Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

Smoke from a nearby wildfire didn’t stop design enthusiasts from flocking to Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar for the WestEdge Design Fair last weekend. The four-day event featured about 140 exhibitors, panel discussions, maker workshops and a glitzy opening night party, where I got a sneak peek of the inspiring products on display and chatted with some of their creators (with a glass of champagne in hand, of course).

Interior design trade shows are always a good indicator of where trends will take us in the year ahead, and WestEdge was no exception. Here I’ve rounded up eight highlights from the show, which I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of in 2020. 

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1. Handmade fiber art

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

I’ve been obsessed with artist Cindy Zell’s handmade wall sculptures since I first spotted them at the LA Design Festival back in June. She uses rope that’s individually hand dyed and spun from sustainably-sourced natural fibers, occasionally accenting them with stoneware or wood. You may recognize some of Zell’s custom pieces if you’ve ever ogled over Mandy Moore’s home renovation by designer Sarah Sherman Samuel — her work is sprinkled all throughout the mid-century Pasadena residence.

2. Block print textiles

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

Block printing, in its traditional form, is a true labor of love. The slow, multi-step process can take anywhere from several days to several weeks to complete. The demand for this ancient Indian art form has surged in recent years, with design-conscious consumers picking up block-printed table linens, quilts, throw pillows and more, like those seen here by Studio Ford.

3. Elevated light switches

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

Light switches might be the last thing you think about when planning a home renovation, but once you set your eyes on these beauties, the oft-forgotten feature will jump to the top of your list. Buster + Punch makes industrial-style electrical switches and outlets in 11 different finishes with a variety of modules, wall plates, screws, toggles and dimmers. As the kids say, ‘It’s lit.’

4. Terrazzo tiles

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

I write about terrazzo a lot (it’s clearly my favorite surface material), but it’s generally in regards to large-format floor tiles or speckled countertop slabs. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see these smaller scale tiles from Concrete Collaborative in a rainbow of tasty colors. Now if only I could tear up my rental kitchen’s boring white tile backsplash in favor of these…

5. Sky-high plant stands

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

My love for Amigo Modern knows no bounds. If you’re not familiar with the Long Beach, California furniture company, get ready to see more of their designs as they’ve teamed up with West Elm for a limited collection of coffee tables, side tables, wall hooks and pedestals. At WestEdge, I was immediately drawn to two sky-high, sculptural plant stands. One with multiple shelves and twisting metal, and the other like a pair of stilts for your favorite houseplant.

6. Soft and coarse natural fiber rugs

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

I love natural fiber rugs for their durability and eco-friendliness, but they lack that softness underfoot that I crave. Enter Amigos De Hoy, an Austrlian homewares brand with an incredible selection of made-to-measure, hand-loomed rugs. I was particularly drawn to their Diamonds Weave design, pictured above, which is woven from renewable raw hemp and cozy wool. 

7. 80s-inspired silhouettes 

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

If you’re not following @the_80s_interior on Instagram, you’re missing out on some totally bitchin’ design content. While we could all do without wall-to-wall teal carpeting, many of the curvy furniture silhouettes from the era have begun to reemerge. Case in point: The Wave Table by wire furniture maker Bend Goods, which was showcased in reflective chrome with a smoked glass top at WestEdge. 

8. Functional sculptures

Photo: Kelsey Pudloski

Designer and sculptor Mark Rane creates functional works of art that can be used as coat racks, hooks for clothing, and displaying other accessories like purses, jewelry or scarves. Rane’s “Andy” sculptures in yellow, aqua and white powder-coated steel immediately caught my eye. Because they’re wall-mounted, they won’t take up valuable floor space in a small entryway, but they will deliver huge visual impact.

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