Each spring, the world’s foremost tastemakers and trendsetters in luxury living spaces descend upon New York City’s Pier 92 for the annual Architectural Digest Home and Design Show. The space—almost 600,000 sq. ft.—is transformed into a breathtaking showcase of the newest innovations, trends, and styles for inside and outside the home. Some 400 brands display products and aesthetics that go on to be featured in top print media, inevitably becoming the latest must-haves for the most affluent customers around the globe.

This year, no themes were as pervasive as technology integration, surprising pops of color and texture, and home exterior enhancement. Consider some of the most exciting presentations of these trends:

• Technology continues to take center stage. As homes are becoming smarter and more technically integrated every day, designers are executing impressive visions that accommodate the latest developments without sacrificing aesthetically. Kitchens, being the hubs of homes, were showcased with state-of-the-art technical upgrades: cabinets disguised as walls, in which a simple touch extracts a drawer or other compartment; retractable walls and doors like those shown by Riviera Bronze; sleek surfaces with touchscreens; and full lines of “connected” appliances are sure to be the most coveted luxury items in the coming months.
• Imaginative and clever use of color and texture brought everyday interiors to new levels of style and class. Twyla presented a modern, candy-colored mural that perfectly complemented an otherwise neutral dining room at DIFFA, while furniture designer Ara Levon Thorose exhibited avant-garde chairs in rich primary shades. But perhaps the most striking colorful display of the entire show was Smeg’s whimsical Dolce & Gabbana designed refrigerator, a true piece of art elaborately painted with vibrant motifs that’s certain to stand out anywhere.
• Home exteriors were also heavily featured at the expo. Stunning fences, remote-controlled security gates, and other fixtures by Compass Ironworks struck a crucial balance between innovation and function. Meanwhile, firms like Brown Jordan presented modular outdoor kitchens for all types of luxury oases.

Beyond these themes, the AD Design Show’s notable MADE section showcased a range of impressive work from many independent American artisans. From magnificent lighting design schemes to beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind custom wooden pieces to buttery hand-sewn leather chairs, visitors could appreciate—and often purchase on the spot—splendid furnishings and other items.

Additionally, it was nice to see larger American made companies featured throughout the show: both BlueStar’s kitchens and Compass Ironworks’ exterior gates, fences, and interior railings are made in Pennsylvania; New Hampshire is home to Crown Point Cabinetry; Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet kitchens are from Michigan; and Riviera Bronze makes its steel windows and doors in California.

Diane Lemonides,

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