by Marisa Marcantonio

Birds if a feather flock together, as the saying goes. From a herd of pigs to a parliament of owls, animals had their day at the gift show. Here is an assortment of those that narrowly avoided a banal life in the zoo.

Gien introduced a pattern with sea creatures centered on dinner plates.

Oly Studio's Petite Kedan Stool complete with cloven hooves and a curly lamb top.

A flight of swallows fly across the surface in a block printed ironing board cover from Simrin. Why not elevate an everyday activity?

5 ducks angle for the best view in an adorable standing lamp from Aid to Artisans.

A precious little mouse on a tiny needlepoint pillow from August Morgan. He has escaped his fellow horde...

Papier mache animal heads are the result of recycling, not big game hunting. From Aid to Artisans.

A curious owl perches on a log at Vellum.

A peacock painting on cream silk from Belle Chasse Home.

Curious little piggies at Roost.

A pack of dogs as hooks from Homart.


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 thought I would highlight the trends I saw over the last few days. From those just starting to form to full -fledged "there it is again", I wanted to show what is emerging. I chose the objects for their beauty, innovation, creative edge, unique material and color.
The natural world is still a major trend in the market. Naturalized not stylized flowers, leaves, sea life and animals were everywhere I turned. I saw a lot of natural wood, recycled material, natural finishes and rusticity. Embroidery and global influences are still very present. Ikats have been embraced as the next big print pattern, edging out suzanis. For color, there were many items done in bright cheerful colors including yellow, and also pastel shades were out there. Yes, the coral sprig is still being shown in bedding and on a few decorative accessories, believe it. After all spring is on the way!


John Derian added fish and assorted animals to the mix.

A fairly young company called Simrin looked to the barnyard for inspiration. We are going through an Americana renaissance right now, and there seems to be a big barn fixation. Williams Sonoma Home did Modern Barn, and here is Animal Farm. The plastic trays are adorable and hearken back to simpler times.

The same animals make their debut on these burlap placemats from Simrin. Kids will love these.

Dransfield and Ross took the cocktail napkin to a whole new level. Monkeys love a good party too.

Aero Home expanded their porcelain accessories adding this passion flower.

Simrin also had a nice botanical touch. These Nature trays of varying size are great gifts for gardeners.

Oversized blooms and leaves flowing off the edges are lush and lifelike. The palette includes off colors like mustard and olive keeping these elegant. They are made in NYC, so I love them even more.


The Twig pillow above is from the Private Collection by Dixie Rinehardt, a New York interior designer with a love of nature and Indian embroidery. She won Best New Product at the show! I can see why.

Double Red Sunflowers have great multi-colored petals and intense embroidery detail.

Also from The Weekend Cottage Collection, this detailed embroidery is very arts and crafts in color and design.

Sunflowers in teal.

More Sunflowers in cheerful Florida Key lime.

Chelsea Textiles has the best pillows that I show ad infinitum. Tonal sophistication and muted colors look great with a neutral color scheme. The embroidery on top of the print is a nice custom touch.


I found a great new mirror resource called Made Goods. The patinated metal deco Chloe above is so chic.

The company uses wonderful materials to great effect--the shell inlay and relief here looks gorgeous.

With global influences not going anywhere soon, this Syrian- inspired mirror is another beauty. Bone and resin with the scallop edge adds charm.

Roost worked wood into everyday objects.

Recycled glass and relaxed chic from Canvas through Ochre.


Motel Deluxe, known for their gorgeous French papers, had gorgeous photo albums and journals in this rich eggplant and multi- colored ikat.

Manuel Canovas bedding got crazy with technicolor feathers.

Ikat silk pillows made in Cambodia come in sharp colors. Cambodge Collection, a pillow company started by designer Kerry Green, has a great assortment of silks in jewel tones. Get in touch with her to order, and to see swatches.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Meet some of the great designers at the New York Gift Show. These creators have influenced trends, silhouettes, materials, finishes, patterns and colors. Here is a behind the scenes look at what the talent is up to at the Piers and Javits Center. More to come-- so much ground to cover...


You know the highly publicized Jackie table, now meet the man behind it! Luca Rensi (above) and John Roudabush (busy with clients) made this company hot. Luca came from an interior design background, having been at Mark Hampton, David Kleinberg and David Easton as a senior designer. He and his partner wanted to create furnishings and accessories that were well-made with high style. Starting from scratch, they now have a mini-empire, creating great hand-rubbed lacquer furniture, recently added porcelain lamps, eglomise framed art, and other great accessories.


Chest of drawers wrapped in linen. Interior designer taste without the prohibitive prices.

Subtly channeling the pagodas of Tony Duquette in a lamp.

Track down a lovely home store near you at Bungalow 5.

David Cipperman and Joseph Schreick know tabletop. For the past twenty years their shop home, james! in East Hampton has outfitted summer houses with beautiful accessories, gift items and place settings. Then, several years back, they created their own line of china, crystal and linens, inspired by the beach, resort lifestyle and travel. Their color choices are poppy and fun, making their designs easy to love.

Ikat in soft blues has found its way onto the plate. Perfectly summery for Crete to Watch Hill. The all-over pattern is sharp.

Their Chinatown pattern was a great success. Chinoiserie is such an evergreen design motif this new pattern is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Throw a dinner party every weekend with home,james!.


Oh, Jonathan! Work the camera. Your energy and talent keep on cranking out the hits. So many new additions- when do you sleep? New orange and turquoise enamel frames and napkin rings round out a great season. Do not fret, tons of pillows and accessories are in abundance too.


Double-cased bright glasses in candy colors.

JA lacquer is back! The tray table is uber- chic and I was starting to miss the octagonal umbrella holder.

See it all at a store near you or at Jonathan Adler.

World wide travels inform John's design aesthetic. Indian block printing and hand woven details have made his bedding and soft goods a favorite of bohemian chic. A gig with HSN and lots of great press means that his influence on design has really taken hold. The stripes, squiggles and small all over patterns mix really well with each other. Coordinates are the way to go.


Rock the block print at John Robshaw.

Roost Co. is located in Sausalito, CA. Each and every show Scott Donnellan wows crowds with inventive glassware, wooden pieces, furniture, tabletop, accessories and other goodies. Handmade pieces with an artisanal feel put Roost above the rest. They set the trends with the material selections, finishes and shapes.

As I like to say, one can never own too many trays! The metal edging makes them campaign -style- meets- nautical.

Cherry blossoms have been in the mix for some time, but on glassware they look fresh.

Find out where to buy it at Roost Co.



Ross, in his killer suit. This man loves fabric.
John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross made pillows fashionable again. We want to switch out the throw pillows at the end of each season, thanks to them. They are known for their fashion-forward materials, working with grosgrain ribbon, preppy prints, ikats, embroidery, velvet, feathers, and patchwork. In addition to place mats and napkins, their line includes small tables, bath accessories and bookends.


Lime green and turq, a perpetual spring favorite.

Pop art is an inspiration in home right now. Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are influencing. Fashion design Lisa Perry does mod dresses that would go well with the puddle side tables shown here. Louis Vuitton's Stephen Sprouse brights came out at just the right time.

Hand-painted scenics in blue and white are a nod to tradition. And in case you did not sense it, traditional is back in a big way. In a down economy, comforting and classic are the way to go.

The multi-color painted patchwork with dragged finish is so chic.

Feed your inner color muse at D and R.


The showdog! Winnie has her own buyer's pass. At Chelsea Textiles she welcomed everyone and kept them smiling.

Global influences and embroidery are still hot. The Moroccan star pillow from CT is graphic and chic.

See more embroidery in soft colors from Chelsea Textiles.

Stay tuned for more design picks from the show...