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Inspiring is definitely a word to describe my High Point, North Carolina trip. (If you missed my first blog about the furniture market, click here.) If anyone is a fan of the television show Million Dollar Decorators, and saw the episode where Mary McDonald travels to High Point with Nathan Turner to support him in his furniture launch and do the show, you would think High Point is mostly greasy diner breakfasts at places like Waffle House.

Now comrade Cameron MacNeil and I did some serious diner eating, as evidenced by my pic above. Yum. The difference between Cameron and I and those Million Dollar Decorators is that we actually like waffles, but we were also excited and surprised by much of what we saw.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the number of showrooms set up in old industrial buildings. Cisco Brothers (above) scored one of the best buildings in town, and it was the perfect backdrop to their eco lines of furniture. Spacious, gorgeous light coming in, rustic old wood — nothing was wanting in this space. And it afforded them the opportunity to do some really interesting things with their merchandising. This is definitely a way to get retailers and designers excited about a line.

I personally love this display with the settee made of mixed fabric remnants, the gorgeous chandelier, and the wall papered in old newspaper advertisements. Now this is something any one of us could do in a spare room or reading room.

Halo scored the old town fire hall for their showroom. Again, it had great natural light and plenty of wall space for display ideas. I loved the way they showed their collection of wicker baskets and could imagine this same trick employed in a country house or summer home for storage — what a charming idea!

Mr. Brown didn't get an old building, but they did a fantastic job of making their booths look like they were in interesting spaces. A great takeaway idea for me was a bookcase papered in modern silhouette wallpaper and filled with old books, boxes and shoe forms. Funnily enough, all three are things I collect but I haven't put them together as well as this. Something for me to do on an upcoming weekend, after the requisite diner breakfast, of course.

For more styling tricks, watch Cameron and Joel Bray's TV segment.

Photo credits:
1-5. Meg Crossley

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