INTERIORS+DESIGN for architects

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair ascended on New York for four glorious days in late May. In addition to being the nation's top and largest design fair, this year ICFF celebrated a milestone of its own: a 25th anniversary. Rather than a strong show of silver, as could be expected for a silver anniversary, gold and bronze were trending at this year's fair. Also trending were products that save the planet, with more energy efficient lighting products and water-saving faucets and toilets on view than ever before. Furniture too got 'greener' thanks to advances in digital fabrication processes that make for zero-waste. There were also new takes on favourite designs of past years and many upscale brands introduced new collections at more affordable price points, thus making good design accessible to the masses. Whilst ICFF 2013 was certainly 'greener' than ever, some companies left good design at the doorstep. There were far too many ugly things at this year's show but thankfully there were also many inspiring designs. Here are my pics for this year's best in show.

Best for Less
Prouve Standard SP
by Vitra

Who doesn't like Prouve? But how many of us can actually afford to have our homes furnished with objects made by this fabulously talented French industrial designer? Enter Vitra, which has introduced a new version of the Prouve Standard chair. Called Standard SP, the chair is made with plastic backs and seats rather than customary wood ones of the classic Standard chair. With new colours and a whole new price point, which is expected to be around 20% less than the classic Standard chair, the Standard SP is a must have for any home or office. With the money saved, you can put a deposit on a piece from the Prouve Raw Collection. Four pieces from that line have been given new colours and have been taken into the regular Vitra collection, thus expanding the company's current Prouve offerings.

Wall as Storage
by Upwell Products

If you live in a small space as I do you're always looking for a place to put a letter for the next day's post or a place for your house keys. Walhub has ingeniously solved that problem, making a switch plate that doubles as storage for items that come and go with you on a regular basis such as keys, mail, an umbrella or a scarf. Whilst I don't much like things hanging from my walls, Walhub is practical and serves a much needed niche. It's the most elegant solution out there for this design challenge. It's plug and play so all you have to do to install is to remove your current switch plate and replace it with this one, which comes in several versions.

Wallpaper that Lights up a Room
LED Wallpaper
by Meystyle

Whilst many of us rely on wall sconces to show off our beautiful wall coverings, Meystyle's new LED Wallpaper integrates lighting directly into its wallpapers. The innovative hi-tech wallpapers, designed by the London-based design duo and sisters Maria and Ekaterina, can illuminate any wall in a myriad of styles. The glowing wallpaper ranges in style from traditional to modern and incorporates LED lights and Swarovski crystals. Each design is hand-finished and can be printed on a choice of non-woven or paper substrate. Matching designs can also be printed onto a variety of fabrics for upholstery and cushions to complete a room.

Great Bathroom Style for Less
by Duravit

Duravit's new Durastyle line is one of the most competitively priced bathroom collections on the market. Designed by Matteo Thun, the new line embraces a visual lightness and clean design synonymous with Duravit's modern aesthetic all the while being remarkably flexible and versatile due to a customizable design that allows for innumerable combinations. The collection includes washbasins, bathtubs, bidets, mirrors and new innovative rimless toilets. 'Distinctive yet understated' describes the new collection.

A Dutch Oven for Outdoors
by Weltevree

With all the ugly outdoor grilles on the market, there is certainly room for a nice one. Dutch product label Weltevree made it US debut this year at ICFF and with it, the company put on view its popular outdoor cookstove, called Outdooroven. We liked its smart utilitarian design and its price tag which retails for slightly more than $1000 US.

Light Sticks
by RUX

Elegant, spare and long on style, Stickbulb is a versatile lighting solution by New York based design firm RUX. Each element is a LED strip housed within a metal finish or sleek wooden beam ranging in length from one foot to several feet. Available in maple, walnut or ipe salvaged from the Coney Island boardwalk, stickbulb can be arranged in multiple configurations, either as a sconce, a lean-too or wall-mounted fixture.

The 'Less is More' Lounge
Pine Cone Chaise
by Caviar20

Don Howell's Pine Cone Chaise packs a wallop of style in an ergonomic shape. Intended as a Cubist deconstruction of a pine cone, the spine-like chaise is an art/design hybrid. Howell worked in reclaimed cedar and ipe woods before finalizing the design in walnut. Inspired by the classic Adirondack chair, the Pine Cone Chaise is bold and modern interpretation of the cottage-country classic.

Hip HiFi
Stereo Console
by Symbol Audio

Every well designed room deserves an equally well designed stereo system. But often the best home audio systems should be heard and not seen. Symbol Audio of New York City has made design its passion if not also its obsession offering a range of smartly designed home audio systems. This year Symbol Audio introduced Stereo Console, a mid century inspired design that incorporates storage for LPs and provides connections for up to three devices to the built in amplifier.

There's No Such Thing As Too Much Of A Good Thing
Pablo Clamp Floor + Mini
by Pablo Designs

We liked Pablo's Clamp Lamp when we first saw it in 2011 and we like it still in the latest floor and table models introduced this year. The brilliance and simplicity of Pablo's Clamp Lamp is now available in two elegant new models. Camp Floor and Clamp Mini represent a fusion of modern technology and timeless materials. Together they bring thoughtful design to the forefront by combining infinite adjustment with warm diffused light. The lamps come in white oak/red and walnut/black finishes and the advanced LED arrays eliminate shadows and have a 50,000 hour lifespan.

Mural Wall Tiles
by Mosa

New this year to the US market, Dutch tile company Mosa has introduced Mosa Murals, a new wall tile program for architects that features 140 different tile designs that can be composed in infinite ways. The result is a bespoke tile wall mural with a signature design.