Saturday, October 13, 2012


The New York International Gift Show: Day 4, Part 2

Okay, this really is the last of the New York International Gift Show! It’s still Day 4, so let’s finish up this show! These last rows in the Javitz Center were the home linens section where we found more than we were looking for!



We discovered the FRESCO Towel line, which had the most vibrant and fun bath towels we’ve seen. These towels were so richly colored with wonderful paisley and ethnic patterns. I don’t know if I’d want them for everyday use, but they’d be great for the pool house, cabana, or your Moroccan riad.


HAMBURG HOUSE Linens (above), offered some fresh embroidered linens, and unique color combinations.


RYAN STUDIOS (shown above) throw pillows looked great showing some ethnicity as well. They have linen pillows in organic coloration's and well-priced as always. See these in Cabana Home stores in mid-November.



LIBECO Linens (above). Just couldn’t get enough of this famed Belgian linen source, and stopped by to buy into their home collection of linen rugs, table top linens, throw pillows, bath linens, and select top of bed linens. We are very excited about this line so look for them in cabana Home stores after the first of the year.

LEITNER Linens (below) from Italy were beautiful, unassuming, something that one might imagine inside one of Palladio’s fabulous villas so many centuries ago. The look was of hand spun and woven linen, hand washed and pressed, now soft from use, offered in soft earthy colors and faint patterns. As Cabana Home enters further into the Bed linens business, this line would have to be part of the mix.




We saw this fun take on an historic style Sunburst mirror (below): A mirror with pencils instead of the traditional gold or silver leafed sun rays. Yep, that’s your regular old No. 2 yellow pencil you see there!

Recycled Glass wine bottles (below), melted flat are recreated as cheese boards and serving trays. They also used the bottom of wine bottles and cut them off at about the height of a double old fashion glass, and etched detail into the glass. May be of interest to you oenophiles.


Another booth, this one from China, showed beautifully executed serving bowls lined with gold (vermeil) on the inside, and unfinished aluminum on the outside (below). An unusual contrast of materials, and really wonderful!

One of the last and most important finds was the DONNA KAREN Home Collection that she did for LENOX. I know, Lenox, right? Well, we were so taken with it that we left the show and went to the official Lenox showroom on Lexington Avenue. The collection is shown in its entirety, and we loved it. Both Cabana Home stores bought in to the line and it should be in stores in time or Christmas giving.



She had metals and glass in unique matt and polished finishes, organic shapes, serving pieces, vases and some items that were just good art.



Since we’d already talked our way past the guard desk to get to the elevators on our way to see the Lenox showroom, and since we hadn’t relinquished our passes, we decided to seize the moment and see what other showrooms were ensconced in this building.  

First stop HERMES, sharing a showroom with SAINT LOUIS Crystal. These top drawer French companies, purveyors of all things fabulous and expensive, were wonderful to see and fondle. Formal and quiet, the French showroom manager appeared out of nowhere and approached us like he was the Gendarme.  He quickly warmed to us when he saw our name tags, which included our Santa Barbara address.  So what’s in a name? ….We were impressed with one another for different reasons. Unfortunately our good impression wasn’t good enough because we didn’t get an invitation to their Park Avenue soiree where Hermes celebrated their 175 year anniversary. The fete, titled Festival des Métiers, was a weeklong “festival of trades”. Guests watched as a Hermes craftsman assembled a Kelly Bag on the spot, and a gilder decorated a Saint Louis goblet, a diamond setter and more. See the story in Elle Décor, November 2012.  

Both lines are beautiful and so well made. You have to hand it to the French, where they sometimes fall short on politeness, they make up for in their beautifully executed products.

Next stop, the RALPH LAUREN Showroom (above), featuring his table top products. Is there any category that Ralph isn’t in? As expected, the décor included wood, raised panel walls, and inlaid wood parquet floors.  Here, one may complete his or her table top wardrobe and match them to your own Ralph clothing.
If high-end prepdom is your desire, then this is your kingdom. Mostly traditional with lots of Silver plated objects d’ art and serving pieces, linens, wooden accessories in the English style, China, crystal and silver dinner and serveware. A very attractive showroom that was beautifully presented, but a little boring.

We left the building and rounded up a cab for a ride downtown to one of our fav’s, ABC CARPET & HOME, where we had lunch in their terrific little café at the back of the store.  Now I love this place, it’s become a real New York institution, but am I just getting old, or is this place turning into a three ring circus? I took a photo in the middle of the store, and after reviewing it, I honestly could not tell what it is that they sell.

Or maybe I should look at it like this: What is it that they don’t sell? Yeah, I think it’s the latter. They sell clothing, candles, lighting, mattresses, bed and bath linens from Pratesi along with cheap Indian imported linens, curtains, hardware,  and every type and style of furniture including the low, medium, and high-end, carpets and rugs, home accessories, and books. The only major category I didn’t see was home appliances. That’s it! No matter, this is the place to see the trends and stay in tune with what’s hot and what’s not, because these buyers don’t miss much, as in nothing!

Fun find at ABC Carpet & Home: This lacquer table top supported by a tree root base!

WORST of SHOW:  Yeah…I just can’t resist!

A chain set, no not that kind! These chains put together to create a swingy mini skirt and open “crotched” vest. What does one wear under this get-up?


Celine Blue! Not possible on a cheap, tufted sofa upholstered in faux silk satin—it’s just plain awful, no matter the color. This thing is enough to get Celine’s Blue put on Mr. Blackwell’s Worst Dressed list.

Sonny Angle Doll (above, left): What the hell is this? Maybe it was this thing that caused the Teletubbies to turn gay?
Photo, above right: An adult size Tinky Winky costume from the Teletubbies television series

For the  Obama Junkies (above): Barrack and Michelle Obama realized in porcelain at Lenox. They also offer coasters with the two of them engraved on them, as well as a bronze bust of the current President. Could this be why we don’t think of Lenox as a high end company ?

HOT GIRL’S PEARL’S 9 (shown below): They market their pearl necklaces in an ice cooler, yes like the large coolers in front of 7-11. Their motto is, “Global Cooling, One Woman at a Time.” All right ladies, get to it!

All for today! Join the Design Guy for “Day Five in New York”, not at the New York International Gift Show!


Good night moon.   

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