Trends from ICFF 2013: What's New, What's Next

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Every year when I go to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, or ICFF, I tell my friends that it's like a fashion show, but for furniture. It's where designers go to get their new creations in the public eye, and where we go to get an idea of what's happening in the world of design. Here's our report on what we saw, what we liked, some new trends that are emerging, and some old ones that are still going strong. 

Precious Metals

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As I observed at ICFF in 2012, there's a lot going on right now with modern shapes rendered in luxe materials. This was especially true at the show this year, where copper and gold were everywhere. Here's a really striking brass coffee table from Seattle-based design studio Iacoli & McAllister. 

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Tom Dixon, never one to shy away from bold designs, showed a number of gold things in his booth, including the gold lamps and cake plate and server shown above. 

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Then there was this glass-topped coffee table by Phase Design, with just the barest hint of gold. Also spotted: Pelle's wooden cube table with a gold top. 

Colorful Seating

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I, for one, welcome this trend, because I can't get enough of color, and for many years we've seen sofas and upholstered furniture only in nice, staid, conservative colors. This electric blue chair by Candian furniture maker Bensen is a breath of fresh air. 

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The Future Perfect Collection offered this delightfully bright yellow sofa. If yellow isn't quite your thing, there's also this lovely green velvet sofa from IKEA's Stockholm line. 

Everything Old is New Again

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At this year's show, I saw lots of pieces that reminded me, just a little bit, of things I'd seen before. Lots of designers drew from the past or put new takes on familiar shapes, like this piece by designer Kai-wei Hsu of KWH Furniture. The leather sling style is a bit remniscent of a safari chair, but the gorgeous detailing on the arms sets it apart. 

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Also spotted: this sofa by The Republic of Fritz Hansen, whose swoopy arms recalled to me this sofa by Finn Juhl

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Also from Fritz Hansen (by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon): the Ro chair, which looks like what might result if a womb chair and an egg chair (another design produced by Fritz Hansen) had a baby. I can verify that this chair is very comfortable. And that it also comes in purple. Further evidence for the new-old trend: these consoles by Blu Dot, with a definite Midcentury feel. 

Little Indulgences

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It doesn't have to be big to make a big impact. Designer Walter Bosse creates these little brass objects, which are so small but so thoughtfully designed. This little piggy is one of my favorites — only about an inch long, but with a pleasing heft. 

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This little stool by Phase Design shares some design DNA with the table pictured above. I love the clean, tailored design and the little gold feet. 

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These little egg cups and serving pieces by David Irwin are made from different woods and painted in colors derived from bird eggs. 

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These 'Snug' stackable candleholders by Danny Duquemin-Sheil play with material in place of color. There are stacking rings made of wood, concrete, plastic, metal, and stone, to name a few. 

Made in Your Neighborhood

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Just as people are starting to be increasingly concerned with where their food comes from and how's it made, we're seeing increasing awareness in the design world of where things are made, and by whom. Brooklyn-based furniture maker Brian Volk-Zimmerman of Volk Furniture created these little wedge-shaped tables, which can be reconfigured into all kinds of different shapes. Scout  Regalia makes these barstools with an underseat cubby in Los Angeles, and UK maker Ercol makes all their furniture (like this ombre bench) in a factory just outside of London. No matter where you live, chances are there are many artisans and makers in your neighborhood worth supporting. 

(Images: Wedge tables: Volk Furniture, all other photos by Nancy Mitchell)

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