News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

Glassware by Nine Iron Studios on display at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York on March 8.
AP photos by Seth Wenig
Glassware by Nine Iron Studios on display at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York on March 8.

‘Green’ is good design for home

By Joan Brunskill
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK — You saw it everywhere you looked at this year’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show: Green, green, green. Not the color, but the concept.

Consumers are increasingly asking for “green” furniture and accessories, or those with an ecological sensibility. And designers are responding with enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, while still maintaining a level of high style that often includes high-tech detail.

Examples on show:

  • At Design Mobel, a bed of spare ultramodern design, made of specially grown sustainable wood, included an iPod dock linked to a Bose speaker and lamps set into its attached night-tables.

  • At Studio Mix, a pearly looking mosaic made of recycled camel bones covered a table of understated elegance.

    Chairs made of sponge cord by Douglas Homer on display at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.
    Chairs made of sponge cord by Douglas Homer on display at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

  • Flooring made of 400-year-old elm recovered from China found its place alongside a range of other sustainable materials the high-tech Zephyr kitchen carefully designed to be accessible for the handicapped.

    “Overwhelmingly, nothing compares to people’s requests for green material, sustainably harvested material,” interior designer and show exhibitor Tucker Robbins said.

    He’s long been enthusiastic about conservation in regions around the world where the wood originates, he said. “It’s about teaching people in the forest that this is a valuable commodity — utilizing it and protecting it.”

    This was the sixth annual Architectural Digest show, held on Pier 94 on Manhattan’s West Side, March 8-11, with exhibits of home design products from some 300 design companies.

    Here’s the takeaway, according to those who were there:

  • Giulio Capua, Architectural Digest’s vice president and publisher: “One thing we’re seeing more and more is smaller companies doing high-quality custom work ... and the notion of being ‘green’ is coming into the process at all parts of society.”

  • New York interior designer Victoria Imperioli: “Very vibrant colors — new colors, nice greens and beautiful browns.” This year she’s seeing an emphasis on metallics and modern design, she added.

    Global design growing

    The presence of manufacturers from abroad taking part in the Architectural Digest Home Design Show pointed up the growing global nature of design and marketing. Most now offer Web sites for consumers anywhere to make purchases or find local stockists.

  • Rochebobois, Paris, showed its Legend bookcase, handmade without nails. “This Legend bookcase is a limited edition,” New York-based Antonin Roche, grandson of the company founder, who oversees its U.S. stores, said. “It looks like nature ... made of recycled solid oak, all natural. No hardeners, no glue, no chemical stain.”

  • Christopher Reiter is director of North American operations for Kenneth Cobonpue, a Philippine company. “We produce furniture of rattan, bamboo, abaca (banana tree core), locally sourced materials, making use of traditional weaving skills.” It aims to fuse modern design with local crafts and materials, to spare the environment — but still offer a chic product. Its armchairs and lounge chairs have sheltering curves, airy-looking but strong with slender steel frames.

  • Ducduc, a Connecticut-based company, makes furniture for children and young families. Design director David Harris pointed out a comfortably versatile family table, and a bunk bed system, made with “100 percent sustainably harvested hardwoods from New England forests.” The woods are walnut, oak, lacquer-painted birch — he pulled out drawers to show colorful linings: “Bright orange; that’s our signature color.”

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    At Design Mobel, New Zealand, which specializes in beds and bedding, “sustainability has been our standard since the start,” managing director David Macfarlane said. Its Pause bed, made of rimu wood, a locally harvested New Zealand wood, has an iPod dock and Bose speaker system. Contact the store’s U.S. representative Rob Shaner at (561) 676-1604.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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