National and global brands catering to lovers of modern design and contemporary furniture exhibited their hottest wares last month at the 27th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Held annually in New York, ICFF (as it’s known to the design cognoscenti) is the most important design show in the country, the place where U.S. trends are revealed.

Modern comes in many forms, but here are seven developments to keep in mind:

Harvey Probber launched his Deep Tuft sectional sofa in 1972, and M2L has reissued it. The piece is available in “customer's own material” in three units: seat only; seat and back; seat, back and arm ($5,200 per module, (M2L)

Mid-century modern is having a moment, but it’s not all about “Mad Men.” Americans, it seems, are feeling nostalgic, which may account for the popularity of Edison light bulbs, Mason jars and handlebar mustaches (at least among the hipster set). Manufacturers are meeting this demand. One Collection has revived the 45 Chair from Danish designer Finn Juhl, and M2L has reissued the discontinued 1972 Deep Tuft sectional sofa from designer Harvey Probber. “The real test of great design is time,” says Michael Manes, president of M2L. “Harvey Probber was a true American design icon whose brilliant, modern design spanned four decades — from the mid-1940s to the 1980s — and continues to age gracefully today.”

Helio offers a minimal, contemporary silhouette and hand-blown glass. The compact shape is easier to group together but may stand alone. It comes in 10 bold colors (including Tangerine, above) and various bulb options — incandescent beacon, Plumen 001 and a nostalgic-style LED bulb (from $495, (Niche Modern)
Bold colors

Just because you’re a modernist doesn’t mean your only option is white. Colored chairs from Bernhardt, bold wallcovering from Trove and vibrant lighting from Niche Modern were among the many bright-hued options at the show. Contemporary colored lighting is especially strong. “I think there are so many architects and designers wanting and searching for good lighting, and they are creating a market, maybe one that didn’t exist before,” says Jeremy Pyles, Niche’s co-founder and creative director.

Feltforms is a combination decorative 24-inch wall panel and acoustical tile. The adhesive-backed pieces are easy to install and come in three colors ($240 for four panels, (Mio)
Multifunctional design

Architects often talk about rooms that accommodate multiple functions, and industrial designers are taking note. Products at the show included Ecotono’s Feeler pendant light with an integrated Bluetooth speaker, Mio Feltforms decorative panels that double as acoustic tiles, and Oso Industries’ concrete Rollerboy rolling table/stool/ottoman.

The modern Swift chair is fabricated with traditional woodworking techniques, such as exposed mortise-and-tenon joints. Polyester rope forms the seat. It’s available in domestic hardwoods, with rope options in black, gray or navy (pricing available on request, (Phloem Studio)

Warm and attractive, wood is the preferred material for furniture makers; modern designers are simply playing with new forms. Examples of this strategy include Todd St. John’s Relief credenza, Benjamin Klebba’s Swift chair and Thos. Moser’s Cumberland chair, among many others. “The ideals and values that inform our furniture are in fact timeless and can be contemporary or traditional,” says Adam Rogers, director of design and product development at Moser.

D.C.-born Bec Brittain is a rising star in the lighting world. Her latest, Zelda, is a diamond-shaped fixture with custom brass hardware and LED tubes. The diamond shape can be configured in various ways. Nine finishes are available ($6,650, (Lauren Coleman)

Industrial designer Dieter Rams once said, “Good design is as little design as possible.” Some designers take this literally, introducing products that seem barely designed and barely there. The Zelda 2 pendant from D.C.-born Bec Brittain, for example, is a slim fixture made of brass tubes and thin LED bulbs. Bocci expanded the Series 22 minimalist flush-mount outlets, and Hollis + Morris introduced the ultra-minimalist Bennington pendant.

Tagina drew inspiration from traditional and contemporary design for its Details tile collection. The floor and wall tile comes in a variety of glossy and matte surface treatments and formats, including large hexagons (pricing available on request, (Tagina)
Geometric forms

Not all modernists prefer straight lines; angles and geometric shapes are trending. At the show, Westkill offered its Drift screen-printed clock, Nanoleaf premiered the Nanoleaf One geometric LED light bulb, and Tagina showed its large-format Details hexagon tiles. “There’s been a strong return to geometric forms across furniture, lighting, textiles and surfacing, which can also be seen in the new collections from Italian tile companies,” says Armando Cafiero, managing director of Confindustria Ceramica, the trade group representing Italian tile manufacturers. “In particular, hexagons are experiencing a kind of rebirth.”

Inspired by industrial pipe fittings, the Elan Vital line features lever handles that are reminiscent of commercial ball valves. It uses ¼-turn ceramic disc cartridges and can be customized in various ways (from $1,200, (Watermark Designs)
Industrial chic

Products catering to consumers looking for an authentic industrial vibe have been growing in popularity for years. Sun Valley Bronze showed the solid bronze Pendant Pulley light, THG offered the Beaubourg collection that pays homage to vintage hub-and-pipe system, and Watermark Designs expanded the Elan Vital industrial line for the kitchen. “We see an interest in more industrial looks and more natural finishes,” says Avi Abel, president of Watermark. “Pieces that are more in tune with the way things were way back when, where simplicity and quality mattered most.”

Maynard is a freelance writer. He can be found on Twitter at @products_hound.