New & Notable from the New York International Gift Fair
Last week, when an autumn chill prematurely settled on New York, I visited the New York International Gift Fair. It was my first time at this monumental show with exhibitors of everything from fine hand-crafted jewelry to things that could easily end up in a trash heap. It took all of Sunday to cover just the the Javitz Center. If I based my visit solely on those displays, my trip may not have been worth it. But Monday, I visited Pier 94, with its focus on At Home and Accent on Design, and that made my trip. Many of us (designers and bloggers) have posted our favorites from the fair. What I find so interesting is that we all notice different things. That makes every piece written about the fair worth the read.
So here's my list, organized by category.
Furniture: Still evident, but in different ways than I saw at Spring Market in High Point, is the use of hides. Jamie Young introduced topstitched hide hassocks and ottomans in gray and white. Given the prevalence of gray in interiors now, the introduction of these colors offers a timely alternative to naturally-colored skins and hair hides.
I adored clever pieces made by Grace & Blake out of vintage recycled truck tarps. This chair and a corresponding ottoman were real statement pieces. They look and feel like calfskin, are pieced together fashionably, but save discards from landfills.
Other favorites were these occasional tables by Tara Shaw. Complementing her Swedish Rococo styled tables, these are newly fabricated in lucite. Lucite's transparency offers a perfect alternative to volumetric coffee tables in tight spaces. I especially love the sinuous apron edges. They are a bit more decorative than vintage lucite from the 1970's.
Wall Decor: Mirrors captured my eye in clever shapes and colors. Bungalow 5 introduced this mirror with amethyst, blue and amber glass. With jewel tones capturing the runways, I couldn't help but think how this piece made the crossover from fashion to furnishings.
Still in production, but peaking out at their booth, this mirror frame by Dunes and Dutchess will be a fantastic complement to their already impressive collection.
Lighting: Also from Dunes and Dutchess is their single wall sconce, here shown unfinished. I love how it suits spaces too tight for their trademark candelabras.
Maybe not new to the marketplace, but new to me are the beautiful hand-blown glass lamps from Vivify Lighting. On clear pedestals and adorned with silk shantung shades with nickel and brass finials, I welcomed their translucence and shapely alternative to ubiquitous gourd lamps. Also lovely as pendants.
Textiles: At the Javitz Center, I fell upon the booth of Eleanor Pritchard. Eleanor is a textile designer whose work ranges from small art works to large bespoke architectural installations. In 2010, she started making blankets from the first shearing of Shetland lambs' wool. Designed in her London studio, but woven in an old textile mill in Wales, Eleanor's blankets feature old-world craftsmanship with contemporary patterns. Many of the patterns are reversible, making the blankets particularly versatile.
Another find were leather wovens by LanceWovens. This company, less than two years old, weaves Italian leather into pillows, bench seats and area rugs. In solids, stripes and plaids, these textiles offer abundant combinations to enhance living spaces.
That's my round-up. I have to admit that there are some things I'm getting tired of seeing. First is industrial chic. Next, kantha. And third, everything new that's made to look old. I've reached the saturation point. Is it just because there was so much of it at the Gift Fair? How about you? Do you think these looks are getting tired?