Material Intrigue and Rich Details Unite These Three Standout Collections From New York’s Design Festivities

Over-the-top and outrageous has a place in our hearts, but we need to be in the mood for it. What always seems to hit right is design that combines a certain restraint with sumptuous details: material richness, attention to composition, elegance of form. Three of the best collections we saw at New York Design Week, from independent studios in Brooklyn and Manhattan, do just that: Not too much, but still refreshing and surprising; a little asymmetry, an unusual but just-right choice, or a wow-inducing flourish.


Sunfish, who arranged their latest limited-edition pieces in the living room of their Chinatown apartment, draw on Latin American and European Modernism, combining a simplicity of forms with a humanistic approach. There’s a certain rigor in their designs but nothing at all austere. When Julia Eshaghpour and Kevin Hollidge founded the studio in 2021, they’d already spent 10 years working together in a fine art capacity, developing their own conceptual language, which likely accounts for a kind of depth and ease in their work. (We spoke with them for last year’s American Design Hotlist.)

Their new collection, their fifth, draws on “techniques and design movements from across time and place,” according to the duo. It highlights materials with a “living quality” — chosen for the way that they change over time, reveal their own histories, and respond to the world around them. The Shino glaze, for instance, on the handcrafted tiles that top the Solstice and the Sardine tables is highly reactive to the clay it’s applied to, leaving a trace of its own transformational process. The oak bases of the tables have been cerused, a finishing technique that highlights the grain of the wood. The leather of the Sling chair and stool, framed in sapele, will develop a unique patina as it wears. The pieces of this collection are all attuned to the natural world, to the cyclical way the earth revolves around the sun and to our planet’s flora and fauna, which is depicted in the three-paneled Terrain and Passage room dividers, comprised of lacquer, oil paint, and cherry wood. This is furniture with a narrative – a past, present, and future.

Studio Nicholas Obeid

For his debut furniture collection, shown at Love House, interior designer Nicholas Obeid created “strict yet spirited forms” that are striking in their architectural simplicity, playing rigid geometries off material softness and warmth. Brooklyn’s Obeid, who founded his interior design firm in 2018 and has previously designed furniture for CB2, explores “the power of a singular gesture” in these seven pieces, handmade in New York and Los Angeles.

The walnut Nadia bench, with its smooth curvature and generous proportions, combines a sense of movement, a kind of ongoing-ness, with a mysterious stillness. Curves repeat in the fully upholstered Ines bed, whose headboard and footboard wrap around a center platform in a way that’s both sophisticated and snuggly. In contrast, the rectilinear Milo leather sofa is a study in angularity. As is the Enzo side table, but with a twist: a thick, textured cast-glass shelf floats “like a pool of water” as Obeid puts it, in smooth white oak (with five other wood finish options available). Lighting includes the Lucie table lamp, which features a cube of vellum as a shade that intersects a tapered base of solid wood; hand-polished aluminum accents add a reflective quality to the tall Lucie floor version. And with the Michel pendant, two sheets of draped parchment – handstitched with waxed linen thread – are suspended from a metal frame of either unlacquered or aged brass, matte black, or mottled nickel. With these pieces, Obeid gives seemingly simple forms a layered, unexpected resonance.

Gregory Beson

At Verso in Tribeca, Gregory Beson launched his Dark Beach capsule collection, which evokes the experience of walking along the water’s edge on a moonlit night — what Beson considers a “liminal space,” in which you’re as aware of what’s around you as you are your own interior thoughts. The Brooklyn-based designer launched his studio in 2018, after getting his credentials from Parsons, where he’s also on the faculty, and has been creating furniture that activates, rather than simply occupies, domestic spaces. His work features details that reward close attention and time spent observing. The Dark Beach collection was conceived of in winter and it has that season’s feel: slightly somber but also cozy, pieces that encourage the warmth of indoor gatherings. Though he uses materials — like walnut and fumed ash — whose heaviness might be stuffy in other hands, Beson imbues them with a gracefulness and a playful, almost musical quality.

A bit less angular than his previous work, curving edges soften the silhouette of the gorgeous Henrique console in walnut. The five-sided Quin stool, whose seat is upholstered in jacquard velvet from Dedar Milano, invites you to orient it any way you want around the walnut Nox dining table, with a Patagonia quartzite inlay. The geometric, ovoid planes of the Respire coffee table are echoed in the shapes of the Respire mirror and even the hunched, three-legged Bug Lamp II, made in collaboration with Liza Curtiss.