out and about :: architectural digest home design show
Katie | April 9, 2012
Another post from BlogTourNYC… this time my best bits from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. It was a fabulous opportunity to see lots of (mostly) American design all in one place, and to meet some of the lovely sponsors who made our trip possible.
First up, of course, is the Modenus stand, featuring wallunica wallpaper (background), a beautiful wooden Rotsen Furniture table (left) with perspex legs – wood given a modern twist was a real trend at the show – and the stunning ‘I Would Do Backsprings 4 You’ chair by Daniel Moyer. Daniel has very kindly agreed to an interview about this chair and his other work, so watch this space for more from him.
With the opening line “Wanna see something cool?” and a story that involved two lawyers meeting in a jungle, discovering artisan craftsman and chucking in their careers to bring handcrafted woodwork to an America audience, we were hooked! Amazon Millworks make everything from tiny skull shaped cuff links to intricately carved ballroom interiors – all by working with local craftspeople and using sustainable and FSC certified wood. I’m hoping to follow up with a more in-depth article about their designing and making process.
One of my favourite stands and top discoveries of the trip was handmade American furniture brand, BBDW. Fellow BlogTourNYC blogger David John described them as a very important part of the modern American design scene and assured me that despite being intentionally under the radar, they are very well known in the right circles.
We were lucky enough to be invited to their showroom on our last night in New York, so I’ll write more in a separate post – suffice to say they’re making some gorgeous and exciting products. (I especially loved the Bubble Chandelier by Lindsey Adelman, top left.)
With the simple ethos “older is better” Strawser and Smith revistalise 19th and early 20th Century American furniture; “unparalleled in its craftsmanship and solidity of construction” and using traditional skills and local craftspeople. I loved the contrast between the utilitarian construction of this chair and its comfy cushions.
Okay, so I know this is styling and not technically products on The New Traditionalists stand, but it’s good styling and so I wanted to share it – plus I’m having a bit of a love affair with vintage typewriters at the moment.
I’m a huge fan of Piet Hein Eek and it’s a always a privilege to see his work up close, on this occasion on The Future Perfect stand, exclusive distributors for the American market. It’s a joy to touch it, to feel it… and in the case of the wall covering in the top right image; an education – it’s photographic wallpaper! I was standing inches from it without realising it wasn’t made of wood panels!
More sculptural lighting, this time from Bec Brittain, whose industrial design and architecture background clearly still provides an influence.
Another highlight was the Palo Samko stand, which marked the entrance to the MADE section of the show, reserved for independent designer makers and my favourite section.
I loved these silvered handblown glass pieces by Hyland Glass. I highly recommend visiting their website and watching the short film there – really interesting.
It was also great fun to discover a British artist all the way across the pond – I really liked these quite challenging pieces by Nick Davis.
I’ve made no secret of my colour crush on Spring’s hottest colour, grass green, so I was very excited to spot the Spring Chair by Craft Fabricators – and even more excited to sit in it – it’s positively bouncy! Not what you expect at all.
Fellow BlogTourNYC blogger, Stacey Sheppard and I had a great time taking part in the Modenus Design Finds Photo Contest and big thanks to Hastens, Samuel Heath and Victoria and Albert Baths for being such good sports! To see all the entries and cast your vote, click here.
We also had the opportunity to meet some of the sponsors and see their products in the flesh; clockwise from top left: Samuel Heath doorknob, Big Ass Fans (whose name makes me smirk childishly every time I hear it!), Moderne Aire, Tip Ton by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby for Vitra, Axor, Poggenpohl and Blanco.
More industrial design, this time Rustbelt Rebirth from Doug Meyer, who describes himself as living and working “in the rust belt of Northeast Ohio, somewhere between the once industrial cities of Youngstown, Cleveland and Akron.” His work is all made from found objects, making each a one-off.
I fell head over heels in love with this desk – it was my absolute stand-out item from the show. Designed and made by Geoffrey Keating of Keating Woodworks, with the strap line, “Made in the Midwest with my own bare hands,” I promise to bring you more from this man.
It was Andrea Mihalik’s first time at the AD Show and I loved her traditional furniture given a twist with unexpected upholstery – the name of her business tickled me too – “Wild Chairy!” All her furniture is lovingly restored by hand with coil springs, horse hair and organic cotton.
I really liked these delicately beautiful glass vessels from Elizabeth Lyons Glass.
Rich Brilliant Willing is a collaboration between fellow RISD graduates Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alexander Williams. Serendipitous surnames aside, they have been listed among the top 40 designers by ID Magazine, awarded the 2011 ICFF Best New Designers and named in Forbes 30 under 30 working in art and design. And their products are gorgeous! (Please have a look at their website – their homepage is hilarious!)
The American Design Club (AmDC) exists to encourage, promote and connect young designers in the United States – if this selection of goodies is anything to go by, they’re doing a fab job! I particularly loved the chandelier by Iacoli & McAllister.
“Modern home furnishings with an old soul” is how O&G Studio describe what they do, to that I would add a riot of colour and a quirky sense of humour – they definitely have my seal of approval!
All in all a fabulous day spent exploring wonderful design, meeting fascinating people and discovering new designers. And there are lots more BlogTourNYC posts to come – watch this space!
I would like to say a massive thank you to Tim and Veronika from Modenus for inviting me to join BlogTourNYC, and to the sponsors: Jenn Air, Ethan Allen, Axor, Miele, Blanco, Rotsen Furniture, Poggenpohl, Modern-Aire, Scholtes, Du Verre, Spirit of Sports, Big Ass Fans, Samuel Heath, Vitra, Victoria and Albert Baths and Wallunica, for making it possible.
Further reading for the especially geeky: