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If you’re a fan of the hippest architecture, most innovative furniture, and home accessory design, visiting the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at NYC’s Jacob K. Javits Center each year is heaven. From across the globe venerable manufacturers, dreamers and design students gather to discover what the world’s design community has created each year, what newly invented materials have made never-before- possible designs a reality, and show off their own creations to the market.

For the fourth year, Dish visited ICFF, and once again we were impressed with the ingenuity and beauty of what we saw. Following are 12 trendsetting designs (from affordable to not-so-affordable) that prove that in 2005 home design can be both whimsical and practical. Want to own what you see pictured here? Most items may not be available in your hometown, but the good news is you can contact the manufacturers directly through their web sites. And tell them you read about their product in Dish! They’ll be glad to hear from you!


Life is full of circumstances and situations that require flexible solutions. Here’s one you’ve got to know about! The designers at Austria’s Xpand System have created an ingenious expandable completely wood furniture line that enables you to extend or close a tabletop in the twinkle of an eye. Forget those annoying leaves, they’re a thing of the past. And you don’t have to clear a set table to open or close it. The furniture is also beautiful, with the Xpand System itself creating a decorative design element in the table. Currently, this young collection includes a dining table, kitchen table and coffee table that are available in maple, bamboo, beech, beech heartwood, oak, walnut and wenge finishes.

Xpand Systems will be available in the U.S. beginning in October. Visit to find out more.


Josh Levy has found a way to make furniture both environmentally friendly and stylish. He uses cardboard. An admirer of a Frank Gehry cardboard chair, Levy decided to build a cardboard chair himself. After months of hand-cutting and gluing the material, he ended up with four chairs that wowed his friends and family. Now, his company, Levy Design and Manufacturing works with industrial designer Jeff Beene to create chairs, stools, tables and shelving units out of cardboard. As it turns out, lightweight cardboard is not only inexpensive and environmentally friendly (made out of 30% recycled materials) but extraordinarily strong and durable. After cardboard is sandpapered, the texture is as soft as suede or corduroy. And since the products are manufactured using water-based and ultra-low VOC adhesives, they are free of formaldehyde/urea. Plus, there are no worries if you spill something on your cardboard furniture—just blot with a dry cloth. Who knew high style could be this easy?

Cardboard furniture stock items are $345-$595. For more product info, including customization options, visit / Issue 54 - September 4914
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