A memorable launch
It was a big day in New York for a lot of locals in the home-and-design field.
But perhaps no one was as excited as Dan Lehmeier of Cortlandt Manor.
“This is my big debut,” Lehmeier told me.
And he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t kidding.
I got to meet him this morning when I spent a couple of hours at the
“Architectural Digest Home Design Show,”:http://merchandisemart.com/homedesignshow/.
The annual event features some 300 exhibitors filling Pier 94 alongside the Hudson River in Manhattan.
It’s a showcase of the latest in home furnishings, with exhibitors, special events, demonstrations and design consultations. Today was open to the trade (and press) only, with the public welcome tomorrow through Sunday.
As you can see, they were still putting the finishing touches on the stylish lounge area:
But, as I was saying, Lehmeier’s company, “Casselwood Creations,”:http://casselwood.com was being showcased for the first time Ã¢â‚¬â€ anywhere.
“If I could make this fly, it would be very, very exciting,” he said.
The veteran builder (who designed and built his own home) had been planning for this moment the last couple of years.
As he shared, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been “building the pieces and my confidence, honestly.”
And he certainly was showing off the results of these efforts, with furniture, sculpture and clocks that feature mostly North American woods including cherry, walnut and American redwood. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big fan of using found pieces, especially storm-damaged wood for the feel it imparts.
Here are some of his designs:
“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all about the wood for me,” he said.
Until today, Lehmeier has been honing his craft out of a home studio/gallery, seeing customers by appointment.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nobody knows about me yet,Ã¢â‚¬? he said.
Have a feeling that will be changing…
Earlier in the morning, I had stopped by to meet Carinda Swann.
The Cold Spring artist has created a business, “Swannk Design”:http://swannk.com transforming old mink coats into home accents.
My colleague Bill Cary “wrote
”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070306/LIFESTYLE01/703060302/1031 about her earlier this week, so I was looking forward to seeing her work in person and was maybe her first visitor.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still sewing,Ã¢â‚¬? she said to me with a laugh Ã¢â‚¬â€ and indeed, she had a needle and thread at the ready.
Swann was showing off her chairs and ottomans Ã¢â‚¬â€ and some funky wine wraps Ã¢â‚¬â€ awaiting visits today from designers and trade representatives.
Her booth was a study in sleek design, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you think?
A great thing about shows like this is the chance to meet people and learn about their work Ã¢â‚¬â€ or in one case, their heritage.
I wanted to stop by the booth of “Eva Zeisel Originals”:http://evazeiseloriginals.com. Anyone interested in design knows the Zeisel name, which has special meaning to our region since Zeisel has long had a home in Rockland County.
The Hungarian-born designer Ã¢â‚¬â€ who is now 100 years old Ã¢â‚¬â€ is an icon best known for her ceramics that filled many a tabletop over the years.
As I was looking at the Zeisel booth, I was greeted by none other than ZeiselÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grandson, Adam Bass Zeisel.
The Northeastern University graduate (with degrees in both marketing and business) is both founder and president of Eva Zeisel Originals, which has introduced the Century Signature Collection of ZeiselÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work.
As I admired the creations, the Boston-based young man told me that he was happy to be a the show for the first time: Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the perfect show for this. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high-end, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fun and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s colorful. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what Eva is.Ã¢â‚¬?
He assured me Zeisel, who lives in the city, still has her home Ã¢â‚¬Å“in the countryÃ¢â‚¬? Ã¢â‚¬â€ how cute was that? Ã¢â‚¬â€ and can be found at work in her New City studio Ã¢â‚¬Å“when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s warm.Ã¢â‚¬?
The designer is scheduled to be at the booth tomorrow, from around 2 p.m. before heading over to an on-site book signing.
Also happened by the booth of “The Golden Horn”:http://rugrestoration.com, a Mamaroneck company that specializes in restoration, cleaning and sales of antique Oriental and European carpets.
I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a chance to speak to them Ã¢â‚¬â€ guess they momentarily stepped away Ã¢â‚¬â€ but hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the booth:
Checked in with Neil Gordon, as well. He runs “Decorating With Fabric”:http://decoratingwithfabric.com, which has moved into a bigger space in Monsey.
These days, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing a lot of traveling, as he also specializes in coaching and consulting for the design community.
Finally, I wrapped up my visit by admiring the pieces featured by “Green Design Furniture”:http://greendesigns.com.
Though based in Portland, Maine, the company is run by Douglas Green, who traces his roots back to Scarsdale.
The designer and founder of the company showed me his latest, the S3 Crescent Dining set. Just take a look at the lines of this set, created out of sustainably-harvested solid cherry.
Here’s a detail:
As Green said, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really new Ã¢â‚¬â€ he finished the prototype just a week ago to bring here.
He spoke of the way his work is completed, in an artisan-setting where one staffer sees a piece all the way from raw lumber to the final sanding.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It creates a product with soul,Ã¢â‚¬? he said.
And, as at all design shows, there are things that just catch everyone’s attention. This was the case with the “Dragnet” chair, in the booth of “Kenneth Cobonpue”:http://kennethcobonpue.com.
Talk about eye-catching:
Well, those were some of my highlights.
Find some of your own as the show continues, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday.
Admission is $25. Pier 94 is on 12th Avenue, at 55th Street. The web site is filled with details of special events planned throughout the weekend. And if you go, let me know what caught your eye!