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Brooklyn's Hottest Home Designers Showcase Their Work at BKLYN DESIGNS

By Janet Upadhye | May 9, 2013 3:22pm
 BKLYN DESIGNS returns to DUMBO to exhibit the borough's freshest designers of contemporary furnishings, lighting, accessories and more.
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DUMBO — These Brooklyn-based designers salvage wood from dumpsters to make sleek furniture, transform plastic bottles into glowing chandeliers, and hand print their own wallpaper.

Selected by a prestigious jury of experts, 35 of the borough's most cutting-edge home designers are set to display their work at this year's BKLYN DESIGNS.

"Design has become a flourishing business in Brooklyn and a big part of this borough's creative energy in recent years" said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "As part of NYCxDESIGN, we can show everyone that Brooklyn continues to be the center of New York's creative community by showcasing the borough's top designers."

After a two-year hiatus due to lack of funding, the annual BKLYN DESIGNS roster is back with a slew of designers dedicated to eco-conscious materials.

One presenter, Kimberly Lewis, specializes in "playful patterned home furnishings." Her wallpapers are made with water-based inks, clayed-coated paper and hand printing done in low volumes so extra stock doesn't go to waste.

"A lot of wallpapers are vinyl-based," she said. "I wanted to be more environmentally conscious with my designs and stay away from toxic materials."

Lewis will be showing a new collection called "Resort" that encompasses five patterns that are "that are bright, colorful and have a nautical feel," she said.

Williamsburg-based Lamacek is known for a lounger chair made with felt created from recycled plastic bottles. Designers Connie Lam and Michael Sedlacek used a magnetic sheet to hold the felt to the metal base of the chair. They also won a BKLYN DESIGNS 2010 award for "Best Lighting" with their Deer Head Light. A spoof of the traditional deer trophy head found in hunting lodges, this light uses animal-friendly metal, showcase bulbs, and a wood plaque to create the same look. Lamacek will present their new designs this year.

Newcomer Mark Jupiter will be showing furniture made from salvaged wood scavenged from demolished townhouses, refurbished towers, shuttered factories and felled trees.

"We find wood by wandering out in the world," he said. "It could be in the back of a pickup, lying in the street, or at the site of a recent demolition."

Other presenters include Dog Tag Designs by Tyagi Schwartz. His work includes lamps made from old electric mixers, car radios, and rusty car oil funnel cans. "I wish I could turn my girlfriend into a lamp-then I could turn her on," he wrote in his blog.

Aroopy makes ottoman covers in the patterns of maps and flags inspired by world travel, and Matthew A Yanchuk, who created ceramic tile wall hangings, was inspired by "images from old family photographs, movie and television images, and his own collection of photographs," according to his blog.

BKLYN DESIGN takes place in St. Ann’s Warehouse at 29 Jay St. in DUMBO from May 10-12. Along with designer's booths there will also be an outdoor kids lounge, Brooklyn-based food trucks, and more. For more information, to buy tickets, and to see a full schedule of events visit BKLYN DESIGN.