On A Clear Day I Can ICFF

Back Row: Carl Dellatore, Glenn Gissler, Front Row: Barry Goralnick, Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Ed Ku. Photo by Megan Swann for Editor-at-Large

Last week I was on a panel at ICFF, sponsored by the New York Metro Chapter of ASID moderated by Carl Dellatore, author of Interior Design Master Class, one of the year’s best-selling design books. The book is a collection of essays by 100 top American Designers, in which we each wrote about a topic that was meaningful to us. Five of the contributors had a lively discussion about the role of fashion and trends in the world of interior of design.

Inteiro Design Master Class. Architect, New York

Clockwise from upper left: Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Carl Dellatore, and Barry Goralnick

The question posed by Carl was, “When does one adapt to latest trend or fashion, and when is it best to adhere to a more classic approach?”  Below are some excepted thoughts from the panel:

Barry GoralnickGoralnick Architecture & Design:

Most of our group felt that the answer lies in the middle. One always hears that certain styles are being revived.  There was an Art Deco revival, Biedermeir was all the rage, there is an ongoing trend toward Mid-century Modern, and this year it’s all about the 1980’s.  But just like fashion, styles evolve.  One can use vintage pieces as accents, and to add a layer of texture and meaning, but nothing is ever revived in an exact way.  Things are filtered through a knowing eye of the present.  Proportions change, and scale changes.  In fashion, if you put on your old sport jacket from the 80’s, you’ll look like you just walked out of Goodwill.  It may require re-tailoring, or you can  just have a new one made with a larger lapels or slightly wider shoulders. The simplest solution is to find it at a good designer like Tom Ford.

In design, we all have to evolve. Over the years, I have saved a number of design magazines when they feature a certain house or a room that I love.  But when I look at them, they feel a bit stodgy or dated.  There are a few exceptions, like the great Albert Hadley, of course.  But if we only replicate them, they would look off.

All the designers on our panel are eclectic in their design. That’s a way to weave in some fashionable or trendy elements and still create a room that feels timeless that you will enjoy for years. But we all agreed that being eclectic and ‘effortlessly casual’ takes a lot of hard work and a well-trained eye.  That is why it is best to work with a good designer.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture

Living Room from Interior Design Master Class by Barry Goralnick

Carl Dellatore, Author & Editor  of Interior Design Master Class and Digital Content Strategist:

As we advance through the second decade of the 21st century, one thing has become evident to me through my communications with designers: Nesting is the trend.

Non-stop Google searches, instant messaging, social media, email, and texts: Our frenetic lives in the Information Age leave us all feeling the need for sanctuary and calm in our homes. We need an escape, and as the pace continues to accelerate, so too will our wish to be buffered from it.

Comfort; serenity; retreat; recharge: these are the buzzwords.

Barry Goralnick, Goralnick Architecture & Design Rizzoli Dellatore New York

Author Carl Dellatore and Interior Design Master Class from Rizzoli books

Ed Ku and Etienne Coffinier Coffinier and Ku Design:

Tip:  If you think something is trendy but still love it, use it on something that isn’t a primary design item or something that can be easily changed like decorative objects, pillows or paint color.

Tip #2:  Creating a design mix from different times and influences instead of designing to a theme will help keep you from falling victim to trends.

Observation #1:  Everyone can fall victim to trends because they’re new and shiny and exciting, but we designers should always strive to create something that will last and not look dated.

Observation #2:  As a panel, we were pretty consistent in trying not to follow or be overly influenced by trends, whether in fashion or other creative areas.

Observation #3:  While trying not to be overly influenced by trends, we all have to continue to find new inspirations and to grow as designers or we will be stuck in a creative rut.

Opinion #1:  The best design is timeless.

Opinion #2:  We all are going to design something that become dated or out of fashion.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture

Living Room by Coffinier and Ku from Interior Design Master Class

Glenn GisslerGlenn Gissler Design and President of ASID New York Metro

It is my view that trends are often inventions of manufacturers and journalists. Recognizing that offerings in the marketplace can influence what designers and consumers select, one should avoid novelty and ‘trends’ to make selections that are true and enduring.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture Glenn Gissler Interior Design

Glenn Gissler’s beautiful and eclectic dining room from Interior Design Master Class.

Laura BohnLaura Bohn Design

As a background color, everything looks good against gray.  Color, no color, white – all look good against gray.

Be willing to try new materials.  I’m a Home Depot shopper.  I always find interesting things there.  Even if I don’t plan to specify from the store, it is a great place to see what kind of new materials and products are available.

Barry Goralnick John Lithgow Eclectic Design New Yor Interior Design Architecture Laura Bohn

Laura Bohn’s kitchen project. She is known for mixing unexpected materials.


From left: Glenn Gissler, Barry Goralnick, Laura Bohn, Etienne Coffinier, Ed Ku, and Carl Dellatore

The invitation:

Last week I toured the ICFF in New York and thought I’d share a few of my favorite finds in Part 2, so stay tuned. . .

All photos from the event are Megan Swann for Editor-at-Large

Posted in Apartment Design, Architect, Barry Goralnick, Carl J. Dellatore, Chair, Chandelier, Cocktail Tables, Design, Ed Ku, Furniture, Interior Design, Interior Design Master Class, Lighting, New York Design, Rizzoli Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The (Fan)Joy of Living

Vanguard Furniture paired us with Fanjoy Labrenz, comprised of duo Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz, to create a video introducing the Blended Modern collection. The result is a stylized piece that captures the spirit of the design intent.

We asked FanjoyLabrenz to convey the essence of the collection, evoking Hollywood relaxing in Palm Springs – a retro vibe with a modern filter and a dash of ethnic influence. We challenged them to avoid literal images of movie stars in order to capture the fresh, new perspective the collection offers.

I recently sat down to chat with Sally & James, and I asked them about their creative process.

BG: How did you artistically respond to our concept for Blended Modern?

S&J: From the start, we connected to BG’s eclectic design, since our own aesthetic is a mash-up of contemporary and 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s influences.  To us, it wasn’t a limitation, but a wide-open creative challenge.

BG: How did you create the memorable images you used in the video?

S&J: We have a collection of various objects that, in combination, perfectly illustrated the BG vision: that turquoise Motorola TV, an orange princess phone (we printed your logo for the center), a toy blimp, a collection of demitasse cups from Japan, a 50’s martini shaker, a lava lamp and more. The one thing we were missing was the iconic Olivetti typewriter,
and on the first trip to the Goodwill, there it was!

BG: How did you choose the point of view when shooting those vintage items?

S&J: We kept the shots tight and clean to allow the design to speak for itself, as does the BG Blended Modern collection.

BG: Give some insight into the the way you approach your work.

S&J: We are a team, we are visual thinkers, we love what we do. How can we create a still or moving image that speaks? How can this be the fullest expression of this time and place? How can we excite/provoke/engage?

BG: How do you make everything you create unique?

S&J: By starting every project with a beginner’s mind…
by wondering… wandering…
by  breaking at least one rule…
by doing more than what is expected.

Fanjoy LaBrenz Vanguard Furniture Spencer Huffman Goralnick

Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz shot by Spencer Huffman

Sally and James are extraordinary artists and have had many exhibitions of their work. I asked them to choose a few favorites:

From the “Palimpsest” Series

Fanjoy LaBrenz Photography Barry Goralnick Vanguard Furniture

From the “Fluidity” Series

Fanjoy LaBrenz Photography Barry Goralnick Vanguard Furniture

From the “Fluidity” Series

Fanjoy LaBrenz Photography Barry Goralnick Vanguard Furniture

Fom the “Fluidity” Series

Photograohy, Fanjoy LaBrenz, Barry Goralnick

“From Shore ” Series

Fanjoy LaBrenz Photography Barry Goralnick Vanguard Furniture

“The Dove”


Fanjoy LaBrenz Photography Barry Goralnick Vanguard Furniture



You can see more of their work at:


Posted in Architect, Art, Barry Goralnick, Chandelier, Circa Lighting, Cocktail Tables, Fanjoy LaBrenz, Furniture, High Point Market, Interior Design, Interview, Lighting, Martini Table, Martini Tables, Movie, Pendant, Photography, Uncategorized, Vanguard Furniture, Visual Comfort | Comments Off on The (Fan)Joy of Living

Light in the House by the Lake

For this gorgeous dream home in Utah, the Choros Chandelier from Visual Comfort adorns this handsome bedroom. As per Elle Decor, ” A mohair headboard in the master bedroom pulls in one of the homeowner’s favorite colors — lavender — which Bennett notes can be as masculine and regal as its more vibrant relative purple”.

Choros Chandelier by Barry Goralnick hangs over the bed

Read the whole article at Elle Decor on-line


Posted in Architect, Barry Goralnick, Brass, Chandelier, Circa Lighting, High Point Market, Interior Design, Lighting, New York Design, Uncategorized, Visual Comfort | Comments Off on Light in the House by the Lake