And so begins coverage of my trip to NYC for the 2011 International Contemporary Furniture Fair, known as ICFF. Last year, I organized it day by day, but this time I’m going to break it into parts. I’m not sure yet how many parts there will be, but I hope that you enjoy!

One thing to note about this year’s fair is that there was a lot of “playing it safe” from designers — that is, creating pieces that will sell well in the market, look beautiful, are well-made, and have a good price point. What was lacking, at least to me, was those few “knock my socks off” pieces that I usually see. I’m not sure if this is because of the economy or lack of availability of new materials… or perhaps we’re just in a time of transition? I would love to hear thoughts from those of you who attended the show. While I was a little bummed out, I was excited to see the vast amount of sell-able, quality pieces that you and I can actually afford and put in our homes, so you will see a lot of that over the next week or so.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Phase had all new pieces in their booth – stay tuned for a more detailed post on their new collection.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

BRC Designs had a stunning collection of chairs, tables, and rugs made from old materials including circuit boards, blue jeans pockets, and blue jean labels.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Katherine Ladd textiles – great graphic prints.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Wang Jinsheng, whose waterfall record player captivated me last year, was back with another musical instrument. This time a set of drums that were made from old tires and speakers.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Vitra had a presence, but didn’t have too many new pieces in their booth. They recently launched a few pieces including a bird sculpture with Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, the Waver chair by Konstantin Grcic, and the Tip Ton chair by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Cool candle task lamp by Ali Siavoshi.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Manulution is a Bosnian company that has been making hand-carved wood furniture since 1927. Tiny details, like textured edges and daisies carved in the center of the table makes each piece really special.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Moleskine‘s lifestyle products will blow your mindbrain. Coming soon to a store near you! New collection includes a pen, reading glasses, and travel bags that are made from the same material as the Moleskine notebooks.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Roll & Hill has some new pieces, including this bubble chandelier, which I really love.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Iglooplay‘s new Candy Pods look like a lot of fun.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Balanced Design shared some new rugs as well as new fabric colorways.

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

And, who else could this be but Tom Dixon? His booth was ultra-blinding this year with lots of safety orange, including these crazy bright wide-strapped shoulder bags he was giving away that resembled crossing guard uniforms.

I really like his new lights:

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

ICFF 2011: Part 1 in news events home furnishings  Category

Loved this storage cabinet from Blu Dot. It isn’t quite green, not really gray, but a lovely, unexpected in-between color. I also really like the brass hardware, an emerging trend I noticed at the show.

To view ICFF coverage from previous years, visit our ICFF archives.