IDS 2011: overwhelmingly wonderful

Let me just start by saying the Interior Design Show was wonderful. And overwhelming.  I started with an initial walk-through to check out the lay of the land and to see what this year’s show had to offer. Then I ate a granola bar, listened to a panel discussion, used the washroom, took a big breath, and then back-tracked through all the exhibits.  In all fairness, I think I needed to do a third and fourth walk-through to do all the exhibitors justice.  But as I said, I was overwhelmed with all the amazing furniture, finishes, designers, and products represented. Now, if I or one of my clients was in the market for a high end kitchen with fancy-schmancy appliances, or a luxe bathroom with an uber-cool tub and hardware, I would have spent a lot more time looking at some of the fantastic new products on the market. However, that was not the case. I was just there to take it all in and get inspired. And inspired I was.

The Studio North portion of the show was my favourite (Studio North = representation of forward-thinking, edgy Canadian Design from right across the country).  Here is a round up of my favourite exhibitors….

Jean Willoughby is aToronto-based furniture and product designer is driven by a philosophy I appreciate and gravitate towards: purposeful, practical, functional, strong lines, and timeless neutrality. This curved concrete and wood side table was on display on the prototypes stage. It was very cool. Yet warm.  Loved the wood and concrete combo.

Textile designer Julie Moschenross is the creator behind the Manor 12 line. Each piece is hand printed and made here in Toronto. I loved the colours, patterns, and textures of the quilts and pillows on display.  Comfort, quality, and beauty.

Earlier this week I was introduced to the Carroll Street Woodworkers by a great post over on the marion house book so I was excited to see them at IDS.  Let me tell you, this booth was packed everytime I walked by (I walked by three times because I really loved their turned wood light fixture and had to check it out from all angles).  This desk is pretty darn cool too- cords run down the leg and quirky little buttons pop out to reveal hidden storage compartments for your pens.

My day job has nothing to do with design. At all.  When I am is my design groove I care not to think about “work” at all.  But I had to smile when I saw the designs of Nicole Tarasick today.  My client is a major Canadian airline and I’m accustomed to referring to the major Canadian cities by their airport code (Toronto=YYZ , Montreal=YUL, Vancouver=YVR, etc). Nicole’s mission is to handcraft textile goods with bold design, patriotic content and a minimal environmental footprint. Even though I don’t want to think about work when I am at home, I am thinking about purchasing one of her graphic pillows through her Etsy shop. They are just so Canadian.  I dig that.

This coffee table/dinette by TILT is an example of great design. Seriously. Hey teeny tiny condo owners, here’s a space-saving solution for you!


Montreal-based TOMA offers up everyday objects designed to infuse a little humour and whimsy into the hum-drum of daily living. How about this boot mat?  It’s 100x better than my Canadian Tire special. And offered at a very decent price at that ($45CDN). I also adore their hangars – designed to hold your coat and scarf at once.  Or better yet, just leave them hanging empty because their whimsical shape is just so pretty!

I’ll wrap this post up by declaring my delight about the Sarah & Theo Richardson “Sibling Revelry” space. I will admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the red-themed dining space but I was over-the-top-pleased that the main feature of the room was the same Holzberg Summerhill print I have hanging in my foyer. Yay me.


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