Living in Our Pet’s Home

For those of you who know me, you know my softest spot is for animals.  Without them, life just wouldn’t be the same.  We develop a relationship with them that isn’t defined by language, age, race, or gender.  We communicate with them as members of our own family because they are.  And although their time here seems limited, the love and memories they give us stay with us forever.

So while other people are writing about how to make your home pet-friendly, I think it’s more appropriate to think that pets have made their home more people-friendly.  They open our minds to the world through their eyes.  They allow us in their home, to share their days and nights, to play with us when we are happy and to be there for us when we are sad.  They hold a gift that can only be opened by letting them into our lives.  One look at their faces and we’re butter.

"Sam"
“Sam”

Sadly, friends of mine lost their Sam this week after 15 ½ years…a heartbreaking day that will take time to pass before their memories are filled with all the love and good times they shared together.  Unfortunately, most of us have shared a similar day.   In Sammy’s honor, I’d like to take a look at some other pets who have shared their homes with us.  This is a collection of pictures I’ve collected privately over time out of my love for animals.  They show us just who the king (or sometimes queen) of the house is.  Some of them come from some amazing websites which, if you hover over the image, you will be able to visit. My favorite sites are Interior Design Sense and Desire to Inspire which has a weekly posting every Monday about pets on furniture.  Others are my own pets or those of friends.  Notice how comfortable they seem lounging on their furniture. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Is The Future

 

First, let me apologize for taking so long to continue this blog but as some of you may not be aware, our entire showroom was flooded on Halloween night.  What ensued was a day-after-day process of cleaning, repairing, rebuilding, repainting and restocking.  The mess is finally over and the showroom now looks better than ever.   It’s now time to get back to work and bring you up to speed on what’s going on in the market.

The 2011 Fall Furniture Market in High Point showed continued growth in the abundance of natural products coming into the marketplace as demand for casual and relaxed interiors takes an even stronger foothold.  This trend, due in part to the largely successful transformation of Restoration Hardware under the guidance of Gary Friedman and Carlos Alberini, their executive officers, continues to influence the market in a direction with such a force that even the stodgiest of companies are succumbing to the pressure.

While previous market trends were based on limited time fashions, this trend will probably see a much longer lifespan because it is based on something a little more important…sustainability and the future of our planet.  Sustainable products such as reclaimed or recycled wood and materials not only add interest and texture, they make a statement of what we want for our future.   And companies are able to bring us these products in a way that ensures durability, quality and affordability.

Market attendance appeared to be lower this year, however, those who did attend were buying as if the economy is making a strong rebound.  Some older showrooms have disappeared and some of the new ones are bringing new products and new blood into the business.  So without further jibber, let’s take a look at some of the new items that I found interesting.

“Vintage” seems to be popping up as a look by itself and also as an accent to tone down the contemporary.   I also noticed some occasional “industrial” themed pieces that showroom salespeople said were selling like hotcakes to the designers.  The pictures, although I’m an amateur, speak for themselves.  Feel free to browse through the following images and get your insider access to the furniture market.   In my next blog, I’ll cover some of the more interesting contemporary introductions as this style is still dominating the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Point Market Is Here!

There are a few different furniture markets during the year that everyone in the business attends to find the latest and greatest but I still prefer the High Point Market.   It’s the original furniture market, primarily because of its geographic location to where most of the furniture in the United States used to be made.  Even though a lot of our goods are now imported, the big companies still maintain their major presence at this market.

High Point market begins in one week.  I’ll be there scouring the showrooms for some of the best design finds and values.  In my next blog I’ll bring you some of my favorite purchases but I thought I’d give you a little background on the market before I go.

During market week, any manufacturer who has the means puts out their best displays and products to lure buyers and designers into their spaces.  It’s a fast paced week and to explain it as “sensory overload” is a huge understatement.  It covers 180 buildings and 10 million square feet of display.  It represents over 2000 manufacturers from 106 countries.   Attendance is usually in the area of about 800,000 plus buyers.

Buses, transports, taxis, rental cars, shuttles, and streets filled wall to wall with people rushing from one space to another, make for long days.  Food is fairly scarce except for light snacks and possibly a sandwich stand.  No one is eating much or enjoying the beautiful scenery outside.  Everyone is fighting the clock and trying to cover as much territory as their feet will allow.

So why do we put ourselves through this torture?  Because hidden away in a remote new showroom, lays the promise of an amazing new discovery.  And that one item can lead to an entire market trend over the next few years.   It also gives us a chance to see the new products that everyone is introducing and gives us a chance to put in our orders and become the first showrooms to have the products for sale.

In High Point you see everything.  From Indonesian imports to Christmas trees, from loungers with built-in sound systems to tables made from petrified wood.  There is no shortage of originality and it all depends on the buyer’s taste if it’s the right thing for them.

The market is only open to the trade and if you think you want to try to sneak in, you better have some pretty impressive credentials.  Most people are pre-qualified with entry passes before the week starts.  Security is everywhere and people are turned away all day long.  And if that isn’t enough, most quality showroom spaces have added another layer of security at their front doors to screen buyer’s qualifications.  Yes, there is that much business.

High Point is only open two weeks a year.  Buyers from every store in the country need to make their purchases for the next 6-12 months during that single week and the results can often determine the future of a manufacturer.   Everyone is under pressure and it’s sort of like Wall Street at 8AM on a Monday morning.  Every elevator is packed 100% of the time.  Hotels are booked up to 30 miles away and everyone is getting a premium for everything from rental cars to food.   Advertising is everywhere…the sides of buildings, buses, windows, street poles, shirts, you name it.  Companies are determined to get your attention and your dollars.  Basically, it’s insane.

Every market is a little different.  But each one brings styles, new products, and new trends.  Some people find what they’re hoping to find, some go home disappointed.  And even though everyone leaves with  really sore, aching feet, there’s that feeling of satisfaction knowing that once again you’ve conquered the beast and you’re heading home.