Attending the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is akin to visiting the candy store for designers and architects alike. You have the standard goodies from the big manufacturers, but you also have the surprise sweets from new designers lurking around the corner, and they're tempting you. This year’s ICFF in New York City is full of eye candy from countries around the world and the U.S.
Our first sample is the Flux chair from tulip country, the Netherlands. You can call Flux a folding chair but this isn’t your boring garden-variety folding chair. Flux folds into a beautiful petal-shaped chair and unfolds flat into a light portable piece, ready for travel for parts unknown. Dutch founder Douwe Jacobs was inspired by folding paper sculptures. Jacobs and Tom Schouten, an industrial designer, translated the paper sculpture to a polypropylene material, strong, durable, weather-resistant and recyclable. Flux is available in a rainbow of colors – bright enough to blend into your garden but with enough style to belong in your dining room.
We admired another highly sculptural piece of furniture, the Apple stool. Designer Mai Yoshimura from Japan captured the essence of an apple and used several layers of veneer to shape the stool’s legs. Despite its delicate look, the Apple stool feels very sturdy and comfortable.
We travel back to America via Texas, checking out Vervano, an Austin-based design company. Vervano’s designer, Laura Britt, created an elegant, slender desk called Lauren. Hand-made from sustainable woods, the Lauren shows off sculpted multi-faceted drawers and beveled edges. Vervano is committed to environmentally-friendly practices and their goals are reflected in their use of locally-sourced sustainable materials and low-VOC finishes.
Another locally-grown furniture company is family-owned Sandback from New Hampshire. Designer Peter Sandback introduced the Nail Table, a coffee table with a stunning design. Sandback uses oak and 5800 nails studded into a floral pattern splayed across the surface of the table. Other nail designs are also available. We discovered a striking cocktail cabinet from Franklin St. Fine Woodwork of Tampa, Florida. The cabinet sits on tall curved legs with delicate proportions. But the cabinet design is what captures your attention. Designers Carl Johnson and Alison Swann-Ingram used sycamore and wenge for its face and then employed pyrography techniques to burn the image of the curling leaves onto its doors. Inside the doors a little surprise awaits you - images of irises appear that were also burnt into the wood and then colored with oil pencils.
Another artisan creating one-of-a-kind furniture is Glen Guarino from New Jersey. He rescues fallen trees from neighboring forests and sculpts the wood into unique shapes forming the framework of the furniture. Pictured below is Bianca, a coffee table made of Northern catalpa wood and glass. The resulting turned wood has the look of ivory and exudes that timeless classical mood.
There are all kinds of treats to look at - a flavor for everyone. If you want to be inspired, come take a look at the ICFF next year.
Interested in learning more about furniture and interior design? Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design. At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.