Several groups of awards were announced yesterday at the closing of the semi-annual New York International Gift Fair. The “Bloggers’ Choice Awards” highlighted top bloggers' picks of products that represented "urgent, odd and delightful design."
Hollister Hovey selected Bellocq, Ltd. (Brooklyn, NY) for its Bellocq Teas. “The package design is traditional yet completely modern. The teas could be used over and over as key kitchen accessories. They will be a center piece in upscale boutiques. The yellow seems like a classic a là Hermès orange.”
Heather Clawson, Habitually Chic, selected Jonathan Adler (New York, NY) for its moustache corkscrew. “It was one of the most fun and original products I saw at NYIGF. It’s really hard to find good gifts for men and the moustache cork screw would make a perfect gift!”
Jennifer Lockwood, Daily Grommet, selected American Design Club (Brooklyn, NY) for its Emily Rothschild USB lockets. “Emily Rothschild brings a fresh new twist to something we think of as days gone by. She takes inspiration from a 1900’s locket and updates it with a USB inside. Fun and function meet in one piece of beautiful jewelry!”
Marisa Marcantonio, StyleBeat, selected Oomph (Wilton, CT) for its backgammon table. “Games are making a big comeback – from card games to board games. People are seeking out ways to have quality time at home with friends that is low key and meaningful. Designate an area of the living room or an entire room to the pursuit of leisure and start off with Oomph’s lacquer backgammon table as your anchor piece.”
Amy Preisser, AOL Shelterpop, selected American Design Club (Brooklyn, NY) for Gregory Buntain’s colorful blocks. “The perfect mix of playful and elegant. Yes, typically blocks are for kids but these also have a wider appeal. The colors are rich and their jewel-like silhouette makes stacking them a study in balance and design. I would display these on my windowsill and have a blast changing the order and composition for different vingettes. Of course, it’s also the perfect conversation starter for guests, from toddlers to adults. There’s so much creativity and functionality in these that they inspire those same virtues in the user.”
Danielle De Vita / Kristin Coleman, DesignCalendar, selected black+blum (London, England) for Hot-Pot BBQ. “Creative, functional, original, urgent, odd and delightful design! Masked as a ceramic planter, this BBQ is perfect for New York City renters who love to cook on a grill. An added plus, the herbs on top can be used to season the food below. It is a creative and charming alternative to the traditional charcoal grill.”
Eleanor Cleverly, Design Milk, selected Brasa Fire LLC (New Orleans, LA) for its Modern Ventless Fires. “Brasa’s design is approachable without compromising the modern design aesthetic. These fireplaces are also nostalgic without being dishonest about nowadays needs: eco friendly compact and priced competitively. It’s great to support an emerging small business.”
A committee also gave awards to companies representing innovation, function, originality and design. Judges included Miguel Calvo of Design & Research, Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co! Productions, Kathy Thornton-Bias of The Museum of Modern Art, Wilma Wabnitz of Wabnitz Editions; and Noel Wiggins of Areaware.
Excellence in Product Design: Stelton (New York, NY) Pure Black Pure White knives forged from a single piece of stainless steel and coated in black matte titanium, and held on a single, white magnetic strip. A reinterpretation of the classic form, the judges liked its sleek, minimalistic high design. Black + Blum (London, England) Hot Pot BBQ, a humorous take on the everyday barbecue grill. Made from stainless steel with a heat-insulating ceramic coating, the Hot Pot BBQ serves as a terracotta pot for growing herbs while concealing an actual grill underneath. American Design Club (Los Angeles, CA) Brendan Ravenhill’s Bare Light utilizes the natural electrical insulating properties of glass to create a light socket allowing the electrical components to be seen, yet safely protected. Judges appreciated the reinvention of the iconic object with its surprising use of materials. Hongjie Yang Design (Chengdu, China) Veer, a soap dispenser that fuses function and style. Inspired by the shape of bamboo, the ultra modernistic form in stainless steel is a sleek alternative to the mundane.
Best Collection: K Studio (Grand Rapids, MI) pillows, pouches and wall décor, which are charming, artistic interpretations with a nod towards eco-friendly design. The hand-stitched collection uses hemp, organic cotton and flax – a warm contrast to the strong, industrial designs found in Accent on Design. www.kstudiohome.com
Overall Excellence: Creative Danes representing Menu (Copenhagen, Denmark) for innovation in outdoor, dining and living products, presentation and technology. Menu’s Scandinavian design originals boast clean lines with unexpected functionality to surprise and delight the user. Creative Danes’ use of QR codes allows the user – via free iPhone and Android apps – to immediately access product information and video on YouTube.
Finally, Home Textiles Market Week's Best New Product Awards are selected by a panel of trade and consumer editors based upon innovation in design, creative use of materials/construction and new fiber, material or technology. The panel included: Wanda Jankowski, editor-in-chief, LDB; David Gill, senior editor, HFN; Jenny Heinzen York, editor-in-chief, Home Accents Today; Melody Udell, associate editor, Home Fashion & Hospitality; Julia Noran, Site Director, Editor at Large; Eugenia Santiesteban, senior style editor, Veranda; and Laura van Zeyl, publisher, Home Fashion Forecast.
BEST OF MARKET: Viceroy Collections (New York, NY) for Kajaal Home Couture, a collection of 100 percent cashmere blankets and pillows of the highest quality, manufactured in Italy.
BED CATEGORY: Winner: Kimberly House Ltd. (Brewster, NY) for Owl Wrap, a cotton blanket featuring a whimsical hand-appliquéd owl, perfect for wrapping baby. Finalist: Pine Cone Hill (Pittsfield, MA) for Honfluer Linen.
Finalist: DwellStudio (New York, NY) for Ikat Dot bedding.
BATH CATEGORY: Winner: Altinbasak Tekstil (Denizli, Turkey) for its DeLuxe Towels & Bathrobes, inspired by historical patterns and featuring a sheared loop to create a dramatic design. Finalist: Peacock Alley Inc. (Dallas, TX) for its Montauk towel. Finalist: SFERRA (Edison, NJ) for its Bellow towels.
DINING CATEGORY: Winner: Allem Studio (Marietta, GA) for its Aqua Fish placemat, a playful, 100 percent cotton canvas placemat featuring a traditional Polish peasant motif in a contemporary and coastal way. Finalist: Blissliving Home (Rockville, MD) for its Victoria half apron. Finalist: Scents and Feel (Miami, FL) for its Fouta jacquard weave guest towel.
HOME ACCESSORIES CATEGORY: Winner: Happy Blanket LLC (Fairfield, CT) for its Sky Blue cashmere blanket, a digitally printed 100 percent cashmere blanket offering both luxury and comfort. Finalist: Better Living (New York, NY) for its African Butterfly decorative pillow. Finalist: Alicia Adams Alpaca (Stanfordville, NY) for its Pacatote alpaca tote.
“The judges looked for products with superlative design qualities,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “These winners were the clear stand-outs among some 100 exceptional entries.”