Tips & Insights

Where to Go for Go-to Classics

Four retail and design experts share their top spots to shop for enduring styles

A classic style is one that has enduring appeal. They are the dyed in the wool staples that form the backbone of many retail outlets and designer studios. While sales of trendier looks rise and fall, the timeless classics flow steadily out of warehouses and into homes, their appeal transcending economics, demographics and geography. Almost every showroom at Market offers at least one of these reliable performers, and almost every buyer has a few favorites. To give you an idea of what’s available, we asked some of today’s top retailers and designers where they go to find their bread and butter furnishings.

Connie Post

Connie Post of Connie Post Affordable Design Solutions has been coming to High Point Market since 1973, and she uses her four decades of experience to cull the best vendors for her clients. “Rachlin does a tremendous job on classic designs in upholstery that have a global appeal,” says Post, “and Marge Carson is the best in elegant styling and lovely fabric combinations.”

Connie Post’s Favorites

Barbara BarryRachlinMarge Carson

Post notes that classic style has morphed through the years and even the once steadfast 18th-Century style, female customer wants something different. “Now they want clean lines, something that looks young and hip but stylish.”

Although Post appreciates the styles of many companies, she does admit to favor. “Barbara Barry is my personal favorite for her modern approach on classic ideas and designs,” says Post, noting that even classic product styles must be up to date and modern in their approach for today’s savvy consumer.

Larry Barnes

FurnitureLand owner Larry Barnes of Delmar, Delaware, finds his classics the same place he finds his trendier items, tapping companies whose products span the trusted and timeless to au courant spectrum. “Universal, Riverside and Aspen are some of the companies who provide product for both sides of the equation.”

Larry Barnes’ Top Picks

UniversalRiversideaspenhomeAshley Furniture

Barnes also owns an Ashley Furniture HomeStore and marvels at the brand’s ability to deliver a wide range of fashions. “I am seriously amazed at the variety of trendy and classic styles offered by that incredible company,” says Barnes. “They make us much better retailers.”

Dorian Stacy Sims

Dorian Stacy Sims, president of Stacy Furniture & Design, with stores in the greater Dallas area, counts on a stable of vendors that includes Hooker, Lexington Home Brands, Rowe, A.R.T., Klaussner and Mayo. “I always expect them to have new collections that could immediately go on our floors,” says Sims.

Dorian Stacy Sims’ Go-to Selections

HookerLexington Home BrandsRoweA.R.T. FurnitureKlaussnerMayo

These companies always stock Sims’ go-to selections and just as important, they maintain supportive relationships at both the upper management and factory representative level. “I depend on them to be consistent partners in my business for many reasons - style, quality, selection and support!”

Leslie Hendrix-Wood

“I rely on Century Furniture for most upholstery items,” says interior designer Leslie Hendrix Wood of Texas. “My clients appreciate quality craftsmanship and I know that Century Furniture will deliver the level of quality expected.”

Leslie Hendrix-Wood’s Reliable Sources

Century FurnitureJonathan Charles Fine FurnitureJohn-Richard CollectionBernhardt

England-based Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture also makes her list. “I turn to Jonathan Charles Furniture for design staples such as coffee tables, chest of drawers and credenzas,” says Wood. “They’ve truly mastered the art of antique reproductions. Their attention to detail and hand crafted finishes appeal to my most discriminating clients.”

For accent pieces and lighting, Wood prefers the John Richard Collection. “The hand-painted accent pieces look as if they have been handed down for generations,” says Wood. “My clients love their furnishings because they blend seamlessly with existing antiques.”

“Bernhardt Furniture is the workhorse I rely on to complete many of my designs,” says Wood. “My clients like Bernhardt because they offer a high quality product at a reasonable price point.” But there’s more at work there than good product. “The people I work with are absolutely delightful. They make the designer’s job so much easier.”

Want to visit some of these highly recommended exhibitors this October? Plan your trip in advance using the High Point Market’s online planning tool, MyMarket. Customize your Market schedule to find exhibitors, and save all of your selections in a personal itinerary. And remember that some exhibitors open their showrooms on Friday and close on Thursday, so please schedule appointments for Friday, October 16, or Thursday, October 22, to ensure someone will be there to help you. With a tightly woven itinerary, you’re sure to cover lots of ground and find your own go-to sources for timeless furnishings.