out and about :: decoration & design building
Katie | April 12, 2012
Another Blog Tour NYC post… I promise, I’m almost done! This one covers a day of exploring, mostly the Decoration and Design Buildling, otherwise known as DDB, but with a few other treats thrown in too. First up was brunch at the Poggenpohl and Blanco showroom.
The lovely Christy Emens (top right) talked us through some Blanco products, including the Solon integrated compost system, the Culina semi-professional tap (I’m not saying faucet!) and the Apron front sink (top left), which has a traditional or contemporary design depending on which way round you face it, due to differences in the corner designs.
Poggenpohl then introduced us to two kitchens; the first was the Artesio, designed by architect Hadi Teherani (bottom right). It takes kitchen design out to incorporate the whole room, even the walls are part of the design – and everything is modular and customisable. Next up was the Eric Ripert kitchen (top left), designed by the top chef, and including details like space to plate up in front of the hob, the hob sitting flush to the counter, so you can easily slide things on and off, and integrated bins, so you can scrape food waste directly off the counter top into the bin. Excitingly, this was also where a yummy brunch was being prepared, along with more coffee! We met Meile here too, and returned that evening for an amazing meal, which you can read all about here.
Once refuelled on coffee and brunch (it’s not like we didn’t have breakfast, but BlogTour-ing is hard work!), we headed over to the D&D building. Slightly geeky confession here, but I collect photographs of numbers (something to do with a love of typography and not much storage space); any numbers, but usually street numbers, so you can only imagine how excited I was to spot this gigantic number 9 en route, and add it to my collection!
The Design and Decoration Building seems to be a similar concept to the Design Centre at London’s Chelsea Harbour, but housed in a fabulous old New York building. It has 130 showrooms and sees 20,000 visitors from the design and architecture industry every month.
First stop was Lorin Marsh, where I was really struck by the colours and textures, so you’ll have to forgive my slightly abstract photography style! It was like a sweet shop to a design geek like me!
Then more lovely colours and textures from Anichini – so tactile, it was impossible not to touch!
Fortuny was the highlight of the tour for me. We were very privileged to hear the Fortuny story from Mickey Riad (above right); one of two the brothers who now own and run this family business. I am hoping to be able to bring you an interview with him soon – fingers crossed! In the meantime, I will just tempt you with the fact that Fortuny founder Mariano Fortuny was a painter, etcher, sculptor, photographer, architect and inventor, who created one of the first dimmer switches, invented a boat propellor and modernised stage lighting and therefore set design with the Fortuny Dome, which put his theories on indirect and diffused light to practice.
And our trip was rounded off with afternoon tea at de le Cuona, the American definition of which is much broader than at home, and in this case consisted of champagne and these fabulous little cupcakes! We were lucky enough to hear from Bernie de le Cuona herself, who is an inspiration to anyone currently running their business from their kitchen table. That’s exactly what she was doing in 1992, and now de le Cuona is the world’s largest own brand linen collection.
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: