ICFF: Design inspirations from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair


Each year, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair plays host to more than 750 exhibitors and more than 35,000 attendees. The event showcases the latest and most innovative designs in furniture, decor, lighting, interior and exterior materials, textiles, and kitchen and bath designs for residential and commercial spaces. While many items shown are so new they’re not yet in production, and other pieces are fantastically expensive, there’s always something to see for any serious design fan, even if most of the designs are inspirational rather than practical. 

Here, some of our favorite picks from this year’s crop of exhibitors.

WHAT 2017 annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair 
WHEN | WHERE May 21, through May 24 (open to the public May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue at 38th Street
INFO Tickets for the public are $60 per person and are available online or on-site, by credit card only; no one under 18 permitted; icff.com

Sylva Daybed from Coil + Drift

The daybed gets a contemporary makeover and a
(Credit: coilanddrift.com)

Unexpected features and generous proportions take these stretched-out seats from simple to spectacular.

The daybed gets a contemporary makeover and a lush touch in this Sylva Daybed from Coil + Drift, a company that won the 2016 ICFF Editors’ Award for best first-time exhibitor. Available in white oak, stained or natural ash, or walnut, the six-legged lounger is covered in a woven linen, shown here on the cushion; a rust-colored moleskine, as pictured on the bolster; or a gray raw linen. Made in the United States. $7,300; available now at coilanddrift.com

Les Basic seating line

The new Les Basic line from Australia, which
(Credit: lesbasic.com)

The new Les Basic line from Australia, which is debuting at this year’s ICFF, is designed by Alexander Lotersztain with millennials in mind. The modular furniture has a range of seating options that feature slim wood oak frames, optional attached oak veneer tables and even power outlets so that laptops and tablets never need be out of arm’s reach. A two-seater sofa costs about $2,900, and optional add-ons are extra. Available now at lesbasic.com 

Concrete Hauteville Rocking Chair

Who says modern design has to be serious?
(Credit: us.lyon-beton.com / franceandson)

Sparse seating finds its fun side, with a clever combination of unusual materials and a touch of industrial styling to toughen up the look. 

Who says modern design has to be serious? The Concrete Hauteville Rocking Chair, designed by Henri Lavallard Boget for France’s Lyon Béton, is an exercise in humor and high-tech ingenuity. Although the lines are classic, the seat is made from an unlikely combination of concrete and Fiberglas, creating a light yet strong material that is then sanded to a satin-smooth finish. The rebar legs and plywood runners add an unfinished industrial look to the otherwise modernist piece. $744; available now at us.lyon-beton.com and franceandson.com



Temps Libre à Toulouse

The Fauteuil Temps Libre à Toulouse armchair by
(Credit: virginielobrot.fr)

The Temps Libre à Toulouse armchair by French designer Virginie Lobrot is made from oil-finished oak, beechwood, or acacia, with leather armstraps, and can be used indoors or outdoors. The seats can be made from a variety of leathers and fabrics, but is shown here in a deep olive leather that practically registers as a neutral. Starting at $1,390; visit virginielobrot.fr for information.


The dramatic BOLTscone, part of Toronto’s hollis+morris Shapes
(Credit: hollis-morris.com)

These shining examples of LED lighting are visually stunning while concealing clever, technologically advanced features.

The dramatic BOLTsconce, part of Toronto’s hollis+morris Shapes Collection, takes both its visual and technological cues from nature. The eco-friendly LED fixture features a diffusion lens to provide even lighting, and the solid wood design comes in either white oak or walnut. Made to order, and available now in 3-foot and 5-foot lengths; starting at $2,400. Visit hollis-morris.com for more information. 


SLAB Series lights

The new Les Basic line from Australia, which
(Credit: www.andlight.ca)

Made from either wool or cork, the SLAB Series lights are designed by ICFF first-timer ANDlight of Vancouver, Canada. The LED fixtures are only 15 mm thick at the edge, and are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from a small wall sconce to a 7-foot-long hanging lamp. The coverings, which come in several colors, are designed to have a sound-absorbing quality in order to reduce the ambient acoustic noise in a space. $412 to $2,172; available now from andlight.ca

Gatsby Credenza

Originally from Beijing, China, and currently based in
(Credit: bowenliudesign.com)

Having a lot of stuff isn’t terribly minimalist, but finding simple, elegant ways to hide and store it is.

Originally from Beijing, and currently based in Rochester, New York, first-time ICFF designer Bowen Liu was inspired by the U.S. Prohibition era to create his Gatsby Credenza. The walnut/Richlite and brass piece was tailor-made to store liquor, records and books, and it’s the perfect height for serving and mixing cocktails. Starting at $16,800; made to order now at bowenliudesign.com


POISE shelving system

For its first year at ICFF, Denmark's Engelbrechts
(Credit: engelbrechts.com/Soren Staun Petersen)

For its first year at ICFF, Denmark’s Engelbrechts is debuting a flexible shelving system called POISE, designed by Anders Hermansen. The T-shaped shelves come in either black or white, and are made from a composite material, and the die-cast mounting hardware that connects each component is made from sandblasted zinc with steel wire. The design is meant to be both endlessly customizable and as minimalist as it gets. A 4-by-6-module configuration costs about $6,200, and the design will be available soon at several New York retailers. Visit engelbrechts.com for information.



Natural Edge Barefoot Table

Made of solid white oak, the Natural Edge
(Credit: skylarmorganfurniture.com/Andrew Thomas Lee Photography)

These sleek surfaces bring materials to the forefront while allowing clean lines to speak volumes.

Made of solid white oak, the Natural Edge Barefoot Table by ICFF newcomer Skylar Morgan Furniture + Design is substantial and sculptural. Suitable for dining rooms or conference rooms, the table is handmade in the company’s Atlanta, Georgia, studio, and features contoured edges that end with a peek of natural wood. Starting at $4,000; available now through skylarmorganfurniture.com

Duotone Coffee Table

The modular, customizable Duotone Coffee Table from Saint
(Credit: yielddesign.co)

The modular, customizable Duotone Coffee Table from St. Augustine, Florida-based design studio YIELD offers 11 tier options over a brass-, black- or white-coated aluminum base. Each piece is made in St. Augustine and packs flat for shipping. Tier options include rose, smoke or clear glass; mosaics; birch; leather; and vegan leather, and the tables are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Starting at $1,130; available to pre-order in late May through yielddesign.co 

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