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Fair goes big on tactile furnishings

For those who have to touch everything they see in stores, theInternational Contemporary Furniture Fair was more like Candyland.


For those who have to touch everything they see in stores, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair was more like Candyland.

In nearly every booth, there were irresistible surfaces to play with: Women with PDAs and sheaves of project plans hugged pillows. Stylish men slouched into fuzzy felted sofas.

And even the most soignee of sophisticates couldn’t resist a quick fluff of the candy-pink wool rocking sheep.

And why fight it? Texture was a big theme at the show, with more than 600 exhibitors from every corner of the globe. Curvaceous stainless-steel chair legs were cool and smooth. Richly patterned wall hangings, when caressed, enveloped the arm. Burnished stone tiles were warm; thick piled rugs were luxuriously springy. Foam invited poking.

“I think people are looking to bring warmth and a real sense of livability into their homes, and texture is one of the best ways to accomplish that,” said Ruth Gottesman of Alpha Workshops, which presented a Texture Collection of wall coverings.

Woods were everywhere, from Tucker Robbins’ tamarind tables to Nori Morimoto’s gently sculpted pendant lamps, to a whole host of unusual, exotic-looking laminates for cabinetry or walls. There was also a strong emphasis throughout on eco-friendly manufacturing processes; sustainably harvested trees, recycled metals and glass, low-impact dyes.

 
 
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