Samurai mystique, writ in wood: Among the wood-grained
looks now available in high-pressure laminate is Kendo, a
pattern inspired by Japanese swords made from bamboo. Other
new exotics include Bubinga, a prized African rosewood, and
Mojo Maple, with a magical (and very graphic) swirling maple
grain. 8339 Telegraph Road, Odenton, MD 21113; 800-638-4380;
Masonite, upholstery, acrylic paint, and either canvas or
linen combine to create Soundproof Original Art padded
acoustic panels. Printed with any of 15,000 images, the panels
slip into any upholstered-wall system. 57 East 11th Street,
10th Floor, New York, NY 10003; 212-674-3093; novoarts.com.
Good looks, durability, and sustainability come together in
this solid surfacing, composed of 75 percent recycled glass
and concrete. Produced in 4 3/4-by-8-foot slabs, 1 1/4 inches
thick, the product is equally suited to residential
backsplashes and commercial floors. Tuscan Sunset, Sapphire
Snow, Amber Pearl, Arctic Moss, Jade Snow, and Sage Pearl are
just some of the 20 standard colors. Custom colors and sizes
available. Qualifies for LEED MR 4.1, 4.2 consideration. 63
Flushing Avenue, Unit 283, Brooklyn, NY 11205; 718-624-4900;
Share office system
Bridging the divide between furniture and architecture, the
Alt Share office system combines work surfaces in tan, silver,
or gray laminate particleboard and partitions in aluminum and
steel. All are easy to dismantle and recycle. 203 North
LaSalle Street, Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60601; 312-917-6200;
Valli & Valli
Pierluigi Cerri, the designer responsible for Prada's
corporate identity, has brought his fashion sensibility to the
world of hardware with the Fusital collection. This H 350 door
lever coordinates with window handles, pulls, escutcheons, and
lock sets, all produced in polished or satin chrome. 150 East
58th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10155; 877-326-2565; vallievalli.com.
Carpet maven Stephanie Odegard reveals her international
flair with the introduction of the Jali panel, named for the
Arabic word. The perforated marble element, hand-carved to
order in India, comes in white, black, and green for use as a
window screen, countertop, or backsplash. 200 Lexington
Avenue, Suite 1206, New York, NY 10016; 212-545-0069; odegardinc.com.
Privacy and protection in one: Impact-resistant Bamboo
Rings safety-glass panels screen the private dining room from
the bustling kitchen at New York's Nobu restaurant. Similar
custom panels can range from 3/4 to 2 inches thick and
incorporate privacy coatings. 24742 Sea Shell Way, Dana Point,
CA 92629; 800-846-0245; livinglass.com.
These leaves of grass, as graceful as a Whitman poem, are
suspended in glass: 4-by-8-foot panes of 3Form glass sandwich
an eco-friendly cast-resin layer, which, in turn, can
encapsulate seaweed, bear grass, cattails, or even larkspur.
The edges of the sheet can be polished clean for frameless
installations. 2300 South 2300 West, Suite B, Salt Lake City,
UT 84119; 800-726-0126; 3-form.com.
wood" plastic laminates
Fine wood finishes—everyone wants them, but no one enjoys
maintaining them. As an alternative, try this manufacturer's
affordable, durable "architectural wood" series of plastic
laminates. Introductions include Empire mahogany, New Age oak,
Crowne burl, and Shaker, Williamsburg, River, and Biltmore
cherry. 2400 Wilson Place, Temple, TX 76504; 800-433-3222; countertop.com.
Au Coin du Feu
In a Belgian warehouse, Mary Jeanne Reese maintains 3,000
antique European fireplace surrounds that range stylistically
from gothic to this early 19th-century hard-stone piece from
Buxy in Southern France. If you can't get to Belgium, fret
not: Her new Chicago showroom offers the best of the lot, as
well as antique garden furniture and reclaimed stone flooring.
470 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60610; 312-850-2655;
Noir porcelain stoneware tiles
Water-jet-cut Edera Noir porcelain stoneware tiles in Noir,
Anthracite, Gris, and beige feature frosted-glass inserts
suitable for backlighting. Formats range from 6 to 24 inches
square; a 1-by-2-foot rectangle is also available. 30 Via
Viazza, Fiorano Modenese, Modena, Italy 41042; 931-249-8242;
Wengé-pattern laminates in a trio of dark shades feature
this manufacturer's smooth "nutshell" finish. The
high-performance surface has a barely-there three-dimensional
natural-wood-grain texture and also delivers the advantages
and durability of a laminate—making it suitable for horizontal
surfaces like countertops and desks. 60 West Sheffield Avenue,
Englewood, NJ 07631; 800-228-2238; abetlaminati.com.
We're sweet on this Italian manufacturer's glass blocks in
delicious pastel lilac, yellow, pink, and aquamarine. The
colored blocks, whether in a retro wave pattern or a modern,
frosted finish, ensure privacy. And a new 18-inch block format
called Pegasus dramatically minimizes the appearance of mortar
joints. Dept: Vanagb, P.O. Box 1812, Cranberry Township, PA
16066; 724-242-2121; vanagb.com.
Two-inch-long rectangles of South American Cattle-horn
veneer are embedded in resin atop medium-density fiberboard.
The handcrafted surface sells in panels up to 8 feet long, or
as tiles from 8 to 12 inches square. 150 West 25th Street, 8th
Floor, New York, NY 10001; 800-793-0224; archsystems.com.
Total internal refraction—the same principle that makes
fiberoptics possible—endows these weatherproof tiles with an
inner glow. Colors and shadows hitting the surface ripple and
blend into an internal light show that requires no additional
power input and lasts the life of the tiles. 1604 Clay Avenue,
3rd Floor, Detroit, MI 48211; 313-872-6314; sensitile.com.
The elegantly tapered, gently curved Amarillo lever is
available from this traditional British hardware manufacturer
in either a satin-chrome or bright-chrome finish. Part of the
exclusive Italian-inspired Serozzetta collection of modern
hardware, the levers ship with a discreet 2-inch-diameter
escutcheon. Parkhouse Road, Carlisle, England CA30JU;
partition system & Planus Due door
The clear-anodized aluminum jambs of Antonio Citterio's
Pavilion partition system and Planus Due door incorporate an
elegant shadow line. The door is 23 to 36 inches wide in
clear, frosted, or colored glass; gray or brown oak; or
colorfully lacquered wood. 150 East 58th Street, 8th Floor,
New York, NY 10155; 877-878-7374; tre-piu.com.
Provenance shades are wood slats, natural reeds, bamboo
strips, or other grasses woven with multiple 100 percent
polyester yarns for increased strength. An optional Micro
pleat shade situated directly behind the wood one lowers
independently to facilitate light filtering or room darkening.
2 Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458; 800-937-7895; hunterdouglas.com.
Metal Mosaic tiles are brushed 1- or 2-inch copper or
stainless-steel squares. (Or try 1-inch copper penny tiles.)
The dots, diamonds, cornices, and field tiles in the companion
Pewter line are finished in gunmetal, antiqued bronze, aged
brass, or darkened copper. 42 West 15th Street, New York, NY
10011; 212-255-4450; completetile.com.
Ithemba panels from the Varia 05 collection encase tribal
beadwork in environmentally friendly EcoResin, a plastic
formulated with 40 percent recycled content that may be used
outdoors with the addition of a UV protector. Other panels
incorporate natural capiz shells or nubbly tiger thatch. 2300
South 2300 West, Suite B, Salt Lake City, UT 84119;
Valli & Valli
satin stainless-steel pull
Get a grip with this source for finely finished Italian
hardware. The minimalist A2025 satin stainless-steel pull, one
of four new designs this year from veteran collaborator
Antonio Citterio, is incised with a tactile micro-grid of
grip-enhancing diagonal grooves. 150 East 58th Street, 4th
Floor, New York, NY 10155; 877-326-2565; vallievalli.com.
Esto is a 27-inch pattern of random horizontals on a
lightly brushed clear-glass background. The glass is available
in sections up to 80 by 132 inches, and in various
thicknesses. It can be tempered, laminated, curved, shaped,
drilled, notched, slumped, carved, sandblasted, and colored.
1.1244 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
V6H 3R8; 888-505-4527; bermanglasseditions.com.
Designer Dell'Orto-Cattaneo's elegant new swinging or
sliding Havana wardrobe doors are gray oak or wengé. Three
heights, four widths, and optional mirrored inset panels lend
flexibility, as do end-unit modules and corner solutions. 150
East 58th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10155; 888-765-4367;
Domino is a flexible system of 13-by-20-inch wall tiles,
borders, and corners. The range of coordinating neutral
colors—from pure white to cream, pink, yellow, and soft
green—allows monochromatic or subtly contrasting
installations. 71 Via Radici in Piano, Corlo di Formigine,
Modena, Italy 41040; 39-059-558-154; ceramichegrazia.it.
Climaplus ceiling panels are perforated aluminum overlaid
with a nearly smooth and highly reflective white acoustical
facing. The finished panels, specially engineered for sound
control, fit into concealed suspension T-bars to create a
seamless white plane overhead. 125 South Franklin Street,
Chicago, IL 60606-4678; 800-874-4968; usg.com.
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