The High Point Market, held in High Point, North Carolina, each year, is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world. Writer Robey Martin is hanging out there this week and has provided a quick and dirty guide to navigating the big beautiful world of the international furniture market. A quick reminder, you must be a designer, buyer, press, or friend of one of these to attend.
By: Robey Martin
1.) Wear comfortable shoes
I know everyone says to do so BUT really do it. Maybe even bring a change of shoes? Why? Because you walk a lot and the change will benefit your poor tootsies. (Also, think about options that will take you from day to night if you are planning on cocktailing… more on that later).
2.) Look at the maps
Make a game plan. The sheer size of the place is daunting and easy to lose track of. Highlighters, pens and a folder are great for notes. So are photos, so make sure your phone has room for snapping photos along the way.
3.) Don’t stop to buy food and drink. Do double duty.
What does that mean? Combine your shopping and your drinking and eating. In Market Square, there’s delicious gelato (it’s free) and you can hit the cash and carry along with Dovetail (which also offers a solid selection of wine). Stop in Feizy for rugs and Italian cheesecake bites. Hit Phillips Scott for sexy banana leaf wicker and sparkling wine. You get the point.
4.) Pay attention to the showrooms that you love.
Almost no one wants to take home their samples (in the temporary booths), so if you can stay till the end of the show there are deals to be had. Chairs, tables, ottomans, oh my. The showroom hand-stitched leather couch goes from $5,700 to $3,000 as the show comes to a close.
5.) Consider staying in Winston-Salem.
It’s about a 30-minute drive from High Point, the hotels are 1/3 the price for the week, and most have a free shuttle. Parking at the show is a nightmare not to mention it’s really pricey, like up to $60 per day.
Not to mention, the restaurants in Winston-Salem are incredibly solid. Katharine Brasserie sports Chef Adam Barnett from the Inn at Little Washington and local NC trout, local cheeses, local beer and exceptional service. Check out the local Applewood-bacon-fat-washed bourbon Old Fashioned and the house frites for a light snack/cocktail pairing. Hit Willow’s Bistro for Bradford Watermelon molasses fries or sea scallops carbonara with North Carolina truffles. Chef Travis Myers is known for his commitment to Southern food and it shows in his use of heirloom ingredients.