BKLYN Designs, the ne plus ultra of uber-hip contemporary furnishings, has been known for many things over its last eight years, but family-friendly hasn’t exactly been one of them.
The annual design showcase still isn’t like shopping at IKEA, but this year, the borough-centric display of contemporary furnishings and accessories appears to be making a concerted effort to appeal to a more domestic demographic.
Some designers are even featuring items specifically for children.
Kids figure largely in the work of April Hannah, a DUMBO designer who says her pieces were inspired by her desire to share playtime with her 6-year-old son.
“Most kids furniture is marketed to zero- to 3-year-olds,” she said. “You’re really limited in your choices. You’re either stuck with a table that’s too small for parents to sit at, or not enough surface area for kids to create large art projects.”
Housed at St. Ann’s Warehouse from May 7 through 9, this year’s show even includes a specially designed Kids Lounge exclusively devoted to fun and functional children’s furnishings.
Of course, some designers aren’t featuring kid-friendly pieces at all, but are confident that BKLYN Designs still has broad — even international appeal.
Urban glass designer William Couig’s graceful waterfall bookends and ornamental “mercury pools” are in no way kid-friendly — and that’s OK with him.
“It’s a local show but one with more of a big-time feel,” Couig says.
Designer André Joyau’s stainless steel lamps topped with handmade origami shades aren’t meant for tiny hands, but he does welcome the larger exposure that a homier BKLYN Design show offers.
“We always hope that the show is going to give us better exposure,” he says. “We’re always looking for new people.”
And that’s what BKLYN Designs delivers, said organizer Karen Auster.
“This show attracts design enthusiasts and first-time homebuyers,” she said. “It’s high-end design, not high-end prices.”
Brooklyn Designs at St. Ann’s Warehouse [38 Water St. between Main Street and Dock Street in DUMBO, (718) 243-1414], May 7-9. Tickets are $15 at the door. For info, visit www.bklyndesigns.com.