It’s not often—if ever—people assume I watch “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but I plan to, now. Last Friday, I met Tom Hahn at the Home Design Show in New York City, where he stopped at the Mr. ShowerDoor booth. Owner Tom Whitaker and I learned that Hahn’s daughter, Yolanda Foster, is one of the newest housewives on Bravo’s hit show, and also that she asked her project manager Dad to make her an all-glass refrigerator for which he used shower door panels. The entire unit was insulated and is a big hit on and off the show.
|View a photo gallery from the show.|
As I simultaneously visualized the contents of my fridge and wondered how to respond to Hahn’s, “I’m sure you’ve seen the fridge” statement, I was also thinking, “only in New York.” That’s because seconds before this encounter, Whitaker and I were discussing suitable captions for the photo he had just snapped of Roman Abramovich’s $1.5 billion yacht parked just outside the show that is held every year at Pier 94 on Manhattan’s West Side. After reeling off a few options, we decided on: “Show attendee scores prime Manhattan parking space.”
Without a doubt, the handful of glass, window and door exhibitors mixed in among 10-burner ranges, premium wine refrigerators, rare carpets and “accessory works of art” are targeting New York’s elite and their designers. So in addition to hearing unusual stories, it’s always interesting to see what suppliers bring to this home show.
Whitaker’s private label stainless steel Volante, for sliding frameless shower enclosures, appeals to the red-bottom shoe crowd. Down the aisle, Lillian Gorbachincky, president of Cosmopolitan Glass, showcased her company’s sparkling decorative glass options. She sketched for me the almost finished artistic installation she designed of carved Lalique-like glass for three Tiffany windows at the Fifth Avenue flagship store. Rumor has it, Leonardo DiCaprio will be sharing the spotlight with her windows for a Great Gatsby inspired jewelry line.
Growing up in the 1970s, I remember thinking antique mirror looked a little cheesy on my best friend’s dining room wall. But after visiting the Artique Glass Studio booth, I was ready for my own home makeover. Maybe it’s age (the antiquing process?) or just how it’s been re-done, but I wasn't surprised to see Jay DeMauro talking to a different young hip designer each time I strolled by.
Bieber Architectural Windows & Doors showed a beautiful bronze-clad window and its minimalist Slim-Profile Window with concealed hinges, perfect for the skinny pant set walking the show.
At Chautauqua Woods Fine Doors & Entryways, you could see a custom entry door ‘in progress’ for a residential castle in Alpine, N.J. The artist homeowner supplied her own CAD drawings for the elaborate and massive solid mahogany door which was displayed “two stages away from its final version.”
Riviera Doors & Windows displayed several residential and commercial doors, including a line of folding doors for either application. David Lenkowsky showed me photos he’d just taken of an office installation where the client requested acoustical panels imprinted with the Manhattan skyline. Open the doors and—presto—the real skyline appears.
NanaWall was perched on an elevated platform so attendees could more easily view the company’s smoothly operating slider. Eastern Regional Sales Manager Chuck Braun noted that the New York Metro area is one of the company’s strongest. Happily, the residential market is gaining again. In fact, everyone I spoke to reported an improvement in show traffic and interest compared to the last couple of years.
I’m glad to hear it; maybe now I’ll get some time to kick back and watch Bravo’s Housewives.
Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine and vice president of the National Glass Association. Write her at email@example.com.