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Architectural Digest AD Design Show 2018 Sneak Peek

Gaggenau Arftul Refrigerator Introduction at AD Design Show 

Architectural Digest
Magazine’s annual confab is truly one of the best presentations for home decor, design, and tablescapes and is a rare event that appeals to both the professional designers and the home enthusiast.

The press preview day provides us reporters & bloggers with a sneak peek so that we can give give you, our audience and subscribers, an experienced road map to deliver the best possible experience.

If you love designing your home; cannot stop watching HGTV or have a lifetime subscription to all the shelter magazines, including Architectural Digest, of course, as well as Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Garden Design, Dwell and subscribe to a plethora of design blogs, (hopefully, my Garden Glamour and She Knows), then this show is your happy place.

This weekend, the AD Show is open to the public. You can experience talks, lectures, one-on-ones with designers and makers from over 400 brands, and bask in the glory of creative home design — interior — and some exterior elements.

Get your tickets at the show or here

After touring the show, I feel there are two key Trends:.

  • Technology and Art
  • Form and Function
  • Lighting 

While there’s no doubt that that these trends have been spooning for some time, this year it seemed that love had truly blossomed.

What does that mean?

Overall, all the brands have Apps – either their own or their own that work in concert with Alexis and Nest to provide customized management and control. From Baldwin’s keyless entry and security to the kitchen manufacturer’s appliances — start up your dishwasher on the way home or take your guests’ coffee preferences a la Starbucks to create a barista home experience.

Coffee stations were big on the trend list. Ahh, for us java lovers, this is just next to food porn.

An extraordinare example of art and technology is seen at Gaggenau who premiered refrigerators that were handle-less – opened with a touch of the hand. Magic? Perhaps.

The art element was astonishing. Gaggenau showed a refrigerator with surface art rendered by the Los Angeles large format artist,Rob Hill

Flanked by wine coolers on either side of the artful refrigerator with a particularly cool element: a pull out tray – set to serve up to guests!  I like it.

Gaggenau told us they’d work with any artist to apply the art to the refrigerator front. Your own art? Your children’s art project? A photo of your favorite nature spot or … The possibilities are endless, really and quite exciting.

I just adore this design element. So many options to customize and express your own design aesthetic.

Gaggenau also showed a deep, New York black classic, no handles refrigerator. After all, black is the new – well, black. Love this.

The Sous Vide appliance built-in Gaggenau showcased appeals to not only the classic (french) chef in all of us who adore that precise level of ingredients but also to the home culinary enthusiasts who prefer to prepare or have delivered portion control recipe packs. 
Booth 387, 393.

Thermador showcased their Masterpiece Collection that included their Freedom induction option, and using the same home app as their sister company Gaggenau, Home Connect, you can curate everything in the kitchen from content to cooktop to wine coolers to telling the ventilation hood system to turn on and coordinate with the cooktop.

TFT displays are ubiquitous.

Remote start option are the cool control.  Even in home door locks.  Baldwin Hardware – known for their hand-crafted door and cabinet hardware (we have a gorgeous Baldwin on our front door) showed their new line they created in collaboration with a California designer, Erinn V and her line of Hollywood Hills.

New technology in their other lines of prestige products include one-touch door open using an App.  Very nice feature. And good looking products to fit a variety of home designs.

The Thermador dishwashers feature star sapphire theater lights – but now, consumers tell Thermidor they want more of an entertainment dishwasher so more light colors are available on the App. Why not?
 Thermador’s big refrigerator is in a kind of “camo!”

The dishwashers are now available are a faster drying element – generates heat (they acknowledge can’t dry plastic entirely – but hey – hopefully you’ve been weaned off of plastic by this point.) and their largest-ever glass capability – up to 24 glasses on the top and bottom.
Booth 387,393.

On the other end of the size spectrum, the company’s Bosche lineup featured products tailor made for smaller, city-sized kitchens. These kitchen suite home appliances can fit a metro apartment with a dishwasher and cooktop and refrigerator that appear big and sleek, with up to 30% more storage than previously available.
Booth 387, 393.

Lighting design innovations were led by a relatively new company, Kings Haven who prior to launching their own artisanal, family-fueled enterprise, have many year and projects as part of their historic and estate restoration pedigree. Now, they create custom lighting, accessories, and furniture. The company’s presentation and products and hospitality is all first-class.  

Be sure to check them out at Booth 714.
Lighting is everything in creating a dramatic home decor. Just ask any Hollywood or Broadway designer or actor.

I love the quality and hand-craftsmanship of Rangecraft – a Garden State stalwart who glamourize a cooktop hood like nobody does. There’s the Swarovski Crystal hood that is sigh-worthy. And their new clock hood and antique finishes that can be distressed to your desire. Nice custom design feature and service. Note: the company rightfully extols their craftsman and the five year apprenticeship training program.
And Rangecraft is now the official partner of the NY Jets.
Booth 485.

Also not to be missed is a favorite design artist: Dagmar Weinberg. I was smitten with Dagmar’s art the first time I encountered her transfixing, erotic and utterly unique photographs a few years’ ago. I’m now the proud owner of an original Dagmar cherry blossom art work. Sighhh… It’s so beautiful. You can view and buy Dagmar’s photography manipulated art as well as her new silk scarves. With quality top of mind, Dagmar did not just get any old anybody to craft her artful scarves. No. She researched and invested with the same artisans who do the Hermes and Vuitton scarves. Dagmar is offering a special show price – so be sure to take advantage and get your wearable art. It’s enduring and luxurious. Booth 417.

And Pennoyer & Newman — just back from their Parisian triumph – are at the show again this year with a line of splendid handcrafted planters, containers, and sculpture that you can add to your garden art compositions. I use them as often as I can with my garden design clients – adding a sophisticated, timeless look. Plus, I just love that Virginia …

I will write more in a next post about the Diffa by Design showcase at the AD Show. The tablescapes are created by a number of artisans and brands to showcase “over the top” table art and dining environments – and to raise monies for AIDS awareness and to fund organizations that provide treatment and care services. Stay tuned for this – one of my most favorite elements of the AD Show.

Echo Design showcased their scarves, home decor bedding, as well as the professional lines of indoor and outdoor fabrics and wallpaper.  New for tablescapes is the collection of jewel-toned placements that are high quality basket weave with stitching. This will be great to use in a number of bold tablescape narratives.

Love these sunrise/sunset color fabric options at Echo.  Plus I got to meet and pose with the grande dame of Echo, Dorothy Roberts!  What an honor.

Now, as a garden designer, I’m not bullish on artificial “plant material.”  However, I’m open-minded and can appreciate the need to use in certain applications. Think rooftops, too shady, and now with climate chaos: too much deer or too much salt water and well, the concept is ahem, growing on me.  I discovered New Growth Designs who are showing some very impressive faux plant looks.  I learned the company has been in business for more than 70 years, still does fresh flowers, and as the principle Ed Glenn told me, they were doing so well with their silk floral designs that many landscape architects and designers asked them to make garden products in the faux material.  The booth has topiaries, faux turf – a black and white with grass checkerboard (like one of my garden design clients has – except with real turf), and green “walls.”   There is surely a place for these products.

It was a pleasure to meet Alex Puddy the British principle at his UK-based Architectural Heritage who’s returned to the show after a seven-year hiatus.  And with a name like Puddy – he’s just something out of Paddington Bear.  Nice learning about his artisanal process and dedication to quality products.  His planters are first-rate and so are his garden sculptures.  I love the look.  And so do the Rockefellers…

I’m also keen for the MADE suite of artisanal craftspeople and their unique design concepts.
New to me this year is a very creative new planter composition created by the architect principle, Drew at Prism Planters by the Principle.  The shiny corten steel planters are modular and can be customized to your garden site in three gem-like colors: bronze, silver, and well, black.  I love the bench.


Nourison at Booth 419 featured some very, very luxurious and glamorous rugs and pillows.
My favorite was the glittery malachite!  

And is there a place for this gold, stenciled, cowhide rug?

Just get to the show and see for yourself!

Such glamorous design. 
How adorabley-fashiony is this Smeg refrigerator with a Dolce & Gabbana look?!

You can walk the show, dine and shop and bask in all the decorative arts all weekend long.  Don’t miss it. 


Some of the must see items as noted by the AD Show include:

The AD Apartment – presenting bold ideas and “sophisticated solutions for cosmopolitan design enthusiasts – with a contemporary loft vignette.
Designer Focus:  A clutch of designers come together in this new section to showcase four distinct interiors.  Here you can see how their creativity interprets the space. Plus you can meet the designers. 
Associative Design:   This was organized by the Portuguese Association of Wood and Furniture Industries (AIMMP) – another new installation.  Here the mix of “design, innovation, and technology” celebrates the artisanal craftspeople who create and make furniture, lighting, and objets d’art. 
Highlights and featured areas at the show include:

REFRESH: As one of the largest collections of kitchen, bath, luxury appliances, and premium building products in North America, this section features introductions from more than 75 companies. Attendees will discover new technologies and state-of-the-art designs in kitchen appliances and cabinetry, bath, decorative hardware, countertops, stone, tile surfaces, doors, and more. This year’s exhibitors include Artistic Tile, Aster Cucine, Cesar NY, DACOR, Jenn-Air, Miele, Porcelanosa, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Rohl, and Sub-Zero and Wolf to name a few.

FURNISH: An expanding assemblage of contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, decorative accessories, textiles, and art completes the offering. Attendees will find great design for residential settings from companies such as Atelier de Troupe, Benjamin Moore, Costantini, Hunter Douglas, KOKET, Perigold, The New Traditionalists, and Warp & Weft. The section touts an impressive mix of brands from Europe and Asia including Royal Botania, Sony Life Space UX, and Vaughan Designs.

MADE: The juried MADE section is a resource for handcrafted, often limited edition or one-of-a-kind furnishings, accessories, and art pieces. More than half of the 2018 exhibitors are new to the fair. This year’s lineup gathers emerging talent from across the country including local Made-in-New York pieces by Avram Rusu Studio, Birnam Wood Studio, Consort Design, and Slash Objects; California-based makers like Chris Earl, Coil and Drift, Michael Felix, Natan Moss, and Nate Cotterman; and international artisans such as Paul Emile Rioux and Simon Johns.

SHOPS: The show offers a retail boutique of décor, gifts, tabletop accessories, objets d’art, and more, available for immediate purchase from brands including Ariana Ost, Borough Furnace, Christophe Pourny, Hazel Village, KONZUK, Night Space, Richard Clarkson Studio LLC, and Rikumo.

The Dacor Stage: Presented by Dacor, the show’s new theater space will be a prime destination for those looking to further immerse themselves in the design world. Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to hear from the world’s top design leaders on a variety of topics. Speakers include Aerin Lauder, Alexa Hampton, David Monn, Ellie Cullman, Genevieve Gorder, India Hicks, Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke, Jeffrey Bilhuber, and Victoria Hagan. The panel discussions and programming segments will take place throughout all four days of the show. In addition, Architectural Digest Editor in Chief, Amy Astley, will lead a keynote discussion on Saturday, March 24.

The programming will be complemented by a variety of in-booth events, including culinary demonstrations with chefs from around the world, book signings, product presentations, and more.

General Admission tickets Friday through Sunday are available for $30 online or $40 at the door. VIP Consumer Tickets on Thursday are available for $95. Admission is complimentary to the design trade with two forms of business credentials via online pre-registration. To purchase tickets, visit


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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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