I am going to tell you about a wonderful source for designers in New York City. You can find all of the most drop-dead gorgeous tabletop in one fabulous building on Madison Avenue. It is colloquially known as
FORTY-ONE MADISON, and it is filled to the brim, floor after floor, with the best in dishes, glassware, and silverware, as well as all of the other accessories needed to make your dining room or kitchen shine like a star.
All of the big boys are there: Versace, Ralph Lauren, Fitz & Floyd, Waterford, Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Villeroy & Boch, Puiforcat, Mottahedeh & Co., etc., etc., etc.. And lots of other great showrooms to discover as you tool around the building.
A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be invited to a delicious designers breakfast at A VOCE, the award winning restaurant in the building, to listen to a panel discussion about specifying tableware to design clients. I planned to wander around the building afterwards killing time before my interview with EDITOR AT LARGE ( click here to see it) re my take on tableware design.
If you are a tabletop nut like I am, this is a wonderful place to get lost for several hours. I truly have a weakness for dishes and glasses and serving pieces. I inherited this passion from my mother, and if not for a lack of more storage space, and the definite threat of divorce from my husband, I probably would have purchased yet another set of dishes that very day.
Fighting impulse buying at the sight of something “beautiful that I just had to have”…you relate, right?…while I toured a few of my favorite showrooms, I took some pictures and want to share some of the glorious things I saw.
My first stop was at ROYAL DOULTON and I was surprised how modern and colorful their new lines were. Very Mid-Century Modern, bold in pattern and perfect for today’s living style. Colors galore, especially in their new Paolozzi Collection, inspired by the “Father of Pop Art”, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. (That’s a bit of interesting information re Pop Art I didn’t know about before!)
Next I scooted over to NIKKO to check out the fine bone china line designed by London based designer Bodo Sperlein. The amorphous shape of the white dishes, touched off with gold or platinum is really breath taking in it’s simplicity of design. I’m usually a big color person when it comes to dishes, but I couldn’t resist the elegance and modernity of this pattern. By the way, the pattern comes in indigo blue, ash grey, dusky pink as well as white…all equally stunning.
Then I accidentally passed MEYER CORPORATION which represents Rachel Ray and her new inexpensive line of dishes called Partridge Dinnerware, which can be purchased on amazon.com, and nowhere else believe it or not! Definitely a sign of the times.The dishes have a retro look to them and are replete with vibrant colors and patterns that make then really charming and playfully informal. I think their inexpensive pricing and cool designs make them a definite winner for the kitchen.
My last stop was at an old favorite of mine, VILLEROY & BOCH, where there is always a ton of bright and cheerful patterns being produced. They seem to have just the right mixture of sophistication and casualness. These dishes could be in the kitchen or on the dining room table, depending on your mood. I like that concept!
As I said before, it’s mostly about color and pattern for me and the big mix of different types of dishes. Nothing makes me happier than to see a table set with a variety of patterns and glassware. I think it shows originality, courage and confidence, all traits I greatly admire in design.
CIAO, CIAO ‘TIL NEXT TIME!