Dwell on Design 2015
Dwell on Design, the nation’s largest design show, was recently held over the course of 3 days in Los Angeles. Curated by the editors of Dwell Magazine, the event showcased over 2000 modern products and furnishings. In addition, over 250 speakers and onstage programming provided educational opportunities for the professional and homeowner alike.
One of my favorite things to do while at trade shows is to shop the show floor and identify trends that I see. I spotted plenty of trends spotted on the show floor, and here are a few of the standouts:
- Concrete used in new and innovative ways
- Space saving solutions for the home
- Products that conserve water and energy
- Wood used as a surface treatment using new techniques
- Customization— we want exactly what we want
Trends in Modern Living
Concrete is a material that has seen increased popularity because of its ability to be used both inside and outside the house.
San Clemente, CA based Concrete Collaborative offers up a number of concrete surface applications, including concrete that is poured onto actual wood planks which gives a rustic yet contemporary appearance while highlighting the different nuances in the wood grain.
Contemporary solutions including hexagon and faceted tile make indoor as well as outdoor design solutions a lot more interesting.
Bauformat has created a concrete laminate that mimics the look of concrete to be used for cabinetry but without the porosity and weight of actual concrete. The result is a little bit industrial and a whole lot of chic.
Industry newcomer Shapecrete has developed a new product that plays like clay but finishes like concrete. The new product will be sold at Home Depot come July and is a snap to use. It comes boxed and only requires the addition of water, and it can be molded into any shape, giving the user an endless number of possibilities, where lack of imagination is the only obstacle.
Space Saving Solutions for the Home
As the trend towards urbanization continues, the need for compact furnishings for the home is still relevelant, but without sacrificing style or function.
Resource Furniture has been one of my favorites for tight living quarters. While they have been best known for their convertible bed and living units, they also offer smaller, freestanding pieces that are compact when not in use, and can expand when the need arises. This petite cocktail table can be easily moved around according to where it is needed in the home and has the ability to expand fivefold.
Products that conserve water and energy
Conservation of the earth’s resources has been a priority among Southern Californians, which is why it is no surprise that there were many manufacturers that make water and energy conservation an integral part of their design — all while keeping an eye towards style.
Geberit, a longtime favorite in Europe, invented the in-wall toilet category over 50 years ago to meet the needs of European homeowners struggling to maximize their small living space. Water conservation is especially of utmost importance in California, where we have been experiencing a yearlong drought. Geberit’s dual flush products such as the Monolith toilet and their line of flush plates help the average family of four in saving thousands of gallons of water a year. Another few advantages of an in-wall toilet: they are quieter, easier to maintain, and the height of the toilet can be adjusted to accommodate the needs of the homeowner, making it a smart choice for universal design. Visit Geberit on Houzz (www.houzz.com/pro/Geberit) or Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/geberitus/) to learn more.
To see how easy it is to install a Geberit in-wall toilet:
Not only does Zon Technologies see a need for energy efficiency, but they also see a need for convenience. They have addressed our constant need to charge our electronic devices by designing this solar powered umbrella and charging station that can charge up to 3 USB powered devices at once at the same speed as a standard wall charger — all with no electricity needed.
While it is most practical for commercial spaces such as college campuses, country clubs, and outdoor shopping areas, it can also be quite useful at home in the pool area.
Form LA put on an impressive display of water wise plantings, which goes to show that drought tolerant doesn’t have to mean landscaping that is void of color and texture.
To reduce the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, motorists in Southern California and elsewhere around the country have turned to hybrid or even fully electric cars. While in other cities the fully loaded Suburban or Navigator might be the luxury vehicle of choice, the Tesla seems to be the luxury vehicle of choice in my neck of the woods. Lumos has addressed the issue of how to power the electric car with a solar powered carport, which can provide enough electricity to charge an electric car or even provide additional electricity to power appliances in the home.
Wood surfaces were displayed throughout Dwell on Design in all colors and textures. Advances in technology and manufacturing techniques along with the desire for sustainable design have brought new products to the marketplace that we have never seen before.
IndoTeak Design, located in San Diego, uses reclaimed teak sourced out of Indonesia “to produce a variety of teak tile— some painted, some stained, and in a myriad of configurations.
Delta Millworks uses the ancient Japanese technique of Shou-sugi-ban, which is made of charred cedar planks. A prime example of “what is old, is new again”.
Stikwood was the first to develop reclaimed wood planks made specifically for wall applications but without the hefty price tag. Actual reclaimed wood is used, but instead of using full planks of wood, the planks are cut into 3/16″ thick planks that are applied to the wall with peel and stick strips, giving the room a designer look with DIY ease. The company has recently added new styles utilizing cutting-edge printing techniques, including and a new style that recycles gym floor planks .
Wonderwall Studios uses the same concept as Stikwood, with end-cut blocks of wood of various thicknesses instead of recycled wood planks, creating what appears to be a continuous three-dimensional wood mosaic, but with a fraction of the cost and effort.
Custom Design has been an ongoing trend that is only going to get bigger. Contrary to popular belief, custom doesn’t always mean “more expensive” especially with the new advances in printing and manufacturing. I am constantly preaching this to my own clients. While in some cases the price may be slightly higher, the fact you can make it your own is worth the extra cost.
Italian manufacturer Mosaico Digitale has come up with a unique solution to wall and floor surfaces that are suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
Mosaico Digitale has taken the traditional technique of mosaic and combined it with modern digital printing techniques, offering up a number of solutions for both residential and commercial applications. Because of the custom printing capability, each project can be tailored to the personality of the homeowner. The flexibility and thickness of Mosaico Digitale allows the tile to be applied onto curved surfaces with ease and the weight (a fraction of traditional mosaic tile) allows it to be applied to ceilings without having to make additional structural accommodations. It almost acts as a new skin for the wall. If you can dream it, Mosaico Digitale can make it happen.
Every year I look forward to attending Dwell on Design as it gives me the opportunity to see firsthand what is trending in modern living and design, and this year was no exception. I can’t wait to see what will be new in next year’s show!