On Manhattan’s West Side early this month, buyers and designers of home and lifestyles products were happy to trade frosty winds for fresh ideas at the biannual NY NOW show.
The show gives industry insiders an early look at what’s new, with more than 2,300 exhibitors from across the globe. Some highlights:
Luxe, elegant finishes and materials, and pieces with a dramatic scale or silhouette, reflected a trend we’ve been seeing in the pages of many home decor magazines.
Bungalow 5’s swanky booth featured a luxe, creamy palette stocked with soft upholstered furniture and an array of textures, including hammered-metal, gold-leafed animal sculptures, and tables and consoles dressed in papyrus, shagreen and grasscloth.
Miami-based Brazilian designer Roberta Schilling showed tables and buffets crafted of wood, lacquer, glass and titanium, oversize floor lamps with tripod bases and enormous wood veneer shades. Her unique lounge chairs included one made of undulating waves of plywood.
Kartell had Ferruccio Laviani’s neo-Baroque Kabuki lamp, a marvel of colored polymer molded into a faceted neo-Baroque fixture.
Equine motifs popped up in a few booths, but they were far from traditional horsey portraiture. These renditions had power and energy; among the best were at Tozai , where illustrations of wild, thundering herds decorated stools and artwork.
Dunes and Duchess , known for putting a playful spin on traditional New England-style pieces, showed candelabras in bright Kodachrome hues.
Robin Baron’s well-curated vignettes showed off luxe upholstered seating and lacquered casegoods in freshly trending coral and mustard yellow.
Several retailers showed tabletop accessories that played with scale; there were ceramic and metal sea urchins the size of cats, and interesting links of chain fashioned from driftwood or hammered iron.
OBJECTS OF NATURE
We’ve been watching geodes, crystals and marble find favor as objets d’art for a year or two. Now decor buyers are discovering other natural elements that make great display pieces.
Look for chunks of raw minerals like onyx carved into geometric form. Shattered glass, concrete, shell and petrified wood fragments are honed or left in their natural finish. Charred wood, teak roots, baskets made of tightly rolled paper, and chunky woolen knits all suggest artisanal stories that elevate the materials into art forms.
Homart displayed intriguing garlands made of smooth wooden balls linked with fibers, feathers or little bells. MadeGoods had a macramé-inspired wall hanging formed of raffia and coco beads. Boxes and lampshades made of whole oyster shells set in resin spoke of the sea, while horn boxes and giant chain links made of polished stone referenced earth and animalia.
Palm motifs, coming on the scene last year, are holding their popularity for 2019. You’ll see oversize prints, photoprints, faux fronds, and stylized versions on textiles, wallpaper and rugs.
MODERN MEETS VINTAGE
The 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus modernist art school inspired several artisans at this month’s show. London-based studio Wallace Sewell showed a collection of textiles in richly hued graphic patterns inspired by the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau-influenced style.
Margo Selby Studio from Whistable, England, also offered rugs, fabrics and towels in the vintage prints. And Sally Blair , a potter from Lubbock, Texas, showed eye-catching, hand-painted vessels and plates, again inspired by the Bauhaus.
At Middle Kingdom , the Memphis movement was evoked in a collection of vibrantly hued, matte-finished vases with a bold swirl pattern. At Rosanna Inc, designer Francesca Rosati’s “Artists Loft: Cocktails on the Roof” collection featured Matisse-like original ink drawings on tableware.
At Pendulux , buyers commented on the realism of clocks, lamps and objects inspired by vintage technologies like ship and aircraft controls, propellers, dashboards and timepieces.
And at Muzen , Victor Wang has taken his love for vintage radios to the next level with a collection of speakers and devices. Each beautifully finished piece, equipped with modern tech, is clad in warm wood, retro-hued baked enamel or leather. The OTR portable radios are an homage to Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.”