by Marisa Marcantonio

The hare is everywhere! For some reason, adorable rabbits have emerged as a micro trend. I saw them at the Gift Show, their darling faces begging me to take them home. Is the rabbit poised to overtake the monkey, frog, or bird as the animal du jour?

Photo courtesy of Hugo Guiness
Providing character galore, the block printed Rabbit from the Hedgerow Series by Hugo Guiness at John Derian would be great in a nursery.

Photo courtesy of Dandelion
Highly detailed cast iron rabbits from Dandelion are so sweet perched on a side table or bookshelf. They have a wonderful aged quality to them but are actually reproductions.

A cache of vases in a variety of sizes and shapes from Oly capture a large hare rendered in blue against blanc de chine.

Caskata tabletop also featured rabbits. This duo is highly detailed in the spirit of Albrecht Durer drawings.

Photo courtesy of John Derian
A freely frolicking rabbit jumps across tall grasses on John Derian's decoupage plate.


by Marisa Marcantonio

This winter, the natural world will inspire you from the great outdoors to the adorable animals found there. One thing I know for sure-- antlers hung in groupings is still a trend I'm seeing and it is not going away. The rustic look is everywhere, in aged finishes, handmade details and darker metals that capture the beauty that comes from age and wear. French country is making a comeback, as I saw tons of great baskets, striped linens and Louis XV cerused furniture. Animals of all kinds added a veritable zoo to the mix. Bringing the natural world inside, designers are still working with botanical themes and celebrating the personality and imperfections of animals life, flora and fauna.

Perhaps the walls in your game room need some filling. Cody Foster created papier mache animal heads. A way to get the look without taxidermy.

Driftwood deer heads add character to a rustic holiday from Roost.

For a more refined version, highly detailed ceramic deer, antelope and rhinos in crisp white contrast are hung against on grey wall at Tozai.

You may find these intriguing if all things dark and brooding appeal to you. Bird feet candlesticks from Vagabond Vintage.

Laura Zindel Ceramic vases and bird plates rely on beauty of objects found in nature. Capturing the randomness and natural beauty of vegetables, chickens and feathers, her black and white palette is artistic and serene.

Schools of lifelike fish pass across the surface of Caskata's pewter and ceramic plates.

Adorable brush woodland creature ornaments from Roost will bring the forest to your tree.

Shake it off! How fun is this recycled paper shred dog? Roost captured the sweetness of this breed.

Scary bottle openers to make Halloween a fright, from Homart.

Jonathan Adler's playful brass sculpture of a hippo has personality plus. The marble base takes it to the level of high art.

Sculptural hinged wooden animal boxes by Karl Zahnat at Areaware are more for the kids, but their nostalgic retro Swedish feel is can be appreciated by all ages.

Grand Prix showjumping took center stage at Two's Company. Want to create your own tack room? Now you can! Two's always goes to town, styling their booth with the most superb attention to detail.

Blue and white transferware and a bridle help tell the equestrian story.


by Marisa Marcantonio

I am hearing everyone in the industry say, "we are cautiously optimistic." Interior designers say new clients are active, albeit slowly and cautiously. I hope the optimism continues. I sped around the gift show over the past few days and discovered some great new companies that took a leap and brought their designs to market. Trends included unexpected shades of colors like persimmon, plum, mustard, and muted orange. I wish them all great success.
Here are some of the things I am loving now.

Sea grass frames and trays in serene coral, yellow and purple were showstoppers.

New York - based Robyn Brooks had a beautiful booth. She painted the walls in a pale blue hue to offset her bright skin, cork and sea grass designs. She learned all about high quality skins working with jewelry and bag designer Kara Ross, and then set out to do her own stylish thing. I am so glad she was at the show with her frames, mirrors, lamps, trays and bracelets-- something new to get excited about, when there was not a ton of newness out there....
Fortuny- covered chairs sit around an Eero Saarinen inspired table from Ikea for taking orders. She even brought a potted palm!

Here is Robyn standing next to a chic oversized cork lamp.

Her skin trays and frames are really nicely made and finished.

Love this! I don't usually go crazy for skins in wild colors, but her colors are stunning.

Fun geometric patterned poufs from John Robshaw are the new beanbag.

Joel Fitzpatrick just launched this great new eco towel line with cotton trim that comes in orange or green. As a designer, he saw there was a lack in attractive eco towels.

The Kelly green is fresh and crisp, great for a tropical home.

They are seeing what the response is to the geo's, I say, it's a go. Don't you?

Caskata, always taking their lead from natural beauty, had a beautiful new blue peony pattern that came on plates, trays and bowls.

Waylande Gregory introduced his small ceramic painted bowls in new, graphic designs. The elephant is a fave, and the glazes are in cool, unexpected off colors.

My favorite glass designer Joe Cariati did it again with these cloche designs in smoke, red and turquoise glass with a pretty ball finial on top. It would be great as a cheese plate, for cakes, and anything that needs some pomp and circumstance.

I had to include this Stray Dog Designs paper mache plant in turquoise. Low maintenance plants are a good way to go!

See Design is a new joyful printed collection out of New Canaan CT that captures the fun carefree spirit of bold color and pattern on bags, pillows, caftans and scarves.

The gals in their Accent on Design booth. Donna Gorman, left, is a textile designer that spent 20 years with Marimekko, can you tell?!

I loved this cheery tote with circles and dots in a perfect shade of lavender.