From Playful to Serious, ICFF Designs Feature New Innovations
It’s an annual treat when the world’s design community converges on New York City for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). As in past years, the 2017 edition did not disappoint with all kinds of new designs for your home. There were lots of new shapes, technologies and innovations. While it was difficult to choose, Homedit picked some of the highlights we found in a number of categories that will inspire your home decor.
Chairs, Benches and Sofas
Seating is always a category the features hot new designs. Modern, luxe and classic shapes all offered great new inspiration for today’s interiors. The first to catch our eye was this bench by Studio Foy. The two women who run the Oslo, Norway -based design studio created this Pusle Bench. The underlying concept is the playfulness of old toys. The Nordic design piece is actually inspired by a puzzle because buyers can choose the colors and sizes of cushions for the bench.
Studio Poli created this bench is made from wood and finished in cowhide. Palm tree inspired the laser-cut geometric pattern on the leather and both the wood and leather can be customized.
This gorgeous armchair is definitely of the traditional genre, but the stunning fabric is a contemporary textile by Jean Paul Gaultier. Created by Les Freres ALLOT, which has been in business for more than two centuries, the piece is a grand example of how the award-winning company focuses on quality and classical styles of furniture that are very current for today’s homes.
Dramatic and asymmetrical, a seriously winged chair by Christopher Guy is the Courbure Gauche. No matter where you place this elegant piece, it will be a statement-making chair. The stark white and black design is sophisticated and classy — perfect for a luxurious living room, reception area or sumptuous bedroom.
New York designers Anna Karlin creates furniture and lighting collections but works in many different areas including digital and print as well as interiors and set design. Her Curved Chaise is formed from steel, with the head of the chaise settled on a sphere. The series of bolsters that make up the cushion add more interest to the piece than a plan cushion would. The curve pairs exceptionally well with the unusual cushion.
Excess discarded jewelry findings have been transformed into this artful chair by the talented Annie Evelyn. Her Scale Lounge is a glimmering showstopper of a seat. Evelyn’s works are all “alternatively upholstered” chairs. Her newest works like this lounge and another floral masterpiece called Oshibana are as joyful and fun as the artist herself.
We’ve seen glass chairs before but this one by Claste is an arresting model that features not marble, but pink onyx. Named How Fragile This Love, the title alludes to the special characteristic of the chair in that Onyx alone would be too fragile to support the weight of people sitting. Instead, the onyx is a veneer that is expertly and seamlessly sandwiched over glass for strength. Oh, and perhaps most surprisingly…it is extremely comfortable.
At the other end of the spectrum is a cork armchair by Eugene Stoltzfus Architects and Furniture. The Lisbon chair is made from Portuguese cork and a solid steel frame that is skillfully inserted flush with the cork seat. Designed for indoor use, Stoltzfus says that the cork material is durable and that stains that don’t wipe away can be gently sanded away.
This colorful chair was attention-getting from several aisles away, making us detour from our itinerary. Kim Tyler, an interior designer who has also worked with clothing, has always loved textiles and now designs her own. Last year at ICFF she debuted a line tat included throws, coverlets and upholstered headboards, and this year, she applied her fabulous textiles to chairs and a rug. The graphics are really striking and fall somewhere between camo and retro, with a bit of a tribal feel thrown in.
GuaDecor, which handles all sorts of products from Guatelama, features these stunning embroidered ottomans and rug. What makes these particularly special is that they are created from recycled traditional Guatemalan embroidered garments. The individual squares and then decoratively hand-stitched together to create the pieces.
There’s nothing like a great bar stool and this one is a prime example of a versatile and attractive piece. Tools for Everyday Life presented the “Yolk” barstool that has simple lines but masterfully combines textures and materials to make a warm and inviting seat. The bright yellow upholstery is from Kvadrat and the oak legs have a natural, soaped finish. The sandblasted and clear powder coated footrest is made from steel.
Smooth, plush and elegant, the Continuous Sprung Sofa from SCP of London was inspired by 1920’s design. The single horizontal tuft running nearly the length of the sofa helps set it apart from other designs that typically skip the stitching. Simple wooden legs keep the piece from being too formal.
Swedish company Mass Productions presented a similar sofa, just a bit more curvaceous and without the tufting line. The Dandy two-seater sofa is also set on wooden legs and features a sensual tapered design.
The Poppe Chair by BLA Station isn’t among their newest offering but we totally love it for not only its slim size but also for its amazing comfort. You would think such skinny-backed chair would leave you feeling bereft of support when you sit down, but the innovative design does just the opposite: You never feel as if you’re lacking. Besides being a cool design, it;s perfect for small spaces since it doesn’t take up much space. The chair was designed by Stefan Borselius + Bernstrand & Lindau in 2015-2016.
Perfect for a cozy seating area this enclosed sofa from NAU incorporates a woven wall that was originally created for the company’s workpod desk. This furniture line was launched by Cult, a leading design seller in Australia, to offer contemporary designs and products by “a collective of Australia’s most curious, talented and spirited designers.” The neutral colors have a bit of a Nordic feel but the woven back also evokes a feeling of rattan furniture. The small table in the middle is perfect for perching a coffee mug while chatting with a friend.
Slang Studio’s chair design is ample and design-forward. The rounded shape would work with many types of decor. The studio is part of Friends & Family, a cross-disciplinary creative agency comprised of designers and builders. Founder, Taavo Somer has worked with a network of people developing businesses for more than 23 years.
Wall Coverings and Accents
While wallpaper is back in vogue and basic tile designs are anything but, we found some outstanding new alternatives to spice up the walls in your home. We couldn’t stop marveling at some of the new offerings from Architectural Systems, starting with these tiles made of broken ceramic plates. Actually, simply calling them broken wouldn’t be fair because each plate is created, broken into pieces and then painted and glazed so that all edges are finished with no shards or rough sides. While a few tiles would be a great accent, the effect of an entire wall is a true statement.
Another innovation we couldn’t get enough of were the company’s coffee panels. Made from real discarded coffee grounds that are compressed with resin, these tiles are for the ultimate coffee lover. The smell is genuine, the feel is smooth and the look is stunning.
Rugs don’t always get a lot of attention but this one actually stopped people in their tracks. Too amazing to actually put on the floor, this rug presented by Ayka Design was created by K. Michelle Evans, widely known for pushing the envelope with her textural rug designs. In an interview with Rug News, she said that this work, called Beauty, “is inspired by the characteristics of our faces and the secrets they reveal or conceal. Bold, strong colors of contrasting tones of golds, oranges and purples add a sense of drama to the features of the woman.” Amazingly, what looks abstract close-up forms the stunning portrait when viewed from afar.
A stunning and artistic wall display by textile artist Ronel Jordan adds dimension and texture to a space. Jordan taught herself to make the creations from felt and then trained a group of women how to do it as well, empowering another generation of creators. This display is comprised of her hand-felted merino wool flower units and flat stone shapes.
Not strictly wall pieces, Ting of London creates floor tiles, rugs and furniture from recycled leather belts. The strips of texture — and sometimes color — create earthy yet modern pieces that are durable and artful. Inghua Ting, the LA-based designer also does custom installations and produces a wide range of home and fashion accessories from the reclaimed belts.
The Art of Board’s coffee table is made from recycle skateboard decks that were destined for the landfill. This creative recycling of colorful and durable wood has also been transferred to a line of ceramics and porcelain that features the same images as the wood pieces. It’s stylish and appeals to a wide audience that reaches far beyond the boarding segment. Very fitting of their tagline “Strret Meets Chic.”
Coil and Drift’s Soren Chairs are modern and minimal with a Nordic aesthetic. Made from cinnamon ash and black leather, it was designed by Benjamin Vandiver. The slim half circle that comprises the chair back is the chair’s most distinctive feature and set is apart from others.
Brazilian companies had a large presence at ICFF, including a booth by Design na Pele, whose aim is to feature cutting edge designs by the country’s leather artisans. This may not look like leather but it is — fish leather to be exact. It is the skin of the giant pirarucu, an ancient freshwater fish found in the Amazon that is among the world’s largest.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
This segment is a bit smaller at ICFF, but we still found some great designs to share. This vanity with basin is attractive not only for the shape of the bowl, but also for the legs of the base. Focusing on high-end bath design and architectural products, Dezign Market showed this Set from Godi. The unusual crossed feet give it an anthropomorphic feeling.
What all started with building boats has led to the manufacture of stunning bathroom basins and tubs for Unique Wood Designs. By combining the latest in computer technology with traditional wood craftsmanship, the Polish company has created a wide range of options for those who want the warmth of wood to extend to the basin and the bathtub. The wood colors and sheen are spectacular.
Piba Marmi of Italy has been working with top designers for five decades product marvelous stone works, especially for the bathroom. This unusual round vanity combines the counter and basin into a marble centerpiece for your bath, alongside the tub behind it.
Stone Forest always has new and exciting bath designs and this year’s booth featured a gorgeous gray marble tub. The subdues color and smooth, slightly flared shape add to the relaxing feel of the tub. The company, founded by a dedicated outdoorsman, and the artisans who work.
Moving to the kitchen, this arrangement from Amuneal, a Philadelphia company that started out as a manufacturer of brass shield for industry. Over time, their partnerships led them into design, that now comes in the form of stylish kitchens, shelving and other home and commercials units. This one features their hanging shelving units, that are ingenious for the kitchen because they allow for more counter space and allow in more light since they are open and feature glass shelves.
Some of the most unusual and distinctive luxury designs were in the Egli Design booth. Lithuanian designer Egle Mieliauskiene has built a brand anchored on her imaginative and artistic pieces that are produced as unique pieces or limited editions of eight. These are not ordinary pieces in any sense. They are flights of fancy, luxurious and hand-crafted by a team of special artisans.
Pablo Alves’ Forest Shelf evokes exactly that — the forest. In a departure from the traditional shelf supports, that are generally secondary to the piece as a whole, Brazilian designer Alves brings them to the fore and make them the central feature of this unit. They even follow the shape of a tree, beginning with a wider base and extending up into thinner branches. Alves says that the inspiration for the cuts and joints was the tradition of Brazilian concrete artists.
Cool Stuff that Defies Categorization
For those who love the industrial look, the prospect of hauling a chunk of steel I-beam into the house and mounting it is a daunting and weight prospect. Enter Feather Beams, a US company that creates realistic looking plastic steel beams that can be incorporated in decor or as accessories. The team has outfitted homes, museums and restaurants alike, all per custom orders.
You’ll never look at an airline drinks cart the same way if Bordbar has its way. The innovative company takes airline trolleys — some new and some recycled — and turns them into storage pieces that you can customize. Whether you want to store jewelry, toiletries or create a rolling bar or coffee cart, they can do it. While the new versions are made by the same factories that produce the carts for airlines, we prefer the scratched and dented upcycles versions that have a story to tell.
Atelier Vierkant always has a dramatic display, usually due to sheer size alone. The 2017 installation was no different. Called Clay Journeys : Silvae it was designed to take visitors through a path of clay trunk shapes in various colors and textures. It literally was a forest of clay features. Gorgeous.
It might look like a lamp, but this piece is actually an outdoor heater by Kindle Living. The heaters are not a new innovation, but their iteration in the form of a lamp is indeed a new concept. The Los Angeles-based company features these lamp-like structures designed to keep friends and family warm. The interior construction and the outer “lampshade” are specially designed to work together in function and form.
There was so much great lighting at ICFF 207 we hardly knew where to start. From highly functional to primarily decorative or expressly sustainable — it was all there. One of the coolest things was, of course, from Molo. Their urchin light was everywhere on social media and we were mesmerized by it. The same cellular construction of their other pieces forms this awesome light fixtures that folds up, with its one LED light source.
At the sustainable — and stylish — end of the spectrum is VITA Copenhagen whose tagline is “Big designs come in small boxes.” All of their products, even these puffy feather lamps, come in slim, flat packages. They use recycled materials repurpose byproducts, including the goose feathers that they use for these EOS feather lamps. All feathers come from the food industry and not from live or mistreated geese.
We fell in love with Fermob’s Balad Garden Lamp. It is cordless, charges with a USB and can be carried as a lantern. No more worries about outdoor wires and plugs! It also comes in a delicious range of colors that will work with any patio decor.
Another item for coffee lovers is the Percolator Pendant by Fix Studio. The company was inspired to create these porcelain fixtures by their love of Italy and coffee. The entire piece glows from the light inside and they are available in black, red, yellow and white.
Siemon & Salazar of Southern California had many interesting fixtures but these wall sconces and the aura the cast on the surrounding wall were very dramatic. Perhaps it’s because the studio expertly melds Muranese glass craftsmanship “with the balance and restraint of the Scandinavians.” Whatever the reason, these are mesmerizing sconces that would be a great addition to the decor of any room.
Born from recycled cardboard initially called Scraplights, Graypants lighting is very innovative. With studios in Seattle and Amsterdam, the company straddles the globe, expanding on its origins as an industrial design studio. The designers like to focus on “local, responsible, and sustainable production methods.” This is their Murmurations system that features LED lighting in an installation they call an avian spectacle. Three-dimensional forms comprise a “flock” that looks different from every angle.
Sometimes a simple but stylish lamp is all you need and this one from Tala certainly fits the bill. The relatively new Edinburgh-based firm not only designs killer lighting but also because for every 200 units sold, it plants 10 trees. The Voronoi Lamp is inspired by Voronoi patterns of the forest canopy and ultimately was created to look like it was formed naturally. Tala says the elongated LED light source is the first of its kind and wraps around the central part in a Fibonaci-inspired curve.
This is the Star Wrap by Zilbers Design of Latvia. The fixture comes as a vacuum-packed kit that when unfurled, creates an organic lighting fixture. No two ever hang alike and they cast lovely, irregular light patterns. Designer Peteris Zilbers is recognized for his non-traditional approach to ordinary concepts, such as this light. Working with collaborator David Licitis, the two have created this floating gem and other fixtures.
This is another category that always offers new and exciting designs. New York-based and Hong Kong-born design and architectural design firm Lim+ Liu has created a versatile and interactive table that can be changed to fit your design and living needs. The table can hold 16 panels that can be rearranged to fit a homeowner’s customized needs. It can have two fully paneled levels or include selected panels to create a display space, magazine holder, or other use.
An elegant and artistic coffee table from House of Wahi features ornate bone inlay detail in a spare, modern coffee table shape. The mother of pearl base is topped with a mirror and border of itricate black and white bone inlay. Each piece from the company is handmade and unique.
Exceptional woodwork is apparent in this table presented by the Agora Gallery. If you look beyond the shiny finish, you can see the striations of the wood layers in the table. It’s a stunning piece that highlighs the beauty of the natural wood colors.
Occasional or side tables are versatile and stylish on their own, but when the top is a removable tray, they enter another realm. Notre Monde offers a variety of tray designs that are perfect for table tops and wall decor as well. In fact, if you plan on using the trays as wall decor, the company offers hardware that allows you to arrange the trays in an overlapping design. Even if you remove the tray the table is still attractive and functional, leaving a very versatile side table.
Passion for Wood is a company that focuses on the beauty of wood as well as the structure of the tree it comes from. The French firm creates these tables with a base that resembles a trunk and roots and the top, the branches. The top of the base can be had in a variety of wood colors, all natural except for this green stained version.
Industrial and sturdy, this table by District Eight. It’s a firm that is inspired by the industrial age and based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The company prides itself on how it can reflect the “raw, bold character” of its environment. The handcrafted pieces meld industrial elements and modern sensibilities.
The details often make space and we found some items that would fit that bill. These pieces are novel and will spice up your space. Lyon Beton specializes in the design and manufacture of concrete pieces, including furnishings. This wall piece is a bathroom fixture that turns the storage of a necessity into an artful display. The concrete fixture is a stylish display that transforms toilet paper rolls into innovative design. The company’s Concrete Cloud Toilet Paper Shelf was designed by the French artist and designer Bertrand Jayr.
Candle lovers will adore these very stylish holders from Ooum of France that are made from marble. The juncture of fragrance and beautiful design are the focus of this collection. All of the holders fit the refillable candles and serve as a design statement.
This next piece falls into the realm of ultra luxury. Universal Luxury Creations focus on leather-covered trunks that have literally been made for royalty like the King of Morocco. This particular trunk, upholstered in leather on the exterior and suede on the inside is a luxe Nespresso coffee station for a famous casino and hotel owner. The company also works with the top luxury brands on products and packaging.
Coming to ICFF is like letting a kid loose in a candy shop. So many exciting designs and fixtures are available that it’s confusing where to start. Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg of what was on display, so stay tuned to Homedit for more exciting highlights!