Lit, Laminated, and Steamed: ICFF 2017 DesignHounds Wrap Up

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javitz Center in NYC is a huge event, with well over 750 exhibitors from all over the world who come together under one roof for 4 days to display the newest and most current materials and merchandise for residential and commercial interiors, from contemporary furniture for both indoor and outdoor, carpet and flooring, lighting, tile, stone and solid surface materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and kitchen and bath- everything from faucets and fixtures to actual tubs and yes, even the kitchen sink!

While it is open to the public for part of the time, it is like a mecca for the design industry. I have attended this event a few times, but it’s always more fun when you’re invited to participate in a group, and again this year I went as part of the DesignHounds. This group is filled with some of the MOST amazing design talent, and I’m still amazed that I was invited to be a part of this esteemed group of people. Veronika Miller of Modenus has quite the knack of creating such a fun group of people for all of the events she and her team seem to magically put together (we didn’t even have everyone in this picture).

credit: Michele Alfano

We started our day at the Landmarc restaurant at Columbus Circle, having a delicious breakfast (plates of thick bacon, hello!). We were discussing the subject of Wellness Driven Design with Martha Orellana of Mr Steam (she is the one in front of me with the biggest smile ever).

Our jobs are not just about pretty things to look at in your home, and your home is more than just a place to return to after work. Your home’s design details can benefit your health, such as (but more than):

  • air purification, removing toxins and reducing allergens
  • lighting to help regulate sleep patterns and help with Season Affect Disorder
  • aromatherapy for positive affects to mood, from relaxing to energizing
  • water purification for drinking as well as skin and hair health

Mr Steam is an industry leader in steam therapy for the home and with the trend for homeowners creating a more spa-like environment in their own bathrooms, adding a steam shower is becoming a must-have. The latest technology is amazing. Look at how sleek it is, the steam is like a reverse waterfall, enveloping you from below.

Steam relaxes sore muscles, opens your pores to let toxins out and moisture into your skin. Adding aromatherapy oils to your system is as easy as just using a few drops of your favorite. I like eucalyptus, in case you’re wondering. My kids think that’s for old people, so I guess that’s about right.

The iSteam controls are simply stunning, and you can control music as well.

And of course, there’s an app for your phone that you can use to control it, maybe you want to start it right before you get home so it’s ready. OMG think about that! Don’t you just want to get a system for yourself already??

After the breakfast we were shuttled to the Javitz Center where we could split up and check things out on our own and I zipped around to check out as much as I could before meeting up with my fellow D-Hounds. I was crushing on a lot of things. This blush linen and suede chair from Italy was a stunner:

And these light sculptures from Spain were cool yet eery:

There was literally SO MUCH to look at, and I saw some trends like several slatted pieces like these:

So I was pleasantly surprised when we got to meet the student design finalists of the Wilsonart Student Chair Design Competition and I saw this chair:

This chair was designed by a young woman from Sweden who is attending San Diego State University as an engineering student. She came up with the design and had to build it herself using materials from Wilsonart Laminate Collection.

From their website: Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of total engineered surfacing solutions, created the year-long program, which is both a sponsored class and competition. Students learn how to design and build a chair, as well as how to prepare for a major trade show. Wilsonart introduced the program more than a decade ago, making it the longest-running sponsored student design class in the U.S.

I posted about competition and the winner here and another chair I liked here. It’s such a cool concept, and I really enjoy seeing the new chairs every year.

Wilsonart is an innovator in laminate technology, with amazing new textures, patterns, and surface finishes. It’s not your grandmother’s laminate! Imagine what you can do with it!

credit: Wilsonart

We met up again at the Hubbartdon Forge booth. I was ogling the gorgeous crystal lighting without realizing that this was where we were supposed to be meeting, so I guess I was the first to arrive. Duh. But seriously, if you saw this in person, you’d stop in your tracks as well:

This is called the Solitude Pendant light from their new line of lighting called Synchronicity. It’s customizable and can be made to order. I’m pretty sure I heard that they created an 18′ long one for a bar in NYC. I wish I could see THAT in person!

They worked with Swarovski to exclusively feature the brand new Strass Wave Cut crystals, featured in the Courbé Duet pendant . So elegant.

credit: Synchronicity Lighting

Hubbartdon Forge also came out with another line of lighting that is fun and less “serious” called Vermont Modern. This is the funky Cumulus floor lamp that moves around when you touch it, all the parts are hinged.

You can see the Anemone Light up behind it, (as well as Veronika’s awesome hair). Vermont Modern has several color finishes to choose from, like this fun turquoise.

The artisans at Hubbardton Forge have been handcrafting their fixtures in Vermont for over 40 years, and they continue to be one of the oldest and largest commercial forges in the US. The focus is quality as each product is made one at a time by the 200+ employees.

There is an endless list of things I saw that day that I want to share with clients and I came away from the event feeling full of ideas. I wish I had time (and your attention) to tell you about all of it! I hope that you are coming up with ideas for your own home, and that you know that I am always doing my homework to bring you the best products.

This meet up was so much fun and a true learning experience. I was educated on the qualities of steam therapy from Mr Steam, impressed by the design students at San Diego State University and their creative use of Wilsonart laminate, and the gorgeous LEDs in custom lighting from Hubbardton Forge and it was all because of the lovely people at Modenus who organized this #designhounds field trip and made it so great.

And I wore flats this year so my feet were not falling off at the end of the day. With the exception of my umbrella breaking and having to walk several city blocks in the pouring rain to catch a train, the day was awesome. I can’t wait until my next DesignHounds event!

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