Glass Products Find a Niche at NeoCon 2011
June 14, 2011

When it comes to interiors, NeoCon is one show where the design community can find anything and everything from wall coverings to textiles, carpets and flooring, office furniture to art. Companies involved with decorative glass have also found a place within the halls of NeoCon to showcase their products for the interior design community. This year's event, underway through tomorrow at Chicago's Merchandise Mart, was no exception as several decorative glass companies, as well as a couple traditional glass companies, took to the show.

Glass flooring was the latest launch for Walker Glass at NeoCon 2011.

Offering several new decorative glass tile options, Crossville featured its new Ebb & Flow line.

"It's primarily glass that's accented with natural stone," explained Laurie Lyza, director of marketing. "We launched it May 31 so this is the first time it's being seen." Lyza said the line includes nine color and stone families and is an "affordable way to get the look of exotic materials." The tiles can be used in many interior applications, such as kitchen backsplashes and shower walls.

Taking glass from the wall to the floor, Walker Glass featured its new glass flooring.

"We're showing translucency and the opacity with this glass floor," said Marc Deschamps. "It has the anti-slip properties as well as the combination of opacity and translucency, which also provide privacy. So this is a glass that's about design as well as performance." Deschamps said the glass has been tested to both ASTM 1028 as well as ANSI B101.

A decorative glass sample showing the Blues Brothers was a hot feature in the Cristacurva booth.

Currently the flooring is available with a dot pattern, but Deschamps said they will be launching others in the future, which will all be available under the Walker Traction line.

Cristacurva was also taking glass from translucent to opaque with its new privacy switchable glass, which David Reed said was getting a lot of interest from those at the show."They are intrigued that the glass can go from translucent to opaque instantly with the flip of a switch," said Reed, who added that designers are stopping by interested in visually appealing items, such as their new digitally printed glass products. Reed said they chose to feature samples specific to the city of Chicago, including an image of the skyline as well as one of the Blues Brothers. The Blue Brothers sample in particular saw a lot of interest.

"Someone almost walked away with it!" Reed said.

And on the more traditional glazing side, both Nanawall and Panda Windows and Doors took part in NeoCon.

Panda Windows and Doors showed its aluminum lift and slide system, which is on display in its dealer's showroom at the Merchandise Mart.

"Twenty-five to 30 percent of what we do is interiors," explained Todd Kilstrom, sales manager with Nanawall. "Commercially and residentially, designers often have a niche with the owner and can help influence the buyer to go with certain products."

Noting the trend to bring the outdoors in, he added, "Chicago is also a big area for that."

For Panda, Chicago-area designers can visit the Merchandise Mart year round and see the company's products, as they are featured in the showroom of their dealer Bentwood of Chicago. Cooper Buranen, a sales representative with Panda, said the showroom opened in February and being there has been a positive step for them.

"People can still come back after the show and see our display," said Buranen. "And there is a huge design community in Chicago."

The showroom features Panda's aluminum lift and slide system. Buranen said it can be constructed with most any type of glass, from custom art glass to tinted glass as well as security glass.

Stay tuned to this week for more coverage of NeoCon 2011.


Carvart showcased a range of products that designers can incorporate into applications such as walls, floors, furniture and more.
Joel Berman Glass Studios displayed its new products, including the Big line, which incorporates large forms and shapes cast into glass.


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