Sunday, March 27

In April get inspired to cook and entertain, beginning with a tour of the Architectural Digest Home Show

 Cooking and entertaining with ease yet creativity -
a growing trend in home design. 
Tour the sources with me at the
Architectural Digest
Home Show:

I curated a one hour walking tour for the New York Design Center on the last day of the Architectural Digest Home Show. I had 20+ attendees; it was an eclectic group including a nine year old little girl who is currently re-decorating her bedroom. The show is large and fabulous and draws vendors from all over the world, so I decided to focus my tour on a subject I investigate often on Nest: cooking and entertaining.  Read my past posts on  outdoor entertaining and last May's deconstruction of a Tea Party, as well as a post and editorial I wrote for Dan's Papers magazine on hosting weekend guests.

The New York Design Center has its hands in much surrounding the interior design industry in New York, and this show is no exception.  They are a sponsor of the event and of the adjoining DIFFA Dining by Design extravaganza as well.

One of the trends that I see and appreciate today in home design includes the strong emphasis on the kitchen and dining room.  The wide range of products available for cooking and preparing food illustrates the emphasis we are putting on entertaining at home.  I loved these creative tables at DIFFA's Dining by Design event. I started my tour with a quick walk through this room filled with many designer stylized tables. This year's display was fantastical and almost theatrical in approach, which illustrates how willing we are to play up the creativity when hosting.  During the Architectural Digest Home Show Electrolux brought in many celebrity chefs from famous restaurants to demonstrate their favorite recipes. I was happy to note that chef Kevin Penner from my favorite East Hampton restaurant The 1770 House was on hand to prepare and explain his salmon tartare recipe with scallions, cilantro & spicy fish sauce. The crowd seemed to truly enjoy the deomonstration and there were lots of questions about the ingredients for the fish sauce. Kevin also covered a lot of ground about the safety of uncooked animal proteins--from fish, sushi and sashimi to cured foods like proscuitto.  All of this affirms to me that cooking and entertaining are the current hot buttons in home design. We are embracing cooking and entertaining more than ever before as a way to enjoy our well curated homes.  In the end, and after all the time and money we spend on building, decorating and renovating, there seems no better way to appreciate our homes than to enjoy a delicious meal in our kitchens.  

The New York Design Center's beautiful table:

photograph above and below
courtesy of The New York Design Center and photographer Darren Ornitz.
   The table was designed by Etienne Coffinier and Ed Ku of Coffinier Ku Design.

 wood table by Tucker Robbins
(at the New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 504)
I took this photo of the attention to detail on the NYDC table...the beautiful handmade table, frosted edged glass and el`aborately folded napkins set in a hand painted room
The New York Design Center's table was poised in the center of the room. I love how the raw edged wooden table was used in a very elaborate, sophisticated fashion. The combination of a custom made bench and chairs and  faux painted design on the wall inspired me. The flowers were used creatively as well, and the floating gardenias in glass bowls fragranced the air in a subtle way.  Name placecards were floating ping pong balls in bowls of water - haven't seen that before, well done.
a unique table showing the Royal Wedding
 Other elaborate and unusual tables at Dining By Design and on our tour involved unique  materials, lighted orbs, hanging lanterns, floating flowers and the creative use of accessories; these show ways truly create a fantasy table.

Scalamandre does it big with flowers

Benjamin Moore's unique way to show all their colorways

a design student's table playing with light, color and rustic materials

Brad Ford's bar on wheels - driven across the country to the show - very cool!

After the DIFFA walk we made our way through the Architectural Digest Home Show and stopped at key places I thought pertinent.  We headed straight to Diane von Furstenberg's new line of tableware.  She uses a variety of color patterns and emphasizes mixing and matching.  I'm looking forward to seeing her "wrap dress" designs on tablecloths soon.

Onto Snug Furniture where we met Maybelline Te and peeked at her furniture line that utilized natural materials of coconut and wood, done with great style.  I noted the interesting wallpaper by Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios in Snug's booth. Tracy customized the paper just for the show.  Because these papers are temporary and completely customized to fit any style and project, there are many applications for them in the home. With the popularity of pop up restaurants around the country, I can only imagine the possibilities of using these wallpapers. It will be exciting to see more from Tracy's papers in the future.
Maybelline Te of Snug Furniture, me and Tracy Hiner in front of Tracy's
customized removable wallpaper from Black Crow Studios
 "SNUG explores shapes and forms that are both fresh and familiar. Each artistic design reflects the essence of the SNUG Life---functional, beautiful, personal comfort that is truly at home now."

 Maybelline Te
Susan Serra gave us an introduction to her new line of kitchen cabinetry

We stopped into Susan Serra's corner booth to view her new line of custom kitchen cabinetry, Bornholm Kitchen. This shows a move towards kitchen cabinetry that feels like well made furniture. Check out Susan's blog and Bornholm's website.
meeting up with popular design bloggers
(an amazing treat for me to bond with these talented ladies)
at Bornholm Kitchen
Susan Serra, me, Stacy of Quintessence, Marcy from Stylesson,
Carmen of the Decorating Diva, Cynthia of The Daily Basics

Next, I took the group over to a unique company that produces distinctive garden pots and accessories cast from estate originals called Pennoyer Newman  What I found so intriquing about their items was how well they endure outside but their lightweight appeal makes them easily moved indoors as well. 
Pennoyer Newman impressed with relatively
inexpensive quality products that are lightweight and durable

 We saw many furniture and accessories
being used both indoors and outdoors

We stopped into Richard Scofield Historic Lighting
to glimpse at beautiful, yet versatile lighting options. 
These show the nature of how lighting has changed

I took us past the kitchen appliance area and stopped briefly at Miele, Jenn Aire and Subzero/Wolf booths.  So much to see but these three companies had some important new products I wanted to highlight to the group.

Wolf ovens and stoves are no longer just for commercial applications and chefs. 
They have a variety of double hung wall ovens in compact sizes (30" wide) with three racks offering different options all at the same time -- convenient, well priced and easy to use!

Spirits and Celebration!
The New Traditionalist's bar cart
We meandered over to The New Traditionalist showroom, planted in the center of the show in a fabulously stylized space. They epitomize the idea of using classic furniture with a modern twist.  I love their bar carts and how they use a variety of pieces as built in bars.  Take your party from room to room with a bar cart on wheels.

 Ending our tour with well crafted furniture in the MADE section
Jeffrey Soderberg's tables
Since 2008 the AD Show has added this unique area (MADE) that provides individual artists and designers with an opportunity to promote themselves. Because of the section's popularity, it has quadrupled in size and shows the consumer's quest for handcrafted works. I ended in MADE and encouraged my tour to meander throughout the aisles, but first we stopped in to see one of the first craftsman in the industry to use reclaimed wood in customized furniture. Jeffrey Soderberg has been making exquisite tables for two decades. He makes each piece using various woods from different provenances, and importantly, the Vanderbilt estate in Rhode Island.  There are many furniture designers with quality products, but Jeffrey stands out.

Tamara's noted
five trends in
cooking and entertaining
culled from
the Architectural Digest Home Show

1.Using indoor/outdoor products together that transition from the outdoor and garden into home and create a relaxed, yet sophisticated environment -- lanterns, garden urns, furniture with a rugged, natural patina.
2.The kitchen as a comfortable living space not modelled after a commercial space, but as a decorated, curated room. With celebrity chefs, television shows, and a multitude of cookbooks and online sources, you no longer need to be a trained chef to prepare a delicious meal.  State of the art commercial kitchen products are now accomodating the novice home cook more than ever before with easy to cook, clean and prepare with products that take some of the mystery out of the process. 
4. Formal and informal design styles and approaches are being combined, creating a relaxed elegance. Lots of blending of patterns, fabrics, styles and high quality with everyday accessories. Entertaining is where you can let creativity flow and without lot of rules.
5. Natural natural natural: real flowers (not fake for goodness sakes), natural fibers for our furniture (reclaimed wood) and lots of artisan designed pieces.  In terms of food, artisan made cheese, charcuterie, and bringing the farm to table concepts that many chefs have made popular in restaurants to home entertaining. We are educated consumers now, and desire natural and good quality products for our home and entertaining.

My favorite restaurant in East Hampton, The 1770 House --
 I was happy to find chef Kevin Penner on hand at the Architectural Digest Home Show. 

East Hampton farms, farmstands and fresh produce 

In East Hampton my pre-summer party in early June
 The tour was fun and educational and gave me some interesting ideas for spring entertaining -- hope it will inspire you as well!
young chef in training -- my daughter Gabby loves to cook.
Here she's making us Sunday night dinner in her new chef's coat
(a gift from Chef Michael Flores). 
Check out June's story on how my


quintessence said...

Wonderful round up of a fabulous event. It was SO fabulous to meet you and other blogging friends in person - really the highlight of the show. As you know, I loved many of the same vendors. Next year I hope I'll be able to stay for DIFFA!!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing the show from your eyes Tamara. Thank you and plan to make it to New York City next year to attend.