New Yorkers set a high bar when it comes to buying stuff. Our living space is both limited and costly, and if the item doesn’t work well and doesn’t look good, it isn’t going into our apartment.
With that in mind, Brick Underground took a look at five new home furnishings collections that are launching this spring, including Pottery Barn’s collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer and fashion icon Iris Apfel’s line, among others.
But fair warning: The collections include a lot of pieces with a tropical beach vibe. Would they appeal to New Yorkers? To find out, we selected one item from each collection and asked two design types, “Would you put this in your apartment?”
Iris Apfel, the 96-year-old designer and fashionista known for her signature round glasses and tectonic layers of jewelry, has a new 50-piece collection of home furnishings, decor, and tableware. But Iris Loves Grandin Road, as the collection is called, has a safari vibe that may be a little much for New York City apartments (think monkey table lamps and a pineapple-shaped serving bowl). This vaguely zebra-patterned chair in a linen-cotton fabric caught our eye because it is somewhat urban in black and white, but would our experts go ape for it?
"While I adore Iris Apfel, I wouldn't put this particular chair in my home. I like the shape, and I like the price. The size feels right for an urban domicile, and I like the idea of a black-and-white geometric print. But a geometric print should be precise—it's not the right pattern for a hand-painted look."—Elizabeth Stoel
"This was my favorite. The pattern and piping give are fun and dynamic. The scale is also perfect for occasional dining chairs. I always like having two 'special' dining chairs set aside in the room that are either around a console or in a corner. These are petite, so great for seating for smalls, but with a comfy look and a punch of style. I don’t love the legs, which feel too pedestrian. The lines of the sides and back are soft and unexpected and play great with the fabric pattern."—Jennifer Morris
Pottery Barn collaborated with the iconic clothing brand Lilly Pulitzer, prized in Palm Beach for its resort wear, on a new beach-themed furnishings and decor line. The products range in price from $17 for pillows to $1,000 for furniture. There are reversible quilts in pastel patterns, sea horses kissing on a pillow, and a pineapple mirror sconce. We’re partial to this round shell mirror made out of resin. Would our designers shell out for it?
"I would not put this Lilly Pulitzer round shell mirror anywhere—certainly not in my Brooklyn home, and not even in a beach house. It looks like someone's grandmother's vacation project."—Stoel
"This would be a nice surprise in a powder or guest bath. I love the tone-on-tone and texture of the shells. The shape of the shells makes a color that can usually read bland into a strong statement."—Morris
The craft chain Michael's launched a furniture line recently, but it is only available online, not in stores. Pieces include mirrors, armchairs, rugs, lamps and rugs. This green ottoman with a storage compartment caught our eye.
"This little ottoman could fit in anywhere, whether your look is modern or traditional. It adds a pop of color and texture, while also providing a great place to toss throw blankets and other clutter. I can imagine using it in the den, the living room, or the bedroom."—Stoel
"The color for this is super fun and chic. The jewels tones can be great in either a living room or a fun playroom or kid’s room. I can see a few in a master bedroom or walk-in closet. The storage is a bonus."—Morris
You can’t shop this collection yet, as it is coming to stores and online in early April. Most items will be priced below $30. The line aims for an “eclectic aesthetic” and features more original artwork than any brand the retailer has ever introduced. It was inspired by designers' travels to cities including Paris, Lisbon, and Mallorca. And what did they come up with? Well, this pineapple lamp, to start.
"This is a cute little lamp, but if you're going to choose one or two unusual pieces to add character to a room, isn't it worth spending a little money to get something more unique than a mass-produced Target pineapple? And... does anyone use table lamps in New York City?"—Stoel
"Not into this lamp. There is too much going on and the mix of simple shade and ornate base doesn’t have any balance or dialogue."—Morris
California-cool brand Fred Segal and CB2 have a new collection. Look for brass table lamps, coffee tables with a gold cactus motif, and sofas with no feet. This whimsical ocean palm has two bulbs tucked under the leaves like glowing coconuts.
"I just might put this in my home. For urban homes with limited natural light, and not enough opportunities to be around real plants, this fanciful palm floor lamp conjures up the tropics with just the right amount of kitsch and playfulness. The shiny brass finish paired with the naturalistic rendition of the palm fronds is edgy and fun. The only question is the price. This isn't a forever piece. It's a trendy conversation starter, and you are guaranteed to get sick of it by the time those fronds start to gather dust."—Stoel
"This is fun but a bit silly for me. I try to add whimsy to my life and design but as a New Yorker, unless I'm going full on ironic, this doesn’t resonate."—Morris
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