Design Trends, Ideas + Inspiration

Trends We Saw–and Loved–at ICFF

Every May, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center–and, in fact, all of New York City–is abuzz with the latest and greatest in the world of modern furniture and decor design. It is due largely to ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. We had the opportunity to attend the 2018 ICFF, and are excited to share our impressions of the show and what you have to look forward to in design over the coming year.

Embracing Nature

Furniture and decor makers’ focus on sustainability is alive and well. This was made more than clear by the abundance of handcrafted wood furniture, natural finishes and versatile earth tones. And beyond the natural aesthetics of such pieces, many makers–like Ercol and Cherner–made it clear that such pieces are also manufactured with a keen focus on environmental responsibility. So, from top to bottom, inside and out, the modern furniture designs at this year’s ICFF definitely show off reverence for Mother Nature.

Color Punch

Mingling amongst the supple browns and tans were fun pops of bold color. Bright lime, deep plum, oranges, dark reds and other rich hues brought some excitement to their otherwise neutral backgrounds. And as they added interest, such colorful touches managed to never feel out of place or gratuitous.

Luxurious Mixed Materials

Throughout the show, we saw all kinds of furnishings that incorporated unique blends of materials. One of our favorites was a table that had a fluted wood base supporting an oblong marble top with a decorative brass inlay. Another was an armchair with leather cushions, brushed brass frame and wood legs. Beyond the creativity of the material mixes themselves, we were impressed by the luxuriousness of those materials to begin with. Creativity and luxury is a mix we can certainly get behind.

Slim + Strong Metal Frames

Everywhere you looked, more and more side chairs and armchairs at this year’s ICFF showed off light profiles. Sculptural tubular metal frames appear to be the support of choice for strategically placed upholstered seat and back cushions, beautifully tailored leather (and faux leather) panels and curvy wood laminates.

Adaptive Design

MENU New York showroom. Photography by Nicole Franzen

Designs that can be simply transformed or adjusted to perform different tasks address the practical as well as decorative needs of consumers. For example, in MENU‘s New York showroom, they showcased their new TR Bulb, a globe designed to slip over bare bulbs; it allows someone to economically and easily change the look of a light fixture without needing to buy a whole new one. (In fact, the MENU space highlighted pretty much all of the trends we saw throughout the show.) Reversible stools/side tables, tables with hidden storage and more reflected the focus on multifunctional design.

All-in-all, this year’s ICFF showed off decor and furniture designs that are as easy to live with as they are beautiful and sophisticated. They are, in every sense of the word, timeless.

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Nissa Hallquist

Nissa Hallquist

As the Content Marketing Manager for YDesign Group, Nissa has been writing about lighting, furniture and decor for many years. Considering that there's always something new out there, she'll likely write about them for many years more. She loves all things modern design, especially those designs that reinterpret classic forms in cool, imaginative ways. If she had her way, she'd spend all her money on such pieces (and wine).

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