If you’ve never been to High Point Market in High Point, NC, it can be hard to imagine what it truly consists of. Past Market-goers will typically provide advice such as, “wear comfortable shoes” and, “try the sangria at Eastern Accents,” but no one can totally prepare you for what a weekend at High Point Market has in store. In my head, I envisioned a mystical land of interior design goodness (true) similar to a furniture version of Disney World (also true) but I had no idea how it all worked. The October 2016 Market was my first experience at HPMKT, and to be honest, I’m still processing the whole thing. It was a whirlwind of showrooms, delicious food and cocktails, beautiful interior design staging and you guessed it – lots of walking.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted (and in my case, lost) while navigating the cute little town of High Point. Market completely takes over the town with huge showrooms, promotional setups and buildings chocked full of vendor booths. In all that I learned, the most important nugget of advice to keep your HPMKT experience on track is to have a schedule of showroom appointments and stick to it.
In our four days at HPMKT, we visited countless showrooms and met with our reps at each one to learn about the newest styles, trends, fabrics and finishes. As you can imagine, this was a lot of info to process, so I did my best to keep a little list of notes on my phone and take tons of photos (over 650 to be exact.) Although I loved pretty much every showroom and new piece that I saw, I’ll recap my top five and why.
1. Lexington Home Brands.
The Lexington Headquarters showroom is a short drive outside of downtown High Point, so extra points for being able to park outside and walk right in. This showroom is huge, and houses lines by Lexington, Tommy Bahama Home, and Sligh. Their beautiful buffet lunch was to die for, and included beef tenderloin and salmon, plus a pumpkin pie cake dessert that I’m still dreaming about. The terrarium style dining area was a lovely break from being inside showrooms, plus outdoor furniture area was perfect for taking a quick break and catching some sun.
2. Stanley Furniture.
The Stanley showroom is right in all of the action at HPMKT, so it’s easy to access and a great place to stop for lunch or a happy hour cocktail. The beautiful bar and dining area offers food and signature cocktails that tie into their new lines, so it was all Cuban style inspired by their new Havana Crossing collection. As far as the furniture showroom goes, each vignette is thoughtfully laid out and staged with unique details. Real accents from Cuba, such as an old refurbished record player and postcards, were scattered throughout the Havana Crossing collection, giving the showroom an overall authentic feel.
3. Vanguard Furniture.
Well, most importantly – cakepops. In addition to the coffee bar where you can choose from countless flavors of lattes and espresso, the Vanguard showroom offers cakepops all day every day with rotating flavors (in my opinion, the cinnamon roll flavor wins.) On a non-food related note, the Vanguard showroom has multiple levels filled with considerately staged vignettes and collections. On the top level, we had a delicious lunch and there was even an outdoor patio to enjoy it on.
4. Universal Furniture.
The Universal showroom had a ton of wow-factor and was seriously HUGE. The dining cafe area up front was stunning, featuring a large bar, multiple redwood tables and a nice outdoor area. Aside from the aesthetics, the menu was exquisite and there was no shortage of sweets and drinks. The Universal showroom includes multiple collections, but my favorite was the SmartStuff collection for kids. This line of children’s furniture boasts functionality with innovative features such as built in lights and plugs, and it’s so beautifully done and unique that it made me wish I could have a bunkbed for myself.
5. Theodore Alexander Furniture.
This showroom really helped us to feel at home at HPMKT, as they offer a wonderful valet parking program and a shuttle service all run by sweet volunteer firefighters. The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets were all top notch and I’m pretty sure we tried about 10 different desserts here to salvage our exhaustion. The furniture collections housed in Theodore Alexander are unique and super customizable, so it was inspiring to see all of the different options available.
Honorable Mention: Bernhardt Furniture.
This was the first showroom we went to at HPMKT, and needless to say my mind was blown. Every piece in this showroom was artfully staged and it truly flowed together like you were walking through someone’s well designed home.
If you went to High Point Market, what were your favorite showrooms? We’d love to check them out next spring!