NEW YORK — Today, home decorating can be a game of curatorial discovery. It's fun to find an artisan-forged wall hook, a uniquely carved stool, a cool contemporary art piece or a hand-painted tablecloth, each from some far-flung corner of the world.
The NY Now show is one place where retailers can find goods like those all in one place, and chances are you'll see many of them in stores in a few months.
The wholesale-only market, which recently concluded its biannual fair at the Javits Center in Manhattan, offers international buyers — large retail chains, museum gift shops, gift catalogues, independent shopkeepers — an opportunity to one-stop shop for everything from gourmet housewares to bedding to furniture. Designers and manufacturers from around the world set up booths.
A new and growing component is Artisan Resource, an area at the fair where buyers can source and discuss opportunities with fledgling craftspeople and importers.
The NY Now show makes it clear that globalized design is alive and thriving.
Decades ago you might have done a whole room with a Japanese flair, or a Moroccan vibe. Not now.
"The new look of global isn't one single country," says Tom Mirabile of Lifetime Brands, a Garden City, New York, company that makes and markets household products. "It's a cultural mashup. You could call it neo-global, or geo-hybrid. We're embracing this style because it makes us feel worldly and well-travelled."
Some show highlights:
— Made Goods had a sophisticated collection of faux shagreen (shark-skin) items including a stool wrapped with a band of brass, and a slim side table. The Corina pendant shade was a cylinder wound of fibers from the Philippine Nito vine. Burnt wood encased in resin created a striking base for the Vietnamese Eskor lamp. And also from Viet Nam, an oversize tortoise-shell motif graced a ceramic stool glazed in either a crackled gold or black pearl finish. The Lexi side table featured an elaborate Indian mosaic print using camel bone inlaid in grey or white resin, for a piece that was feminine without being fussy. (www.madegoods.com )
— At Pigeon & Poodle, there were tabletop and bath accessories made from honed onyx; water hyacinth; wave-patterned resin; and a graphic, black-and-white-veined Nero marble. (www.pigeonandpoodle.com )
— Ayadeena, a women's craft collective in Jordan, was founded by Hanan Jaber Sahawneh. Her childhood cross-stitching hobby eventually led her to fund this initiative to help improve the lives of underprivileged, uneducated yet talented women who are restricted from the workplace by family obligations or cultural mores. The group was a show award finalist for its Indian silk and French cotton Deema pillow, intricately hand-sewn in a Middle Eastern print. (www.ayadeena.com )
— Modern art met ancient craft in Bridge for Africa's display of colorful Lavumisa baskets from Swaziland, woven out of indigenous grasses into pop art swirls. (www.bridgeforafrica.org )
— London designer Donna Wilson showed her new collection of winsome, animal-print dinnerware and soft toys. Her bone china and melamine plates and cups featured illustrations of friendly bears, wolves and foxes gamboling among tropical fruits. (www.donnawilson.com )
— Yamazaki, a Japanese housewares company, had well-designed home-storage solutions, including a white, woven-steel basket with wood handles; sleek, wood-veneer jewelry and gadget holders; and an umbrella stand made of laser-cut metal evoking a bird's nest. (www.theyamazaki.com )
Kim Cook, The Associated Press