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High Point Designer Resource Center to Open after Extensive Renovation

Furniture World Magazine


A stylish transformation of IHFC's Designer Resource Center, designed and executed by High Point University interior design students, debuts at the October High Point Market. Sitting strategically between the multi-million-dollar renovation of the Commerce Wing lobby (IHFC's front door) and the newly expanded and completely renovated InterHall, the Designer Resource Center provides a 4,000-square-foot comfort zone for interior designers. The center features comfortable seating and work spaces, coffee and refreshments throughout the day. And to make the market experience more efficient, the center offers a concierge service and highly qualified staff to assist designers; a catalog wall loaded with catalogs, brochures, DVDs and other helpful materials from designer-friendly exhibitors; and an updated list of companies that welcome designers and require low or no minimum orders. "This beautiful renovation is another example of our commitment to making sure interior designers have a terrific experience at IHFC and in High Point," says Tom Lindh, company president and CEO. "The design trade is certainly a growing part of this industry, and more and more of our exhibitors are offering programs geared specifically to interior designers' special needs." The winning design by Patty Mayol of Fairfax, Va., and Laura Cook of Sayville, N.Y., emphasizes inspiration and rejuvenation with warm colors and comfort throughout the space. They each won $1,000 scholarships from IHFC. The renovation under the winners' direction began immediately after the April High Point Market. A three-judge panel of professional interior designers selected the winners after nine two-member teams presented designs at the April show. Thousands of interior designers attending the market were asked to vote for their favorite designs based on the students' art boards displayed throughout the market. While the poll was nonbinding, the majority had voted for the entry selected by the judges. The three judges were: Christi Barbour, founder and principal at Barbour Spangle Design Group and member of ASID, who has specialized in showroom design during the past 13 years; Don Hekhuis, a graduate of the Kendall College of Design and IFDA member who has been in the business 35 years and recently completed design of a flagship store for Fine Furniture in Shanghai; and Catherine Joyce, who opened Joyce Design Group in Greensboro in 1981 and specializes in two areas of commercial design: showrooms and retail stores, and long-term care facilities. “This has been a great learning opportunity for our students,” says Stephen Huff, who practiced interior design for 15 years before joining the HPU faculty eight years ago. “It is a keystone in their design education. Many of our students are involved in the High Point Market. This space will constantly reinforce the importance of our program in the interior design community. It becomes an emblem of what our program can accomplish. … And, of course, it was a chance for students to network with professionals from all over the world.” High Point University has a strong bond with the home furnishings industry. Participating students are interior design majors in the Knabusch-Shoemaker International School of Home Furnishings and Design, named after La-Z-Boy founders. The school, housed in a building bearing the name of La-Z-Boy Chairman Patrick H. Norton, has approximately 125 students majoring in interior design and home-furnishings marketing, the only program of its kind in the nation. Opening in 1921, IHFC was the original showroom building in High Point and after 85 years of expansion remains the centerpiece of the world’s largest home-furnishings trade show that attracts more than 90,000 participants twice a year to 2,600 showrooms covering 11.5 million square feet. IHFC alone is home to 650 of the leading home-furnishings manufacturers, including 13 of the top 20 companies, and covers 3.5 million square feet.