options to look into.  Most of these are available, either as cut yardage through Fabric House, or from upholstery lines at Design House.  So here’s to happy, more carefree living for you!

  • Alfresco
  • Alta
  • Bella Dura
  • Brisa
  • B/Strong
  • Convington
  • Crypton
  • Endurosilk
  • FibreGuard
  • Inside Out
  • Live Smart
  • Metallic
  • Nanotech
  • Never Fear
  • Novasuede
  • Nu Leather
  • Outdura
  • Para Tempotest
  • Performance by Regal
  • Performance Leather
  • Powered by Crypton-Leather
  • Revolution
  • Solarium
  • Sta Kleen
  • Sunbelievable
  • Sunbrella
  • Ultra Fabrics

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Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

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Modern Wallpaper / Wallcoverings – Types and Where to Use

Hang Ups?

We all know it’s a big NO to those robo calls but a big YES to wallcoverings today!  You may have some hang ups about using wallcovering though, if you remember when it was not only hard to install but a nightmare to remove.  Fast forward to the wallcoverings of today and technology has improved and made them so different and exciting!  The texture and sustainability of wallpapers are much improved and they can add so much interest to not only the walls, but ceilings, furniture, built-ins, and even stair risers. 

Modern Day Wallpaper

The options are so current and diversified that the design opportunities are endless.  Whether you are traditional or contemporary, floral or geometric, bright colors or subdued, seeking quiet elegance, gloss or metallic, a stucco or wood faux finish, glass beads, peacock feathers, or embedded LED lighting, the statement will be impactful and an easy way to update your space!

Where to Use Wallpaper

Accent Wall

Photo by York Wallpaper RY2817

Next, you will want to determine how you want to use these great new options.  Do you want a feature wall, such as behind a bed or seating area, or to create drama or just an exciting finish on a ceiling? 

Powder Room Wallpaper

Photo by Thibaut, Wallpaper Pattern: Maryse in Metallic on Navy from Artisan Collection

One of the most popular uses of the bold papers is in powder rooms. What better place to have a little fun and add some personality! You don’t have a moisture problem here, and the space is smaller, so you can really go as bold as you want. In a full bathroom, however, do be certain to make sure there is proper ventilation and use a water resistant vinyl to be safe.

Update Furniture with Wallpaper

Photo by apartmenttherapy.com

Covering a boring, perhaps damaged or scratched piece of furniture can give it a whole new, current look. Usually a grass cloth or textured linen is good for this, although we recently used a chinoiserie paper to make a piece of furniture for a specific size and space needed.

Stair Risers

Photo from Brewster Wallpaper

Another dramatic use of wallcovering can be on stair risers, with the proper adhesive and protective coating added.

Importance of a great installer!

Of course, working with a knowledgeable installer is important, because installation varies depending on the product being installed.  You should also rely on your installer for the final estimate of how many rolls to order.  It can get to be a little confusing with whether the wallpaper only comes in double rolls or single, factoring in the repeats of the pattern, deducting for windows and doors, figuring out if there is shading with the texture and if the wallpaper needs to be turned, and determining if the wallcovering will show seams, etc.  In addition, your installer will make sure that the wall is properly prepared and will use the best adhesive for your particular wallcovering.  In the end, using quality wallpaper and having a great installer will provide results that are dramatic and add a lot of personality to your space. 

So, answer the call!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019 I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology...

read more

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets...

read more

Remodel & Home Additions

Design Trends for 2019

If you are about to remodel or build onto your house, here are some of the current trends to consider, whether working on your kitchen, bathroom, living space, laundry room, or outdoor area.

Kitchens

Everyone always refers to the kitchen as “the heart of the house”, so what is the latest and most desirable for this area? Since it is where everyone tends to hang out, we want it to be beautiful, but we all know this area can be messy!

Consider building in the hidden kitchen or dirty pantry. This can be a bonus kitchen, sometimes called the catering kitchen, or a pantry with appliances that cause clutter for items like the toaster, juicer, coffee machine, and perhaps a sink. Often times an additional dishwasher will be here, too. Smart appliances which are user friendly with apps to control them are abundant, even from a distance. 

Also, consider more color in at least some of the cabinet finishes, or tile. Don’t remain locked in to the white, which has been so popular or white marble, which is hard to maintain. There are so many surface products available now that are handsome, easy to maintain, and also available in larger sizes for those extra-large islands to not have seams. Lighting fixture finishes are more into soft, matte brass, nickel, black, and some copper; but there are a lot of uses for mixed metals.

Bathrooms

Health and wellness is essential here.  The bathroom should not only be beautiful, a retreat or sanctuary, but safe for all ages.  If possible, one bath in the home, or preferably all, should have large enough openings to accommodate someone who might have to be temporarily in a wheelchair or walker.  This is not to suggest meeting ADA code with all of the requirements, but simply have doors at a minimum of 32”, and block inside walls when you are under construction, to be able to add a grab bar later, if needed.  You can at least have assisted use bathrooms, even if you don’t have a 5’ turning radius.

Of course, the master bath is becoming more of a spa with temperature controlled showers, a place to sit, and multiple sprays.  People want larger showers and often a roll in shower with no curb around it.  This has to be planned in the construction stage with a slight slope and preferably a vertical drain.  Free standing tubs are kind of the art for the room.  They’re beautiful, but recognize that they cannot be used by some, as they can be difficult to navigate getting in and out of.  Technology keeps adding many new options with cryotherapy, hidden speakers and TV, touch or motion faucets, 3-D printed faucets, and even a new concrete faucet!  As in all rooms, lighting is so important, but especially here where you will be shaving and applying makeup.  Please don’t have the lighting just shining down on your head.  This is the worst application!  The best situation is to have lighting from sconces at about 6’ high, and then additional lighting from the ceiling behind you but not over you.

Living Spaces

Automation for the home continues to grow.  In 2018, 643 million smart home devices were purchased, but by 2022, it is estimated that number will be 53 billion, so include this in your plans.

Everyone wants and should be able to control their AV, lighting, and security from their smart phone, so plan for this. Put in combination USB/electrical outlets in all places you may be working for charging, add a central charging station, and maybe, consider adding an automobile charging plug in the garage also. Do your wiring now while under construction. Put in proper wiring for adequate lighting for different uses – ambient, task and general. Also, consider wiring for those automated window treatments, especially for the high ceilings and sound throughout the house.

Outdoors

Make your outdoor living a year round experience and an extension of the house. For that year round usage, provide for heaters to use on those cool days or nights and fans or misters for the warm ones. Automatic screening for porches or motorized shades to protect them from insects is great for Houston.

Consider a fire pit or fireplace and an outdoor cooking area. Artificial turf is becoming more and more popular, and while it costs a little more initially, the benefits of the low maintenance will make it worth it, if you don’t have too much area to cover.

Laundry Rooms

Don’t forget the pets! More often than not we are including pet accommodations in the utility rooms. This can include kennels built into the lower cabinets, a shower or large sink for bathing, depending on the size of the pet, and built in storage for the pet feeding bowls. Recently, we also stashed kitty litter boxes behind a wall in the laundry to keep them out of site. This is one room that is normally not on the house tour, so use it to help you keep things in order.

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Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019 I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology...

read more

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets...

read more

Shower or Tub???

OK, it’s time for me to eat my words again, or maybe just issue a change in opinion about showers vs. tubs. Most people have a very definite preference, and when we are working on projects we have to determine those preferences. For resale, we always make sure, even if the client is a professed shower lover, that there is also a tub or at least one in a secondary bath for children. More often there will be at least a tub/shower combo in one secondary bathroom, and perhaps the others can have showers – whatever the owner prefers, but with resale in mind.

I was one of those who hated the bathtub. I rebelled against the old jet tubs because they would not completely drain out all of the water and would leave about a cup of nasty water retained in the lines. When the air jets came out they were nice and clean, not holding the dirty water, but they were sort of fluffy, without the massaging action. On the plus side, you could use more bath products in those tubs than you could in the jet tubs. Then the popularity of the freestanding tub, and soaking tub, became the rage, and really still is. They are pretty to look at, and photograph, but dangerous for many to enter, and therefore essentially just for looks.

So, why do so many people dislike tubs and prefer showers?

The main reason, I think, is because we feel they are faster, and with our hurried lifestyles, we think we don’t have time for a leisurely soak. Honestly, when I think about it, I take just as long for a shower because the hot water is relaxing and I don’t want to get out. It makes me feel better and sleep better. Supposedly it’s a fact that the raised body temperature from a hot shower or bath lets your body do its normal cooling that happens after you go to bed and it is good to have that warm experience before sleep. I think another reason some of us don’t like the tub as much is also because the water gets cold and you have to constantly adjust it by adding more hot water. If you have to be monitoring and working to keep the temperature, that is not fun or relaxing. 

Photo: Aquatica

But wait! The reason I am changing my thoughts about tub bathing is the new technology – hydrothermal therapy! It will keep your water hot so you can relax. Also, the new jets, like the Shiatsu massage for your back, and even a wrist jet (for too many hours on the computer), make your time in the tub worthwhile since you also get the added benefits of a massage. Plus, the dirty water retention problem has been corrected by redirecting the angle of the jets. You can also use all kinds of bath products in it, even oils. Wait until you hear about the indulge therapy that oxygenates your skin with a microbubbles system, cleaning it without soap! Supposedly it increases collagen, so BRING IT ON!

I recognize we have been doing body sprays in showers for a good while and they do a type of massage, but it seems fewer clients want those, and instead prefer a good spray head, sometimes also a rain head, and a handheld. The beauty of these has been that they are thermal controlled and maintain the temperature. It might be nice to have all of that and more, and be able to sit and relax in a tub, with added relaxation techniques. If you are still a lover of the freestanding tub, without the jets, just for soaking and relaxing, you can have it with the hydrothermal addition to enjoy a soak that stays warm.

Now all I need is a place to put it in!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019 I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology...

read more

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets...

read more

The End of Harvey

This blog post is a follow-up to The YEAR of Harvey.

Many of you have been so kind as to inquire about how and what we’ve been doing since Harvey. Thus, I feel the need to write the end of the Harvey story, even though I rarely post personally. We expect to close on the sale of our property at the end of this month and move on. I loved our property that we are now selling to another family with children to enjoy very much, and I am grateful for the time it was ours. I planted so much on that acre in Memorial for many years.

When I was at our deserted house recently, finishing clearing out some items stored upstairs and in the mucked out garage, I discovered my Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow shrub, happily blooming, even after being underwater for more than a week! Of course, the botanical name is Brunfelsia Pauciflora, but that’s not as meaningful or memorable to me.

There was something symbolic about this plant showing all its colors of blooms that occur yesterday, today and tomorrow, as they change colors with each day; hence the name.  My yesterdays of forty years were pretty wonderful with our children and grandchildren growing up there playing on the creek and property, and enjoying life in the city with a taste of the country.  Also had a peacock come strolling through while I was there to remind me of all the wildlife we experienced, and there are many more stories about that!

I imagined the today to be the current situation of Harvey, but dragged out for a year and a half, after destroying the collectibles, treasures, and accumulation of all of those years. I know there are many others still trying to decide what to do or even still trying to get settled back into their homes. We still see evidence all around the city with some vacant, scraped lots, some still sitting homes, and many under construction, but elevated.

Finally, tomorrow is what is to come as we close this chapter. Many people were affected not only physically, but also psychologically, and I know that is hard. I prefer to imagine the future as full of hope, surprises and possibly new adventures; although if I am honest, there are moments when that is rather difficult. Thanks to friends and family, those times are fewer and fewer, and I am optimistic about a great future!

Other posts you may also be interested in:

Inspiring Interior Trends From High Point Market Fall 2019

Inspiring Interior Trends from High Point Market Fall 2019 I’ve been walking a large part of the 12 million sq. ft. of interior design showrooms at High Point market twice a year for many years.  I’ve seen lots of products come and go and come again, but technology...

read more

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric

Picking the Perfect Performance Fabric It’s been almost nine years since I first wrote about performance fabrics and bringing them inside from their common use outdoors.  My blog back then was about Sunbrella and nanotech technology and how you could have kids, pets...

read more