ICFF: Right Here, Right Now

ICFF: Right Here, Right Now

Maxwell Ryan
May 17, 2004

Looking for Blu Dot. Saturday and Sunday found Apartment Therapy trolling the aisles at the Javits center looking for good, cool stuff, neat solutions and beauty. We found a little of each, while trying to prevent getting lost, and desperately searching for the Blu Dot booth, which we finally found (see pic with Maxwell joining our friends from Edge Modern and Blu Dot).

The big picture? The Italians dominate, the Brits are the funniest, the Scandinavians are the most natural, the Canadians are the best Americans, and we Americans are just keeping up. While the Herman Miller and the Vitra booths were well stocked with Eames and Alto designs from the distant past, there was no sense of a strong, current American design sensibility. There was a large and fractured field with designs going in every direction from plastic, mold injected to hand rubbed raw tree trunks, from a Nissan prototype (what the hell is a car doing in here, anyway?) to shoes that plant seeds as you walk in them. Most of it seemed out of touch with the average home, but we found some great little companies that seemed to rise up like fresh trees in the spring rainfall.

Marla Henderson (pictured here with her right hand woman, Ann Tucker) is based in Austin, TX where she makes stunningly beautiful carpets out of vintage and new handmade, flat woven wool from Turkey. With an eye to preserve the natural and the unique that comes from ancient methods, her rugs sell for @ $1,600 (new - 8x10) and $4,000 (vintage - 8x10). See www.marlahenderson.com.

Duane Smith and Stefane Barbeau started Vessel just about 2 years ago and have come a long way since. Beautiful and catchy, we couldn't resist walking in and checking out their Candela's, small, rechargeable battery-lit, portable candles that sit in a sleek holder to charge and can then me moved all around the house, including a romantic dinner. Coming in colors and with wicked little horns, the 2 set will run you $45, the 4 set $85, and the 10 set for $469.

This monstrosity, The Office In a Bucket, was very cool and came with a good does of British humor. Inflatable in moments, it creates walls that curve up to create a small opening ceiling and a totally private interior environment - perfect for a grown up fort or a home movie theater (ony $4,500).... See www.officeinabucket.co.uk.

Max Geiser and his wife, Linda, own, run and design Fold Bedding, which just drew us in with its lush wool blankets ($300), soft linen bedspreads ($370 set), colorful pillows ($140) and sophisticated design sense that left Dwell in the Dust. Living and working in El Cerrito, CA, they sell online and are looking for a good store in Manhattan to represent them. If I owned a store, I'd sell them in a heartbeat. MGR

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