From the August/September 2014 Issue:

Style Sense

High Point: Meg's Picks, Amy's Picks, Alexis's Picks, and Mara's Picks

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enlarge | Luscious Lacquer | Bungalow 5
Each year Design NJ staff eagerly travels to the biannual High Point Market in North Carolina—the home furnishings equivalent of New York Fashion Week—to uncover the latest and greatest products and emerging design styles. In addition to Assistant Editor Meg Fox’s style picks, we asked three New Jersey-based design experts—Amy Manor, Mara Neske and Alexis Varbero—to share some of their favorite finds. Take a peak into the furnishings and accents that captured their interest or inspired their next decorating project!

Meg's Picks
The lacquer craze is omnipresent on furniture and accents, often in fresh, eye-popping hues. On the Tansu Console (also available in bright green and navy), high-gloss white lacquer pops against stylish gold hardware.

2 From traditional and classic to bold and graphic, wallpaper is enjoying its comeback status. Thibaut’s Widenor Chevron wallpaper updates the classic zig-zag pattern with softer, more artistic edges in high-fashion coral. The chest of drawers show­cases another fashionable design application: furniture wrapped in everything from leather to linen, raffia to grass cloth.

3 Linen looks resonate with our quest for casual lifestyles. Stripes—always a classic—appear modernized in vertical and horizontal lines that emphasize the Bailey Settee’s clean-lined shape.

4 Mirth Studio’s patterned hardwood floor tiles generated lots of buzz at their first Market showing (Contempo pattern shown). The hand-painted designs of owner and designer Sally Bennett’s creations are digitally printed on 12-by-12-inch wood tiles, saving consumers the time and expense associated with hand-painted floors. Designs and colors can be customized and come with a 25-year warranty for residential use.

5 Interest in mixed materials is rising, with wood and metal becoming a popular pairing. Shagreen is also gathering momentum. Pearson’s multi-purpose Console Table (#9752) combines an American walnut case with chevron-cut embossed shagreen drawer fronts and on-trend polished brass accents.

6 Companies are exploring a new approach to embel­lish­ment, showcasing tapes and banding that run across the edges of a skirted sofa or chair or down the center of seating in take-notice widths. Take the Audrey Chair, which highlights a double-stacked Greek key repeat—a timeless motif that got a lot of play at Market.

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enlarge | Amy Manor Interior Design
Before her entry to the interior design field, Amy Manor worked under iconic fashion designer Georges Marciano—the co-founder of Guess—serving as regional manager of visual merchandising for more than 500 stores. Constantly absorbed by all things design and color, Manor developed an instinct for forecasting trends. Today she is the principal of Amy Manor Interior Design in Red Bank.

Amy's Picks
1 “There always has to be one strong element that can be built upon in each room. The layers of the Celine Coffee Table combine that bold graphic design influence with different layers of gold, python and wood textures.”

2 The 3000 Bar from Trump Home by Dorya is a “bril­liant mix of exquisite craftsman­ship and luxury materials. This year it’s all about strong, Old World modern graphic influences, and this bar delivers. Free­standing bars have been seen during the past three Markets, becoming focal points of many interior spaces.”

3 “The bold graphic design and Art Deco influence of the Modern Sumak Rug brings an Old World modern element into contemporary living.”

4 “Details such as hardware are as important to me as a statement piece or focal point. Lisa Jarvis’s Hardworks was a great last-minute find at Market.” Shown is the Honeycomb Pull in solid brass and nickel. Custom designs and finishes are available.

5 “I was immediately drawn to the new gold and champagne blush palette of Tissue Paper Silk Pillows. Gold has become a big statement over the past three years, used by everyone from high-fashion designers to decorative-hardware manufacturers. The strong metallic influence relates well to the hardware and silver/goldleaf reflective surfaces.”

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enlarge | Alexis Varbero, president Schwartz Design Showroom
Alexis Varbero—together with her mother, Susette Schwartz—runs Schwartz Design Showroom, a premier to-the-trade resource in Metuchen. Having honed her well-trained eye at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics as global marketing director earlier in her career, Varbero is passionate about the interplay of fashion and home design. She stays ahead of the trend curve by attending numerous trade shows and events from New York Fashion Week to High Point Market.

Alexis's Picks
“Organic elements of design were infused with a ‘glami­fied’ appeal.” Century’s free-form cocktail table (SF45514) from the Grand Tour Collec­tion, for example, has a bronze-finish cast-stone top with finished wrought iron base.

2 “Traditional pieces are revitalized with clean hard­ware and splashes of color.” Designer Suzanne Kasler chose a Benjamin Moore orange lacquer to person­alize the Asheworth Campaign Desk. With clean lines, classic brass hardware and X-legs, it could function also as a sofa table or dress­ing table.

3 “Vibrant colors are a strong trend accented with monochromatic accessories.” In Eastern Accents’ new Indira Collection, shots of spicy tangerine pair with indigo in bold Asian blooms and stylized lattice motifs.

4 Industrial organic elements and earthy products are growing more popular. The open structure of the Double-Truss Dining Table bases offers comfortable legroom for every diner. The top—in rift-cut oak veneer —accommodates an all-wood extension mechanism to assure strength and durability.

5 Introductions exude luxury in gold finishes and jewelry-like details. Pulls that resemble a chain-link bracelet detail Bernhardt’s Door Cabinet from the new très-chic Jet Set Collection. The versatile chest has a goldleaf base and white pearl finish.

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enlarge | Mara Neske The Store From River Road
As co-owner of The Store From River Road in Shrewsbury, Mara Neske and her design team have a venerable history of helping customers “build” or refresh spaces. High Point is their venue for discovering new products, accent pieces or colors that can wake up a room or inspire change. “To me the theme of this Market was color,” Neske says. “Neutrals are not my thing, so this market was especially inspiring to me.”

Mara's Picks
“With clean lines and a neutral scheme, the #23156 Ottoman can work in many places. It has a great table that is attached and slides across the seating area.”

2 “The fabric on the Asian-inspired Holly Chair has current colors and clarity that a lot of other Asian-influenced fabrics don’t have.” Plus, as a tall swivel glider, it converts a dead or awkward corner in any family room into versatile seating space for TV viewing, Neske says.

3 The Italian Demilune Chest “is a takeoff on a traditional sideboard with color and clean lines,” an element that could be added to a traditional dining room to change it up, Neske says. “You can add color in the furniture and not just the walls.”

4 Made of carbon steel and reclaimed hardwood, the Lumberyard Rocker is “very special and made by very special people,” Neske says. In the past, “outdoor furniture was a forbidden category to get fun with. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. There are no rules anymore,” inside or outside, she says.