Elegant, Smart, Beautiful: Khouri Guzman Bunce Limited

ICFF 2011

When I cover a furniture fair or trade show, I'm often in macro-mode. I find myself wanting to examine and celebrate the over arching ideas that show up across collections; the colors, materials, shapes and styles that I see as examples of the zeitgeist of this moment in design. And, while I'm doing exactly that this year at ICFF, too (lots of posts are in the works), sometimes you need to just step back, shift to micro, and say: Wow, this collection was simply really beautiful......and take it from there. That is exactly what I did at the Khouri Guman Bunce Limited booth. First timers at ICFF, they were showing their line of handcrafted original furniture.

Happening upon the KGB Limited booth was like discovering a sharply curated shop filled with wonderful vintage furniture. My initial impression was of interesting older pieces, thanks to some of the lines and materials, as well as the even-visibly-apparent quality of construction. But then, all at once, you realize this isn't vintage, this furniture is unmistakably NOW — and they are definitely not retro, either. The impression of vintage furniture is based on an evocation of the type of elegant, somewhat feminine, definitely glamorous, high quality pieces that one associates with certain eras more than any kind of direct interpretation.

And for a (let's face it) pretty wildly glam collection of furniture, KGB Limited have the ethos of a crunchy, quality based "good for you" process built right in, because it is built to last. This furniture is American-made and handcrafted locally (to NYC, in Brooklyn). The methods and materials are a mix of old school know how and interesting, of-the-moment materials. The cocktail table is a perfect example — the thick, curved, textured glass is actually industrial (from NY state based Pyrex) and the beautiful gold toned metal is something called a silcon bronze, which is a specially-treated, mainly copper metal mix which can be maintained in this state or allowed to darken with age (fairly quickly) to provide the interesting juxtaposition of patina on a modern piece.

These are showstoppers, furniture that can make a room, and are of a quality level that will allow for them to be around for a good long time, working for years as the rooms they occupy are updated and adjusted and then, hopefully passed along — the opposite of the sometimes ubiquitous "disposable" nature of furniture that can be prevalent these days — perhaps they could be best be described as "future antiques".

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The collection is sold through their showroom in Chelsea. When you see the furniture in this typically gallery-like setting, it hits home how the timeless combination of high style plus quality can add drama and instant interest to the space, even in the most neutral of surroundings.

MORE INFO: Khouri Guzman Bunce Limited

Images: show photos: Janel Laban, showroom photo: Khouri Guzman Bunce Limited

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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