Bold Designs, Renewable Materials Emerge at NY Now

Introductions in the tabletop and textiles categories raised the bar for styling and sustainability
February 13, 2017David Gill, Allison Zisko

MarigoldArtisans FULLIce cream pint containers from Marigold Artisans
NEW YORK—Last week’s NY Now show, which took place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, presented its usual mix of highly innovative and bold designs in the tabletop and textiles categories.

The juxtaposition of natural materials or forms against sleek, modern shapes made a significant design statement in the tabletop category.

Big, gold-toned jungle bugs sit atop green marble boxes, or serve as the handle for a smooth metal pitcher, in Michael Aram’s new Rainforest collection. The mix of contemporary forms and encroaching nature (inspired by a trip Aram took to Brazil) takes the metal designer’s work in a new direction, but for existing Aram customers looking for more familiar pieces, there are items in the collections without bugs.

One-year-old Peetal presented a collection of handmade contemporary and functional brass tabletop accessories inspired by the lotus flower. New products include Faceted candlesticks, vases and bowls whose curvature is inspired by how the lotus stem organically grows in various directions.

The mission of Anna by RabLabs is to “surprise and delight” people with its mix of organic materials, precise forms and modern designs, said company founder Anna Rabinowicz. The company expanded its Heritage collection of chunky, silver-edged gemstone tools and entertaining accessories with a bottle opener and bookends, added a tea pot to the Amare collection and introduced Circulo, a handle-less, square metal tray with a smooth, round gemstone in its center.

Simple, renewable materials like paper and bamboo were also featured at last week’s show in elegantly practical constructions. Tokyo-based Wasara transforms bamboo and sugar cane waste into one-time-use plates and bowls in sleek shapes. Wafer-thin, these vessels can handle boiling water or ice cream, and are strong enough to cut a steak on, but they will biodegrade in a landfill in 90 days.

UashmamawinetotesWashable paper wine totes and storage from Uashmama
Uashmama is an Italian company that manufactures placemats, runners, wine coolers and decorative storage out of washable paper, some of it coated to withstand oil and other food stains. Bidk has paper pots, vases, tabletop accessories and garden products made from sustainable materials including recycled paper, plastic and aluminum, sand and cutoffs of mahogany from the furniture industry. The vessels are 100 percent waterproof and 100 percent biodegradable.

Bamboo is another sustainable material used in various ways. Bamboozle, a company that launched about two years ago, experimented with grass, papaya seeds and leaves before settling on a mix of bamboo fiber, corn starch and resin in its tabletop collection. The pieces are biodegradable in a landfill after 21 years. Bamboozle offers modern and traditional designs in dinnerware and is focusing on its hostess collection of small serving pieces for $20 retail.

The napkins is a Swiss-based company that produces premium single-use napkins that resemble their cloth counterparts. One version is made with 65 percent paper pulp and 35 percent synthetic fiber for durability; there is also a 100 percent bamboo line that is compostable. DwellStudio is collaborating with the napkins to produce two of DwellStudio’s classic chinoiserie patterns in napkins made from the blended materials.

Cloud9DesignFezCloud9 Design’s Fez collection of quilts
Among the textiles offerings, Cloud9 Design raised the style bar in the bedding category with Fez, a collection of ombre-printed velvet quilts inlaid with gold and silver foil. Even with the foil, the hand is very soft on these quilts. They feature a contemporary design and are machine-washable.

Poetic Pillow offered one of the most vivid and interesting designs with its set of Carolina Parrot decorative pillows. The company took a painting of parrots by John James Audubon and digitally printed it onto fabric. The print is remarkably three-dimensional in quality, depicting the green plumes on the parrots with tremendous realism.

PoeticPillowCarolinaParrotThe Carolina Parrot pillows from Poetic Pillow
Eric & Christopher offered up its usual collection of whimsical textiles. The most endearing of this grouping is the Kissing Horses tote, showing two horses (named Albert and Dreamer) actually giving each other a buss. Like the company’s other pieces, this one is derived from photography by the company’s owners, Eric Fausnecht and Christopher Kline, taken at rural locations in the company’s home base of Bucks County, Pa.

On the more muted design side, Home Treasures presented its Boheme duvet cover, in 100 percent Italian linen. Its tonal colors and textured hand is meant to place at the centerpiece of a bed ensemble, and it can be combined with solid-color products and jacquards, and it matches with bedding with either bright or neutral colorways.

Karma Living made a much bolder statement with its Blowout Patchwork Pompom Cushion. This decorative pillow, which seemingly has every bright color in the spectrum in its design, is made from fabric remnants with pompoms across the fringe, along with embroidery over indigo cloth.

Kevin O’Brien Studio came to the show with a repurposing of its classic leopard pattern on a bed ensemble. Called Leopard Cotton Sateen, the ensemble features the pattern in a colorway combining soft blue and pink tones, in a machine-washable cotton sateen fabric.

Matouk celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Lulu DK brand, its collaboration with artist Lulu Dekwiatkowski, at NY Now with a relaunch of Poppy, a dot-print bed ensemble which debuted at the beginning of their partnership, and update of the Shell print bed ensemble and a new ensemble called Zanzibar. This grouping features a pattern of wavy lines in a colorway combining aqua and white.—Allison Zisko and David Gill

David GillDavid Gill | Contributing Editor

David Gill is a contributing editor to HFN.

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