I’ve just returned from the Interior Design Show in Toronto – usually a good spot to check out the latest in the world of design. But, I have to say, this year was particularly good.
To be honest, after my first walk through, I sort of felt like there were only a few good finds. But when I went around for a second time and then third, I started to uncover more and more things that I really loved – everything from the simplest tea cup to quite elaborate exhibition spaces.
So, here we go.
My bias is towards simple and beautifully designed items – things that I would love to have in my own home. There were lots of innovative pieces out there, but the ones that caught my eye tended to be items that were thoughtfully made with great materials.
I loved the upholstered bench / daybed in Heidi Earnshaw’s booth.
There was a great walnut lounge chair by Derek McLeod Design. It reminded me of one the first chairs I ever posted on this blog designed for Bernhardt Designs.
Designer Tomas Rojcik showed a really nice bench with a little carve out (for change, etc…I imagine). Perfect for a vestibule or hallway. I sort of wish this piece had been a little less polished, but I loved the overall design.
Ceramicist Renaud from Ateliers des Cents-Ans based in the Eastern Townships (Quebec) displayed the most lovely cups and objects. You can just tell that each piece was made with incredible care.
I kind of fell for these paddles by Contact Voyaging Co. I don’t have a cottage, but I can imagine buying these as gifts for someone that does. I’m sure how much they cost – but these were one of those items that made me wonder why someone hasn’t designed something like this before.
There was a collection of tiles on display by Italian company Mutina that were drop-dead gorgeous – particularly the Pico line by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. I don’t think I’ve ever really fallen for a line of tile before – but this one is unbelievable!
This year’s inaugural International Guest of Honour was Italian Architect and designer Piero Lissoni. Good choice – his space was stunning. The overall feel was clean and white. The 13″ plank light oak floor from Moncer made me want to rip out my floors immediately and redo them! Pair that with white bookshelves stacked with books with pages facing front as opposed to by their spines and you’ve got a room with a totally serene vibe. There were touches of artifacts from Snob which warmed things up. But my favourite part of the exhibit was actually the dining room table and chairs that Lissoni designed for Lema. I’m still thinking about these “Hati” white oak upholstered chairs and the round glass table. The table was propped up on legs pushed off to the sides so there was no bulky centerpiece. Very clever.
How Do You Live? Exhibit:
This exhibit showed a cutaway 2-storey building that allowed visitors to experience condo living as depicted by 7 leading designers (in the form of a shipping container). I thought it was a pretty cool concept overall – and it’s just neat to see how different designers can take raw space and transform it into something totally unique. And each space was completely different.
I really liked what the designers behind Mason did. They played with the idea of combining two radically different living spaces – a kitchen and bathroom – joined by water as a common element. Now, I’m not sure how I’d feel about having a toilet in my kitchen (well, actually, I’m pretty sure I’d know how I’d feel), but their space used really innovative materials and had a great overall feel.
They used burnt pine for the main back wall. As you might guess, it had this great smoky feel. One other wall was this sort of worn leather. The kitchen cabinetry was a really nice grey oak. And I think the herringbone floors were maple – although I’m not totally sure.
Top that off with a couple rows of Mason jars (nice touch, by the way), and this small space was totally textured and warm.
The other space I wanted to highlight was that of designer Mazen El-Abdallah behind Mazen Studio. Now, I happen to know Mazen and think he’s unbelievably talented all around, but that’s not my bias here (or at least I hope not).
What I liked about his space was that it was quiet and thoughtful. It was filled with stuff that made you feel like you were spying on someone’s actual life. The books told a story, the ceramics by Renaud (as mentioned above) were real and special. The artwork, vintage cabinetry and seating, all felt like a space where you really would want to live. Plus he used the BBDW Captain’s mirror that I’ve been eyeing for year and years and finally bought! (Yes, I took the plunge and am pretty thrilled I did!)
In any event, the whole space reminded me of the home that I posted a while back from Tom Ford’s film A Single Man – which I loved. There was just something about the overall feel of this space that felt very real and not overly done. Very thoughtful all around.
So there you have it – sorry for being so completely long-winded. But I couldn’t help it this year.
Bottom line…I’m ready to renovate a new place. I’ve got lots of new pieces in mind.