Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spring 2012 Preview!

I'm just back from the enviable task of shopping for the store at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and have found a ton of exciting new products for the spring/summer season -- many from our favorite old designers and some from new ones too. The big trend is Everything Old is New Again . The looks I spotted this season are all rooted in the past.

Trends to Look For

On the Farm. Think rustic handmade wood tables and benches, homespun-slubby flax linens, and rusty and weathered metals - chicken wire, galvanized and steel farm tools and devices like pulleys and hooks.

18th Century Maritime. OK, nautical looks have been around forever and of course sell very well at coastal shops, but this look is more than seashells and beach glass. It crosses over to a more urban environment. Think scrimshaw, authentic compasses , etched whale motifs, cut paper silhouettes, antique maps, maritime paintings.
18th Century Maritime

Muted, Soft and Simple. This one's a bit less obvious. Muted: Color trend seems to be inching towards a dirtier and softer palette. I saw plenty of tea-stain, gray, ecru, dusty pinks and mauve and the palest aqua in home accessories and in textiles. Soft: Fabrics are leaning towards velvet, mohair, linen, cotton, cowhide, fur and faux fur. Simple: In wood furniture and mirrors the direction is away from Baroque carvings and towards clean ogee mouldings and straight lines. Dec pillows are showing simple constructions --  knife-edge, flap backed or string-tied.
Muted, Soft and simple

Still holding strong in trendland is anything Recycled, Sustainable, Natural and Fair Trade. I call them "feel good" products. I picked up my share of them too. Here are examples of Haitian-made, fair trade, metal wall sculptures coming in soon.

They are hand-crafted from recycled steel drums.

The fair is twice annually, January and August, and is held at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan. Most of the products sold at Atmosphere are first discovered at this show with exceptions being our exclusive vintage lines, custom collections and products from a few lucky designers who have managed to impress me early in their careers.

I say "enviable task" because is sounds like the most awesome experience ever, right? Big budget, 9 miles of  international vendors, 6 consecutive days, nothing but SHOPPING!! Well, it can be grueling and challenging as well. Often feels like finding a diamond ring buried in beach sand. Miles of American consumerism crap and then suddenly a sparkling gem. Here are some more gems to look forward to. In store Spring 2012.

Zina Kao

These scrimshaw bone boxes came in already!!

New wrapping paper below.

Caskata Artisanal Paper - Aviary in Plum Caskata Artisanal Paper - Aviary in Sunshine

French comics inspired beech wood utensils are truly wacky!
New melamine plates from W2.

Rebecka Froberg earrings below.

Our old favorite Pink Peony is coming back too!

Aquiesse Pink Peony Candle

Monday, February 6, 2012

Making the world more beautiful...

one dish towel at a time!

I've got this thing about dish towels. I take them very seriously. They need to be functional, attractive and of course lint-free. Simple, right? Then why are there so many non-absorbent, hideous looking, fuzz-leaving specimens out there? My mission is to rid the planet of them starting today with your help!

Let's identify. You already know what they look like and probably own some yourself. We'll just pretend that they were housewarming gifts from your crazy neighbor. Terry cloth, covered bridge, gingham checked edges, maybe a calendar on it or cats, yeah cute, cute country cats! Ready, set, throw 'em out. Phew, I feel better already. Now let's focus on replacements.

Enter our very own Vintage Towel Collection exclusively for Atmosphere. The collection has taken 6 months of searching to find the most amazing and in-perfect-condition, miracles of linen and screen printing in the world!

Color, color and more color. The collection includes some of the best U.S. and European examples dating from the 1950's through the 1970's from collector's favorites like Vera Neumann, Ulster and Lamont. Great designs, retro color palettes, these towels will add that perfect touch of color and pattern while you flaunt your superior good taste. Way cheaper than art -- big on impact.

Prices for these little gems range from $26 - $85 based on condition and scarcity. Here are but a few that we've snagged for you:

Should you, instead of drying dishes, prefer to hang one of these lovelies on your chateau wall, our contributing blogger, Little Miss So-and-So, offers some inspiration below.


and more inspiration!

As we are expecting a slew more towels to arrive soon, check back here for a follow-up post with many, many more to select from. Themes include: Mixology, Anglophilia, and Ornithology. What fun!
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