I have five interesting interior design product lines from my visit to the Westedge Design Fair last weekend that I wanted to share. I’m sharing these in random order but they share some commonalities. First, these are designed and produced by smaller, niche-oriented, artisanal design firms either wholly or in collaboration with more established brands. They are also unique offerings that you won’t find at your local big box store so these are details which enable you to differentiate your environment and express yourself. Many also have a sustainable or organic element – read on and enjoy!
Natural, sustainable lighting from Ango
The colors and shapes of these fixtures caught my eye at first sight. Upon closer examination, I realized that these pendant light fixtures were made from something organic with an interesting texture. That organic something it turned out was un-processed silk cocoons which are either left their natural color or dyed with a non-toxic fabric dye. The cocoons are woven with wire to create the shape as shown. There is also a version shown at the bottom of the photo crafted from Mulberry tree bark. Remember that silkworms eat mulberry leaves, which ultimately become the raw material for the silk fiber in the cocoon. The fixtures are handcrafted in Thailand where of course silkworms and mulberry trees are plentiful. These pendants would be terrific in a contemporary or modern interior.
P.S. – if you’re interested, here is the link to a short YouTube video which shares the process used to produce silk in Thailand.
Modern lighting from Thomas Cooper Studio
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I have a thang for all things sparkly, especially lighting and I found two fixtures from Thomas Cooper Studio that fit the bill. I wasn’t familiar with the company but learned that it is a local Los Angeles based firm run by a husband and wife team. Their design philosophy is built around original materials and artisanal processes. The first fixture I was drawn to is named the Sophia which comes in a few different flavors – you can get it as a pendant or a flush mount version which you could mount on the ceiling or as a sconce. It is also available in different sizes with either a polished bronze or polished nickel finish. The second fixture that caught my eye is called the Brutale. Made from organic glass, the hand-crafted glass baubles are strung with fine jewelers chain which adds to the elegance of the piece.
Fine Jewelry for the bath from THG Paris
Design legend Charles Eames was quoted as saying that the details make the design. The faucet sets from THG provide headlining details for a luxurious bath. I photographed a sampling of these while at the show, but THG provides a range of high-end faucets with exquisite handle designs from Baccarat, Bernardaud, Daum, and Lalique to name just a few. The various crystal manufacturers have rendered their designs in a wide range of colors. For example, the Baccarat Pétale de Cristal shown is available in a deep red, noir or black, a deep blue or clear. If that isn’t luxe enough, the hardware can be plated in a variety of finishes, including polished, matte, or rose gold. Seriously, with these crystal handles, I don’t think you would want polished chrome or brass…I’m not judging, I’m just sayin’. These sets are the equivalent of fine jewelry as opposed to costume jewelry if I use a fashion metaphor. I honestly have no idea of the price, but I have one of those little Halcyon Days enameled boxes from England which wisely states “never economise on luxuries.”
Revisit the stone age with Green River Stone Company
This is a unique offering that can be used in any number of ways. Green River specializes in recovering limestone fossils in Wyoming and them crafting them into murals, backsplashes, countertops, furniture, you name it. Basically, you give them an idea of the type of piece you want and the size. They then search through their inventory of fossils and prepare the slab to your specifications. I only photographed a couple of their pieces, but if this type of material appeals to you I’d encourage you to take a look at their website for more inspiration.
Mineralize your environment with Brenda Houston
So here is another geological find, but without the fossils. At the Brenda Houston booth, I saw three types of products either inspired by or crafted from minerals. First are the tables and shelves, a couple of which are pictured here and make for stylish accent pieces. Second are the lamps (there I go again with the sparkly lighting). Finally, there are the wallcovering and printed textiles which are basically renderings of the minerals used in their hard surface products. A look at Brenda’s website to further explore the possibilities is a must!
Naturally, there is a lot of great stuff to see at the show with so many (over 140) manufacturers gathered in one place. If you’re in the LA area next fall, a trip to the fair is a great source of ideas and inspiration. You can stay up to date on the event at the Westedge site.
So there you have my top five picks. Let me know what you think and where you fantasize about using these offerings in your upcoming design projects.