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Home Design Show Panel

American Made from the Inside Out – Discussing the Impact of American Made Products at the Architectural Digest Home Show

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Every year, the Architectural Digest Home Show is the place to be if you want to see some of the latest and best ideas in home design – and 2015’s show did not disappoint!

Held at Pier 94 in New York City, this year’s is the largest in the show’s 14-year history, with more than 400 brands on display. As the team from Marvin Windows and Doors walks the show floor, it is clear to see that there is a groundswell of all things American made. From lighting to custom furniture to high-end kitchen fixtures – the Architectural Digest Home Show is one of the best places to see the high level of quality and craftsmanship coming from American artists, designers and manufacturers.

With an increased interest in American made, Marvin and Hickory Chair hosted a panel of industry insiders, who gave their perspectives on the abundance of American-made products and how it is impacting design. Moderated by renowned designer Alexa Hampton, the panel consisted of Susan Hable Smith, designer from Hable Construction; Mark McInturff from McInturff Architects; and Thomas Kligerman, cofounder of Ike Kligerman Barkley.

Throughout the hour-long discussion, each panel member discussed their personal experiences designing and building with American-made products, and how American made is continuing to evolve design as we know it. For our MLuxe readers who weren’t lucky enough to attend the discussion in person, we compiled a list of key takeaways and the most intriguing insights:

  • When you design a house today, it is not only about how you build it and design it, but also about the materials you use.
  • Homeowners are looking for materials that can relate to the home. For example, for a house built in Colorado, if you can have the floors, fixtures, lighting and art all from Colorado, it adds to the story of the house and, ultimately, it adds to the quality of the home.
  • The influx in American made has really changed how we build and design. In the past, you would go and pick out a fixture, or a window, and that would be what you used. Those were your choices. Now, it’s not just shopping anymore. You can actually be involved in the design of that product – you can participate in, and influence, how it’s made.
  • Because so many high-quality products are now being made here, you can work directly with the manufacturer to customize it to your needs. Whether it is a doorknob or a window – this allows you to work with products like never before.
  • Additionally, in the past, to get exactly what you wanted you sometimes would have to work with three or four different companies. Now, you can work with just one company to get exactly what you need. It has simplified the process and made it much easier.
  • Additionally, American-made products are very distinctive because of all of the different design and style influences that impact them.
  • The hallmark of American style is to mix in different periods and different cultures, and that is also what makes American made great – it’s because the products don’t have to adhere to a particular style. It makes them uniquely American.
  • American made is also about high quality craftsmanship. There are a lot of great craftspeople here, and as architects and designers, we are evolving in the ways we work with them.
  • As one quote goes: “Show me the railing of a building and I’ll tell you about the building.” What this implies is that in any design, it is all about the details.  With the availability of really high-quality, beautifully American-made products, you can customize the details like never before. You can customize the parts to create something really unbelievable.
  • American made is also about the importance of the history and heritage in the product. It is about the authenticity of the “things.” It’s their story that makes the history and the story of the home. It’s what people want.
  • There is a beauty in heritage and tradition, and there is something wonderful about finding products being made in places where they’ve been doing it for generations. And each new generation comes in and adds their take on it – breathes new life into a product. There is something wonderfully beautiful about that, and we need to continue to support it so it can live on.
  • Additionally, beyond just getting beautifully designed pieces made here in America, it is about the ripple effect that product has on other things. Being American made means that it creates jobs, it supports communities, it allows companies to pay good wages. It’s way bigger than just the product, and people appreciate that.

Arch Digest Home Show