By Dan Glennzig
We consider Christopher Guy Harrison, owner and design visionary behind Christopher Guy, an old friend, of sorts. After all, we had one of our most informative, moving interviews to date with the man himself at the 2017 Las Vegas Market. You can only imagine our excitement when we learned we’d be visiting with him once again at the Fall 2017 High Point Market.
High Point is a favorite “Market” stop for designers across the country and internationally. Over the years, it has become the largest furniture show in the United States, covering over 11 million square feet of showroom space and drawing in more than 75,000 attendees. We met with Christopher Guy Harrison amidst all the hustle and bustle of Market in his new showroom within the High Point campus.
This sparkly new “home” served as the perfect backdrop for our interview. And again, Mr. Harrison graced us with his inspirational, charming perspective. We learned about his trials in finding a new showroom, a bit of his current inspiration, and what he thinks of the latest trends here at Market.
Christopher Guy Harrison needed the right space for his new High Point showroom. The lease for his “old” space had run out, and he knew his designs commanded a different environment. What started as a simple request to design part of the High Point Market’s central courtyard quickly shifted into an opportunity to use part of an area that was once a car park.
Christopher appreciated the space right away, due to the naturally high ceilings.
“It provided a sense of entry and arrival,” he tells us. “If you enter a palace, cathedral, or temple, you notice the height. As a human, you feel smaller than the building surrounding you, making you feel like you’re in a place of reverence.”
Reminiscent of a memorable trip to Cairo as a young teenager, Christopher immediately knew his new showroom in the former car park would be a great fit to show off his lifestyle brand.
Today, it’s hard to imagine that this space was every anything but a grand entertaining area.
“I said, ‘Let’s bring 5th Avenue to High Point,’” Christopher told us. And that’s exactly what he did!
Why put all this focus in High Point, North Carolina compared to other Markets and showrooms across the world? His answer is pretty straightforward: “High Point is a major show in the world. The benefits of being in High Point is that it can stay there all year long.”
However, it’s also a space that can grow stagnant over time since designers don’t necessarily have to alter their showrooms. For Christopher, the goal is to keep changing it, meet demand, and garner attention. This year, the Christopher Guy team took a leap.
“For this Market, we created a hospitality area to make an upscale place to entertain our guests,” he says.
Fortunately, it’s been an immensely successful addition.
Aside from his new showroom, Christopher Guy Harrison has kept remarkably busy the past year.
For starters, he’s continuing to expand on his mirror collection, which was the product that made him a household name in the design industry starting in the 1970s.
This new mirror collection fits perfectly in his new showroom in High Point, as well as in household around the country. Why? Because it’s completely modular.
“Everything in this collection can be brought to life in a larger environment,” Christopher says.
These modular frames are able to go up to any height and hang either horizontally or vertically depending on the buyer’s wall space and preferences.
This Market, Christopher is also introducing a rug collection to round out his lifestyle brand. In partnership with Nourison, the Christopher Guy line now offers 30 different styles of rugs meant to complement one another, as well as the rest of the Christopher Guy line. And, as only Christopher himself can explain, “They all mix together like strawberries and cream.”
We’re also impressed by the competitive pricing of the rug line, and Christopher agrees.
“The pricing points here are pretty amazing,” he says. “They’re affordable, but with the best quality with New Zealand lamb wool, mohair, and fine silk.”
Before we ended our interview, we wanted to get Christopher Guy Harrison’s take on new trends in the design industry.
“More important than the items themselves is the colors of your items,” Christopher says. “The biggest challenge is colors fighting each other. You need harmony in your color scheme.”
This is why, when you view everything in the Christopher Guy line, you’ll notice neutral, organic color scheme with small splashes of color.
“We’re living in an eclectic era. But to get it right, you need to look at the colors,” he says.
You heard it straight from the horse’s mouth: color is king.
As always, we enjoyed our time with Christopher Guy Harrison. Stay tuned for our full interview as well as ongoing coverage from the fall 2017 High Point Market.