Head upstairs to The Future Perfect’s ‘secret space’ (the brand’s second-floor office and adjoining gallery just down the street from their main, open-to-the-public location) and you’re welcomed by a warm, blush glow. The ambiance, a product of walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Ground Pink’ and the light from a new range of architecturally inspired LED fixtures, is part of the realised vision of interior designer and For Reference founder Leilani Zahn, who curated the space for TFP’s NYCxDesign event.
‘Lighting is important to me. Living with a lighting designer, I’m always really conscientious of lighting,’ says Zahn. The designer collaborated with a range of artists – including her husband, product and lighting designer Karl Zahn – to outfit the space, which is set up as living room, dining room and bedroom vignettes, all done in a pared-down palette of creams and blushes.
‘I made the colour palette unified, so you really look at the furniture,’ explains Leilani. And the furniture, a selection of pieces from Portugal-based De La Espada’s impressive lineup of designers, is worth taking a good look at. Works from Neri & Hu, Luca Nichetto, Matthew Hilton and Studioilse are used throughout and shown in De La Espada’s newest finishes: oiled white ash and painted black ash.
‘Outlines’ by Leilani Zahn at The Future Perfect
In addition to curating ‘Outlines’, Leilani made her first foray into product design for the show. Her collection of lighting (LED fixtures inspired by barrel and cloister vault ceilings, and arched doorways) and soft goods (geometric floor and throw pillows) are also on display, and both fit nicely into the show’s second unifying motif: sculptural geometrics.
Finishing touches include Karl’s new collection of oversized hanging mobiles and table sculptures that all have a kinetic quality to them, and a floral-patterned linen textile designed by Leilani in collaboration with New York-based florist Brittany Asch of Brrch and illustrator Natalya Zahn (Karl’s sister).
‘I wanted to include a mix of geometric, organic and architectural details, and that’s something we try to bring through in every project. We always think of our designs in that way—balancing those three elements. That’s actually how the floral textile came to be... I just needed one organic plant feel, so we layered in a floral,’ says Leilani.
The pièce de résistance (and, we’re predicting, the most Instagrammed item from the show) was ‘Heather’ – a throw pillow designed by Leilani that’s made with a mix of human and acrylic hair.