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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Ponzio & Natalie Steimle

BDNY – A Place to Immerse Ourselves in the Products, Projects

So, we’re a little delayed on this post, but in this case … delayed is a good thing. We’re busy at the office (seriously have you seen our Instagram!?); enjoying the holiday season with our families and friends; and, as this is being written, five of our team members are wrapping up a week at the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management National Conference in Florida. That said, nearly a month later, we’re going to share some of what we saw at the amazing Boutique and Design New York show held at the Javits Center. If you don’t know, BDNY features statement-making design product for hotels, restaurants, spas and casinos. More than 150 manufacturers are on-site sharing their latest and greatest furniture, lighting, wall coverings, fabric, flooring and more! So, rather than write about everything we saw (that would take a while), we’re going to share some common themes and photos highlighting this wonderful experience. And, of course, we’ll throw some of our thoughts in there too.


Many of the trends that we were starting to see in foodservice and hospitality design before the pandemic are continuing to be implemented into spaces and, in our opinion, at a more rapid pace. In particular, designing for wellbeing has become of increasing priority.

For example, Naturalist Interiors’ primary goal is to let nature into the space. It’s maintenance free wall garden pictured below is just one product the company sells to meet this goal. When used in a building’s interior, living green walls frequently act as a three-dimensional, living piece of artwork, as well as a tool for improving air quality.

Another trend we noticed at several spaces is the continued incorporation of products that enhance live/work/play theory. This is something elite|studio e incorporated into our own office renovation several years ago. However, there’s a twist on it now. Those foosball tables don’t just look like the one you’d find in your basement or in Chandler and Joey’s apartment on Friends. Design companies are making them look luxurious and more practical for the workplace. We sat at this foosball table, which doubles as a conference table, and the design was really thought through – the knobs don’t hit your legs!

Color Pop

There is color everywhere! Seriously. From graffiti carpets (can you find where we left our mark in the image on the right?) to Flavor Paper (unfortunately it doesn’t taste like candy a la Willy Wonka), color serves a purpose throughout every space. The use of particular colors can improve your work experience affecting concentration and stress levels; they can make you hungry; they can help you relax; and so much more. We’re not going to give you lesson on color theory, but we will tell you that at BDNY these lines weren’t just about the color.

Each of these products, served an additional purpose. The panels from Art + Acoustic help absorb sound and can be custom designed to nearly any size or shape. The graffiti carpets, of course have to be practical for the space in terms of durability and cleanliness. And, one of our personal favorites, these images backlit with UV lighting. Imagine walking into a school entrance and seeing one of these featuring your favorite mascot!

From left to right, the image above features Flavor Paper; the Art + Acoustics panels; and the backlit UV lit artwork.

We love color, but certainly don’t recommend such color stimulation for every single space you design. Start with thinking about the use of the room, create a design intention for the space and it’ll all percolate from there.


As the climate change continues to be of increasing concern, it’s not a secret that many companies have made sustainability a priority. Wolf-Gordon works with mills that have phased out the use of lead as a stabilizer and mercury in the production of chlorine (used to manufacture PVC). And furniture manufacturer, MTS, is incorporating products made of recycled materials into its line.

Overall, we took a lot away from this event. Even the residential products we saw, sparked ideas for corporate dining and hospitality locations.

But the thing that got to us most, was how great it was to be at an in-person experience. Touch and texture are extremely important elements in design. The lack of trade shows, visits from reps, and availability of samples has certainly made that a challenge when selecting some finishes. So all that said, we were glad to be back.

And, just as amazing was our experience at Brookfield Plaza and Hudson Yards. Even though the city is just a few minutes away, we hadn’t really been back in nearly two years, so we took some time to enjoy the sites and the holiday season. Where else can you see the Rockettes in a building lobby?

Thanks for an awesome day, BDNY, and NYC! We’re so glad you’re back and we will visit again soon.

From all of us at elite|studio e, have an awesome holiday season!


Samantha Ponzio (on left), NCIDQ, recently joined elite|studio e as a Project Designer. Her previous experience focuses on restaurant and hospitality design, having worked as a draftsperson and department manager.

Natalie Steimle is a Project Designer with a focus on interior design and foodservice at elite|studio e. She was on the team presented with the 2020 HX Experience Foodservice Pioneering Concept Award.


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