My European Adventure.
Each spring and fall I attend High Point Market. This show is the epicenter of home decor and furniture located in High Point North Carolina. Instead of traveling to High Point, I opted for a different venue. Although I knew I would suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) I chose a trip overseas to my father-in-law’s 95th birthday celebration. Scrolling through the images of products, parties, and design friends I was not seeing, I felt a bit melancholy. Then I realized what design inspiration I experienced was so much more than what I didn’t see at High Point Market.
What I didn’t see at High Point Market: Design Inspiration.
Obviously, I did not visit any showrooms or meet new vendors but I did enjoy window shopping for fashion, home accessories, and food. Store windows displaying colors and patterns are a treasure trove of design inspiration. For instance, in my blog post-Designing Happiness and Joy Into Your Home, I talked about surrounding yourself with colors you love. Here are examples of warm and welcoming colors and patterns.
There was very little in the way of gray and white. I am fascinated by the color combinations used in European design. Colorful tableware and textiles were artfully displayed. Even the food is pretty.
What I didn’t see at High Point Market: Craftsmanship and History.
Aachen is a town located in the farthest western corner of Germany. Three countries, Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands all meet in a corner just outside of the city. Aachen was the summer hangout of King Charlemagne (747? -814). Always fascinated by tales of knights and castles, I cannot resist visiting the beautiful church or “Dome” as locals call it. This magnificent beauty is a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture. In 1978 the church was designed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Design Inspiration: Colors, patterns, and textures.
Previously I visited the dome when it was under restoration. Centuries of dust and dirt masked the beauty of the church interior. Now fully restored, the colors and patterns sparkle. Mosaic tiles adorn the ceilings of the church. The stained glass windows are luminescent. Just think this was all realized without the benefit of power tools.
High Point Market is a busy and bustling 4-day adventure. The market is a whirlwind of showroom visits. There are days of sit-testing furniture and touch-testing fabrics and textiles. Of course, searching for fabulous finds of just that perfect something for my next project is fun. What I find particularly challenging is the lack of time to really think about what you are seeing. Despite taking many photos and writing notes about products and vendors, I need time to process everything.
My time in Europe was a very different experience. I processed everything right there. First, I had time to immerse myself in the details of what I was seeing. I was surrounded by colors, patterns, and textures. Secondly, I slowed down and really appreciated the quality and variety of designs I found. Third, I was rejuvenated and experienced a refreshing sense of my love of design and my business. We are so easily caught up in our daily lives and schedules, Many designers find they suffer from burnout and stress. Although I missed seeing my friends and colleagues, I found a new sense of creativity and enthusiasm for my work.
Regardless of where I travel, I love experiencing all that design has to offer. I hope you have enjoyed my European adventure and what I didn’t see at High Point Market.
Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD
Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KBB Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Sharon has also received a Kitchen Bath Design News 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.
Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Furniture Lighting and Decor, Designers Today, Bergen NJ magazine, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger, and Aspire as well as several books.
Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on DesignNJ.com and KBBonline.com. She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou Manfredini. Sharon was a featured speaker for *Voices From The Industry* at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and The International Surfaces Event and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business. She is also a CEU provider for IDCEC.