This year’s Interior Design Show started with the industry’s best and brightest sipping champagne and having first glimpse at the show in full party fashion for opening night. What’s now become the place to see and be seen all things home, designers, suppliers and eager décor addicts partied in the aisles, talking shop and catching up with old friends and colleagues.
The party within the party takes place in the Distinctive Appliance booth, where a by invitation only crowd savors the top shelf cocktails and nibbles on abundant snacks from the safety of their roped haven. Meile was a close competitor with their impressive booth featuring chefs in 3 separate rooms amidst formidable displays of the latest technologies for the home.
Tom Dixon’s collaboration with the show this year was impressive with his trademark minimalist esthetic scattered throughout the show in mini displays come sitting areas and most impressively in the Caesar stone and Tom Dixon Lounge. Rudimentary shapes fabricated out of Caesar stone’s more soft and organic colours create seats, counters and backdrops all puzzling together.
Studio North and Prototype was back, highlights emerging designers, sharing select products with pride and a willingness to receive peer feedback. This mix of discussion, creation and consumerism is the secret sauce that keeps us creative types coming back year, after year.
The beauty of this show is the range in exhibitor from global brands down to small handcraft works. The show standouts fell under both ends of the spectrum. Manitoba woodshop, Wood Anchor (www.woodanchor.com) caught all our attention in their tiny white booth displaying their new Imbue light. Crafted using a single piece of wood veneer and forged aluminum the result left us awestruck.
AVANI kitchens (www.avanikitchens.com), AYA Kitchens high-end, custom collection pushed the boundaries in their collaboration with Diego Burdi of renowned design duo Burdifelek. Everything about the space proved to push our thinking on the traditional kitchen and in my opinion beautifully answered the new trend towards a softer, less utilitarian look.
Flooring suppliers showed their new collections and the trend is definitely still towards wider plank, more matt finished engineered products. My standout was Purparket (www.purparket.com) as the only 100% FSC certified and VOC free option. The oil top coat is both practical for wear and tear and free of the nasty chemicals lurking in more traditional products.
I loved the Junction Sectional by Style Garage (www.stylegarage.com). A versatile, modular series of club-style lounge seating. Made in Canada by local craftsman and upholsterers and available in a wide variety of fabrics and leathers. Anything that can go from cool living space to bed-like movie watching has my vote. Note the pink Canadian themed cushions.
My friends from 1925Workbench (www.1925workbench.com) created the prettiest booth with a pair of perfect pink sliding doors that had everyone stopping to take shots. No doubt the cover photo for how-to use Pantone pink! This husband and wife team (Rock and My Le) creates and builds furniture, doors, and barn door hardware. Their passion is infectious, and the true authenticity of their work offers that much sought after character mass-market design sadly lacks.
Blanco Canada (www.blancocanada.com) had a gorgeous display, featuring all their latest products, including Ikon, the only apron front natural granite composite sink available in the market place. This addition to Blanco’s Silgranit collection has designers doing a happy dance. An impact, acid, heat and scratch resistant material that’s virtually indestructible and comes in 3 neutral colours. This German pioneer continues to revolutionize the modest, kitchen sink and as a bonus they manufacture the Silgranit collection right here in the GTA.
Whether you came looking for a specific product, or just enjoyed a glass of wine and one of the many free speakers presentations, no one left this year’s show disappointed.