Finding affordably-priced designed goods at this year's annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair
in New York City was not as hard as you might expect. The secret is to look beyond the big names to some of the smaller brands or individual designers who are just starting out. Here are a rundown of some interesting, well-designed, and pocketbook-friendly designs that caught our eyes.
Designer Takumi Shimamura of Qurz Inc
. hails from Japan, a country challenged by a lack of natural resources. So, Shimamura's interest in working with recycled wood and paper to make everyday objects is a no-brainer. New at ICFF are Shimamura's striped fruitbowls, shown in a variety of colors, and made from recycled paper. The bowls will take you to a higher zen. ($60 each).
Patty Johnson has collaborated with a handful of fellow designers from the Caribbean in a project called, "Love Freedom Flow: New Caribbean Design
." One of our favorites from the collection is an array of water vessels made of tobacco leaves from Haiti. They are treated with a waterproof coating, and buying one piece can help sustain an entire village. ($15-$50).
shed some new light on things by using traditional book construction and an accordion-like design. The Central Saint Martin's graduate showed off her interest in flexible structures in "The Booklight." She was able to come to ICFF as part of a select group of designers from the United Kingdom who received financial assistance from their government. We're glad she was able to take part ($150 per lamp, available directly from her website).
Simple details can make life more interesting and enjoyable. That seems to be belief of British designer Hemel Patel, as well. The engineer-turned-designer wanted to make a line of products that offered good design but "were affordable to the masses." Simple and geometric, Patel's designs
speak of functionality and form in the same breath. We like his "Ribbon Coat Rack," soon to be available through a U.S. distributor ($120).
once again shows us how design doesn't have to be expensive, with its new cantilevered "Cant Desk." We're seeing a lot of furniture of mixed materials lately and Blu Dot's desk is the newest to enter the fray, with its walnut veneer top and legs, and steel hutch accent ($599).
El Salvadoran designer Eugenio Menjivar
combines his passion for flowers and distaste for consumer waste in some inspiring pendant lights (Loto, pictured). The shades are shaped like petals and are fashioned out of used plastic laundry detergent containers. He doesn't alter the color. Luckily for him, the brands selling in Latin America aren't the bright burnt-orange jugs we're used to ($200-$300, depending on size, available directly from the designer).
Here are some more design ideas fresh from ICFF:
Marketing Avant-Garde and Affordable Home Design
Good Green Design at ICFF