A premier source for architects, designers, and like-minded trendsetters, the 14th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show was the place to discover the ‘next big thing’ in furniture design. After pursuing the thousands of products from over 400 brands on view, the 2015 furniture forecast championed the handmade statement piece that will bring the room together and add a touch of individual charm to an existing sea of Ikea sets.
Handcrafted, local, and one-of-a-kind were buzzwords for every vendor located in the MADE section of the show, which celebrated independent designers and fine art objects. The material trending these up-and-coming boutiques is a classic revival of wood with a contemporary twist. Check out this list of 8 designers creating furniture that is both functional and fun.
Symbol Audio is the brainchild of founder and creative director Blake Tovin (of Tovin Design Limited) and senior designer Matt Richmond. The two combined their passions for music and design to create elegant consoles that double as high-end furniture. Their flagship product is an ode to 1950s Hi-Fi technology—the Modern Record Console (MCR). This throwback statement piece is hand crafted from solid American walnut and sits on a central steel base painted in a warm finish to parallel the wood’s natural grains. Complete with two speakers to radiate high definition sound, the MCR is a testament to quality audio and thoughtful design.
Ancillary furniture like end tables and plant stands ought to add a touch of style to an everyday room. California designer Eric Trine channels into his wood and metal furniture the effortless style of his Long Beach studio. His Octahedron Stool is designed with a walnut or white oak seat atop a copper, bronze or powder coated frame created from multiple triangular forms that delicately coalesce into its namesake shape. This subdued complexity paired with pops of pastel powder coats transforms something functional into an unassuming statement piece fit for any apartment or budget.
This purveyor of handcrafted wooden furniture adds playful accents through multiple mixed media details. The St. Charles Bench is crafted from solid ash in a bleached ash veneer and flat waterborne finish. What really makes this bench a stand-alone piece is the upholstered seat and bolster cushions in a pattern developed in collaboration with Alex Dymond. VOLK’s attention to detail truly shines with their peekaboo inset accents; in this case, a circular marble detail subtly set into the wooden bench poetically appears at the exact point the three-quarter-length seat cushion ends.
Conceived in 2002 by Corey Springer, Wüd combines the classic beauty of wood with contemporary metal accents and inventive techniques. An array of metals including zinc, steel, lead, brass, copper and nickel delicately compliment the wide array of wood furnishings offered by this design shop in Brooklyn. What sets Wüd apart from the rest is their innovative “Pb-R” accents produced by encasing metal in a clear epoxy resin. The result is both visually engaging and functionally sound, adding an aesthetic durability to Wüd’s elegant designs.
Installation artist Jongil Ma worked for 15 years creating monumental public art from winding bands of colorful wood. The artist now channels his love for visual culture into his furniture designs. Jong Brooklyn’s signature Bench is handcrafted from pieces of maple, mahogany, pine, birch, and poplar woods. Colorful strips of wood thoughtfully mined from his previous art installations ascend the bench’s sides and add a playful dimension to its geometric design. A lower shelf composed from parallel pieces of exposed steel mirror the piece’s overall tangram aesthetic. Jong Brooklyn’s astute attention to detail truly exemplifies their maxim of creating “Sculpture as Furniture.”
STILLMADE speaks to the ‘less is more’ motto favored by so many designers today. Founder Paul Mignogna works with a handful of industrial designers in his Brooklyn studio to create sophisticated wooden furniture. The Wall Hanging Console is hand carved from American black walnut and is equipped with frontal sliding doors encased in gold leaf, adding a touch of decadence to the warmth emanating from the hand cut wood. A mantra of simplicity defines STILLMADE’s 2015 collection by pairing the colors and textures of wood with thoughtful glass and metal embellishments.
Founder Brian DuBois juxtaposes the natural beauty of wood with industrial materials. The CLRZseries is crafted from streamlined planes of solid wood with powder-coated steel frames and is available in a variety of woods and color combinations. The furniture’s airy construction composed from crisp perpendicular lines creates an overall open aesthetic.
This New York City furniture studio is a collaboration between designers Danny Giannella and Tammer Hijazi. Their Moiré Side Table is minimalist in its overall crescent form but very unique in its experimental engineering. An elegantly grated walnut top sits over colorfully lacquered semi-circular bases. The fun really comes when nesting a pair of tables in varying heights to create mesmerizing patterns through the overlapping tops.
The Architectural Digest Home Design Show ran from March 19 through March 22 at Piers 92 & 94 on 55th Street and 12th Avenue. Learn more about the show on the website:www.adhomedesignshow.com