The first two weeks of May are an exciting time for design enthusiasts in the New York City area because of NYCxDesign, New York City’s official citywide celebration of design. Punctuated by major events like the Frieze Art Fair and BKLYN DESIGNS, and ending with The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the period covers a countless array of art and design events across the city.
Homedit checked out the creative offerings at BKLYN DESIGNS, Brooklyn’s premier design event that covers design, architecture and art. The show highlights the creative economy in Brooklyn, encouraging emerging designers as well as a featuring established brands.
While 2100Built specializes in fine finishing for homes and office spaces, it has launched a handmade custom furniture line that “at the intersection of craft and high-tech.” This is a single cabinet that has a solid surface top. The unit can stand alone of be combined into larger pieces.
Here’s an example of a larger piece 2100Build created from several of the smaller cabinet modules. The addition of drawer units makes it a taller piece as well. The ridged dark wood doors are flame-blackened for a deep, stunning finish.
This gorgeously luminous light fixture is by Leonard Ursachi, Romanian-born sculptor and designer who is the creative force behind Calator Designs. The word calator means wanderer or traveler in Romania. Ursachi’s Arbore, is his inaugural lighting collection. Each piece is hand cast in translucent, tinted resin in molds he has made from trees in Brooklyn.
The natural texture of the tree is spectacularly rendered in the resin.
This is a colorful collection of small coffee tables by sculptor Miriam Ancis. The versatile art pieces can be used singly or grouped together to serve as a coffee table. Ancis started making these small pieces for herself, but found that so many friends were requesting them that she began production.
This grouping is by Cam Crockford Furniture and Fabrication. Crockford broke out on his own In 2013 when he founded Cam Crockford Design and opened his studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. All the pieces here feature unique details like the tapered legs on the back of the sofa and the large brass round at the top joint, and interesting corner features on the glass-topped table.
This eclectic sofa is by Evan Z. Crane Modern Heirloom Furniture. Crane uses computer numerically controlled (CNC) technology in combination with traditional furniture making techniques to create pieces with a bit of a throwback feel. This is the I-Beam sofa, which he debuted at the Fair. It features an aluminum I-beam support to the turned legs. Very cool. It’s also upholstered in fabric from co-exhibitor De Islas.
De Islas textiles and wall coverings are colorful and pure fun. The designers find their inspiration in every day life and by simply “being observant.”
Den of Thieves showed some of the most beautiful wood cutting boards and serving boards we’ve seen. The company was founded by architect Simona Regolo and creative director Giuseppe Furcolo, as a collaborative project that brings together fellow wood rescuers, ‘junk’ collectors, craftsmen and artists.
Jon Billing of Big Sand Woodworking creates stunning pieces like this finely crafted cabinet with an Asian flair. The Minnesota transplant was educated in guitar building (lutherie). Billing has transferred the same principle — that “a quality guitar should be made so that it is not only beautiful but will also last for generations of use” — to furniture construction.
In many of his pieces, Billing uses glue-less joinery, which has been used by traditional craftsmen in Japan and China for centuries. You can see the beautiful joinery in the side of the drawer that is open.
Here’s a closer look at the hand-textured surface of the wood along with the glue-less joinery Billing uses. Each facet of the cabinetry is a work of art.
This trio of attractive bar stools is from Hendo. The wood and metal come in various customizable combinations. Hendo creates pieces for residential and commercial customers, including having made tables for the headquarters of Easy.
This gorgeous collection is from Sam Keene. The woodworker created the shelving as well as the light fixtures, which are part of the “Bits” collection. Keene uses industrial drill bits in the design of these warm, vintage feeling light fixtures.
This triple light lamp is our favorite. The shape of the bulbs contributes to the lamps old-world feel and highlights the twists of the bits.
This single light version has a rustic, industrial feel thanks to the bulb as well as the base construction.
This unusual table from Daniel Krivens is made from up cycled pilings. “Search & Rescue” is the motto of this company that takes waste materials that were the “quintessence of their localities” and turns them into new furnishings that serve people better. This table, with it’s winged construction, encourage conversation.
This is reclaimed wood from a water tank. Daniel Krivens also uses materials like historic metal from the old SF-Oakland Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge Metal, water towns and hydrants to create unique furnishings with a history.
The 25/25 lamp by Ludwig and Larsen is made of powder-coated steel and brass and sports a linen shade. The south Brooklyn design and production studio specializes in custom lighting.
Stunning wood is the outstanding feature of this pieces, further enhanced by the smooth and lustrous design. Mark Jupiter is a fourth generation NYC furniture Builder. Inspired his great grandfather, who hammered out the original copper roofs of the city’s first skyscrapers, and his father, who hand-carved furniture designed Jupiter is carrying the family tradition of building one-of-a kind pieces designed to last. This coffee table is comprised of hundreds of separate pieces of wood, hand carved to form this conversation piece.
Jupiter also creates a variety of live edge finishings like this table. The round metal pieces are just as much art accent as they are stabilizers.
Resource Furniture is a natural for this show, especially for the Micro Loft display. The company is know for its space saving furniture, and while it’s perfect for smaller spaces, just as many of its clients have larger homes and want to use space in a smart way. A good example is this small console table that can also be used as a desk. It is far more than meets the eye…
Can you believe that small console becomes this large dining table? whether you live in a small space or just need extra dining space for the occasional party, this is a fantastic design. The multiple expansion leaves store separately. The bench also collapses into a single unit, with all the cushions stored in the central box underneath. Oh, and by the way, the bench fits under the closed console table.
We first fell in love with Modify Furniture at IDS in Toronto this year. Designer Marci Klein — a former pediatrician — designs and builds the colorful and customizable polychrome pieces in her Connecticut studio.
Among the customizing options is the possibility of having your own photos put onto the sliding doors of the cabinet. We love the black and white photos incorporated into this cabinet. You could also have your children’s own artwork on the panels.
Orent Design New York had a number of fantastic pieces, but we loved this one most. The geometric upholstered pieces, connected in the back with metal, and then repeated in the solid wood seat striking. The Brooklyn-based interior concrete and custom furniture maker is best known for its concrete sinks, countertops, walls, floors and fireplaces as well as handmade wood slab furniture.
Orent’s glossy live edge table tops are lustrous and appealing. The maker offer a wide variety of wood types and colors — just try and pick a favorite.
We’ve seen a lot of bar carts over the years, but Orent’s live edge bar stand is quite different. Store your favorite bottles in the holders and mix up the cocktails right on the sunny wooden tabletop. So cool.
We visited with Peg Woodworking at the Architectural Digest Design Show and were happy to see her fun woven chairs at BKLYN DESIGN. Woodworker Kate Casey runs her one-woman operation making custom designed furniture. She uses elements of hand made joinery, Danish cord weaving, crochet, macrame and shaker techniques.
At first look, we thought these were just your usual stick lights, but were we ever wrong! Pop A created these DSU (Down Side Up) suspension lights that rotate. They are versatile because you can change the mood of a space by turn the lights to face up, down or sideways. Your kitchen table space can go from downward task lighting to a softer upward mood lighting with the twist of your wrist.
A closer look at the fixture shows the wooden housing around the right, which you can turn freely in its suspension belts.
Brooklyn is home to the well-known Pratt Art Institute, so it’s perfectly natural to see a display of student work at the fair. Pieces ranged from wooden pieces to accessories like these mirrored glass vases.
The elegant curve of this Pratt piece, paired with the organic and imperfect surface of the material makes for a simple yet accomplished work.
A source for countless designers and homeowners, Sawkill Lumber sells reclaimed and specializes in unconventional applications and cutting edge projects. “We use the coolest wood in the world,” the many says. For this “Rocking PacMan” bench, Sawkill teamed up with designer Louis Lim. It is fashioned from from reclaimed white oak wooden barrels sourced from an old liquor distillery. It’s also really fun to rock on!
Pac Man — there’s no better name for this awesome rocker.
Think Fabricate’s Wall-Nuts are a really fun concept. You can artfully arrange the different hexagons on the wall, according to whatever modules you want: shelving, mirrors, planters, etc.
In an home to art and Brooklyn, Smash Industries has created the Smash Lite. Each piece lights up from the inside with changing colors, and are decorated by different artists. From blingy models to more edgy versions, or this raw industrial look, they all celebrate history with a modern twist. The LED lighted art pieces can be used tabletop or suspended from the ceiling like this one.
Last year at ICFF, Uhuru debuted its Domino sugar cube stools, and this year they are presenting these cool coiled stools. The sealed and silvered rope creates a versatile stool that is as much decor as furniture.
Vinyl records have seen a resurgence in popularity — or perhaps they never really faded for some people, For those vinyl enthusiasts, WaxRax creates “premier access units” for record collectors. Thin anodized aluminum give the storage units a sleek profile and solves the issue of LP storage ‘by negating the concept of storage altogether.”
You might remember the clunky plexiglass book stands that were popular in the kitchen a couple of decades ago. Well, HieBAr takes that concept to a new, more useful and versatile level. Their convertible, stowable easel for your cookbook or tablet make accessing recipes easier.
This planter is puffy and fun. Made from resin and concrete, this pieces from Come Out to the Coast are formed from molds of plastic and styrofoam. It kinda looks like giant bubble wrap.
Founded by French sisters Aurelie and Laure Hug, Combray Design specializes in high end embroidered textiles for home decor. From simple, geometric designs to fantastically embroidered Chinoiserie designs, their textile are custom, and refined.
A traditional style motif gets a modern new life on a brightly colored background. We’d love to see this pillow as an accent in a room with modern decor.
If anything, BKLYN DESIGN confirms that borough is a hotbed for creativity and collaboration. WE can’t wait to see what else NYCxDesign holds in store.