Designer Style Report

Twice a year over 75,000 designers, retailers, members of the media and more descend on High Point Market. The area encompasses 180 buildings and over 11.5 million square feet of showroom space.

Three New Jersey-based designers and tastemakers — Swati Goorha, Shamika Lynch and Nancy Mikulich — share their inspirations and top takeaways upon their return from the Fall High Point Market in North Carolina — the industry’s biannual trade show and epicenter of what’s new or trending in home fashions.

Swati Goorha, ASID, IIDA
Principal of Swati Goorha Designs in New Providence | 908-219-4853 | | @swatigoorhadesigns

Design NJ: How long have you been attending High Point Market?
Swati: I have been attending High Point Market for over five years now.

DNJ: What brings you to the Fall 2022 Market in general?
Swati: The market is a great way to connect with designer friends, do the “sit test,” look at the quality and scale of furniture in person, talk to vendors and understand the inspiration behind their products. I also like to find and meet new makers and vendors.

DNJ: What are some of your go-to showrooms?
Swati: I never miss the antiques wing and the Suites at Market Square. I always find unique items for my projects in the antiques section and some fabulous up-and-coming makers at the Suites.

DNJ: Were there certain collections or displays you found particularly inspiring this season?
Swati: I was very impressed with the Chaddock showroom. The new collection was resplendent with jewel tones, innovative details and a significant departure from the traditional offerings of the past.

Prominent jewel tones and innovative forms and details at Chaddock.

DNJ: Your main takeaways?
The use of color was very evident in almost all showrooms — jewel-tone colors such as green, purple, blue and purple. I also saw a lot of soft pastel tones such as blush, soft greens and Wedgwood blue.

Trending colorways (clockwise, from top left): Baker, Highland House, Ngala Trading, Eichholtz and Chaddock.

Curvilinear lines on furniture were also very evident. Soft curved-back chairs, Vladimir Kagan-inspired sofas and Art Deco-inspired table legs. There was also a significant push on thinking outside the box for furniture forms.

From left: A curved Vladimer Kagan-inspired sofa from Eichholtz, An Art Décor-inspired table at Chaddock, A console with intriguing bird-like legs at Noir.

Shamika Lynch
Founder and Principal Designer of Maximizing Tiny Interiors in Jersey City | 201-579-0077 | | @maximizingtiny

DNJ: How long have you been attending High Point Market?
Shamika: This is my third time. I previously attended the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 markets.

DNJ: What brings you to the Fall 2022 Market?
Shamika: Primarily, I want to see items in person to specify products for current and future clients, but I also want to stay updated with current inventories and collections of my favorite vendors and to meet new vendors. Another benefit is connecting with other colleagues who live all over the country. As independent business owners, many of us don’t get to connect often. High Point Market is our biannual “water cooler.”

DNJ: What are some of your go-to showrooms?
Shamika: Arteriors, Four Hands, Moe’s Home Collection, Sunpan, Noir, Nuevo, Gabby, Made Goods, Alder and Tweed — among many others.

DNJ: Were there certain collections or displays you found particularly inspiring this season?
Shamika: I discovered Mr. Brown London this Market. They’re off the beaten path in High Point and they don’t have a showroom in New York City, so I hadn’t seen their products before. I love the silhouettes of their case goods and the customizability of their upholstered goods. Their products feel incredibly luxurious and elevated while still contemporary. The company’s Eliza Lounge Chair, for example, could be designed in myriad ways with unique fabric choices.

The fabric pattern on the Eliza Lounge Chair is unique to Mr. Brown London.

DNJ: Your primary takeaways?
Shamika: More vendors are coming out with smaller armchairs that are suitable for smaller homes. I was able to find several options for armchairs that are 30 by 30 inches wide, which I’ve found is the magic number for small spaces. It’s no coincidence that they’re all curved-back chairs. This trend first made an appearance last Fall Market, and I’m pleased to see more vendors adopt it.

Chairs designed for smaller-space living from Julian Chichester (left) and Thibaut.

Curvy-scaled silhouettes from Dovetail (left) and Sunpan.

I’m also seeing ebonized or black-stained wood being welcomed into designs more prevalently. This is a trend I think is here to stay unlike gray oak, which I’m happy to see go. Black-stained wood is reminiscent of the Japanese shou sugi ban technique and has intriguing depth and texture that can blend with any aesthetic. I’ve even recently seen Ralph Lauren Home (at the New York Design Center) introduce ebonized or black-stained wood into classic styles that had only been produced in walnut before.

Ebonized wood case goods from Dovetail (left) and Julian Chichester.

Nancy Mikulich, ASID, CAPS
Principal Designer & Owner of Oasis Home Designs in Asbury Park
732-775-5151 | | @oasishomedesigns_official

DNJ: How long have you been attending High Point Market?
Nancy: I have been attending High Point Market for 15 years.

DNJ: What brings you to the Fall 2022 Market?
Nancy: I typically attend the Fall Market to see trends, shop for clients and the store, network and for social media opportunities.

DNJ: What are some of your go-to showrooms?
Nancy: Hooker Furniture, Sunpan, Bernhardt, Eichholtz, Universal, Vanguard and Woodbridge — lines that I typically carry in projects. I also enjoy seeing EJ Victor and Verellen for aspiration and inspiration! I love discovering new upcoming makers and companies in Suites at Market Square and the Antique & Design Center. I typically focus on showrooms that do not have a presence at 200 Lexington or in the D&D Design Center [both in New York City], which I frequent several times a year.

DNJ: Were there certain collections or displays you found particularly inspiring this season?
Nancy: The Roberta Schilling Collection perfectly showed how a Midcentury vibe can be cool, hip and cozy at the same time with the introduction of earthy elements and materials. One example: Afro-Brazilian patterns on pillows and in art in the same space as a Midcentury low-slung sofa. Warm colors and details with leather accents drive home the vibe, and it is so refreshing to see a warmer palette of colors returning to design. A sophisticated Bohemian vibe included multicultural references such as in the 1960s and ’70s. Macramé only better!

The Roberta Schilling Collection embraced a mid-mod look with African influences.

Norwalk Furniture featured an African-inspired fabric pattern on a Midcentury-styled sectional. There were also ottomans/poufs with an ombré-dyed Tibetan sheep’s wool fringe detail applied to a performance-weave fabric.

From left: An African-inspired pattern on a Norwalk sectional, Note the ombré-dyed Tibetan sheep’s wool fringe detail on a Norwalk ottoman/pouf.

Leather detailing and accents were also evident in many furniture and accessory presentations. In some cases, leather and rope-wrapped accents on drawer pulls took a simple drawer pull and elevated it.

From left: Vanguard Furniture embraced leather details on furniture from Thom Filicia and on some of their other case goods, A dining chair with leather detailing from the Roberta Schilling Collection.

Finally, Made Goods really knocked the multicultural concept out of the park with a credenza featuring a wood inlay of a Moroccan star pattern and a lamp with a modified horn for a base. Both were presented against a backdrop of wallpaper featuring African masks (“Panamania” wallpaper by The Vale London). The motif could be situated in any modern design-scape: a representation of multicultural influences on contemporary design.

This global-inspired vignette at Made Goods is “modern in its presentation and patterns,” the designer says.

DNJ: Your primary takeaways?
Nancy: The singular word I would use to describe the Fall Market is inclusivity: cultural relevance and culturally inclusive interior design and décor. Furniture, fabric, art and materials included and responded to multicultural influences through the use of color, organic material selections and non-traditional design elements: Midcentury meets Bohemian meets African — and it all worked so beautifully in the greater context. The design industry’s embrace of multicultural influences, I believe, is a response to the nesting we all did worldwide during Covid and our desire for warmth, security and family.

Editor’s Note: For more High Point Market coverage, check out the debut of Nancy Mikulich (Newman’s) new podcast “Design Like a Rockstar.” and its companion page on Instagram @designlikearockstar.