The D&D Building’s annual Spring Market unfolded May 13-14 with a host of keynotes, panels, product introductions and programs designed to inspire and inform.
The Lapicida showroom hosted the event’s kickoff keynote, with NYC&G’s CEO and Publication Director Marianne Howatson moderating a talk on the differences between designing for New York and London with designers Rachel Laxer, Philip Gorrivan and Dionne Trifiro.
Lapicida and New York Cottages & Gardens' British Invasion discussion
“Over in England, they are not too worried about the outcome so much as they want their individuality in their homes,” said Trifiro. “They are not too worried about what people have next door and if they’re mixing different pieces of furniture with crazy colors. Here, people might be a little judged by their selections. They tend to be educated by the design industry, which they are lucky to have to guide them through the design process.” Added Gorrivan, “Yes, the designs don't have to necessarily match in London. They just have to relate. The colors have to relate, the textures have to relate, you don't have to create rooms that are completely designed.”
Mario Buatta and Penny Drue Baird
Interior designer Penny Drue Baird and Mario Buatta enjoyed a lively discussion in the Kravet showroom, moderated by Jennifer Powell, which focused on one word in particular: whimsy. “Whimsy is very important in design,” said Baird. “Decorating should be pleasurable and a home should be a pleasure to live in. Life is too serious and it need to be light and you achieve that through whimsical details.” Buatta had a different take on the concept: “Whimsy is the client who never makes up her mind and wants to see 400 things and then picks out the wrong one. The worst client to have is a client who can't make up their mind. It’s important that when a client gives you a tough time to joke around. We're going to have fun, not make things difficult. You have to be whimsy to be a decorator.” The designers also shared their advice for new designers: learn as much as you can outside the classroom, such as by collaborating with other designers, traveling and reading.
Knoll Inc. and Coastal Living Magazine hosted a keynote with Anthony Baratta and Meg Braff.
Color took precedence in the Knoll showroom, where Steele Marcoux, the new Editor in Chief of Coastal Living magazine, and designers Meg Braff and Anthony Baratta discussed new and creative ways to incorporate color, specifically blue, into home design. To add unexpected pops of color and strong colors, Braff advises making one room a strong palette and the next more subdued. She is also designing a white kitchen where the interiors of the cabinets will have a fun color that has yet to be decided. Baratta, on the other hand, incorporates colorful lampshades.
Vern Yip discussed his work and inspiration at Fabricut.
In a keynote at Fabricut, Vern Yip, architect and interior designer, unveiled his Vern Yip for Trend fabrics and trimmings line, which he says is focused on being both functional and aesthetic. Yip discussed his ascent as a designer, from winning Southeast Designer of the Year in 2000 to his roles on Trading Spaces and other TV series. Yip—who said of his style, “I have nothing against big frilly fringe and big beads,” but “I tend to design in the cleaner-line fashion”—is also designing a lighting line to be revealed later this year.
Bhon Bhon's presentation "Constructing Customer Lampshades: A Hands-On Demonstation"
In a panel moderated by Editor at Large’s Haley Williams, up and coming designers Ashley Darryl, Joshua Smith and Mercedes Desio discussed their big “firsts”: first client, first magazine spread, and even their first foibles. Desio recalled her first client: “He was buying an antique magnifying glass from our store,” Desio shared. “The whole concept for his pied-a-terre was to showcase his aesthetic and wonderful things he collects from around the world. It was a fun first falling-in-love with interior design.”
Joshua Smith, Ashley Darryl, Mercedes Desio discuss their design firsts with Haley Williams of EAL.
Smith shared about one of his first mentors: “I learned so much from Steven Gambrel in terms of learning about color and scale, not only the creative part but also being a successful business man,” said Josh. “It was great to have a business model that I could replicate on my own to help me avoid some pitfalls along the way.” For future firsts, Desio and Darryl hope to expand outside of New York City, while Smith looks forward to exerting even more creative license and possibly developing a fabric line.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard led attendees on virtual tours through clients' homes.
Other compelling keynote panels included “Women in Business,” a discussion featuring fashion designer Lisa Perry, interior designers Mary McDonald and Celerie Kemble with creative director Dara Caponigro moderating, delved into the ins and outs of the design business as well as Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s discussion on Benjamin Moore and his use of color, which was accompanied by a colorful walk-through of his own home as well as the residences of actress Ellen Pompeo, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and a restaurant for chef Rick Bayless. Additional panels included a conversation at the Lorin Marsh showroom with designer Jamie Drake moderating panelists Heather Moore of Jed Johnson, Amir Khamneipur, Jason Agee and Michael Adams on how they incorporate boldness into their designs; and “How to Bring Your Business to the Next Level,” which spotlighted designers Alan Tanksley and Robin Baron, with Allen Frechter, chief executive of Plexi-Craft, who discussed getting the most out of showhouses and building a meaningful social media presence.
Stacy Bass presented her book Gardens at First Light at Walters Wicker.