Top Ten ICFF Picks – NKBA

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Top Ten ICFF Picks

A list of my favorite finds from the recent New York design fair.
By Sharon Sherman, CKD

ICFF, or the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, is a must-see show held each spring at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City that features cutting-edge products and showcases the best and brightest design students. Not one single part of this year’s show disappointed.

Here are my Top 10 finds from this year’s show.

Sculptural, Decorative Light Fixtures. Laniakea Light uses stainless steel materials to create light fixtures you can use anywhere. Above an island, over a table, in a grouping over a desk — the possibilities are endless. The lights designed by Lana Blum speak to my fascination with where we are in life, the universe and what our path will be. The collection is based on structures found in magnetic fields. I love the point where science and design intersect.

Sustainable panels and dividers. Peter Glassford and his sustainable wood wall panels and room dividers made me say “Yes Please!” at the Glassford Moncada booth. Easy to install (the wall panels come in 24” x 24” square sections), you can attach them right to drywall. I can see these in a wine cellar application or even a feature wall in a home office as they are an acoustic quality wall covering. I have plans for his turned vertical wood and rod pieces for room dividers.

Honoring the use of raw materials in sculptural objects. Quinn Morrissette is an artisan, industrial designer, welder and modern-day renaissance man. There is something about the pieces he creates that draw you in and invite you to experience the piece through touch. I imagine his rock tables as a pedestal for a vessel sink in a powder room that embraces the natural beauty of the materials. His designs recognize our need to connect with nature and the healing powers of natural elements in the home.

Printed 3D glass. What happens when you combine an engineers’ brains with an artisan’s creativity? Printed 3D glass pieces for accessories, art and furniture by Evenline. All this from an MIT graduate with an engineering degree and a background in glass blowing who is producing amazing products. My favorite? A unique idea using recycled Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles and turning them into functional works of art.

Thoughtfully designed bath pieces. Lacava was born in Italy with a centuries old concept of manufacturing, craftsmanship and artisanship all collaborating under one roof. Now alive in Chicago, the tradition led to the Metallo Collection. My favorite was the console lavatory table crafted with powder coated steel shown with a beautiful soft green detailed vessel sink.

Transforming outdoor spaces into places of relaxation and rejuvenation. Watrline manufacturers the most interesting outdoor showers I have seen. These interesting pieces are constructed from stainless steel and powder coated finishes. They have commercial and residential applications and… wait for it… a special design just for yachts and boats. All the pieces are easy to install and remove if necessary.

Encouraging the home farmer in all of us. I am always on the lookout for products which are functional as well as decorative and I found just the thing…GUS from Good Growing founded by Tori Deetz. What exactly is GUS? Well, for the home gardener in all of us, GUS is a ceramic planter for growing mushrooms at home. Not only are these thoughtfully designed ceramic vessels practical, but they are also beautiful and would make a great conversation piece/decorative element in any kitchen.

Exquisite, timeless lighting. Lightmaker Studio from Canada is handcrafting lighting using inspiration from natural elements and modernism. Much like Lacava, Lightmaker Studio also uses a collaborative approach to their pieces by incorporating the talents of a glass studio and metal finisher.

Eco-conscious company. Ornare from Brazil is creating timeless collections for closets, kitchens, wall systems and baths. The custom closet system they displayed was breathtaking. They source certified wood and raw materials and recycle waste produced during the manufacturing process.

Functional and beautiful lighting. Juniper lighting showed fabulous integrated lighting systems from an adjustable track with movable heads to an integrated LED light in a hanging rail. Producing lighting for task and ambient layered light via Multiverse Systems, Juniper brings a new level of functional design to lighting. Their surface ribbon systems are designed as a snap on technology that can be installed on any hard, flat surface. They will even do custom colors.

And there you have it, my top ten. I have to say that the quality of materials and the ingenuity of the manufacturers and creative entrepreneurs at ICFF was the best I have seen.  Many products are produced in the United States and Europe, and most are looking to partner with designers and welcome the trade. In addition, the energy and enthusiasm of the design students and their ability to think way out of the box puts the future of design in good hands.

I am looking forward to what the next Wanted Design Manhattan has to offer.


Sharon L Sherman, CKD, CID, NCIDQ, is the founder and principal of Thyme & Place Design, Wyckoff, NJ. Sherman is an NKBA member and regularly contributes to NKBA.org.