New York City’s 12th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show punctuated the beginning of the Spring Season in its typical energetic launch last week. With over 420 exhibitors and approximately 500 premium brands showcased… design enthusiasts, artists, showroom owners, designers and architects flocked to Pier 94 for rows upon rows of designer home brands of furniture and fashion. Everything from art, to carpets and rugs, fabric and trimmings, accessories, lighting, furnishings and kitchens and baths lined the show floors.

Design luminaries such as Dale Cohen, Barbara Horowitz, and Cynthia Barnes of art + interiors addressed one of New Yorker’s (and the country’s) most pressing issues—how to create dynamic style in smaller, existing spaces. The general atmosphere was upbeat and optimistic—a definitive change from the past few years.

There were quite a few head-turners at the show, most notably in the kitchen and bath category – providing a nice tease in advance of next month’s KBIS event in New Orleans. Brown Jordan’s outdoor kitchen collection was recognized as one of the Architectural Digest editors’ top picks as “The very best from the Home Design Show” which included a designer line of custom outdoor cabinetry offered in eight wood grain finishes… all powder-coated over stainless steel. This made-in-Connecticut brand is answering the need of homeowners to expand value and space by creating truly spectacular outdoor living rooms. Brown Jordan offers a wide range of storage and organizational cabinetry, including grill and appliance base cabinets, designed to accommodate every major manufacturer’s grill, as well as various outdoor living lifestyle appliances and products.

Another eye-inspiring brand at the show was Ceramica Design Italia, featuring exclusive ceramic glazed lava stone work surfaces — truly works of art — for both indoor and outdoor use. The beauty is significantly more than skin-deep… based on the strength of the lava stone and the unique process in which this innovative material is manufactured.

Saturated color was one of the prevailing themes at the show, and few companies showcased it as well as NOA Living. A leading source for antique rugs, modern carpets as well as furniture and accessories, the company set the stage by combining ancient tribal design with modern minimalism. The lively, hand-knotted Bagua carpet here is made of virgin wool from New Zealand and “Goodweave” certified… helping to make this colorful brand that much more endearing.

Innovation was a key opportunity for brands to demonstrate at the show. Moonish awed passersby with magnetic, decorative wood tiles that are handmade in Brooklyn. Each tile is dyed and silkscreened on marine-grade plywood featuring a magnetic backing that allows for ease of installation while providing convenient flexibility for creating various geometric compositions.