Top Picks from the 2016 Architectural Digest Design Show

Last Friday I took over the Sharp Communication Instagram (@sharpthink) and Twitter (@sharp_think) feeds during the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City to share the latest products and trends on the show floor. Sharp, a NYC-based public relations, social media, and special events agency, has a client roster including architecture and design brands such as Cosentino, Benjamin Moore, Grohe, BASF, Legrand, and Coyote Outdoor Living, as well as design shows such as Coverings and the Winter Antiques Show. The four day Architectural Digest show ran from Thursday March 17th until Sunday March 20th and showcased more than 400 premium brands in range of categories. Below, I share 11 of my favorite products or collections from the show.

1. Life Space UX by Sony

I almost walked right past the Life Space UX booth, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it, because it was one of the coolest things at the show. Life Space UX is a revolutionary home experience concept from Sony intended to remove the barrier between technology and interior design. Sony is creating a variety of products for Life Space UX which provide “transformative sensorial impact” with lights, sounds, and visuals applied in unexpected ways. Products on display included the LED Bulb Speaker ($239), which combines a dimmable LED light with a sound speaker into an ordinary light bulb size; the Glass Sound Speaker ($799), a sleek wireless speaker with ambient LED illumination which produces crystal clear sound from an organic glass cylinder; and the Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector ($999), a small projector capable of throwing a 22”-80” image onto walls, tables, or any adjacent surface.

Glass Sound Speaker_4 LED Bulb Speaker_3 Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector_2 Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector_3

2. Stikwood Plankprints Collection

Stikwood has taken their line of peel-and-stick real wood wall covering to a new level with the new Plankprints Collection. The collection has launched with seven new patterns including Azul, Freya, Mod Squad, Victoria, Victoria Vandyke, Vine, and Weathered Mod Squad. Giving the appearance of rediscovered treasures revealed during a renovation, the patterns are carefully imprinted onto wooden planks using the latest techniques in high-quality digital imaging, imprinting each design with millions of drops of color made with non-toxic ink that is eventually cured with light, enabling a completely VOC-free process. The meticulously cut 5”-wide by 40”-long planks are 3/16”-thick and retail between $12 and $16 per square foot. Each plank boasts the revolutionary “Peel-and-Stik” adhesive that makes Stikwood easy to install on any wall.


Victoria Vandyke by Stikwood. Image © Rita Catinella Orrell.


Stikwood Azul 1
Stikwood Azul.


Stikwood Victoria 1
Stikwood Victoria.
Stikwood Victoria Vandyke
Stikwood Victoria Vandyke.


3. Bauformat Climber System

I was mesmerized by the way this sleek cabinet door from Bauformat folded up on itself with just a touch of the hand. Made in Germany, this glass cabinet system comes in a range of colors and can be customized to fit a range of spaces.





4. The Otto Collection by Hubbardton Forge

My absolute favorite lighting at the show was on display at the Hubbardton Forge booth. How have I never heard of this company before? All of their products are handcrafted in Castleton, Vermont out of one of the country’s oldest and largest forges in operation. Hubbardton Forge introduced 60 new lighting products at the show, including chandeliers, pendants and mini-pendants, sconces, floor and table lamps, outdoor fixtures, and ceiling lighting. While it was hard to pick, my favorite grouping had to be the steampunk-inspired Otto Collection. Made of glass, brass, and steel with a black finish, this collection includes the Otto 5 Light pendant, a single Otto pendant, the drawn-bow-shaped Otto Sconce (can someone place a call to Jennifer Lawrence’s interior designer please?) and the giant glass globe that is the Otto Pendant.

Otto Horizontal 1 Light Pendant
Otto Horizontal 1 Light Pendant
Otto Horizontal 1 Light Pendant
Otto Horizontal 1 Light Pendant
Otto Vertical 1 Light Pendant
Otto Vertical 1 Light Pendant
Otto 1 Light Pendant
Otto 1 Light Pendant
Otto 1 Light Pendant
Otto 1 Light Pendant
Otto 5 Light Pendant
Otto 5 Light Pendant
Otto 5 Light Pendant
Otto 5 Light Pendant


5. Custom colored oven handles

I was impressed by the range of color options available on oven hardware from brands like BlueStar, Ilve, and others. At the BlueStar booth, handles were displayed in a soft Rose Quartz hue, one of 750 color options available!

© Rita Catinella Orrell


6. Kelp Sconce by Otis and Otis

Designed by Casey Otis, the Kelp Light sconce is made of hand-cut copper strands but seems to have the weightlessness of kelp waving in the current. The fixture comes in two forms, a  26″ W x 19″ H x 11″ D “spreading” shape where the piece branches out from the center to create a dramatic, sculptural form with a variety of shadow effects, and a  26″ W x   6″ H x  8″ D “narrow” version where the entire copper form tightly wraps around the LED light source. Kelp can be installed in a vertical or horizontal orientation as a sconce or as a ceiling fixture.


© Rita Catinella Orrell

Copy of Casey_2 Kelp Light Spreading - 3 Copy of Casey_4

7. Furnishings by Erickson Woodworking

Erickson is a multigenerational family furniture shop based in Nevada City, California where a team of craftspeople make 75 pieces a year by hand using sustainable materials and finishes. All of their chairs and tables are custom designed to the client’s requirements. Striking pieces on display included the Reyes Dining Chair made of bleached ash, maple, walnut, and brass, the Columnar Coffee Table made of California walnut burl, serpentine, and bronze, and Sandhill Chair in mariposite stone and hand-forged steel.

Reyes Dining Chair © Rita Catinella Orrell
IMG_9485 2
Sandhill Chair © Rita Catinella Orrell

8. New Technologies and Options from Big Chill

Big Chill, the appliance brand known for its iconic Retro Fridge, packed a ton of new offerings in its relatively small booth. First of all, the brand introduced a new Turquoise color for its Retro line, which includes refrigeration, dishwasher, ventilation, and stove designs. They also introduced a new 24” Retro Studio fridge for tight spaces or urban kitchens, and a Classic Series of appliances that offer the style of vintage stoves. Of more interest however, was the company’s introduction of the first-ever mid-century styled induction range and a fridge prototype designed by Big Chill co-founder and president Orion Creamer that looks just like a vintage ice box on the outside.

Ice Box fridge prototype. © Rita Catinella Orrell
New offerings include a smaller version of the Retro fridge (left) and a new Turquoise color. © Rita Catinella Orrell
Retro induction range.
30_Classic Range_french blue_copper
Classic range in French blue and copper.

9. Sarkos Wallpaper

This line of 100% hand-painted wallpaper is made in Brooklyn. I am partial to Cosmos, a deep vibrant matte painted finish that is highlighted with bursts of hand-gilt metal leaf in starry-night-like patterns.



10. Flexible fixtures by Luke Lamp Company

These ethereal, suspended rope-like fixtures from Luke Light Company were show-stoppers. The Langhorne 2 chandelier, which features a woven nylon diffuser over a flexible LED core, can make a dramatic centerpiece to any space. Other options using the same technology are the Surrey modular pendant, the Tracer and Weston pendants, the Capture pendant, which encases the “rope” in a blown glass globe, and the Acadia lighting sculpture/fixture in a solid walnut and blackened steel frame, developed in collaboration with furniture designer Ethan Abramson.

© Rita Catinella Orrell


© Rita Catinella Orrell

11. Coloring Wallpaper from Flat Vernacular

The adult coloring book trend is incredibly hot — so why bring it to the wall surface? These color-it-yourself paper wallcoverings drew a ton of attention at the show, as they would at a bar or restaurant. The patterns are printed with white and dark grey ink and are washable, strippable, unpasted, and Class A fire rated. Type II & contract wallpaper is also available.

Coloring within the lines at the Flat Vernacular booth. © Rita Catinella Orrell
Snowfox wallpaper.
Mozzarella wallpaper.


All images courtesy of the manufacturer, unless noted.





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