HIGH POINT, N.C. -- It was peak fall foliage season last week when about 50,000 interior designers and furniture buyers came to High Point for the twice-annual International Home Furnishings Market.
Once inside the showrooms, though, the prevailing color was green -- in shades that included lettuce, willow, sage, Granny Smith, mistletoe, hunter, sea-foam, celadon, artichoke, moss, olive and brackish.
"The shift to green was a natural evolution," noted Lisa Kent, fashion coordinator for the upholstery division of Broyhill Furniture Industries.
"Blue has been an industry staple for years. Blue and green work well together. And green is a change from blue that isn't too radical," Ms. Kent added. "A customer who might hesitate to put a red sofa in the living room will be perfectly comfortable with green."
But there were plenty of red tones at the market, too, in versions ranging from softest blush rose to a vivid shade dubbed "Satan red."
Many of the showroom color choices were based on the popular Old West themes in furnishings collections and accessories: bright red-and-black buffalo checks, vivid Indian blanket designs, leather tones, whimsical cowboy "pajama" prints.
In a more traditional vein, richly textured tapestries and chenilles were top choices.
Fabrics that tell a story were another hot item at the market, including a trompe l'oeil tapestry depicting casually arranged leather-bound books.
Nature themes are still a major print category, with emphasis on the bold and over-scaled.
And look for more solids, especially in "bold neutrals" like crimson and inky blue. In one showroom setting, walls of a living room were completely covered with a bold tropical print fabric while upholstery was a neutral chenille.
Leather is very important, ranging from rugged, distressed naturals to buttery-soft suedes. New twists this market included long suede fringe applied over a skirt of upholstery fabric, as well as soft leather mitered and stitched in sophisticated geometric designs.
Rich earth tones worked in some unexpected combinations. One design combined grape, tobacco, coral and sage in an elegant stripe. Another blended rust and apricot with lettuce green.