New York Gift Fair Finds Part 1

This is going to be a year of many firsts for me – and one was my visit to the New York International Gift Fair on Monday. Not wanting to be overwhelmed, I only included the Piers this time – and even that was a whirlwind of eye candy!! I was thrilled to see the beautiful booths of friends who own two of the most stylish companies around, both from right here in Connecticut.

Although Stacy Kunstel, editor/stylist extraordinaire and her partner, talented photographer Michael Partenio started Dunes and Duchess only fairly recently, it has already become a darling of the press and chic shops everywhere. Their handcrafted lamps, sconces, tables and now chairs have a chic updated nautical appeal that works in both traditional and modern spaces. This season they added No Scurvy Lemon and Cap Ferrat Bleu to their high gloss color repertoire, although pieces can also be ordered in the cerused wood finish as well.

There are several product additions this season, such as the single scones below, but my favorite has to be the chic Lake House Chair. Wide and deep, it is incredibly comfortable and would be a perfect seat for the tall men in my family! The paint color and fabric possibilities for this are just endless!!

It is always great to see the lovely Diane James girls, twins Carolyn James McDonough and Cynthia James Matrullo, co-owners of the decorative floral company with their mother, the actual Diane James, who founded it over a decade ago.

Their fabulous booth, lined in boxwood, was like a breath of spring air filled with the gorgeous silk flower arrangements. With designers from Michael Smith to Michael Kors as clients, the exquisite arrangements are found at Bergdorf’s and high end boutiques around the world. Sometimes scent is the only distinguishing difference between these and the real thing. Look at the some of the exquisite colors they are showing for the upcoming season.

Although not a new company, a discovery for me was Holly Stuart Designs. My love of tabletop is no secret and I have written about the appeal of hard placemats before here. Holly started her company out of her love of dressing the table as well. Inspired by block prints and timeless patterns of the past, her mats are handcrafted here in the United States. Each is backed in black, trimmed in gold and protected with three coats of low matte clear polyurethane.

With a wipeable finish, they are an elegant solution even with kids in the picture. Holly’s mats have a great price point for such a beautifully made product.

At the end of the day I discovered a brand new company that I think has a potential hit on its hands. It was hard not to be instantly charmed by the eye popping color combinations and fun logo-esque designs on these adorable Lolo bags.

Another Connecticut based company, these fun patent leather creations come in a amazing array of shapes and sizes. While they offer a mid size bag, below top, I think a large tote would be a runaway success for the summer!

Allowance friendly price points lend them an across-the-board appeal from adults to kids. There was such a large selection, I had to take several shots to cover them all.

Look for more gift fair finds in the next several posts to come.

24 thoughts on “New York Gift Fair Finds Part 1

  1. As always, Stacey, you come through for those of us that can’t always get that far north! Love the choices here, and it is good to put faces to Carolyn and Cynthia! Such lovely companies.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Still trying to catch up on all the posts after the show and what fun to see us in your post! With roving reporters like you, we don’t feel like we’ve missed seeing our fellow vendors. Great to see you, Stacy, and hope we can get together for more than just a couple of minutes.

  3. I love all the beautiful Spring, Fun colors of everything you show here. I want to step into your pictures and surround myself with it all. The Diane James flowers are exquisite. The Lolo bags are a must for everyone, young and old!

  4. I always enjoy reading your posts. The show is overwhelming, but as you see, great to see new products, the way they’re presented and meet the faces behind them. We did the Piers and a lot of Javits in one day, it took me days to recover! I thought Dunes and Duchess was great…

  5. I miss the NYIGF! I had a store for 6 years and now write for a luxury interior design website/ecomm etc and love that too but nothing beats seeing fabulously fresh product. Made me want to go sign a new lease and open my shop again. Thank you for the great post and the touchable photos

  6. I spot a blue dachshund on an orange pencil case that is charming!!! Great placemats, silk flowers and I too, LOVE the new Lake House Chair from Dunes + Duchess. Thanks for the peek from NYC. ox

  7. Thankfully I can depend on my friends in blog land to keep me up to date on the latest finds. I’ve been trapped in my office all week and have no time to play! The silk flowers, the nautical theme – and all the color! Living inn the PNW, I see so much gray and black. So fun that you were able to attend this wonderful event! Enjoy your day ~


  8. Stacy,
    Even though I was there, it’s always fun to see things through someone else’s eyes! We have some of the same favorites and then you’ve introduced me to some new things, too!!

    Can’t wait to see what else you loved.
    xo E

  9. Apologies, Stacey….hit the send button before I realized I left the “e” out of your name. I know better!!

  10. Stacy you really hit some of the best spots. We can all see that the season’s bringing us color, bright and bold!

    Art by Karena

  11. It appears Canada needs some of the NYC gift show vendors to come visit us!! Sorry I missed it, but now thanks to you I will absolutely check out these vendors all on my own!!! Thanks for sharing, what I missed!! :)

  12. Love to see the coverage Stacey, was always one of my favorite shows and I miss going. Might head to the stationery show in May but in the meantime you can fuel my trade show lust with your great coverage. Nice article in the paper too! XO

  13. It seems that everything
    is coming up colorful this
    season! I hope that is a
    sign that our economy is
    headed in a more cheerful

    Happy Sunday,
    xx Suzanne

  14. Aarrgh!! I hate that I missed you at the show. We were probably standing right next to each other. I am about to post my gift show photos and impressions. As usual it takes me awhile to digest the thread.

  15. these are great finds… i’m putting back on my buyer’s hat for a company in the uk (dalani). i missed NYIGF, but will be checking into your highlights. love those place mats.

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