Design Inspiration: Contemporary Furniture, Finishes + Fixtures — Studio MM Architect

Earlier this week we visited the International Contemporary Furniture Fair which is held in NYC every year in May during NYC Design Week. Furniture, textile, lighting, and other designers come to ICFF from around the world to show off and talk about their work.

I have always loved designing furniture — not at a level to exhibit at ICFF, but we design personalized pieces for our clients and for ourselves. Custom furniture is another way for us to consider how our clients live in their homes. I also appreciate the opportunity for, literally, hands on learning about materials and detailing — I believe it is important for us as a studio to always be “getting our hands dirty” to improve our designs. (For more on my love of furniture design and “craft” see here and here.)

Highlights from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2016

ICFF is an event I look forward to every year. It is a time to learn about new materials, contemplate innovative ideas and experience amazing designs. My favorite part about attending the show is the opportunity to speak with designers and fabricators about the process behind their designs.

One of the most inspiring conversations we had at #ICFF2016 was with the design team from Anglepoise… They told the story of how their company was initially created in 1855 around the design of a spring, and has grown through generations — “It all begins with the spring.” — and how that origin has inspired their beautiful lighting collection. The “About” page from Anglepoise “…instilling modernity and new life into a well-loved design classic.” will give you a good sense of the history and heart behind the designs.

Original 1227 by Anglepoise, also find them on Instagram: @Anglepoise

Contemporary Design Inspiration

Last weekend I visited a local lumber mill to talk about milling the felled trees from our house site into stair treads for the home that is being built in their place. The mill owner originally worked with his father and now his son and son-in-law work with him… as we were walking around his mill he said to me, “I am very lucky to wake up every day and do this.”

We use the word inspiring a lot on this blog… But when you’re talking to someone who is extremely passionate about what he or she does every day, there’s just not a better word for it. It’s inspiring.

Below are some more of my favorite furniture, finish and lighting designers from #ICFF2016 — hope you find them inspiring too!

Captain’s Chair by Phloem Studio — a long-time favorite inspiration for furniture design! (image from Phloem), Also find them on instagram: @phloemstudio
Sun Valley Bronze — Pulley light and other beautiful custom hardware. Also find them on instagram: @Sun_Valley_Bronze
Tod Von Mertens: Custom designed furniture
Anna Karlin Furniture + Fine Objects, Also fine her on instagram: @annakarlinstudio
Nomon Handmade Clocks, Also find them on instagram: @nomonclocksph
Tracy Glover Objects and Lighting
One of the most clever designs from the show: Ross Dolton’s Outline as bicycle wall hook. Very cool!

If you also visited #ICFF2016 let us know some of your favorite new materials, innovative ideas or amazing designs!


Originally published at on May 19, 2016.

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