Vail Daily column: Designer trends, straight from the mecca of home furnishings |

Vail Daily column: Designer trends, straight from the mecca of home furnishings

Room design by Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair as seen at High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina.
Special to the Daily |

Let’s be honest, designing and decorating is fun. I love the challenge of searching out just the right finds for our clients. Along the way, I often find an accessory (or two) that I need as well. In our retail shop, we have tons of inspiration pieces — but they don’t just show up. There is a lot of thought and travel put into finding the latest trends.

Twice a year, a team of Slifer Designs’ staff trek to the renowned High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. For the uninitiated, High Point is the mecca of home furnishings and design. People in the industry just refer to it as High Point. Hundreds of vendors not only display their latest in furniture and design, they set up actual stores and showrooms for the six-day event.

One area that really stood out to us was the extremes of color: Some designers played it completely safe when it came to color and others created drama. Susan Ferrari, the vice president of retail operations, noted, “Designers Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair and Lillian August demonstrated the bravest, boldest use of color. They both used very saturated hues and mixed reds, purples, greens, yellows and blues with confidence. Alexa’s vignettes were designed with a Park Avenue penthouse in mind. Welcome to the new Park Avenue, this is not your parent’s penthouse.”

Vendors truly showed joie de vivre with their colors. But for those of us who are a bit less confident in mixing our jewel tones, fear not: Shades of gray are just as popular. Look to mix purples, blues, yellows, whites, browns and blacks with gray for a personalized pop of color. From clean and masculine to sophisticated and understated, grays bring it all.

There are a few strong style trends happening. One movement continues toward a cleaner, softer traditional sensibility. Another trend gaining momentum is mid-century modern styled for today. A few markets ago, we first saw 1960s geometric patterns and colors on upholstered frames. The fabrics shown this market were much simpler.

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Color is fun but what’s next? Restoration Hardware’s deconstructed chair is gaining in popularity and other vendors are creating their own variations. This is not for the buttoned-up type!

The popular chesterfield sofa has gone through its transformations too; whether dressed in leather or fabric, it’s obvious that the origin of these sofa silhouettes is the chesterfield.

And what pairs perfectly with a chesterfield? A bar cart. Thanks to the mid-century modern movement, “Mad Men” and America’s love for cocktails, bar carts are found everywhere. Whether Ralph Lauren’s modern, chrome cart or a more industrial style: bar carts add interest to a room. Even more traditional tea servers are finding a new life when set up as a bar.

Although High Point is an industry-only event, we love sharing the latest finds and trends. Want to see or hear more? Stop by our showroom, check us out on Facebook, visit or download House Account on your phone and find us there.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs and has been with the company for 17 years. For more inspiration, check out

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