Late last month in Las Vegas for the summer market, the annual Ahead of the Curve panel took place featuring designers Windsor Smith, Ron Woodson and Alexa Hampton. The three embarked on what moderator Susanna Salk described as a “non-stop design fest,” scouring the market in search of their favorite design finds to share with market goers.
The group sets off to search the market high and low for the Ahead of the Curve panel
After tackling the best design showrooms, they pulled 20 to 30 of their favorite pieces—many fun, punchy, colorful items—and presented them in detail, along with the current design trends and themes that they are seeing now.
From left: Salk, Woodson, Hampton, Robert Maricich (owner of World Market Center) and Smith before the panel
Here’s a look at some of the pieces they chose and why:
Chair from Global Views
Hampton and Woodson both loved the blonde leather chair described as humble but sleek.
Indoor/outdoor "Sargasso I" rug from Feizy
The rug, which is made from recycled bottle caps, Hampton described as the perfect size at a good price point.
Smith shares her Ahead of the Curve market finds
Lucite Maison Coffee Table from Tara Shaw
The entire group agreed that Lucite has joined the pantheon of classic design. It’s no longer a passing trend, but has strong legs in design and is here to stay.
Chair from Kravet’s Alexa Hampton Collection
Hampton described her own fabric design (for Kravet) applied to an armchair as a way to use animal print in a softer way. “Women have a love affair with animal print,” she said. “But, put it in a neutral color and it defuses it, so it can speak to a different audience.”
Hampton shares her Ahead of the Curve market finds
Dresser from Global Views
Smith described the dresser as a versatile piece, which could be used in a foyer or bedroom. “It’s got it all,” she said. “Versatile pieces that can be used in more than one setting are a great investment.”
Lamp from the Mary McDonald Collection
Smith loved the “Hollywood Glamour” of this lamp. She described the black shade as sleek and sophisticated and the form of the base would bring structure to a room.
Chair from Jonathan Adler
“Gold is the new silver,” said Smith. “It’s warm and sexy, and it’s a really sexy time for interiors.” Hampton particularly loved the back of the chair, which allows it to float in the room.
Woodson shares his Ahead of the Curve market finds
Some other key takeaways from the panel included:
- Furniture is coming back to a human size and is scaled properly.
- Multi-functional pieces are the best bang for your buck and value is the new luxury, according to Smith.
- The economy is bouncing back, and this is allowing designers and clients to have fun.
- Take advantage of markets like the Las Vegas Market, where you can get take the time to get out and really shop, touch and see the products in person. According to the panelists, it beats shopping online.