TBD Takes High Point

Our Market trip started with a bit of a glitch. I somehow, in all the madness, was a day late on the first flight out and figured it out over my morning coffee and a message saying the first leg of our journey was completed...without us. Yikes!

But, we figured it out and with help got booked on the next red eye to Charlotte and on to High Point. Needless to say, it was a long day...and night.

This was our first trip to High Point Market. We have been attending the Vegas show the last number of years. In the design world, High Point is known for its furniture and textiles and is referred to as the "Home Furnishings Capital of the World". The city's official slogan is "North Carolina's International City" due to the semi-annual furniture show that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world. Unlike Vegas, many of the buildings in High Point are old, brick buildings. It was really fun to be able to explore a bit of a High Point history along with the rest of the market experience. We were excited to be able to attend.

Think, Santa Rosa downtown…with one building after another with showroom upon showroom. Because it is so large, we tried to organize by our current vendors that have proven to be of quality and value. I think that unless you are in the business you don’t see or experience the challenges of providing furnishings to clients. Items, very often, arrive with damage due to freight issues or sometimes are packaged with damage. It’s time consuming and requires a lot of work, patience and experience to navigate the process to provide a complete interior design project.


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One of our main goals is to curate and cull our vendors to a select group that provides us and ultimately our clients with a beautiful product that lasts.

We are proud to say, our list is getting real good!

Our second, main goal was to find and add a few new vendors to our list that spoke to our design vision for 2019. We are continuing to hone our hand with the goal of design that is both sophisticated and comfortable. It’s what I see as the best in Sonoma County. It’s easy and doesn’t try too hard but is elegant, clean and simplified. We found two vendors that carry very different lines that we think will be great additions to what we do. Lauren brings a more contemporary eye to the business and we found a line out of Canada that has her really excited.

We also found a new local and Los Angeles based source with some highlights shown below. One adds bits of a boho, casual feel and the other has the most spectacular French, country furnishings I have seen in quite a while. The quality and level of detail work was fantastic. Truly gorgeous reproduction pieces in pale tones of white and gray. This was one of my favorite finds.

I love that we can mix and match, and combine with some of our favorite, classic upholstery companies to create designs along our TBD design spectrum while adding our client’s personality with these different sources and styles.

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I found a couple new vendors that speak to my love of old pieces and the European farmhouse aesthetic.

The dressers from the line below are made by a company in Georgia and are absolutely gorgeous. They have an heirloom feel and come in the most beautiful painted and stained finishes.

Our two favorite upholstery vendors had a comprehensive selection of frames, sizes and fabrics. 

We had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a handful of vendors that we have been using a lot the last couple of years. We met with our reps, toured the showrooms, viewing and sitting in existing and new lines. I cannot begin to express just how important this is for our work. 

We went a little crazy with new rug options, but just couldn’t help ourselves this year. There were just too many beautiful options and we will be getting a wide variety of natural, wool, viscose blends (has the look of silk) and a balance of texture, traditional and contemporary patterns to fit just about any design scheme we could imagine at TBD.

We were thrilled with the lighting options that we found at all of our sources this year and pleasantly surprised by how much of each line we loved. There is still a beautiful variety in our favorite gild, but also some textured metals, some gorgeous clean, white pieces and some refreshing designs that got me excited about nickel finishes again. I also found myself drawn to many more contemporary styles this year with some designed by Kelly Wearstler, Tech and Laura Rotett among my favorites. Maybe Lauren is starting to rub off on me!


Finally, the art, and I consider myself to be a bit picky when it comes to art. We have dialed in our sources and currently have a handful that we love. There are fantastic selections in medium, frame choices and price range. We found some favorites in abstract color and black and white, botanicals, landscapes and even some portraits. 

We also found the most spectacular resin mirrors…I fell in love with EVERY mirror in their showroom and the prices are great! We will be adding this along with a local, local source that provides all custom so we can design our own! We are really excited about this new option and the unlimited possibilities it brings.

This trip has exceeded my expectations and has got me truly excited again about all that we can create and curate in 2019.

It reminded me that it is vital for us to take the time to be creative and let the mind wander a bit. The creative mind needs space. And, as we’ve said before “we believe that space matters”, in this context and in your home. Is it time you did something about yours?


Tama Bell Design is an interior design firm  with projects in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.