High Point Market - Spring 2019 Trends

It’s been a long (LONG) time since I’ve shown face on the blog. For no reason other than we’ve been wonderfully busy with client projects. We have our first master bedroom projects underway (2 of them!), our first bathroom project (gut reno) scheduled for install in a couple weeks, a commercial office almost completed, a family room (our favorite) with another fantastic fireplace transformation and lots of fun consultations. Oh, and I’m also in the middle of a massive, amazing renovation to my own home (check instagram stories for updates).

You get the point.

But, after a whirlwind weekend at our first trip to High Point Market, I needed to make time to share all the amazing things we saw. It was designer Disney Land…and we can’t wait to go back.

Because High Point is a market for wholesale buyers, the trends we spotted will hit the retail market in a few months (end of summer/fall). But, I’m including pics (and links) for examples of each trend that are currently available. So, you’ll be ahead of the curve. Speaking of curve…

Curved Furniture

We spotted curvy sofas, accent tables, consoles, you name it. Most were a concave curves, but there were some convex too. This was probably the trend that we had the hardest time loving. There was a fun 80’s throwback feel to it, but…there was an 80’s throwback feel to it. In the right application, it could be show-stopping. We’ll have to see how long this one lasts.

Textured Furniture

Furniture covered in lacquered linen, lacquered raffia, shagreen and leather were absolutely everywhere. E-VERY-WHERE. Cane fronted consoles and cane chairs were everywhere. Brushed and hammered and otherwise manipulated metal was everywhere. Cerused and weathered woods are still everywhere. Conversely, smooth anything furniture is most definitely out.

Cane front console table

Cane front console table

Lacquered linen covered chest

Lacquered linen covered chest

Shagreen top desk

Shagreen top desk

Resin Top Tables Molded to Look Like Wood

If I got $1 every time a sales rep told me that the table we were looking at was not made of wood (though it looked like it), but instead made of resin that was poured into a mold made from wood…I would have been a bazillionaire. It actually became comical. Sonia and I had a hard time faking our amazement after a while.

Drink Tables

These tiny guys are the new pouf. Forget something cushy for your feet, you now need something mini for your drink.

Gray Oak Studio - High Point Spring Market 2019 -  Drink Table Trend

Object Wall Art

Object wall art and 3-dimensional art ruled. Which meant that shadow boxes also ruled. We saw framed mini Turkish rugs, framed faux vegetables, framed agate, framed gold leafed leaves (ha), framed…everything. It felt like tobacco baskets, macrame and juju hats were the gateway object wall art, and now the sky is the limit.

Rice paper

Rice paper

Gold Leaves

Gold Leaves




LED Chandeliers

Tech in lighting is happening. Some of it feels very Star Wars. Get ready.

may the force be with you

may the force be with you


Solitaire Lights

These are mini flushmounts that are used in place of recessed lights. The trend of regular flushmounts replacing canned lights has been happening, but these guys are mini - the size of recessed lights. Like curved sofas, we think they could be really awesome if done right.


Saturated blue tones and soft blush tones were still very prevalent. But, green was queen. Big time. We saw it on all sorts of upholstered pieces, leather included, in rugs, in art, in decor. It seemed to be incorporated in every “new to market” vignette.

This guy is coming out in Green leather later this year (probably august)

This guy is coming out in Green leather later this year (probably august)


So, what do you think? What will you incorporate into your home? What will you admire from a far? And what do you think is just bananas?

- Leah

(with Sonia...we spotted the trends together…duh)

Hutchins Project - Living Room Reveal

It’s been a long while since I’ve written a project reveal post, so I apologize if I’m a little rusty.

Today, I’m breaking down a family room we installed in December for our Hutchins Project. First order of business: is there a difference between a family room and a living room? Not really, but kind of. They’re mostly synonyms. Both terms conjure ideas of a sofa, a coffee table and a media center with a television. A family room is just a bit less formal than a living room. In fact, a family room is sometimes referred to as an “informal living room” in architectural plans. In designing a family room, we focus on creating a space that can be enjoyed by all family members and we take special considerations for the wee ones.

With the (little) kid-friendly factor in mind, we designed this family room with lots of soft corners and lots of storage, but still incorporated all the elevated touches and beautiful details that make it feel polished. It’s sort of like the dress that goes seamlessly from day to night.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family Room Reveal

For this project, we were asked to incorporate the existing sofa, armchair, rug and media center - all the large furniture. In this regard, this room was not a typical project for us. But, we love a good challenge.

Before we even considered the elements we would need to bring into the room, we changed the layout. The sofa and armchair were originally next to each other, both facing the media console. We shifted the armchair to the opposite side of the room to create seating more conducive to conversation (without detracting from TV viewing angles!).

{Design Tip}: Perpendicular seating, versus caddy-cornered seating, is best for conversation because no one is craning their neck, and, the right angles created by the furniture arms are modern and clean.

Unfortunately, we forgot to take a true “before” photo because during our initial meeting with these sweet clients we moved the armchair immediately after shaking their hands and introducing ourselves. “Hi, I’m Sonia.” “Hi, I’m Leah.” Awkwardly long pause as we make eye contact, know exactly what needs to be done, quickly consider if it’s too soon to start moving their furniture, then ask even though it definitely is too soon, “Would you mind if we moved your armchair? It’ll just take a sec…”

In the “before” photo below, we had already shifted the armchair. So just imagine the armchair next to the sofa, also facing the television, on the side closer to the camera (not the window side).

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project BEFORE photos

After (immediately) tackling the layout, we dove into the design. With this being a family room we had a few goals in mind: storage, comfort and beauty. We added storage with two floor baskets and four baskets in the media console. We envisioned the floor baskets as catch-alls for random toys that sneak out of the playroom. Pop a snuggly blanket over said random toys and the clutter is hidden for guests or for your own sanity.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family Room Reveal

In addition to creating storage, the baskets in the media console were also great for creating a more simple, clean visual that doesn’t compete with the television. Because when you’re watching Trolls for the 157th time, you need to be able to focus. I kid. But truly, styling open shelves around a television is a different ball game than styling a bookcase.

A media console is already filled with the TV, cable box, stereo equipment and some other necessary uglies. Keeping the surrounding decor simple will create visual comfort in this naturally busy element of the room. Using a simple color palette and larger decor is key. Here, we switched out the silver knobs for matte black, and kept the palette to brown (woven baskets and wood vases), blue and white. The greenery is our only true color. For decor, we repeated just a few items: baskets, books and vases/planters.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project
Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family

The cozy factor was met and exceeded with two overstuffed, wool ottomans. They have fabulous texture that is great for kicking up your feet or launching off onto the sofa superman style. Throw pillows and blankets also added to the cozy vibe while remaining functional for all that impending fort building. And the long, linen curtains added to a comfortable, inviting feel of the room.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Reveal - Family Room

At last - how did we make it pretty? We started with a fresh coat of paint on the walls - Nimbus by Benjamin Moore. We also added a beautiful (and textural…cozy vibe) light fixture and two lamps. The addition of any type lighting is an opportunity for beauty and function. Finally, we created “movable” vignettes. These were pretty little nooks and crannies that made the room feel polished, but could be removed and easily hidden away when fort building is underway. For example - All the smaller decor (vases and books) on the tray on the ottoman can be relocated to another surface or hidden in a media console basket without much work.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family Room Reveal

Here is a side-by-side of before (left) and after (right). LOVE seeing the full impact of each design element brought together is one awesome transformation.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family Room Reveal - BEFORE
Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project family room reveal

If you’re interested in reading other client project reveals - click here. And, otherwise, until next week!

- Leah

Wednesday Five - 24

Slow start on the blog for 2019. But I’m back and I have a bunch to share! Happy (belated) new year to all you faithful followers and welcome if you’re finding us for the first time.

“Wednesday Five” is our weekly (…sometimes bi-monthly) blog post full of all sorts of random tidbits - five random tidbits, to be exact. Sometimes it’s behind the scenes action, sometimes I share a favorite design trend, sometimes I tell you what television I’m binging or recipe I tried. It’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. A quick read when you need a momentary pause from your day.

1. Chatbooks is offering our followers a $10 credit (for first time users) with the code “grayoakstudio”. Awesome, right? Especially because this means you get a FREE book. A whole book, all yours, free.

If you’re not familiar with Chatbooks, it’s an app that connects to your Instagram account and allows you to make photo books with your instagram pictures. What I truly love is that you can sign up to get books automatically made and sent to you. It’s the “no thought” thoughtful self/family gift and also the super low cost gift ($10-$20/book). Each book is 60 photos, which takes me about 1.5 years to accumulate on my personal Instagram account. Once every year or so, I get a surprise photo book in my mailbox with all my favorite pictures. It’s THE. BEST. You can add automatic settings to add dates to each picture/page and include (or not) the caption. You just set it up in the beginning and forget about it until you get your cute, little book in the mail.

I keep all of my volumes (4 so far) on my coffee table and have so much fun going through them with my kiddos on the regular. The new fashioned photo album.

Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - Chatbooks discount code

2. I bought a pair of jeans from Madewell during one of their post holiday sales and I’m obsessed with them. They’re a little high waisted, but not too high. They have have some distressing, but not too much. They’re like the perfect bowl of porridge.


3. I started reading a new book - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. That’s right, good, ole Harry Potter. I’ve never read the series. My oldest (6-years-old) is a veracious reader/listener and I’ve been starting to wonder if she’s old enough for the series. I just love reading her chapter books (My Father’s Dragon series is one of our favorites), she’s such an engaged listener. I have imagined how fun the Harry Potter series would be - especially now with the illustrated books. Not being sure if she’s old enough, I decided to check it out myself. I’ll keep you posted. And I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read these with your kids and at what age it felt right and worked!

4. Sonia and I have both been binging the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (trailer below). If you’re not familiar with the MariKon method, the (very) basic idea is that you only keep material items in your home that “spark joy” and carefully organize the items that do. She has a special folding method for clothes that allows you to see everything in your drawers. She has a thoughtful way to gain closure when letting go of things that have had sentimental value at one time. I could go on (here is a link to her book that started it all).

The show is quick and fun, and will have you ripping apart the chaos in your garage to conquer your own clutter issues. A great watch to motivate that 2019 goal of cleaning, minimizing and organizing.

5. We have 4 installs planned between now and the end of February. How exciting is that?! FYI - on install days, we post photos and videos of our progress in our Instagram stories - some behind the scenes and sneak peaks. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss it!

Have a great rest of your week!

- Leah

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