As regular readers of our blog know, Hadley Court is an advocate for the value and benefits of using a professional interior designer or decorator to help you furnish and accessorize your home, office or commercial spaces.
We now have a new kindred spirit in the interior design advocacy and education cause. This advocate is located in a very strategic place: High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world.
Two weeks ago, the newly relocated High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau opened a new world-class, interactive Regional Visitors Center on Main Street, just up the street from the Bienenstock Furniture Library, that is presented in the style of an art museum with a dozen interactive “galleries” featuring kiosks, videos, photography and brochures about the distinctive qualities of High Point, the epicenter of North Carolina, located at the convergence of four interstate highways and major state highways.
One of the most prominent galleries in the new 3,000-square-foot Visitors Center is the Interior Designer Services Gallery. The gallery features an interactive kiosk and video explaining all the ways that an interior designer can enhance your furniture shopping experience for world class decor and provide value by enhancing your quality of life and by increasing your home’s resale value.
What’s even more innovative and exciting is that the visitor center also offers an Interior Designer and Decorator Referral Service with a listing of preferred regional interior designers, along with a photo of each designer and a room they have decorated.
We love this idea and hope that other design centers across the country will emulate this cutting edge interactive concept to help consumers find interior designers in their regional areas.
“We strongly believe that the furniture capital of the world should lead the way in advocating the benefits of professional interior designers and decorators,” said Timothy Mabe, president and CEO of the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau.“High Point is where the latest in furniture styles and trends are seen. This is the “make it or break it” place for furniture and design.”
Joyce Allen-Crawford, an interior design graduate of High Point University and manager of the interior design referral program for the visitor center adds, “This is an opportunity to educate about how interior designers can actually save you money by helping you avoid costly mistakes such as oversized furniture, the wrong color schemes and furnishings that do not fit your lifestyle.”
“We want to share the message that a designer can make you much happier with your home in the long-term, especially in the areas of space planning and having your furnishings suit your lifestyle and stage of life,” said Allen-Crawford, who is pictured above, along with Tim Mabe, in one of the Visitor Center furniture displays.
Hadley Court contributor Leslie Carothers wrote about this very topic of how an interior designer saves a homeowner money, here.
While the designer referral program is only a few weeks old, Allen-Crawford expects it to “grow explosively,” especially when the program is added to the highpoint.org website and the Visit High Point Facebook page this fall, potentially drawing people from all over the country to come to the furniture capital to work with a designer or shop at one of the 40 furniture stores in the area.
As a former showroom manager for brands such as Jeffco, Garcia and Ferguson Copeland, Joyce knows how appealing it is to shoppers to be able to have the access to the High Point showrooms that working with a professional interior designer affords them. More and more showrooms are opening year-round to designers.
Over the last 10 years, the High Point Furniture Market has become “increasingly designer-friendly,” noted Mabe and Allen-Crawford.
Design bloggers like Hadley Court have played a role in the designer-friendly climate of High Point, which is why we are so excited that our own founder and Editor-in-Chief, Leslie Hendrix Wood, has been named a Sponsored Blogger for the upcoming October High Point Market by the High Point Market Authority.
The 100-plus years of history of the High Point Market is told in the Visitor Center Furniture Gallery in a “Then and Now” display that gives an overview of the market district. In another area of the Furniture Gallery, visitors can enter the type and style of furniture they are looking for and be directed to the best store or stores in the area to find those furnishings.
“High Point offers a unique furniture and design experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the world,” said Mabe. “Whatever buying experience you want, we will help you navigate it.
Ultimately, our goal is to help IGNITE HIGH POINT and turn High Point into a year-round international furniture and design destination for the public where people will come and spend a weekend or a week enjoying the unique furniture and antique shopping experience here, often with the help of a professional designer or decorator, while also enjoying the many half day trips to beautiful spots in our neighboring cities in North Carolina that are available to them as a tourist within a short driving distance of High Point. “
Kim Darden Shaver
Leslie Hendrix Wood
Founder, Editor In Chief of Hadley Court
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions
Photo 1 courtesy Durham Furniture, Photo 4 by author and Photo 5 courtesy Leslie Hendrix Wood.
All other photos courtesy High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau and by PhotoInnovations, High Point, N.C.