These up-and-coming designers keep it local
- Last Updated: 12:03 AM, June 7, 2012
- Posted: 11:05 PM, June 6, 2012
“A key component of all our home goods is that the materials are sustainable,” says Bethany Mallett of the textile brand she and her sister Jenna founded on the Lower East Side in 2008. The flora- and fauna-printed pillows, tea towels and napkins are produced locally, using certified organic materials, though the sisters source reclaimed barn wood from their native state of Ohio for the mirrors and shelving. Bethany counts the city’s proximity to the ocean as an inspiration for their summery nautical and crustacean prints. “The lobster is a new print for us. On a tea towel, it gives a great punch of color in the kitchen.” At ortolanorganic.com.
The Abel family was creating decorative bathroom plumbing and hardware in the borough way before “Made in Brooklyn” became a catchphrase. Avi Abel took over the company that his dad and grandfather founded in 1976 in Sunset Park; it’s now located in Canarsie, where the design, engineering and “green” manufacturing of high-end faucets, smart shower systems and bath accessories takes place. “Our products evoke our feelings about Brooklyn and the influences we see daily,” Abel says. “We couldn’t be prouder of our heritage and our company culture.” For dealers, visit watermark-designs.com.
For his handmade, modern glass products — everything from pendant lights to vases and bowls to bookends — FurthurDesign founder William Couig looks both to nature and the urban environment for inspiration. “I’m sure this is a result of growing up on an old apple orchard in Connecticut while . . . regularly traveling to the city and always having a yearning to live here,” Couig says. Today he maintains two studios in Gowanus, where he creates sculptural objects for galleries and fabricates his product line, established in 2004. “I want to use the natural tendencies and attributes of glass to my advantage.” At furthurdesign.com and Nest Interiors, 172A Ninth Ave., 212-337-3441.
This Brooklyn duo’s designs are not for the faint of heart — bold colors, playful patterns and fun details like contrasting buttons and eye-catching welting make their pillows and furnishings feel a bit, well, madcap . . . in the best way. “We scour the world for fabulous fabrics and ideas to incorporate into our designs,” says Jason Oliver Nixon, who founded the business with his partner, John Loecke, in 2000. Their influences include Dorothy Draper, “Eloise” and “Auntie Mame” (“Banish the beige and boring” is Loecke’s mantra). The result? “Gorgeous silk Ikat pillows in rainbow hues” and, soon, a furniture line. At madcapcottage.com, 917-513-9143.