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The Brooklyn Papers / Greg Mango    
Brooklyn Designs, an expo featuring Brooklyn’s home furnishings designers and manufacturers, brought together 30 talented vendors inside St. Ann’s Warehouse on Water Street in DUMBO for a weekend-long exhibition and series of seminars, June 13-15.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which organized the event, estimates that close to 4,000 consumer and trade visitors came to the show of home and office furniture, lighting and decorative accessories. Kenneth Adams, president of the chamber, said the attendance "exceeded our expectations," as did the number of artists who wanted to participate.

"We identified 100 businesses who wanted to be part of the show and had to whittle it down to 30 with a jury," explained Adams.

Among the artists on hand to display and discuss their techniques were (above, left to right) Pratt Institute graduate Courtney Hewitt with her shoe storage system, "Imelda," crafted from plywood and ash veneer; Michael Cannamela, from Red Hook’s 3 Square design studio, with his louvered screen; Oliver Beckert, of the Elseware industrial design collective, with his aquarium and American Standard toilet combo, the "Aquariass"; and pendants and lamps by Park Slope husband-and-wife team Marcia Zia and Paul Priven.

The illuminating duo met while in the movie biz in Los Angeles, and narrowed down their mutual passion to lamps in particular.

"Lighting was my favorite device to create mood on a set," said Zia, a former set decorator. "But I couldn’t always find what I was looking for, so I knew I had to design my own, and Paul was the perfect partner.

"They’re named after film stars: Lana, Garbo and Marlene," said Zia, gesturing to the elegant pendants and lamps from their "Glamour Collection" with their distinctive, crystal finials and linen or silk shades. In fact, everything about the lamps in their Slope shop can be customized, from the finishes on the metal accents to the type of fabric, explained Zia.

Cannamela, of 3 Square Design, told GO Brooklyn he has garnered a lot of interest in his easily customized louvered screen. The designer has created a 45-foot long version for Mexico City’s China Grill, which hung from the ceiling. The interactive, modular folding screen can be used to "divide a space without enclosing it. [It] offers a sense of privacy while allowing light to pass through the pivoting louvers."

Other innovative exhibitors included Modern Modular by Resolution: 4 Architecture, which displayed models of its prefab homes; Eric Manigian Studio’s table with both gem-cut edges and other undulating edges inspired by the tree itself; SMC’s enormous mahogany coffee table, whose carved surface ripples under the certain lighting; Burgeoning Studios’ lighting systems that make inspired couplings of sculptured shapes and colors; Christopher Ross’ children’s furniture; and from Atlantic Avenue, the clean minimalism of Rico Espinet’s lighting; and the boldly colorful offerings from Kea Carpet and Kilims.

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