If it’s true that home design trends and innovation often begin in the luxury market, then the 15th Architectural Digest Design Show—formerly the Architectural Digest Home Design Show—provided a prime opportunity for designers and their clients to stay ahead of their peers and for those with weaker appetites and wallets to get a glimpse of where the industry is headed.
More than 400 luxury brands exhibited at this year’s show, which was held March 17 to 19 in New York City and was rebranded to reflect a broadening purview. Loosely organized by product category, the wares included door hardware, surfacing, flooring, lighting, kitchen and bath products, and more. A perennial highlight for attendees and exhibitors alike, the juried Made galleries displayed work by independent artisans and artists, more than 70 of which were first-time exhibitors.
“All of these individual vendors create inspiration,” says Brian Maynard, brand marketing for Jenn-Air, which co-sponsors the show. “It’s cutting-edge design.”
Of course, another major draw for high-end brands—especially appliance manufacturers, whose presence at the show has strengthened over the years—is the chance to connect with both the professional trades as well as “in-market consumers.” Maynard notes that it’s not unusual for consumers to come on the last two days of the show (when it’s open to the public) with blueprints of their kitchen and ask for appliance recommendations. As the show continues to grow—preliminary numbers for 2016 indicate a 15 percent bump in attendance from last year—these interactions will only increase.
A variety of products caught our attention at this year’s show, including innovative appliances, cabinetry, and lighting.
Italian appliance manufacturer Tecnogas Superiore made its U.S. and show debut with Next and Deco, range and ventilation hood lines specifically created for North America. Unlike their European counterparts, both are meant to be seen, says CEO Antonio Di Tommasso, and cater to serious cooks with gas burners ranging from 3,600 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs. The industrial-style Next includes a Tri-fuel range offering gas, induction, and electric griddle cooking, while the more classic Deco comes with Art Deco-inspired hardware in bronze, gold, or chrome. Also of interest, both ovens have removable glass for easy cleaning.
To minimize seaming in wood flooring, Mary Hull, of Hull Forest Products, notes that homeowners are opting for wider and longer planks that are site-finished with a square, snug-edge profile. Because “people want to know where the wood was harvested and where the flooring was made,” the company owns its own forest and takes a “forest-to-floor approach,” she adds. Depending on species (hickory is shown), planks are available in sizes up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
Ronbow teamed with nine high-profile international designers to create the Signature Series of contemporary-style bathroom sinks, vanities, and cabinets. Originally slated for a European launch, the collection landed stateside instead with pieces by Alexander Zhukovsky, DanelonMeroni, Kurz Kurz Design, Phoenix Design, and Ramon Esteve. Next year at KBIS, Ronbow will unveil the full collection, which will include designs by Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez, Pininfarina, Joan Lao, and Ora Ïto.
Here are the 12 products we thought were on trend or just plain cool: