Janet Ramin - The annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show opened to huge crowds of design fans and homeowners at New York’s Pier 94. Maybe after a year of restraint and moderation, people were looking forward to some design indulgence. The four-day extravaganza hosted over 300 vendors, design seminars from industry professionals, as well as culinary demonstrations and book signings.
One of the standouts for us was Ercole Home from Brooklyn, New York. They combined two rich materials – stained oak wood and glass mosaics – and created a sophisticated line of cabinetry. Founder and artist Ornella Pisano takes her inspiration from her mosaic sculptures. Ercole's line includes buffets, credenzas, bar cabinets, and tables as well as mirrors and lighting. The variety of colors of the glass mosaics provides a diverse selection, and they can even customize a furniture piece with a unique mosaic design.
Also showing off elegant lines was furniture from Japan’s Matsuoka International. Matsuoka designers choose high-end woods such as celebes ebony, sycamore, bird’s eye maple, walnut, and mahogany. At the design show, Matsuoka displayed Empire, a long sideboard made of ebony and nickel and Chrystanthemum, a cocktail cabinet made of smoked bird’s eye maple. Their furniture designs recall the glamorous and sophisticated era of the Art Deco.
Another furniture firm, the New Traditionalists, has redesigned past period styles and given them a facelift to complement today’s contemporary homes. Below is Console No. Thirty One, an updated version of a period Sheraton style. The console is made of sustainable hardwood and nickel drawer pulls. Bed No. Ten Forty is made from bleached walnut with pony hair insert panels. All their furniture has hand-rubbed, water-based finishes and is built in New England.
Hailing from the Boston area, Sebastian Carpenter designs and builds his own line of furniture, lighting, and accessories. The Dragonfly chair and matching ottoman is a modern interpretation of mid-century furniture using charred ash woods and hand-rubbed finishes. Carpenter also displayed a riveting cowskin-covered screen, an Art-Deco inspired aluminum floor and table lamp.
Doban Architecture of Brooklyn, New York is a multi-faceted group consisting of architects, furniture designers, interior designers and product designers. Their Think Fabricate products are modular, versatile with just a touch of whimsy. Displayed at the design show were the Wall*Nuts and TV Quilts lines. Wall*Nuts are small hanging cabinets that can be arranged together in a variety of configurations. They’re made of walnut veneers and unique designs can also be silkscreened on its surface. TV Quilts are a hanging wall unit for multi-purpose storage and can also be configured in different arrangements.
The economy may still be slumping along, but designers are eager to shrug off the doldrums and show off their creativity - and some of them may be creating the prized collectibles of tomorrow. You can see the brightest and most innovative around the world just by strolling up and down the aisles of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. See you next year!
This article was reprinted by permission of the Sheffield School in New York. Check out the newly launched Jewelry Design Course offered at the Sheffield School. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any other school in the world.