Architectural Digest Design Show’s 20 Best Design Pieces
One of the highlights of the design show calendar is the annual Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City, sponsored by the influential magazine. It’s a favorite because not only does it showcase the latest in kitchen technology and convenience, but it also presents a wide range of high quality furnishings, rugs and decor. It was a delight to travel the aisles and discover all the new products and designs. And, while it was hard to choose, here are 20 of our favorite things for the 2018 edition of the show:
This collaborative modern room from Wallpaper Projects and Kin & Company is a winner for a number of reasons. The wall showcase what wallpaper has become. Much maligned for many years, wall coverings have re-emerged as a design darling because of new colors, textures and patterns, both abstract and not. The lighting and the furniture are clean-lined and geometric, made of interesting materials. The repetition of shapes and angles in the table and the other pieces is cohesive and creative. And oh yes, there’s some bold color too.
It was exciting to see this sofa from Aratani Fay. Called the Lawless Sofa, it is in the same series as the Lawless Chair we discovered in 2017 at IDS Toronto. Designer Evan Fay says that the creation is a “celebration of irregularity within a system.” The orderly yet irregular grid that supports the tangles of woven cushioning create a juxtaposition of materials that really draws the eye. The puffy, snaking tubes and the cold hard metal are a very modern combination in an avant garde design.
In a stark contrast from the randomness of the previous sofa, this one from bones studio puts the focus directly on an orderly pattern. The industrial design and furniture studio in Raleigh. North Carolina creates custom furniture that makes the structural engineering of the shape the highlight of the pieces. It transforms a basic skeleton into a design element. From the Quarry Collection, the sofa embodies the studio’s mantra of melding natural shapes with clean lines. We also love the contrast of the darker brown surface of the wood with the polished but raw interior that shows along the edge of each slice.
Consort Design is an LA/NYC design firm, however they were at the show to present their new collection of furnishings, which are a range of clean and very classy pieces. While we were really in love with a number of pieces, especially the occasional tables, this sofa was a real eye-catcher. The simple design is oh-so-practical, but also very chic. It is also a siren call to come lie down or have a seat with your sweetie…even if that is your pooch or pussycat.
Rugs are not just for comfort — they are a critical design element that anchors a space, so we love new and exciting designs. This style from Castelluxe is fitting of the company’s tagline, “Walk on Art.” The complex geometric arrangement and irregular borders are unexpected and particularly striking. Added texture in the form of ombre channels in some segments are very dimensional. The company is well known for his hair-on hide rugs, which are very distinctive, but we’re excited to see these wool versions too.
For fans of bling, Nourison’s gilded rug is a must-have home decor piece. Not just a golden rug, this is a gilded cattle hide rug that features any one of several embossed designs in the center. It is the perfect piece for a formal living room, a blinged out den, or a luxury bedroom. The look is totally unexpected and a very new addition to any space.
You can’t help but be attracted by the crinkled, iridescent works of Christopher Prinz. The Omaha-based industrial designer creates pieces — including benches and table bases — that show the possibilities of materials that are used in manufacturing. This wall piece of zinc and nickel looks like a giant bon-bon wrapper that has been smoothed out, forever textured by folds and friction. The iridescent colors somehow feel organic, rather than being pure bling. It’s such an evocative piece for a single shape and uncomplicated concept.
A wooden bathtub you say? It is not. This is a WoodForm Concrete tub, made with lightweight, reinforced, composite concrete, and protected with a stain-proof sealer. The resulting designs look like real, aged slabs of wood without the worry or care that typically comes with wood used near (or in) water. It’s also much lighter than regular concrete or even slid wood. Moreover, many people like this product because it is made of more than 50 percent recycled content and creates almost no waste. The unique construction allows it to be used indoors or out, in humid locations and in places where wood use is out of the question.
This year we noticed an increase in the use of poured resin in furnishings and decor and for good reason: Once we felt the silky smooth surface of the pieces by Fracture Studio, we were hooked! The unbelievable texture of the surface can be felt on all sides of the flawless pieces. The gentle shading of the monochrome pieces adds interest. And yes, the lively mint green is really a draw. The pieces are available in a rainbow of colors and would be a bold addition to any modern or retro space.
Mixed materials and a unique profile are the outstanding elements of the coffee table by Robert Sukrachand. Called the Torus, this coffee table features bent plywood wrapped with microsuede fabrics. The addition of a soft material plays down the colder feel of the glass and metal construction adding warmth to the bronze glass and aged brass. The shape itself, along with how the class is inserted into the base, are new and different.
The unique silhouette of this chair from Joshua David Home caught our attention as a piece that could spice up a seating area. The shape of the pieces is unusual and a but throne-like. In particular, the little roll at the top edge of the small armrests is interesting. We could see this upholstered in a variety of textiles for a wide range of appeal. The distinctive shape is somewhat formal but not so much that it wouldn’t work with a space that has a more modern design.
While this might look just like another modern chair, the material makes this one by Sossego very special. It’s made entirely of cardboard. Brazilian designer Domingo Tótora takes cardboard that will be discarded and turns it into a pulp. From there, he blends it with soil and water, forming it into the desired shape, which is then naturally dried in the sun. This is one of the most creative and stylish examples of recycling we have seen lately. The Semine chair is extra comfortable too. Sossego has a variety of decor pieces and wall art constructions made of the same material, all with a very different look.
Casual yet very elegant, the Milo chair and Milo Bean ottoman by Marie Burgos Design. From the sumptuous velvet to the smooth and sophisticated design, this was a winner before we even sat in it: After that we were totally sold. The muted green is still lively and evocative of spring, without being loud or too colorful. The stylish leather accent strap on the ottoman, allows it to be turned sideways or moved around. The chair’s rounded shape sits atop two bent wood bases. All together, it’s a refined and relaxed set.
Great for a dining, desk or side chair, this cut leather chair from Michelangelo Designs Group is from Italy in a stylish mustard color that would work with any earthy or neutral palette. The curved back gives the perforated leather a unique look when viewed from different angles. It is modern and far from plain. It would look great just about anywhere.
Noble Goods makes its name on creations that combine wood and resin and their newest designs are especially intriguing. The poured colors that wind across the front of this hexagonal tall dresser are striking. Even more interesting is the process. The Drip/Fold cabinet is made from a single piece of ash plywood. The liquid resin is hand-dripped across the front of the wood, which is then folded into the shape and finished off with a leather top. The colors of the resin are mixed in-house and are totally customizable. It’s like an elegant watercolor painting across the furniture. Love it!
Blown glass light fixtures abounded, but those by Off Centre stood out for their lack of smooth, round and flawless fixtures. Instead, glass maker Edison Zapata focused on folds and bubbles, which are traditionally unwanted in glass blowing. This is from his Wrinkled series of lanterns and vessels, each made by allowing the blown vessels to collapse and wrinkle into unique forms. In this case, the beauty is truly in the blemishes – the wrinkles — that give these fixtures a texture and depth the smoothly blown forms do not have.
All sorts of veneers are available for covering walls and other surface, from wood slats to concrete skins. This is a totally different animal called SlateLite that lets you have the look of stone just about anywhere. It’s a thin veneer or real slate that has a fiberglass backing, rendering it light and flexible. Cover a wall, a floor, a table: Just use an epoxy adhesive and do it yourself because it can be cut with a hard-metal tipped circular saw or a stone saw, drilled, routed and made more flexible with heat. For us, the most intriguing part of their line is the TransLucent product that allows you to use backlighting. The means you can create a backlighted section of wall, a divider, a bar front, a table…anything your imagination can dream up.
Speaking of backlighting, this new tile from Anoma is meant for exactly that. The large panels can be installed anywhere you would like to have backlighting or privacy: Along a yard or driveway, in a courtyard, or perhaps in a bathroom for moody ambient light. Named “Kinetic,” the tile is available in limestone, marble and granite. The organic design is especially nice and coveys a totally different feel than a more orderly geometric pattern would.
So many kitchen innovations were on display that here we’re purely sticking to visuals, and this True kitchen tops the list. How elegant is this cobalt blue and gold combination? The blue is bold but certainly not garish, and would stand the test of time in a kitchen. The gold metal hardware amps up the elegance factor. A refrigerator window not only allows for easy visual assessment of what’s inside, but also keeps amount of blue surface in check. This is truly a covetable item for any kitchen.
And, if you want to make a small upgrade, how about the latest small appliances from SMEG and Dolce and Gabbana? This vibrant two-slot toaster is part of the small appliance line from the design house that includes an electric coffee pot and and a juicer. A variety of designs is available, as they are with the specially designed refrigerators from the Italian luxury brand. These small appliances would definitely brighten up the morning routine!
As we said, it’s hard to choose highlights at this amazing show of design and creativity. The Architectural Digest Design Show never disappoints with plenty to explore. Stay tuned to Homedit for design and technology highlights for your kitchen as well as other designs we discovered at the show.