Thursday, February 3, 2011

Warming Trends: Report from NY International Gift Fair

So it’s that time of year again when only the intrepid schleppers and divas of interior design and decorative world brave winter’s cruelty and gather at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in NYC for the Winter NY Gift Show.

The day was gray and in anticipation of a forecasted epic ice storm, this year’s winter show proved to have something of a spotty mid-week attendance, which, while most likely frustrating for the exhibitors, made exploration of coming trends, colors and textures and product somewhat easier to take in.

That said, this years show at Pier 94 did not reveal too much in the way of coming trends, but rather offered views into how existing design trends are being extended and expanded with new color palates and more sophisticated uses of existing materials:

The neutral color palate is enriched with accents of orange and saturated pastels.

Burlap is now a very strong and dominant trend.  For those of you who have known me and my design sensibilities over the years ( and those of you new to yours truly), I have always had an affinity for this material.  It takes me back to my childhood, as I remember my father painstakingly wrapping shrubbery each late autumn with burlap and wee little Nancy, wondered in childlike amazement how a simple fabric could somehow magically protect a boxwood from the perils of winters deadly frost.  

Despite the rough utilitarian appearance, burlap will always possess magical properties.  As an interior designer I have taken that fascination forward;  realizing new interpretations and applications for this and other rough industrial materials and textures.  Burlap can be dressed up or down.  So, just like adding a wonderful piece of jewelry to casual attire,  a table setting can be dressed up with with a fantastic mix of chargers, candles, flowers, particulary when the ‘canvas’ you set the table upon is a burlap or raw textile and interesting scale iis employed, creating additional drama to the most neutral or utilitarian landscape, table scape or room escape.

Likewise, burlap upholstery can be  dressed up when accented with jute trim or copper oversized nailheads.   This ottoman from EcoAccents can be made with a variety of hand applied decorative motifs or simply left plain.  It has a very firm support and can be eaily used as a small table perhaps with an antique serving tray or left as a foot rest.

Also, I noticed at the gift show the elaboration and expansion of the “industrial chic” trend we have seen for several seasons.  A softening with subtle touches of Victorian curiosities and, of course, ‘green’ trending with the sophisticated –reuse of unusual materials.


Shells were also in abundance at the show, perhaps in anticipation of the coming warmer seasons.  I saw so many interesting ‘new and improved’ presentations of shells both as decorative motifs and as functional household objects:

Decorative trip lever for toilet.  Functional Fine Art has many different decorative bathroom accessories in a variety of finishes complimenting all styles of bathroom design.

Decorative linen seashore motif pillows from
Ox Bow Decor and the

Elizabeth Lucas Companies


Finally, a lighting design trend I have been drawn to for quite some time is the use of simple geometric shapes in hanging light fixtures.  I am particularly fond of the suspended cubes and spheres.  The pure  geometry of these designs are nearly constellation in their nature

Low Country Originals

Lovely when created using both rustic materials such as this Solaria light fixture and equally as intriguing when presented with a highly polished metal.
Solaria Lighting

All in all, the take away from this years Gift Show in NYC was that scale and proportion are key to any successful interior space design, and that a re-interpretation of classic elements will always remain timeless.

For more information regrdining any of the home décor items featured in this article, please contact:

Oasis Home
c/o  NLM Design Interiors

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