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The best of NYC’s spring design shows

Warmer temps aren’t the only reason to head outside this week. Masses of design lovers are descending upon the city to take in trade shows and installations showcasing the best of modern and innovative furniture, art and decor.

Throughout May, NYCxDesign hosts a variety of events leading up to the grande dame of the American design scene: the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Now in its 29th year, ICFF is the largest show of its kind. Tens of thousands of visitors and nearly 700 exhibitors from around the world gather on one level at the Javits Center to salute new work in the field.

ICFF started out as a boutique contemporary show but has quickly become the premier event for anyone and everyone who appreciates art and design. It’s also a veritable one-stop shop for folks hunting for the next hot thing in furnishings, light fixtures, carpets, flooring, textiles, wall coverings, accessories, kitchens and bathrooms.

Hustle and bustle at the ICFF.Jenna Bascom

(The show runs from May 21 to 24 but is only open to the public on May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $60 at the door.)

“Consumers can expect an awesome presentation of original work that they wouldn’t see anywhere else, all displayed in one place,” says ICFF event director Kevin O’Keefe. “Many people [even] come with their designer to find that one unique piece for their apartment or home” — though design fans at all levels are enthusiastically welcomed.

The extensive selection process, O’Keefe adds, is why hordes flock to the show. “ICFF is highly curated. We decline hundreds of applicants who do not meet the ICFF standard of ‘what’s best and what’s next’ every year, and we are very clear that all participants present original design.”

The show includes a multitude of pavilions focusing on different countries and their distinctive styles, with nearly half the exhibitors coming from abroad. “I love ICFF for its focus on international design and…

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