High Point Market Update October 2017

by Star Furniture on November 21, 2017

We recently sat down with Michaelle Pelzel, an Accessory Buyer for Star Furniture to discuss her recent experience at High Point Market. We chatted about the various aspects of the experience and what the future holds. Michaelle gives great insight into the overall experience and she definitely has her finger on the pulse of the industry. Keep reading to see exactly what goes into helping you create the perfect space in your home. Ten questions, ten responses loaded with information. You are sure to be surprised.

  1. What goes into your job as an Accessory buyer Michaelle? Simply put, it means I buy “everything but the furniture.” My focus is wall decor, lighting, tabletop accessories, top of bed, accent pillows, and greenery/trees. It is my job to take what the other three buyers purchase and help tie the vision/concept all together with the finishing touches. I heard a “Holiday present” analogy the other day that summed it up perfectly: Our upholstery & bedroom buyers buy the boxes, our accent furniture buyer buys the wrapping paper, and I buy the ribbon/bows/tag that ties it all together.

  1. What is High Point Market and how often is it held?
    High Point Market is the largest home furnishings trade show where over 2,000 exhibitors in over 180 buildings showcase their lines to furniture buyers, designers, and industry leaders from all around the world. This market is held twice a year (one week in April and one week in October) in High Point, North Carolina. People ask me all the time to describe what it’s like and as well as I try, it really is something you’ve got to see to believe…Imagine a town where there is no bank, no post office because each of those buildings have all been taken over by showrooms! Because there is so much to see, we as the buyers have to be very strategic in our scheduling – a typical day involves walking at least 6-7 miles and working about 10 hours each day….no rest for the weary!
  1. What is your primary purpose for attending?
    We go to market twice a year to make sure that we have the perfect assortment of furnishings for our stores, from major upholstery and case goods to the smallest accessory. We want to make sure that we are providing something for everyone to make Star a true “one stop shop” destination. Styles and trends are also evolving so rapidly over the last few years that it’s important we stay on top of what the current consumer is looking for. What was popular six months ago may not be what the consumer is looking for now, so we need to adapt our stores to meet those needs. In the accessory/accent categories, the styles change much more rapidly than furniture, so the accent buyer and I have also recently been attending the Las Vegas Market twice a year in between High Point to make sure we are current with the industry.
  1. When you go, what are looking for specifically?
    I think it’s safe to say it’s no secret that over the last few years the buying strategy has changed for many consumers, especially with the millennial generation growing in their buying power. They typically are not as willing to spend a significant amount of money on their furnishings because there is a good chance that their style will change in a few years, or they want to spend it on traveling/experiences. That being said, at this last market we as a buying team were very focused on “widening our net” to reach those consumers (as well as others) and going after different price points than what we typically have in the past….and I must say, I’m very excited about some of the new things we all found!

  1. Are there any items you look for every time you go?
    Each buyer has different objectives each time when going into market, and two big reasons for that is because of the feedback we receive from our sales associates and what we see from our line-up that is selling vs not selling. A few weeks before we travel, we as a buying team send all of our sales associates a series of questions to get a better understanding of what today’s consumer is looking for. Do we have a wide enough assortment? Are we carrying anything that is below their expectations? Do we need to expand in any category? Since they have daily interaction with the consumer, their feedback is incredibly beneficial and helps give us direction with what to look for each market. On the other hand, looking and analyzing our current assortment plays a factor in what we need to look for. There might be a rise in the “urban casual” consumer so we broaden that assortment while decreasing our “European Traditional” category if there’s not as large of a consumer for that. So while we might look at the same categories every market, what we’re searching for within those areas definitely varies each time.
  1. Are there any favorite areas (dining/bedroom/living rooms)?
    My favorite area to buy for is definitely the living room, the heart of the home! Consumers tend to keep their major purchases, like a sofa pretty neutral and that to me just equals a blank canvas that I get to work with. They may like color, but they don’t want it to dominate their space (like it would on the sofa fabric), so the accessory categories are a great way to incorporate a pop of color without being overwhelming and can easily be changed if their preferences change or as trends change. It’s also fun and challenging to show different style and color options that consumers may not necessarily think about – I love when I see consumers get inspired by something they see in our showroom and they take that inspiration with them to their home.

  1. Is there a particular theme for the market each time it is held?
    I wouldn’t say there are particular themes going into market, but trends definitely become apparent while there. For example, it became very obvious this last market that there were three major color trends- blue, blush pink, and different metals. Interestingly enough, those three color palettes were found at all price points and all happen to be a part of the Sherwin Williams and/or Pantone 2018 color trend predictions. I found these palettes in all categories as well, so those that are adventurous and want a deep blue sofa could have that or those more conservative could add pops of color in with accents. Another trend I ran across was Bohemian, which uses stronger textures, colors, and patterns. More and more people today are wanting to have major experiences in their lives, and a lot are achieving that through travel…the Bohemian trend pulls inspiration from all over the world and I think more consumers are gravitating towards that.
  1. Have you noticed any trends or shifts in the marketplace during your trips?
    Again I think that over the last few years styles and trends have been constantly changing, making each market so exciting – we see something different almost every time. On a broader scale, I’d definitely say that contemporary is here to stay, just with more variations – there’s casual contemporary, urban contemporary, glam contemporary, etc. Also, with the chaotic schedules most people experience these days, they want their home to be a safe haven for them, which translates into cleaner lines, less “stuff” and more meaningful pieces and I think the contemporary style lends itself to that feeling more so than traditional.

  1. What do you see as the future of market?
    Technology! Whether it’s vendors participating in e-commerce or adding more bells and whistles to their product, technology needs to be considered in all aspects moving forward. It’s becoming the standard now for a motion sofa to come with power headrest, power footrest, and power lumbar and now some even have apps that allow you to control all of those features from your phone. Even on the accessory side, more and more lighting is coming equipped with USB ports and I even found a lamp that had Bluetooth capability and could play music!
  1. Do you ever see furniture purchases completely shifting to an online platform or have parts of it already shifted?
    I think it is definitely shifting as we speak – I mean, think of how many times a day we check our phones for various things. Consumers are spending more time online now more than ever and it’s critical for brick & mortar stores to have an online presence. I know for me, I always check a review online first for a restaurant or electronic I want to buy – why not do the same with furniture? It is a little different because it’s such a textural industry (you still want to feel the comfort level of a sofa or mattress), but having a strong online presence definitely helps bring consumers into the stores.

There is a lot that goes into giving you options when it comes to furniture. Did you catch the part where Michaelle said she can walk up to 6 or 7 miles per day chasing down vendors to look at their offerings? Furniture is a big business, but only because it is so diverse. The industry is constantly striving to give consumers more options. People like Michaelle curate and make it happen so you can walk into a showroom filled with the best options. That is the real value of High Point Market.

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Types of Mattresses 101

by Star Furniture on September 29, 2017

In today’s market, mattress shopping may get a little overwhelming because of the vast number of choices. But, at Star we’re here to make is easier for you. Don’t let the mattress process keep you tossing and turning. Let’s start off with breaking down the three different types of mattress so we can find out which one is the perfect fit for you!

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is developed in such a way that it increases the amount of density but the foam returns back to its original shape and form. Memory foam was developed under a contract by NASA’s Research Center to improve the safety of aircraft cushions in the 70s. Today, it is the most popular part in the mattress industry. Around the world, physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors recommend a memory foam bed and pillow for their patients due to its ability to conform and contour to the shape of an individual body curves and relieve pressure points.

Memory foam mattresses have become widely popular and highly recommended due to their ability to form to your body which reduces pressure points, improves blood circulation and provides overall better sleep.

Memory foam is a soft material, typically made from polyurethane with some additives to increase density. Memory foam regains its normal shape when pressure is no longer applied. It is sensitive to body temperature and molds itself to support all your body contours. Memory foam redistributes body weight and provides support to your neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and legs. In addition, memory foam improves circulation and reduces the amount of pressure put on the spine.

Memory foam is usually more dense and heavier, which ultimately gives more support.

Memory Foam beds are sensitive to temperature. Many are now infused with phase-changing material, also known as PCM. The memory foam not only adapts to your body, but its temperature and helps you sleep at a cooler temperature throughout the night. It won’t make you sleep warmer, just cooler!

Let technology do all the work while you sleep a restful night.

A memory foam mattress features an all-foam support that works to balance proper support with pressure-relieving comfort. The top layers of the mattress include memory foam, as well as other comfort foams and fibers.

Memory foam has been a favorite for customers who suffer from pain. Traditional memory foam softens when you lie on it and soon molds to your body. Once you get up, it springs back to its original shape.

Inner Spring Coil Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses use a coil support system. There are several types of spring systems, including springs connected into a single unit, as well as coil systems that have individually wrapped pocketed coil. The springs shape, design, gauge, and numbers of coils in a mattress can vary. The innerspring is covered by padding or upholstery materials, including a variety of foams, fiber and even additional layers of smaller steel springs. Overall, the greater number of coils, the more points of support and the better the bed can contour and support the individual sleeping.

Innerspring mattresses are the most popular kind of bedding. They are made with a steel coil innerspring support system with various foams and fibers on top to provide comfort at the surface. Heavier-gauge coils provide a stiffer suspension, and lighter-gauge coils feel springier.

The number of coils in a mattress varies from manufacturer to manufacturer; but the coil count is not necessarily as important as the construction. When purchasing innerspring mattresses you want to evaluate the type of springs, their gauge (thickness), and other components such as padding and stitching.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid mattress combines a steel coil support system with one more types of [memory] foam. Hybrid mattresses are ideal for those who do not want to go for an entire memory foam mattress, but like the feel of one. So if you’re used to an inner spring mattress, but want to try memory foam out, give it at least half a chance. You still get the sturdy support of a coil mattress, but the nice viscoelasticity of a memory foam mattress!  Hybrid mattresses are a combination of innerspring coils and foam, and may also have other comfort layers on top. These mattresses can usually be used on both flat/standard bases or on adjustable foundations and they also come in a variety of comfort levels: soft, medium and firm.


The innerspring coil construction in hybrid mattresses will vary between manufacturers, however most are constructed to provide a step up in firmness when compared to mattresses made of only memory foam. This coil system allows the mattress to retain the bounciness that some people prefer on traditional innerspring mattresses, while the layers of memory foam create an enveloping level of comfort. A coil system also gives hybrid mattresses a traditional mattress shape, instead of the straight lines and lower profiles found on most memory foam mattresses.

The foam in hybrid mattresses can come in a variety of forms, like memory foam or cooling gel foam.

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Furniture Tech: Adjustable Base Apps

by Star Furniture on July 31, 2017

The furniture of the future is here everyone.

Time and time again, we see how technology and design combined manifest into incredible products that make our life just a little bit easier. That being said, it’s only natural that furniture tech has come so so far since the horse and buggy days when Star Furniture was first founded (not kidding).

I’ll just cut right to the chase – imagine you could control your furniture with your smartphone. Yes, I know it sounds amazing. Because it IS amazing. If I can control everything else in my life with my smartphone, then why not my furniture?

Some of our very own mattress products include awesome features that allow you to control your bed straight from your iPhone, such as our Aireloom Ascend Adjustable base or Beautyrest SmartMotion Adjustable Base (don’t worry, both are Android compatible too).

Does is get any more convenient than this? You can control the position of your bed and activate a massage with this product’s 2-way Bluetooth technology! Looks like we were doing it all wrong before. 😛 This is definitely the way to go when it comes to deciding on an adjustable base.

The Beautyrest SmartMotion base includes an added bonus feature – the Sleeptracker App! So not only are you getting an optimally designed base to support your midday nap attack, but you can also take full advantage of this app that makes it super simple to track your sleeping habits and help you get the best nights sleep.

Plus, it’s VERY user-friendly. The app is designed to be a simple solution for gathering all your personal sleep data into one place, and provides a nice daily sleep summary with tips for both you and your other half after a long night’s rest.

The daily sleep summaries are awesome. It’s really surprising how accurate this handy tool is when trying to pinpoint the cause of poor night’s sleep. Here is a list of all the data the daily sleep summaries provide to give you better idea what you can monitor:

  • Number of times awake
  • Time spent awake
  • Inputs (i.e., heart rate, respiration rate and movement)
  • Time in light, deep and REM sleep phases
  • Sleep profile compared to national average
  • Sleep profile compared to demographic most similar to you
  • Custom coaching to improve sleep

The custom coaching feature is really helpful because it identifies solutions and provides personalized tips to help increase your sleep quality over time right on the smartphone app!

Pretty neat, huh?

On top of this, it even has a sleep cycle alarm feature that detects when you’re in a light phase of sleep, allowing the alarm to wake you up at the optimal moment to feel completely refreshed! From the sounds of it, I may actually enjoy waking up to this alarm clock.

Like I said before, the furniture of the future is here. Stay tuned for our next blog post and don’t forget to share with all your friends!

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A Modern Collection

by Star Furniture on July 11, 2017

What first comes to mind when you hear “modern design”?

In the design world, this type of style is characterized by two main elements: simplicity and form. Today, we’re introducing a super interesting collection that’s rooted in these two very elements, paired with a consideration for comfort and everyday living. The Modern collection by Universal Furniture is clean and simple, bold and a bit daring!

Does this sound like something that reflects your personal style?

I believe this collection may even surprise the more traditional and conventionally inclined tastes. Regardless of your preference, anyone can appreciate design cultivated to adapt to today’s life and activities. This focus creates an essence of comfort throughout the collection, mixed with core modern elements we all know and love.

The Modern collection provides quite an array of options when it comes to bedding and dining (don’t worry, not an overwhelming number of choices). 

Let’s begin with the bedroom options.

Here we have three completely different approaches to a contemporary aesthetic:

If there’s one thing each of these pieces have in common is that they know how to make a statement, much like the way modernism did during it’s debut back in the late 19th century. Modern design came to represent an appreciation for the functional, simple and symmetrical.

Similarly, the wall beds project large profiles that are impressive in their austere simplicity, while the upholstery adds a layer of comfort that make these pieces even more inviting. 

The phrase “less is more” rings true once you’re introduced to the Modern-Quartz Keaton Bed’s smooth quartz finish, metal trim, and modest unembellished form. She’s a beaut!

The dining options are immaculate – they all maintain a level of elegance, while each hold unique forms to define their base. For example, compare the Modern-Quartz Robards Rectangular Dining Table with the Modern-Charcoal Jamison Dining Table:

The geometric, structural theme is apparent as both capture your attention with the rectangular shapes that outline their foundation and surface. What makes it even more difficult to decide between the two are the different finishes: the lighter quartz versus the richer charcoal.

If you want to shake the rectangle theme up a bit, you can add a more organic form to your dining area with the Modern-Quartz Robards Round Dining Table:

I love the visible texture on the legs of this table – it plays well with the simple design we see across the collection!

This next piece is so fun – the Modern Bench! This bench would look marvelous at the foot of your bed. Don’t be afraid to add a layer of interest to your bedroom if you have the space! This bench can also be that element you feel may be “missing” from your bedroom decor. It definitely adds a sense of coziness with its soft, Faux Alpaca, furry top.

Here are some more interesting pieces from the Modern furniture collection I was immediately drawn to:

If you like what you’ve seen from this gorgeous collection so far, you can see more on our website or in person on our showroom floors! Until next time ladies. 

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How to Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

June 30, 2017

As we soak in the delightful summer weather, there’s always the issue of figuring out how to keep your outdoor furniture looking pristine throughout the season! Whether it’s your new chaise lounge or a sturdy fire pit table, understanding basic maintenance for different types of outdoor pieces will help keep your outdoor furniture looking brand […]

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Hill Country Collection by Hooker Furniture

June 6, 2017

As Texans, we LOVE our Texas Hill Country. I believe we can all agree that many of our values are rooted in this very terrain, whose rugged beauty, wide vistas and low rolling hills make us the proud Texans we are! 😀 With that being said, I’m extremely excited to introduce our latest and greatest […]

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Star Furniture & Rachael Ray Home: Tips to Accessorize Your Home

May 19, 2017

A couple of months ago we had the amazing opportunity to share an exclusive Q&A with Michael Murray, renowned designer and General Manager of Rachael Ray Home! (If you missed it, you can access the interview on our blog here!) We learned so much about Murray and his experience as a designer, working with Rachael, as […]

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Mid Mod Furniture by Ellen DeGeneres

April 27, 2017

It’s finally here everyone! Television icon and entertainment pioneer, Ellen DeGeneres, has released a whole home collection now available in our stores! It comes as no surprise seeing as her passion for design has led to a show on HGTV, Ellen’s Design Challenge, and her very own lifestyle brand, ED Ellen DeGeneres! Now she’s partnered […]

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Rachael Ray Home: Exclusive Q&A with Michael Murray

March 31, 2017

I have a VERY special treat in store for y’all today! ;P It has to do with Rachael Ray Home and the team behind the creation of such a stunning collection! We had a wonderful opportunity to interview Michael Murray, renowned designer and General Manager of Rachael Ray Home! We are so excited to share […]

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Magnolia Kids by Joanna Gaines

March 14, 2017

Joanna’s back at it again. HGTV’s Fixer Upper star just finished wrapping up her fourth season on the series, and now she’s delivering even more Magnolia loving with a few new additions to her home collection: Magnolia Kids! If you followed our previous series about the Magnolia Home Collection, you’ll know that this line is […]

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