Well, Design Alliance made its third trek to the winter market in Las Vegas. This time I was less “kid in the candy store” and more discerning showroom owner in search of quality vendors supporting the trade. Lets face it, as designers you create solutions and you need a strong inventory of cross-category resources to draw from. That is what Design Alliance wants to be for you, a resource aligned with “to the trade” vendors, who are not Internet groupies or laden with trendy designs. Finding those showrooms was our goal this year.
Nothing was particularly “new” at market, rather some of the style trends introduced in late 2015 were reintroduced, now clearly defined and aesthetically refined as a “look,” ready for its close-up and marking its era.
One longtime trend that was dominant throughout the show was the pale grey wash. I’m telling you, it was downright overcast in buildings A-B-C! The weathered, reclaimed wood was seen everywhere and on everything and, in my opinion, it has reached a dangerous saturation point. When a popular design trend can be found on home accents at Hobby Lobby, it is no longer special. It becomes predictable, common and ultimately dated. Did we learn nothing from the pastels of the Southwest movement?
However, here in the land of “Coastal Décor” the bleached woods are perfect and hard to dismiss. Yet, unless it’s a driftwood beach cottage on the sand, can I say use sparingly… a few pieces in an eclectic mix? More chic and timeless!
Current trends that are still strong… the mid-century silhouette in upholstery, side chairs, sofas and case goods. Specifically, the 60s sofa and the clean, sleek lines, floating on 4” cone legs, with button backs, track arms and welted box cushions—all very tidy. Also seen from that same era were chairs with the Italian influence of the high back and long, slope arm profiles and abstract wooden framed chairs with the narrow, hard line arms.
A huge nod to the mid century was featured at the always elegant and well styled Lexington Showroom. The main event was the new collection “Take Five,” with teak and rosewood veneer, brass accents and styles straight from the set of “Mad Men.”
Personally, I was less excited about LEXINGTON’S outdoor collections by TOMMY BAHAMA. “Misty Garden,” in particular, was missing the “hip-chic” factor with humdrum styles and styling. However, in the “Imitation of Life” category, they have nailed the painted aluminum furniture frames to look like grey washed wood and the inlaid tabletops to look like cultured marble, amazing!
More trends hanging in: the “hair on hide” texture in pillows and throws, plus layers of rugs, with a cowhide on top.
The metal of the moment is still gold, but we are encouraged to mix our metals, rather than match them in a setting, hmmm.
Organic accessories were everywhere and more than ever in accent furniture! Add a stone or wood top drink table to your design and you are cutting edge!
A new twist in the ethnic applications: “Ethnic goes Upscale.” Still strong are hand-crafted designs like “Kuba cloth” and the charm of the imperfections in the patterns, prints and motifs.
Also, the vintage feel of the history-worn color combinations in dusty, faded hues. All this is juxtaposed as accents in fabrics and organic accessories, in clean, sophisticated, modern settings. For this, think muted, tribal in color and feel.
Another ethnic look coined “Bollywood Modern” was more bohemian glam. Mirror-embellished pillows with sloppy embroidery co-mingled with pillows of velvet and leather amongst the comfortable seating, while hammer-stamped pendants hung in clusters over the polished brass coffee table, displayed with bone and wood accessories.
Showrooms worth mentioning…
If you have been to market, you have seen this showroom! Once a hodgepodge of natural elements and outdoor furniture, with a driftwood horse head in the window, now with a new creative director and sales team, JEFFAN INTERNATIONAL makes a clear statement. The revamped showroom shows current, cohesive collections of transitional accent furniture, unique, natural accessories and accents and creative applications for organic elements. Check out the JEFFAN catalog at Design Alliance.
JAMIE YOUNG COMPANY goes to the beach! The sun bleached, all coastal showroom has the largest collection of seaside lighting and accents in the dessert. Rope, shell, driftwood, oars, buoys, jars of sand, beach glass and pebbles, burlap lampshades, alabaster bowls, shell mirrors…. All your beach house embellishment can be found here!
MOE’S HOME COLLECTION has an inventory that looks confident as a contemporary, lifestyle brand offering a wide range of rustic, reclaimed and industrial pieces. Yet, I have never seen a showroom in such dire need of a display makeover as Moe’s! They have such cool furniture and the most tacky visual merchandising!! Please Moe’s, hire someone to do you justice!!
CLASSIC HOME has a new expanded showroom, no more hippie house rustic, with raw wood walls. Now it is a spacious, well-lit Living Spaces…the good news is the VILLA HOME COLLECTION! A soft goods collection of bedding and accent pillows, this offering is absolutely sublime! Fashionably influenced colors and motif, but really the beauty is in the details. It’s all about decadence with these interesting and uniquely embellished accessories!
FEIZY RUGS, again the standout showroom. Shows more like an art gallery, with each exhibit a well-coordinated collection of beautiful rugs climbing the walls in towering layers of color. For my finale, photos of the FEIZY gallery tour.
Check out my next blog, World Market 2016 Part 2, and I will share some exciting new applications seen at market for art, accessories and lighting!