It had been a few years since I was last at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in Manhattan.
But spending a good part of the day there last week, taking advantage of the preview day reserved for the press and trade, reminded me of what makes this annual event (now in its 12th year) such a success.
It is all about style for the home, from the most artful lampshade to the leaders in the field of kitchen technology. There’s an excitement that pervades the atmosphere as you wander from booth to booth, taking it all in. As a whole, it’s simply a cut above, a true showcase of the finest – and most unusual things – available. (If you need proof of the unusual angle, check out the custom, hand-built porcelain urinals from Clark Sorensen at clarkmade.com).
And adding to the excitement was the chance to catch up with some local designers and artists who are always a key part of the mix.
We met up with Samantha Knapp of Tiger Lily’s design studio in Greenwich. Her ultra-modern booth served as a backdrop as she introduced the company’s debut line of made-to-order home accessories and furniture. Luckily, we stopped by early in the day when Knapp and her associate, Lauren Bays, had time to chat. Later, their booth was jam-packed with potential clients.
Other highlights included visiting with Catherine Latson, who spoke to us about how she gathers leaves for her artistic designs; seeing the latest work from CA Johnson Sculpture of Cross River (Charles Johnson was profiled in last June’s WAG); being introduced to the intricate work of Lighthouse Laser Arts in Rockland County; meeting printmaker Beth Weintraub of Beacon; admiring the colorful tapestries displayed by Scarsdale-based Art Beyond Borders; and getting a firsthand look at the amazingly detailed custom furniture from Thomas Throop and Black Creek Designs in New Canaan.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was a full pavilion dedicated to the art of the tabletop. DIFFA’s Dining By Design NY 2013 again took us into a world of high style for the table with some 40 installations depicting everything from the incredibly formal to the outright playful with vignettes created by or featuring elements from Ralph Lauren, Lalique, Rachel Ashwell, Fendi and lots, lots more. Check out a full spread on this interesting element in our May issue.
Throughout the show, there were plenty of special events, from Q&As to book signings, demonstrations to lectures.
We stopped by to hear designer Nate Berkus in conversation with Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest.
He shared stories of his own design challenges, his upcoming television show and his design philosophy –“Your home should tell a story of who you are.”
And after wandering through this show, you just know a lot of people will be adding to their own stories soon.