The stars of ICFF, furniture and finishes face stiff competition each year to stand out from the crowd. For us, these eight exhibitors stole the show this year. (Click here to see our Lighting and Bath picks.)
AJK Design Studio: Kamakura
A few years back, it was my pleasure to discover the work of Annie Kantor, whose heating and ventilation grilles and perforated screens meld perfectly into modern backdrops — and look like works of art. Since then, the textile designer turned metalsmith has added new eye-catching patterns and ceiling tile formats that fit into most standard systems. For 2017, she didn’t disappoint: Her newly launched Kamakura is a stunning pair of patterns that depicts floating lotus leaves. Offered in a range of metals, finishes and colors, Kamakura can be specified as grilles, panels or ceiling squares.
Bernhardt Design: Neighborhood
This upscale contract furniture and textile brand has long been known to collaborate with both renowned and emerging designers as well as students. But at this year’s ICFF, it debuted collaborations with the most unusual suspects: actor and former athlete Terry Crews, musician Tift Merritt and Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia. It’s perhaps not such a stretch for Gebbia, who originally has design roots from studying industrial design at RISD. His collection, aptly called Neighborhood, is a series of connected, mobile and modular furniture “building blocks” for public spaces, offices and anywhere else a meeting or mingling zone is desired. The 38-piece collection includes high- and low-back seating modules, ottomans and tables.
Ceramiche Refin: Voyager
Seeing weathered woods and metals mimicked by ceramic tile is nothing new, but this Italian tile company’s Voyager presented a unique spin on the category: The line takes cues from the aged and rusted metal of movable bridges and platforms in the port city of Genoa and complements these with geometric and floral motifs of Victorian building details and elements — from salon ceilings to verandas — found throughout North America. The result is a ceramic tile series offering two base patterns in a choice of two colorways and four coordinating field tiles in four colorways and four sizes. Trims are also available.
Dvelas: Marine Plywood & Sail Collection
We’ve seen furniture made with reclaimed and upcycled materials, of course, but ICFF marked the first time we saw the use of recovered sails (as in boat sails). This Spanish company, with a clever tagline of “Living Sails,” sources used sails, as well as plywood, to fashion smart indoor and outdoor furniture, the latest of which includes folding deck chairs, stools and daybeds.
Fritz Hansen: VIA57
Bjarke Ingels’ VIA57 West in New York City has already become an iconic part of the Manhattan skyline. But unless you’ve toured the interiors of the residential tower, you might not know that Ingels also designed a custom lounge chair with KiBiSi for some of the common spaces. Also called VIA57, the chair is a marriage of minimalist, organic Scandinavian design with American lounge furniture forms and is being manufactured by Fritz Hansen.
Poppin: QT Lounge Chair
These high-backed, generously proportioned lounge chairs were a major attraction to those perusing the convention center floor during ICFF, as they offered not only a cushy place for semiprivate conversation, but also integrated charging ports for mobile devices. The QT lounge, set to launch this August, makes an excellent addition to open-plan offices where quiet and privacy are seriously lacking. The chair is composed of a solid wood frame, with webbing, foam and fiber, upholstered in contract-grade polyester and rests on solid ash legs in natural or color-stained finish. Complementing the unit is an ottoman and side table.
Royal Botania: Palma
New to the U.S. market, Palma is a truly revolutionary umbrella that boasts both innovative mechanics and chic style: The first-ever automatic garden umbrella, it features gas struts and a quick-release mechanism, all of which are concealed and contained within a sleek framework formed by gently contoured canopy ribs, a central pole and tapered round base. The canopy is offered in high-performance UV- and water-resistant Sunbrella textiles in a choice of eight colors. Meanwhile, the aluminum stand comes in white, cappuccino or black powder coat. Palma is available in two sizes.
Walker Zanger: Various
It was difficult to pick a single product from this tile company when all the stunning new introductions were so vastly different from one another. So here’s an overview of three of our favorites: The 6th Avenue ceramic tile collection gained new colors but also six new shapes that bring some retro-modern vibes to the series.
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Walker Zanger also debuted Ellington, a fitting name for a tile collection that evokes the Jazz Age with its combination of Art Deco geometries and Art Nouveau curves. Adding a luxurious touch, the tiles are composed of stone with inlaid metal details. And demonstrating that the wood-look tile trend is still going strong, the new Grain collection impressively mimics the warm material with a porcelain composition and digital glazing technology. Offered in four wood tones, Grain comes in wide planks or chevron formats.