Inventive New Products for Fun Designs Ahead
Check out the 2013 Dwell on Design expo's twists on midcentury patterns, instant color palettes, surprises for the patio and more
New ideas for salvaged wood, a shortcut to picking a paint palette, a fresh twist on midcentury style and a bouncy seat built around a soccer ball — these and other new products caught my eye at the 2013 Dwell on Design conference and expo in Los Angeles June 21-23.
Salvaged, or reclaimed, wood has been hot for a while now, but the look is also getting a bit tired and overused. I was blown away by this fresh approach to salvaged wood by Wood Block Floors. The company is using sliced 4-by-4 and 2-by-4 reclaimed wood blocks instead of planks to create amazing patterns for flooring. Simply mesmerizing.
Many of us get overwhelmed when we have to select a paint color, because of the hundreds of choices out there. Analysis paralysis often eventually leads to hiring a designer for color consultation. I think the Jeff Lewis Color collection is a brilliant idea. It's a limited palette of 32 cool colors that can go in any room, curated by a professional designer, manufactured by Dunn Edwards and coordinated with one another.
I was smitten by the tiles, textiles and wallpapers from House Fifty Two. Its tile designs are a fresh and modern twist on midcentury styles with a light and graphic appeal. Priced in the $40-per-square-foot range, the collection competes with more expensive offerings by other manufacturers.
The wallpaper and textile patterns are complementary, but each stands on its own merit. I can't wait to start using this line in midcentury-inspired design projects.
I was drooling over the Victoria and Albert freestanding tubs made of white volcanic limestone. The material helps to retain the heat of the water, and because it's mixed with resin, it creates a lightweight form in place of the heavy cast iron typically used for such tubs. So you can install one of these tubs on, say, the second story of a house or in a high-rise apartment.
The Sorpresa collection by Best Range Hoods was a nice surprise. Each of nine hood designs is unique in form, unlike anything you have ever seen in a kitchen. Curves, spheres, tubes and other interesting shapes made of atypical metals and sheens read as sculptures yet function as reliable appliances.
The Fabrica Street Football Seat Ball is a conceptual piece I can actually see being used. Fabrica is a design studio in Guatamela that focuses on local craftsmanship and recycled materials. This bouncy seat is made of a soccer ball at its core, surrounded by upcycled mattress box springs and padded with yarn. It will put a smile on your face.
Everyone was going gaga over these Norwegian wool blankets by Roros Tweed. The quality is supreme. The patterns and color ways are just heavenly. I do have a hard time finding the right throw blanket as the final touch in a room, and I think my search may be over.
The Boho Pop collection from Designed Goods hit every trend right on the nose and offered its own unique spin. The collection of tableware and home decor felt very Southern California with its influences of Japanese, Native American and Mexican patterns infused with pops of psychedelic colors. I was energized and amused.
A few cool new products out there for the patio and backyard appeared, too. Kindle Living showed an oversize heat lamp, or lumen lamp, as a plug-in or rechargeable unit made from recyclable materials. This design would leave quite impression as a patio fixture.
Vertical garden walls are really big right now, especially in urban settings, because they add green without taking away from usable square footage. They are also hard to install and keep thriving. Eco Walls is a one-stop shop for designing, manufacturing, installing and maintaining a successful living green wall. The panels have an ingenious internal system for irrigation and planting, and a J-channel mounting system.
On a smaller scale than the Eco Walls, the Terra Trellis allows you to create a living sculpture garden in your backyard. Steel garden trellises and arbors in modern forms work along with your growing plants to create a really interesting opportunity for modern landscape designing.
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