High Point Furniture Market Adds Outdoor Focus

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Next month’s furniture market in High Point, N.C., will be paying special attention to patios.

A new program, Design Oasis, is set to debut during the June 5-9 spring show, featuring outdoor furnishings and accessories from High Point Market exhibitors.

According to the High Point Market Authority (HPMA), the show’s producers, the new addition was prompted by soaring interest in backyard enhancements as a consequence of COVID-19 quarantines. Indeed, a recent survey by the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), the outdoor division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, shows that 90 percent of Americans consider their outdoor living space more valuable than ever before, and that 78 percent of respondents have performed an outside upgrade during the pandemic.

See: Outdoor Furniture to Remain Red Hot in 2021

“In normal times, outdoor spaces are areas of recreation for ourselves and our families,” observed ICFA executive director Jackie Hirschhaut. “Yet today we need them for the restoration of our bodies and minds.”

HPMA president/CEO Tom Conley agreed. “The popularity of the outdoor room has increased exponentially throughout the duration of this pandemic, which is a positive trend for our exhibitors and buyers alike,” he said.

Added Cheryl Luckett, a featured Design Oasis designer, “Spending more time at home has increased the need to expand our living spaces beyond the four interior walls.”

Luckett’s firm, Dwell by Cheryl Interiors, is one of four design teams that are developing stylized outdoor vignettes for the Spring 2021 Market. The curated spaces will be installed at Center Stage, an outdoor covered area between the Transportation Terminal and Showplace, and will each feature separate themes, including a desert oasis and an Italian garden.

“Design Oasis is allowing us to embrace a product category that has great depth here in High Point and showcase it in a curated, highly-designed manner thanks to the expert eyes of our featured designers,” said HPMA’s Conley.

The growing prominence of outdoor products hasn’t been lost on fellow Design Oasis designer Stacy Garcia, who pointed to data showing a 2,795 percent increase in Pinterest searches for kitchen and bars last year, and a 550 percent spike in searches for outdoor play areas. “We’ve seen the trends over and over,” Garcia said. “Garden rooms, granny pods, outdoor entertaining, bird watching … you name it, all trending. Outdoor living is front and center.”

For more information on Design Oasis, click here.