NEW YORK — At the most influential expo for home decor in the U.S., designers continued to push boundaries with innovative materials and 3-D technology, but the standout looks were more about colour, luxurious finishes and, most important, a sense of fun.
“Right now, people are more tempted to take a risk and buy something that makes them happy,” said Medora Danz, a vice-president with Blu Dot, one of the more than 500 exhibitors at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, which closed last week at Javits Center.
Designers and manufacturers premièred furniture, lighting and decorative accessories that will hit stores and websites during the next 12 months. Here are six of the biggest emerging or amplified trends this year:
Fans of old LPs had much to love. The Open/Close LP cabinet was a standout at Wanted Design, a growing independent showcase staged a few blocks from ICFF in the Terminal Stores building.
Open/Close has four soft-closing drawers for albums, a centre area for your newest or most-played vinyl, two shelves for components and a slide-out tabletop for iPads or other digital devices.
Back at ICFF, Symbol Audio showed its Stereo Console, due out this summer. The built-in speakers can play up to three devices, and built-in storage holds up to 100 records.
Copper finishes continued to be a trend, the return of some sheen and sparkle to the post-recession decorating landscape. Top lighting designer Tom Dixon showed his Base Copper Lamp in table, floor and wall versions. Kaikado premièred a line of copper tea canisters, and Iacoli & McAllister’s copper chandelier was a showstopper.
The bright mood at ICFF took its most literal forms in colour palettes. The felt Bespoke Acoustic wall coverings by Anne Kyyro Quinn not only absorb sound but also arrest the eye. At the indie Wanted Design showcase, the Salvadoran design collective called the Carrot Concept as well as Markamoderna, won fans with bright outdoor seating and colourful textiles and accessories.
Whimsical designs prevailed. Charming bedside tables and book holders by Thing Industries took the form of wall-mounted birdhouses. At Wanted, Debra Folz showed oak stools braided with colourful leather spiral strips, and Sinje Ollen covered an Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair in hand-knitted, hand-dyed merino wool.
The slow, inevitable march to energy-efficient lighting took more steps forward as designers found new ways of configuring tiny LEDs, including the Heracleum II, designed by Bertjan Pot for the Dutch group Moooi. At Luceplan in SoHo, the modular Synapse light designed by Francisco Gomez Paz can be constructed as a remote-controlled wall partition.
Grey wood is the new chocolate brown. Blu Dot was among the companies to show pieces in smoked ash.