Digesting the AD Home Design Show

Cassa Hotel & Residences: Our AD Show Headquarters!

Cassa Hotel & Residences: Our AD Show Headquarters!

What’s chic and dynamic and fabulous all over? The three days Roaming by Design spent gallivanting around Manhattan as we made our way from our sophisticated digs at Cassa Hotel & Residences to the 10th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show. There were furniture launches (our Blogger19 cohort Susan Serra being among the buzziest of all), tweetups (the magical Veronika Miller, @Modenus, and Troy Hanson, @troynyc, holding one that drew some topnotch Twiterrati to the Ligne Roset/Valcucine/Margaritelli/Rimadesio lounge), parties (the DIFFA Cocktails by Design being a highlight) and dinners (more tweep talent at one table than any on design junkie deserves)!

Making our RBD headquarters at Cassa was a smooth move, as the amazing mid-town location meant we were at the center of everything. We had an extended-stay apartment in the sexy building designed by Enrique Norten. The luxe treatment and serene setting were just the balm for the manic schedule we maintained.

On Thursday evening, we had the pleasure of saying hello to Margaret Russell, the editor in chief of AD, at the DIFFA cocktail party, and ran into some of our favorite design elite, including Daniele Busca of Scavolini and Tamara Stephenson of NestNestNest.

We then whisked away to dinner with some of our favorite friends from twitter. Carmen Natschke, The Decorating Diva, cornered the evening on photo ops, Sabrina Velandry out-ordered everyone, Cynthia Bogart, whose site The Daily Basics we love, was a surprise addition to an already amazing night! Getting to see Modenus’ UK contingent, Tim Bogan, was a blast; and we adored hanging out with Andie Day!

Friday was all about the show, beginning with Modenus’ Mary’s & Mimosas Tweetup and continuing through a dizzying display of design where we bumped into the always vivacious Amy Dragoo of ABCD Designs, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, Sarah Lloyd, Marcy Feld, Catherine Avery, Chuck Wheelock and Talis Lin. Susan Serra’s Bornholm Kitchen debut drew a stellar crowd. The Scandinavian-inspired furnishings were given a fitting tagline “Warm Heart, Cool Designs,” and we salute Susan for producing such a finely-crafted collection.

Think Fabricate was also at the show with an artful line of furnishings, and our friends at Boca do Lobo brought some interesting pieces to the show once again this year. A newbie to us, perched perfectly within The Paris Apartment booth, was Munna. We couldn’t have been happier to see Aston Smith and Manhattan Center for Kitchen & Bath at the show, and Maybelline Te’s newest introductions for Snug Furniture were as exciting as ever—how she continues to push the envelope in design is beyond us!

Maybelline Te with her Woven Nest table

Maybelline Te with her Woven Nest table.

We were particularly fond of the MADE section of the show, where artisinal products of every stripe were showing, the array of materials included within the booths covering the spectrum. While making our way through the maze of products, we bumped into the talented duo Eric Slayton and Elena Lyakir—a pair to watch, as we are convinced their stars are on the rise. Among the offerings in MADE, Douglas Thayer’s designs in concrete & wood were standouts, as were the mod-Asian wares in Jia Moderne’s booth.

We’ve spotted a few other worthwhile recaps of the show that we thought you might want to see. Modenus has one, as does Quintessence.


Andie Day Brings Us KBIS

Andie Day

Andie Day

Roaming By Design has a treat for you today. Andie Day, an award-winning interior designer who has been featured on NECN’s television series “Dream House,” has submitted a guest post sharing with us her trend-spotting take on the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which ended yesterday. The founder of Andie Day LLC’s Design for Life™ admits to being electrified and inspired to see how many of the companies present are evolving in a variety of ways: KBIS 2010 exhibitors filled the halls with important product releases that will improve quality of life for homeowners. And speakers—including keynote Sergio Zyman, former CMO, Coca-Cola; Dennis Snow, former Manager, Disney Institute; and David Kohler, President & COO, Kohler Company—shared priceless advice for growing a business and connecting with consumers. I’ve summarized some of the tips & tricks for those who weren’t able to be there!

  1. Consumer fear, which has informed purchases, is dissipating slowly. As the market rebounds, consumers are regaining confidence in the economy and this confidence seeps into their purchases.
  2. Consumer mindset is infused with a sense of practicality. Consumers are concerned with cost, value, and ethics, often using the internet to compare prices and do research on companies that they may purchase items or services from.
  3. Businesses need to define winning on their own terms and decide if they’re in business to survive or win. Status quo won’t cut it in this economy; you must develop the mindset of a  “Winner” and commit to yourself to be the best at whatever it is that you do.
  4. Businesses must reinvent unique selling propositions and practices that leave clients feeling the “wow” factor. Make the customer’s experience memorable in the most cost effective way possible. Upgrade the experience and minimize the cost.
The Robern Vanity in blue

The Robern Vanity in blue

Design Trends I am thrilled to report that the companies included in the trend report embrace sustainable design practices and ADA compliant products that make the home safer while also being stylish and appealing. As Baby Boomers continue to migrate to the city, they gravitate toward products that replicate hotels and spas they love. The new line of Robern vanities and medicine cabinets are really breathtaking. What’s not captured in the photos above is the luminosity in the glass at front and sides. Take a close look and note the built-in lighting in the vanity. Drawers can be outfitted with various storage configurations including a spot for a hair dryer. The medicine cabinets eliminate the “swinging door” hazard and are designed to hold a small TV, refrigeration and offer a power source for small appliances

Aquatic's Ava

Aquatic’s Ava

I’ve heard about Aquatic’s newest tub, The Ava Bath, over the last couple of months and was glad to have a chance to view a functioning model. As compared to a walk-in bath, its sleek and modern design doesn’t look institutional. The tub fills rapidly and drains into a holding tank in 30 seconds allowing the user to exit the tub quickly.

Delta's Transfer Tub

Delta’s Transfer Tub

I’m extremely impressed with Delta Faucet’s hot-off-the-press Transfer Tub. It’s attractive, fits into the footprint of a typical 5’-0” tub and is designed for ease of use for all ages. I’m convinced this will become one of their best sellers. Here’s another beauty (can’t believe that I’m saying this about a toilet) that has a sleek, urban appeal with high functionality. Toto’s Neorest 600 features an automatic open and close lid, three cleansing modes and hands-free automatic flush. It’s Tank-less, which means it’s easier to clean and offers a water saving 1.2 gallon per flush. It’s human nature to resist change, especially when it affects our everyday lives. But change can often be good, or even for the best. Innovative design products can reinvent our lives, to grant those with busy schedules, safety concerns, or medical problems a second lease on life.

The Toto Neorest 600

The Toto Neorest 600

I thank Andie for her fantastic reportage since I didn’t make it to the show this year. I had the pleasure of getting to know her during a trip to New York last fall when Brizo faucets flew a group of bloggers to the city for Jason Wu’s runway show. Now, we’re both members of #Blogger19 on Facebook and I’m happy to be included in such fine company there! To see another trendsetting company’s products (Hansgrohe’s) in Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, visit the International Design Examiner page here.