“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand

At the Offect booth, visitors experienced the Swedish brand's acoustic panels and modern furniture built for office environments.
The girls’ room features wood furniture designed by Bornstein.
An eight-foot-high sliding glass door leads to the backyard's ipe deck, ideal for informal gatherings. The bench cushions are custom from Studio Collins Weir and the tables and chairs are from Design Within Reach.
James's bedroom furniture was custom designed by Hatch Workshop.
Bright colors dominated the show floor, like the hues seen in these chairs from Bespoke Creative.
Iconic and modern furnishings mingle at Luminaire, which has showrooms in Chicago and Coral Gables, Florida.
One of Platner’s last projects was a pair of English cross-channel ferries, the Fantasia and the Fiesta, for which he designed yellow Union Jack carpeting and lavender chairs.
This bedside table design was inspired by three different vintage pieces. For this client, our mission was a mid-century look and feel, but we were stuck against tight dimensions in space and running up against road block after road block with sizing of existing, vintage options. I find that it's best to secure your designs in some type of inspiration. All great design needs a "seed"—where are you growing from? What are you referring back to in order to stay on course? How are you utilizing or paying attention to nuance in your designs?

Repurposing existing furniture pieces is another way to exercise your creative and win some serious applause on both design and cost-savings. Sometimes your starting place is that ratty old sofa in your living room, or basement. I'm constantly reviewing existing client furnishings and thinking about how we can shift the bases into something more interesting or fresh. It's important to find a great upholstery shop or carpenter who can interpret your designs. You need to establish a successful line of communication with your vendor, and how best they read your designs. Often detailed shop drawings are required, and hand sketches are an incredibly successful tool when trying to elevate your ideals, or communicate to a vendor your desired end result.
OneLessOffice by Heckler Design. A space-saving office suite that stacks, expands, and hides clutter is made from commercial-grade steel in Phoenix, Arizona.
It's hugely important to request routine shop images from your vendors. Weekly, or bi-weekly image review is the best way to manage and guarantee the quality of your end result. As the lead designer on any piece or project, minding the details needs to be at the forefront of thought at all times. Quick snapshots like the one shown here are great for detailing and helping to understand how all of the parts are coming together. The TV console and bedsides in the following slides were built by Brooklyn based KWH Furniture.
I recently designed this TV console and chair for a project on the Upper West Side in New York. The oversized chamfer detail on the console draws the eye to the integrated door hardware and leather wrapped panels. While we are still prototyping the "DMc Channel Chairs," one of the big compliments from this client is on the size, scale and comfort.

When I approach designing a piece of furniture, I pull my design ideas through four key areas of consideration:

Ergonomics–Determining overall size, scale and best function–designing the right piece for the right use with the right fit is foundational.

Artisanal Quality–I like to work with artists or masters of craft–the commitment to the process is almost always more genuine and more profound, as well as understanding of materials.

Material selection–I focus on sturdy materials that are beautiful and forgiving–furniture is meant to be used and needs to be produced for longevity and with the concept of patina in mind.

Finish details–Be bold. Everything you design should have a voice and a level of design saturation that speaks with it's own point-of-view. Think about the details–what takes it forward?
One of my mantras is "Design = Collaboration" and often, my team works with vendors whose work we love, admire, and appreciate to customize a piece of furniture for the specific needs of our client. The net result is a beautiful collaboration between designers (read as: teamwork). Never be afraid to ask about customization. Great design is about growth, sharing, and evolution. We are all here to add to one another, and expand great ideas. Again, remember my other mantra: "time, energy, effort and expense…" You're worth it. Make it your own. Go for it! This Alana bench from Bright Furniture is a great example a base design from which we launched on a recent project in East Hampton, New York. Flip to the next image!
In the film, inconceivable environments combine with sensory-rich furniture pieces to create an unexpected context.
A surrealistic Diva "floats" in a still from UNSCENE. “The concept behind UNSCENE was to take otherwise inanimate objects out of their normal environments and into unexpected contexts bringing them to life in new ways," says Danforth.
Knoll debuted a new marble-topped outdoor table by Daniel Stromborg at this year's ICFF (paired with chairs Don Chadwick chairs the young designer worked on when he was part of Chadwick's studio!).
Mitt chair by Claudia & Harry Washington for Bernhardt Design, $2,100.

Inspired by a baseball glove’s shape and stitching detail, the versatile upholstered lounge chair features soft, rounded edges—a boon for families with young children.
Swiss architect and furniture designer Pierre Jeanneret frequently collaborated with his cousin, Le Corbusier. In 1926, they published the manifesto “Five Points Towards a New Architecture,” which laid out the theory behind their aesthetic and technical decisions. Photo courtesy of Galerie Downtown.
Afilla pendant lights by Alessandro Zambelli for .exnovo. Marrying new materials with traditional ones, this lighting series features 3-D printed nylon shades and a Swiss-pine structure.
One of the four pieces of furniture that will be shown at Dwell on Design.