It’s not unusual to see details and embellishments at the High Point furniture market. At the most recent event, two of them lit up showroom floors: piping and channels. Just as importantly, two others—embellishments that have dominated the market for many seasons—backed off to make room for them: nail-head trim and tufting. The speed at which this shift took place was breathtaking. As a result, it felt like nails and buttons were moving into the post-peak column right before our eyes.
Piping became the directional way to emphasize upholstery silhouettes. Cords kept to thin diameters as they outlined both frames and seat/back cushions. A contrasting color, typically darker than the body cloth, was employed by vendors from Highland House to Norwalk Furniture. This technique really made the piping stand out.
It was interesting to see the influence of piping translate to wood. At Vanguard, concentric rectangles of thin white moulding outlined dropdown doors on a mushroom-finished cabinet. Hancock & Moore applied continuous sculpted bead moulding to a neutral leather sectional. One line of java-finished moulding encircled the entire sectional at the base. A matching strip was positioned a few inches from the top on the back. These accents made the sectional ideal to float in an open floorplan.
Channels looked even more tailored than piping. While most examples had a vertical orientation, widths were far less predictable. Channels came in a thin linear repeat on Arteriors’ Tatum Settee. They went wider for the Elsa Banquette, new from Barrie Benson for Highland House. Ambella Home eschewed matched spacing in favor of irregular channel widths on their newest headboard. Meanwhile, Miranda Kerr’s new collection for Universal Furniture preferred horizontal channels, which looked quite sophisticated on a neutral headboard.
Channels seemed to open the door to skirts, though these two details were not typically paired. The new way to show a skirt was waterfall style. Here, the skirt begins at the seat of a chair or sofa, so the skirt looks almost elongated. As a result, pieces have a smoother line and a tailored, rather than fussy aesthetic.
Not every significant shift for embellishments focused on soft materials. Several interesting evolutions came from hard surfaces. Here are a few more decorative details that were revealed in High Point:
- Plaster-like textures on case goods and lighting
- Metal legs, uven for upholstered seating
- Rope wrapped around everything from accent tables to portable lighting