For years, since opening my design boutique, Milieu, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio in 1994, I’ve been traveling to the preeminent home furnishings and gift shows around the US and abroad - from New York City to Dallas, Los Angeles, Milan, Italy and points between – keeping myself on the cutting edge of design trends and searching out just the right piece of furniture or the perfect accessory for my clients. I recently spent a very productive and stimulating four days at the largest of all shows in this country: the International Home Furnishings Fair in High Point, North Carolina, popularly known as the High Point Market. A sprawling complex with hundreds of furniture and accessories vendors located in many different buildings, High Point Market might be exhausting for some, but I loved every energizing minute of every 10-hour day I spent there. It’s great that the showrooms are so hospitable – serving dinner buffets - so I could keep shopping into the evening. And still, the tremendous charge to my creative batteries got me going early the next day.
In addition to finding items for my clients in the Southeastern US – for example, a unique and elegant entertainment unit for a Tampa Bay client’s family room – I was on the lookout for products we could add to my new Big Cat Luxe Gifts and Home Accessories line. An exciting collaboration with Big Cat Rescue, a large, internationally renowned shelter for lions, tigers, and other members of the big cat family, the Big Cat Luxe Gifts line features unique, elegant big-cat-themed gifts and accessories that can be purchased on the web at www.BigCatLuxeGifts.com . My collaboration with Big Cat Rescue on the Luxe Gifts line is a labor of love since it contributes to Big Cat Rescue’s wonderful work internationally. Among many other fascinating items I found for the Luxe Gifts line, I’m particularly fond of some delightful original oil paintings of big cats that will be added to the line.
The High Point Market wasn’t only about my searching out specific items of furniture and accessories for my clients and luxury products for the Big Cat Luxe Gifts line, it was also a great way to stimulate my thinking about design possibilities. Walking the showrooms, discovering new furniture and accessories while chatting with manufacturers and product designers, got my creative juices flowing. I also took advantage of some really powerful educational programs. One of the programs I attended featured Michael Payne, from HGTV fame, who entertained us with his presentation about how today’s technology explosion has led to unique new furniture and accessories for today’s design clients
Yes, my four days at High Point Market were intense. But I’ve come back to my design studio here in Tampa Bay with lots of new design ideas and re-charged creative batteries – ready to tackle my next design challenge!
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surrounding Tampa Bay Beaches and regional areas along the West Coast of Florida.