As much of the northern hemisphere is looking for ways to beat the heat, those who are attending the Designer Experience, a creative forum in Ashville that highlights North Carolina’s legacy as a center for textiles, furniture-making and manufacturing, have found an ingenious solution by trekking to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We salute everyone who escaped to the higher elevation and hope you all enjoy the closing luncheon we are sponsoring today. Just before the meal is served, interior designer and prolific author James Farmer of James Farmer Designs will give the closing keynote address.
As summer winds down and the temperature (hopefully) cools down, we’re heading to New York City as a sponsor of another heady undertaking—the inaugural Future of Home conference on September 9 and 10. The event is being produced by Business of Home, an Editor at Large publication. If you haven’t signed up, the speaker list is impressive, and the in-depth conversations with top design and digital leaders about the forces of change sweeping the home industry will be enlightening. Tickets are here. The two-day event will address business changes and challenges, will spotlight innovation, and will explore how the industry can lay the course for a promising future. Subjects like fast furniture, on-demand design services and the evolving preferences of affluent consumers will be discussed.
On September 12, we kick off What’s New What’s Next at the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue in New York with new products by Bunny Williams and a book signing of her just released Love Affairs with Houses. The book tells the stories of 15 homes she has decorated and loved. Stop by our showroom, Suite 506, at 1:30 p.m. to snap up a copy and join us in celebrating her design prowess.
Among Bunny’s new products that will debut at WNWN and during High Point Market is the Winfield Wall Sconce, above. The lovely fixture treated to a Gesso White finish reflects classic restraint, one of her hallmarks.
With its mix of antique brass and black finishes, the Blythe Lantern, above, reflects another of Bunny’s mantras—a mastery of details. This is an example of her ability to look back and bring a design forward, as inspiration for the Bunny Williams collection for Currey & Company comes from antique fixtures she sourced for her design clients over many years.
The Bickford Chandelier, above, illustrates how comfortable Bunny is producing beautifully balanced products for the home. The clean lines of the arms that spike from the slightly squared quatrefoil shaped cog and the simple stem have been treated to an antique brass finish.
Last but never least, we will soon be making our way to High Point Market. Join us in IHFC Main in Suite M110 to celebrate new products and enjoy the festive events we are planning from October 18 through 23. We’ll whet your appetite with sneak peek of a new design by Clarence Mallari, the Oona Orb Chandelier above. The whimsical orb ornamented with leaves and flowers has an open design with a vine-like frame. Clarence, a true lover of nature, says this about his inspiration for the fixture: “I’m always inspired by the beauty, orderliness and simplicity of the natural world—the trees, the flowers, the rivers. There are perfect lines and colors that guide shape and scale. With this piece, the round shape represents the earth, which supports a never-ending cycle of life. The leaves represent replenishment, the flowers represent beauty and serenity, and the light represents the source of all life.”
Denise McGaha’s new Potter Chandelier, above, is a new addition to her collection that joins the Potter Wall Sconce. Made of wrought iron in an antique aurora finish, it was inspired by brutalist design and desert yucca. Just like the wall light, the chandelier is a spikey creation that will emit a warm glow thanks to the luminous finish.
In closing today, we’ll celebrate excellence in design by wrapping back around to where we began this post: it was in 1888 when George Vanderbilt II first visited Asheville and was inspired to choose it as the location for his country home. He visited the Blue Ridge Mountains with his mother and said the surroundings immediately sparked his imagination. Proof that this is no understatement, the 250-room French Renaissance chateau that he built over a six-year period remains one of the grandest residences in America with an extensive library that reflects Vanderbilt’s intellectual voracity and his desire to surround himself with sumptuous design.
At the age of 12, he began keeping meticulous records in a series of journals called “Books I Have Read,” a habit he continued throughout his life. By his death in 1914, Vanderbilt had logged 3,159 books, which means that between 1875 and 1914, he read an average of 81 books a year. A testament to his passions for collecting titles, the walls of the library are lined with walnut shelves that hold 22,000 volumes. You can learn more about the room and the collection from this post on the Biltmore blog.
We hope to see all of you at one of the events we’ll be sponsoring or producing during September. If you’ll be attending the BOH conference or WNWN, make sure to say hello!