edited by Karen D. Singh -- Interior Design, 11/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
High and Mighty
To the casual observer, the Chair for Daydreamers looks like Jienshu's stylish cross between lawn furniture and a lifeguard's perch. Designer Jason Ong waxes a bit more profound: "It's a conceptual piece that reflects a collective hope among individuals for the future." Here's hoping that no one experiences vertigo while seated 10 feet up. (Rest assured that that the 3-by-4-foot base renders the piece entirely stable.) The frame of galvanized mild steel can be finished in either red oxide or green antirust primer. 1 Redhill Close, Suite 06-228, Singapore 151001; 65-91596143; jienshu.com. circle 302
A Stitch in Time
Textile designer Mark Pollack, founder of Pollack & Associates, teams up for a second time with his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, on Women's Work: A Common Thread, a fabric line that draws from centuries of textiles made by the women of far-flung cultures. The idea first occurred to him back in 2000, when he was researching his first joint effort with the school, "The RISD Museum Collection: Attention to Detail"—and discovered the prevalence of female-designed textiles throughout history.
Fringe Benefits, for instance, is based on a Maori chief's wool-and-flax cloak, constructed in the 1880's with a loomless twining technique. Pollack's version begs to be used as large-scale drapery such as theater curtains. The fabric is flame-retardant Trevira CS polyester, which complies with the National Fire Protection Association's code 701SS.
Sturdy cotton-viscose Legend, based on a 19th-century Afghan shirt, is the collection's large-scale jewel. Also with Asian origins, geometric Spangle was inspired by a northern Indian woman's blouse adorned with mirrors. This heavy-duty upholstery is woven of wool, cotton, nylon, and polyester, boasting a slight reflectivity.
The Americas, past and present, make their contribution, too. Three Navajo rugs translated into Lightning Bolt, a sharp zigzag in a polyester-wool blend. Flash forward to San Francisco in the 1930's and '40's, when Dorothy Liebes became known for working with unusual materials, such as reeds and wooden dowels: Pollack's Dorothy is rendered in a blend of cotton, linen, viscose, and acetate that looks as handmade as something Liebes might have woven. Then, in 1961, two RISD grads submitted a ball-fringe blouse as their senior project. Pollack took it as his jumping-off point for A Touch of the Bubbly, a party-ready acrylic-wool blend upholstery that captures the dimensionality of the original with tactile dots.
Due out in January, the collection took two years to complete. It comprises a total of 23 patterns in 121 colorways. 150 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-627-7766; pollackassociates.com. circle 303
Garden urns are the foundation of ceramist Brian Mackin's business, but his oversize bowling-pin sculptures are a knockout, indoors or out. He hand-throws each earthenware piece to order, in standard colors including chartreuse, tangerine, delphinium blue, and black cherry. Custom choices available as well. 10149 NE Roberts Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110; 206-780-9997; counterbalancesculpture.com. circle 304
Spool has your office needs all sewn up. The stool is constructed of die-cast aluminum that's made from 25 percent recycled content—and is 100 percent recyclable. A simple polish is one finish option; the other is a powder coat in black or high-gloss white. 1 Haworth Center, Holland, MI 49423; 800-344-2600; haworth.com. circle 305
Ensombra is a welcome reminder of summer days. With a name that translates as in the shade, this giant white pinwheel of an umbrella is fit for all kinds of weather, thanks to a pole of galvanized steel and a canopy of plastic-laminate strips. Both height and width are 84 inches. 4 Calle Músico Vert, 46870 Ontinyent (Valencia), Spain; 34-90-253-0302; gandiablasco.com. circle 307
Maija Louekari's Kassiopeia goes far beyond the peppy prints practically synonymous with this company's name. The cotton fabric boasts blue, yellow, and black shapes swirling mysteriously around the red ground, its shadows conjuring a stormy sky. 4 Puusepänkatu, 00880 Helsinki, Finland; 358-9-75871; marimekko.fi. circle 306
Perfect punctuation for a living room, this felt folding screen is riddled with cutouts in the shapes of commas, asterisks, and exclamation points. The Feel-Thru, as it's called, attaches to ceiling rails for greater mobility. 195-197 Calle Córsega, Interior, 08036 Barcelona, Spain; 34-93-363-7292; abrproduccion.com. circle 309
The Snowflake Suite has all your winter wonderland hardware needs covered, from doorknobs and lever handles to hinges and thumb-turns. Each brass or bronze item is available in any custom finish, but the manufacturer recommends polished nickel, antiqued nickel, antiqued bronze with highlights, or antiqued brass. 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 716, New York, NY 10016; 800-407-4295; sabaxter.com. circle 308
Fly back to childhood with the Balloon lamp. This buoyant cluster of polypropylene and rubber spheres gets its glow from energy-saving, long-lived LEDs. Need even more hours? You can add 100 by using two lithium coin batteries. 17-29-402 Yada, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka City 424-0887, Shizuoka, Japan; 81-543-47-0653; kyouei-ltd.co.jp. circle 311
The shape of Splash Form calls to mind the froth on whitecaps. The thickness of each hand-cast aluminum bowl can vary from 1/2 inch at the center to foamy-thin at the edges. Standard diameters are 12 and 16 inches; or choose a custom size. 3638 SE Yamhill Street, Portland, OR 97214; 503-963-9362; meltmodern.com. circle 310
This designer's Blk Serif table may be just your type. Featuring flared feet reminiscent of a serif typeface, the three crisscrossed poplar legs are finished in a mixture of plaster, resin, and adhesive. Tops are custom; this one is ebonized walnut, 5 feet across. 361 Stagg Street, Suite 2L, Brooklyn, NY 11206; 718-381-9200; scottbraun.com. circle 312
Despite its 12-foot length, the top of Jean-Marie Massaud's ethereal Synapsis table seems to float above its weblike supports of plated-steel wire. The top itself comes in oak, mongoi, or 19 lacquer colors. 35 Via per Cantù, 22060 Montesolaro, Italy; 39-031-780237; porro.com. circle 313
Can you dig the unabashedly 1970's groove of Pedro Silva Dias's Desque lamp? At 17 inches long by 9 high, the plywood fixture contains an energy-saving 8-watt fluorescent bulb. Far out. 9-2 Travessa das Necessidades, 1170-307 Lisbon, Portugal; 351-213-970-747. circle 314
Part of the Tikappa kitchen collection, the TK1-70 unit combines a top of Carrara marble and a base of either distressed fir, salvaged from a Hungarian castle, or oak, bleached or waxed. Measurements are 83 inches long by 40 deep by 36 high. Coordinating cabinets, stools, and benches also available. Property Furniture, 14 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013; 917-237-0123; propertyfurniture.com. circle 315
This manufacturer and design studio's latest collection brings back shagaliciousness. . .with elegance. The option of a 3-inch-high pile lends an organic lushness to these hand-tufted rugs, which come in 100 percent linen and a linen-wool blend. Available in eight colors and six standard sizes as well as custom ones. Groovy, baby. 2323A Rue des Carrières, Montreal, Quebec H2G 1X5, Canada; 514-271-8722; urba.ca. circle 316
This company's third collection of proprietary wall coverings builds on the subdued, sophisticated color and textural palette of the previous two. Take Noblesse. Designed as a lighter alternative to velvet, this rayon chenille is heavy on sound absorption. Available in rolls 36 inches wide, in six neutrals ranging from snow to stone. Bergamo Fabrics, 256 Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Mount Vernon, NY 10553; 914-665-0800; bergamofabrics.com. circle 317
Celebrate Women, a new Crypton fabric collection, is hip to the fact that female designers are major industry players. Hazel Siegel—former president of Textus—inspired Siegel. This acrylic-polyester blend withstands 100,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs and resists moisture, stains, and dirt. Width is 54 inches. 3333 Commercial Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062; 800-621-0827; architex-ljh.com. circle 318
Estudi Blanc's Codic office system, based on a rectangular dovetail, is as versatile as they come. Tables can be attached to shelves or joined together. Shelves can be attached to the wall, via cross beams, or also joined together. 72-74 El Porat de Llobregat, 08820 Barcelona, Spain; 34-93-479-6971; tramo.com. circle 319
With a right-now retro feel, the Sandy chaise longue proves that this firm's designers are hopelessly devoted to hospitality. The 30-inch-wide frame of high-grade alder is offered in eight finishes. The polyurethane-filled cushions can be upholstered in 500 fabrics as well as COM. 46 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-673-9797; goodmancharlton.com. circle 320
Marquesas, a brilliant large-scale viscose-blend woven, combines flat-weave tropical leaves and ferns with chenille flowers in vivid plum and hot pink. Produced at 57 inches wide, with a 43-inch repeat. Osborne & Little, 90 Commerce Road, Stamford, CT 06902; 203-359-1500; osborneandlittle.com. circle 321
Jane Churchill's Coral mantel is actually carved from Blanco Avorio, a limestone with a softly abraded surface reminiscent of bona fide coral. The nature-inspired relief pattern makes a welcome, feminine change from what is generally a highly masculine architectural element. 979 Third Avenue, Suite 244, New York, NY 10022; 646-840-0609; chesneys-usa.com. circle 322
Abet Laminati's new showroom is 4,500 square feet of color and texture, starting with the entry's 10-foot-high checkerboard wall. Visually entertaining, it's also pure marketing, showing off the fact that this company offers more colors and patterns—408, to be exact—than any other supplier of plastic laminates in North America. (The wall displays 160 examples, from lime green to rust red.) The showroom as a whole also functions as a real-life demonstration lab for two recently launched products.
Diafos gives designers the option of using laminate for lighting: Because the material is translucent, it can harness a light source to add color to an environment. A pendant fixture and panels in Abet's conference room reveal how the product also curves. That's thanks to thermoset resin, which bends without heat or special equipment and eliminates the brittle phenolic usually seen on laminate. Standard sheet size is 4 by 10 feet.
The other new product put to work in the showroom is sustainable Tefor, a nonporous high-impact laminate made from recycled phenolic dust and polypropylene. On display on a showroom wall, Tefor also comes in 4-by-10-foot sheets, available in seven colors. 60 West Sheffield Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631; 800-228-2238; abetlaminati.com. circle 323