Friday, April 15, 2005

Lordess of the Armoire

I meet a lot of people in the course of a newsday. From the rubbernecking junkie to the pompous politician, I frame ‘em up in my one inch screen, pretending to be nice while I roll my eyes inside the viewfinder. On occasion though, I’ll train my lens on someone I’m not prepared to like and still come away a fan. It happened today at, of all places, Furniture Market.

Perhaps you’d understand my hesitation if you better knew the circumstances. I’d barely poked my head in the morning editorial meeting when my alleged superiors dispatched me to the very heart of High Point. This in itself is a drag, as the game-plan for covering ‘Market’ falls somewhere between party-crashing and urban warfare. Having already shared the rarified air of the Furniture Elite this week, I was none too eager to launch yet another showroom sortie.

But since I’m just a foot soldier around here, I waded back into the fray to rendezvous with a nationally known furniture trend analyst. My mission - find out what’s HOT in furniture this year, from color to fabric to styles to lines. I gotta tell ya I grumbled a bit as I flashed a hopped-up rent-a-cop my press pass. I just didn’t relish the idea of interviewing some high-falutin’ furniture critic on a Friday afternoon. After all, I’m a simple caveman - one who without the assistance of his lovely bride, would decorate the home in Early American Garage Sale. I may pretend to be esoteric on this blog, but I’m really just a mammal with a lens.

So imagine my delight when I bumped into my interview subject at the front desk of the Century showroom. Erudite and affable, Michelle Lamb met my trepidation with grace and ease. Before I knew it, I found myself ensconced in a designer couch, barely paying my attention to my camera as the Senior editor of The Trend Curve waxed poetic on fabric landscapes, rounded lines, and the decorative powers of Kelly Hoppen. Some of this I actually understood. But even when Lamb spoke over my head she did so with such elocution I smiled anyway, thoroughly transfixed by the intoxicating allure of a carefully constructed sentence. Translation: This lady sure did talk purdy.

After our chat, I trailed Lamb and a Century rep through the vast showroom, framing up shots and hitting RECORD as she described each new motif in loving detail.

“Note her use of ovals and circles in this armoire - the oversized wood ovals over glass doors with circle inlays, emphasized by a play of walnut veneer. Look at her Pearl Essence lamp with the bleached walnut and applied faux pearls. Very luxe!”

I smiled behind the lens, grateful for once that I didn’t have a normal job. After all, tax accountants didn’t get to meet the eclectic cast of characters I did (though they usually took nicer vacations). At the end of the tour, I couldn’t help but ask the Century rep to press the little thingie on my digital camera. When I mentioned the picture might pop up on my humble website, my newfound friend lit up like the incredibly gaudy chandelier hanging nearby.

“Is it a blog? I have a blog!

How cool is that?

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