Earlier this week we visited the ICFF interior design fair in New York. Below are some of our favorite things.
1. FURNITURE – SKRAM (USA, NORTH CAROLINA)
We were enamored with the solid wood furniture from this American producer, its build quality, clean lines, and particularly the gorgeous, deep black finishing.
2. LIGHTING – SONNEMAN (USA, NEW YORK)
Sonneman’s Quattro task lamp is an exercise in minimalism. Basically, it consists of two rectangles – one is the small footprint base, the other one is the head that contains its LED bulb – with two rectangle tubes in between. The three-stage brightness is controlled by swiping your hand over the optical sensor, which makes any buttons superfluous.
3. ACCESSORIES – TOOLS FOR EVERYDAY LIFE (UK, MANCHESTER)
“Tools for everyday life” is an ongoing project at the Design department of the Northumbria University. This brass and steel corkscrew is beautifully machined and you can feel the comfort of its weight in the palm of your hand. The matching stand turns it into a small kitchen sculpture.
4. TABLETOP – LOBMEYR (AUSTRIA, VIENNA)
Lobmeyr is a nearly-200 year old crystal manufacturer whose products have that feeling of assured comfort stemming from the weight of history of their craftsmanship. For a modernist, however, there is the Seven Deadly Sins/Seven Heavenly Virtues collection of glasses, originally designed by that paragon of modernism, Adolf Loos. Strangely enough, despite his “ornament is crime” maxim, Loos instructed Lobmeyr to replace his clean graphic designs with “butterflies, small animals, and nude human form.” In 2011 Lobmeyr realized Loos’s wish in their own manner, by producing glasses imprinted with sketches by Stefan Sagmeister, the graphic designer who has created covers for Lou Reed and David Byrne albums, among others.
5. FURNITURE – UHURU (USA, BROOKLYN)
UHURU’s furniture has all the marking of the Made in Brooklyn ethos – sustainable, reclaimed, artisanal – without the annoyance of self-conscious hipsterdom. What you see is what you get – attractive, hand-crafted furniture made of natural materials. At ICFF the studio unveiled a stool based on the Japanese shou sugi ban technique of preserving the wood by charring it, but to be honest we found their Stoolen piece (shown here) more unique.
6. WALL COVERINGS – TIMOROUS BEASTIES (SCOTLAND, GLASGOW)
Here at SZ we are no fans of wallpaper, but sometimes something truly irresistible comes along. This was the case of the wall coverings and fabric by this Scottish company. Rich in color and detail, their designs are really paintings in themselves. The black Iguana print was our favorite.
7. TECHNOLOGY – BLUEAIR (USA, CHICAGO)
The first thing you notice about virtually all purifiers out there is how ugly they are, and that’s where the search ends for most aesthetes. Enter Blueair Sense, designed by the Swede Claesson Kovisto Rune. Function rivals form, as the purifier utilizes the most advanced HEPAsilent technology and motion-activated controls. At $479 it’s not cheap, but good design shouldn’t be.
8. FURNISHINGS – ATELIER VIER KANT (BELGIUM, BEERNEM)
We would not be true to ourselves if we did not have a Belgian entrant, but only because they continue to impress us with their quiet appreciation of quality and aesthetics. Atelier Vier Kant is no exception. Earthiness – check, minimalism – check. They specialize in outdoor furniture made by their artisans out of baked clay, but it can be used inside if your space allows. Their ICFF Best Outdoor Furniture award was rightly deserved.
9. FURNITURE – GENTNER (USA, CHICAGO)
Simply and rhetorically put, what can be better than pewter on steel table? This simple one, designed by Christopher Gentner, is just perfect. And their other products, based on metalwork, are worth checking out, too.
10. ACCESSORIES – FINELL (USA, AUSTIN)
We were enamored by this chiseled metal hook that was neither simplistic nor overwrought. Also available in silver and gold – naturally, we gravitated towards black.