Every year (COVID 2019/2020 excluded) I spend a long weekend, or two in New York. I plan my trip(s) around the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and another design-related show that attracts my attention. In the past, the Architectural Digest Design Show, NY Now and BDNY have provided a second reason to visit. This year, LightFair gave me that excuse. During two visits, I try to absorb ideas, trends and directions that provide a vison of where we are and where we are headed in home furnishings. This year, ICFF was combined with BDNY and Most Wanted, a show featuring emerging home furnishings and design talent. Outside of the show, I visit galleries, showrooms, window-shop and poke around the many corners of the city to simply absorb.
This is the first of two posts covering my trips of 2021. It is concentrated on lighting. The next post will review interesting “non-lighting” (basically, everything else!) finds.
Pure Edge TruTrack
So much track lighting looks like it is pasted on the ceiling. While we need the light at various points around the room, to do so, the track must build a path to those assorted locations. TruTrack is only 5/8” deep, so it can be mounted directly on studs. The drywall is then installed against the track. After following the finishing instructions and using a paintable track cover, the track disappears into the ceiling! Only the head is visible. Finally, a clean look on the ceiling where track is needed.
In the same way that TruTrack allows the track to disappear, Hide-A-Trim has developed tools to hide wall mounted light switches and GCOs. The componentry works with all of the popular brands of control devices. Paint and wall covering expose only the usable or moving parts of the controls.
LED has allowed for a complete rethinking of how we build luminaires. The Shoegun lamp rethinks the purpose of a lampshade, dividing it in half and forcing each section to diffuse the light in an unusual and different way.
The classic 1960s Eclisse design has been reintroduced in a series of metallic finishes. As with the Shoegun, an inner-shade can be rotated to serve as a regulator of the light. The size, colors and functionality make these little table lamps highly desirable again.
Kartell has always been known for fine acrylic that elevated simple product beyond what “plastic” means to most people. They have so often played with classic designs, typified by the Louis XV inspired, Ghost Chair that I should not have been surprised to see the fine facet-cut crystal rendered in acrylic. These smoke, clear and amber pendants and lamps (Planet) are dazzling.
Equally interesting are the lace inspired resin lamps (Kabuki.) With an offset inner and outer shell, the result is much more delicate than one would expect from thermoplastic!
Ochre does not introduce a lot of new products, but what they present is always intriguing and subtle. Mandala is a soft porcelain rectangle with light that peeks out from behind, with just the softest glowing ring in the face of the porcelain. Very ethereal. https://ochre.us/
The new Pebble pendant from Original BTC uses plates of English bone china that are stacked into a sphere to deliver a warm alabaster glow. BTC excels in the use of fine china and each year I look forward to their new pieces, even though they are a bit more transitional than my person preferences. https://www.originalbtc.com/?country=United%20States&cclcl=en_US&redirectSeoId
This Mexican company is turning marble into beautifully handcrafted lighting. The NAGA pendant features a collar of marble that encases the diffuser and is topped by a metal cone. This is nicely done marble from a place where polished stone usually means inexpensive souvenir trinkets. This is heirloom quality. https://www.bandidostudio.com/
Secto is a Finnish company that has created a line of paper-based laminate covered birch wood. The result is delicate and airy. The pendants seem to float in space (actually, they do, albeit via a cord!) The lightness is accentuated with an LED light source that is tucked up inside and almost invisible, allowing the rays of light to play along with the scored wood shading. I loved this warm Scandinavian feel. This is a look immediately on-trend today with the rise of “Japandi” styling.
You can always count on Pablo to deliver an interesting and exciting new luminaire. This year, Luci forces a rethinking of what we think we know about portable lamps. Luci is unencumbered with cords. These are rechargeable and lightweight floor and table lamps. Light can be brought along wherever it is needed.
Danish company, Luxicole showed a similar product. It however featured a weighty base that subtracted from the light simplicity of the idea. Nonetheless, it is still a nice design.
Do women still use compacts? The women in my life do not, but Koncept took this purse staple and turned it into the Gravy Wall Sconce. As the photo suggests, all manner of color and patterns are fair game, but more importantly, the reflective “lid” is fully adjustable, allowing the amount and direction of light to be adjusted as needed. This is a fun, playful little luminaire!
Nina Magon for Studio M
Studio M showed a collection of products designed by Houston based, Nina Magon called Zeppelin that made wonderful use of LED. The cylinders of glass feature linear etchings and are encased in a structural frame that hides the light source. That light magnifies the etch and defines the design. It is an elegant collection of light.
Aaron Ethan Green
A standout in the Wanted Design section of the show was the Roe collection by Brooklyn designer, Aaron Ethan Green and it was so simple. A collection of marble-sized glass spheres are gathered together in a cluster, reminiscent of fish eggs, hence the name, Roe. Light is nicely diffused and they look so delicate as a pendant or sconce.
Roll & Hill
No trip to SOHO is complete without a visit to the Roll & Hill showroom. Imagine my disappointment when I found paper on the windows. Not to worry, they are adding a collection of furniture to their lighting lines that I am sure will be great. Sadly, I was unable to see their new Deco collection, Moonrise. As we exit a fairly strong Mid-Century trend, look for many people to find solace in Art Deco, or pieces that have an inkling of deco. Moonrise is perhaps more than an inkling, but nevertheless interesting and exciting.
There was a fair amount of wood used in lighting at the show. Much of it borrowing heavily from actual tree architecture. There were driftwood chandeliers, raw wood pendants and this polished tree branch lamp from Joel Seigle, a Brooklyn wood designer. Indo Puri went back to woven wicker, rattan, etc. to create folk-world and earthy lighting products.
On a sad note, some of my favorite spots in New York closed. It might be hard to say if this is COVID related, or a result of internet sales, but the wildly inventive Ingo Mauer SOHO showroom is no more. Since his recent death, this may be the result of a company change or…? The Stickbulb SOHO showroom also closed. I wonder if this is a trend with no end in sight. I’ll see, when I return in May 2022.
I hope some of these new lighting ideas will inspire you. They sure motivated my creative juices! Remember, my next post will cover “non-lighting” ideas that caught my attention. I know. What could be better than lighting? Stay tuned!