For the second year in a row, Remodelista hosted a local vendor market at the annual Dwell on Design conference and trade show in Los Angeles. Dwell on Design features great new artisan and modern furniture & accessories, kitchen & bath items, design materials, outdoor, modern family, and technology.
Remodelista's editor-at-large, Sarah Lonsdale curated the vendors for Remodelista's Market by choosing the most unique and eye-catching vendors and designers. Over the course of the three day show she lead a leather tie DIY workshop and lent her expert eye as a judge on a panel surveying the entire showroom floor.
The panel picked winners for the best upcoming designs in categories ranging from the best outdoor furniture to the best textiles. We asked Sarah to give us her thoughts about the future of design and her favorite items from the show.
What has your involvement been in the past with Dwell on Design? This is our third year at Dwell on Design. The first two years we had a booth and ran The Architect Is In, hosting 'speed consultations' with designers and architects. Last year we hosted our first Remodelista Market at Dwell and found we garnered much more interest with the Market that we decided just to stick with a Remodelista Market this year.
You were on one of the product/design judging panels. What were your top three products of all the winners? I really liked this magnetic vertical garden by Urbio - mutli-functional and well thought out. I noticed a lot of gardening products this year more than ever before which bodes well for Gardenista. Quench Design, is a collective of designers from Queensland, Australia that had several great products including small stools, a one piece desk with seat and some innovative drip coffee makers. It's great to see that these designers feel that West Coast exposure is important. ECOR is a post-consumer "cardboard" by Noble Environmental Technologies that has multiple applications for building anything from walls to making furniture. I think it will be worth keeping an eye on.
From the looks of the conference, are there a few design themes or trends that aspiring Remodelistas should be looking out for? Gardening was big this year (again, bodes well for Gardenista). There were lots of products for displaying plants and furniture for relaxing outdoors. There was also a bigger international presence this year. I think it's great that Dwell on Design has become big enough for foreigners to feel it is worth attending as it's the biggest modern design event on the West Coast.
If you could give the other vendors as a whole one piece of advise, what would it be? Take a look at the foreigners. They did not have huge budgets but did a great job of showcasing their goods.
In terms of the Vendors at the Remodelista Market, what were some of your favorite items? Joey Roth's new planter is something I would buy in a heartbeat. It relies on a simple traditional system of allowing water to seep through clay to keep a plant moist and the design is beautifully rendered. I like the Aura Lighting from Ladies & Gentlemen - it's simple but original. We featured this design couple from Seattle several years ago and it has been great to see their work evolve and to see them become more established. Scout Regalia's new bike is a great story as it is made in America involving designers from across the country. Anything by Brendan Ravenhill appeals. Since we first picked him up he has established himself as an up and coming designer and you just know he's going somewhere.
When you left the convention center, were there any special LA spots that you visited? Bottega Louie has been on my radar for a while but I had never been able to get it to it. It's even better than I imagined - a cross between a Viennese tea salon and a Parisian turn-of-the-century restaurant. It's an enormous white marbled space with gilt decoration and the most delicious food but not too grand and the packaging of goods is perfection. Definitely Remodelista post-worthy.
What was your experience like meeting with the Old Girl Network (OGN)? Were there any designers, online friends or readers that you met in person for the first time? They were a very friendly group mostly composed of designers and a few architects. I had met a couple of them before but most were new and they were really interested in hearing the Remodelista story of how we came to be.
Were there any fun celebrity sightings? It is LA after all so there's always one or two floating around. James Van Der Beek of Dawson's Creek and Don't Trust the B-- fame came by our Market even though he had not heard of Remodelista and was interested in the young designers selling their wares - he even made a couple of purchases.
Remodelista's local market vendor list: Blk Pine Workshop, Brendan Ravenhill, Fleet Objects, Fruitsuper, Grain, Iacoli McAllister, Joey Roth, Ladies & Gentlemen, Mimot Studio, Olmay Home, R & L Goods, Piano Nobile, Scout Regalia, Small Trade Company, and Studiopatro.