With a host of international awards and a respected reputation for elite customer service, it would be easy for Harrisburg decorator Angela Rowe to rest on her laurels. Yet every year, she finds herself in the city of High Point, N.C., for the world’s largest furnishings industry trade show. She attends the event to advance her knowledge of the furniture market and to get ahead of upcoming trends.
This year was no different, as Rowe was in High Point for about a week in late April to see the latest and greatest in color schemes, design, and products. “It’s always wonderful out there,” Rowe said. “It’s crazy because you’re in this little bitty part of town and the furniture market just makes it come to life. All of the hotels are full and there are 70,000 people walking around.”
Rowe makes her way to High Point once a year — as do many other industry experts. The High Point Market attracts more than 75,000 people every six months and features 11.5 million square feet of showspace, more than 2,000 exhibitors, and buyers from across the globe.
Rowe said the color gray was on the mind of many vendors and attendees at April’s show.
“It’s a very popular color for everything because it is a neutral, and provides a modern look,” she said. “Companies were also carrying a lot of orange and turquoise. Not for whole rooms, but for little splashes of color here and there.”
Rowe said just because something makes a splash on the showroom at High Point doesn’t necessarily mean it will work back at home.
“It all depends on the clients I’m working with,” she said. “I may have a traditional client who wants to keep things simple without all of the bells and whistles, or I might have adventurous clients.”
As a custom designer for Decorating Den Interiors, Rowe isn’t bound to selling a large inventory of products.
She custom orders pieces for her clients, and can impart her knowledge from High Point to identify and integrate innovative design.
“I can go into the client’s home and say, ‘Here are the trends. Here’s what I saw at High Point,’” she said. “That is a big advantage of going out there. I get to see what’s new. I get to touch and feel. I see different finishes and the way sofas fit inside different layouts.”
Rowe has been serving Southern Illinoisans since 1995. She strives to provide excellent design service on projects large and small, including matching client needs with the perfect window treatments, bedding ensembles, carpets, accessories, and more.
Last year, she won a top award in an international design contest, presented at Decorating Den Interiors’ 43rd annual conference in Atlanta.
She won second place in the commercial category for her work at Legence Bank in Harrisburg, and received honorable mentions for her other entries.
In short, she knows good design, both present and future.
“There are definitely some trends on the incline, including the wood finishes with the distressed, weathered look,” Rowe said. “We’re also seeing a lot of the mixed mediums, with people mixing metals with woods and ceramics.”
And as for finishes, Rowe said what goes around comes around.
“We’re seeing a lot of silver, gold, and copper as finishes,” she said. “Everybody traded in their gold door handles years ago, but it’s going to swing back around. It’s just like fashion.”