I spent the better part of last week padding around the aisles of the annual, Interior Design Show. What began 18 years ago as a modest, industry trade show, has now morphed into the place for designers, decorators, architects, builders, and homeowners, alike to see the latest and greatest available for the home.
This is a formidable show, with a very discerning audience; one day, of the short three day show, is for trade only. This translates into a quality experience, polished and imaginative displays as well as extremely competent staff ready to answer the probing inquiries about their products.
Studio North and Prototype 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.
I’ve not been shy in my lack of enthusiasm for the pastel pink and blue hues that are the official colour(s) of the year for 2016. Some trends just don’t need following! I’m happy to report my cool blue heart, warmed to rosy pink seeing how perfectly many of the booths added touches of the rose pink. My trend snobbery is lifting.
Here’s a roundup of my top picks from this year’s show, with a made in Canada bonus. Take that falling loonie!
1. Junction Sectional by Style Garage
A versatile, modular series of club-style lounge seating. Made in Canada by local craftsman and upholsterers and available in a wide variety of our 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.
2. AVANI by AYA Kitchens
AVANI is a highly curated, strictly modern, custom-made kitchen collection featuring clean lines, warm textures, movement and fine hidden details. Competing directly with Europe’s best brands, but made in Canada. This year’s booth, a full kitchen, was designed by Diego Burdi of renowned duo Burdifelek and it was simply spectacular.
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. Their booth this year with perfect pink doors was a show favourite, for sure.
4. Imbue Light by Wood Anchor
Created with a single piece of 1/8” oak veneer, and custom forged aluminum, this chandelier had any and all stopping to admire first it’s beauty, then to marvel at the skill required to create it. This small Manitoba custom shop is doing everything right.
5. Ikon sink by Blanco
The only apron front natural granite composite sink available in the market place, this new addition to Blanco’s Silgranit collection has designers doing a happy dance.
It combines up to 80 percent of natural granite with a premium, acrylic-resin formula that provides beauty, unsurpassed hardness, strength and durability. Silgranit sinks are non-porous, heat-, scratch-, chip- and stain-resistant. and come in 7 neutral non-fading colours. This German pioneer continues to revolutionize the modest, kitchen sink. Since they are also manufactured right here in the GTA I’m letting them slip in for my all Canadian roundup.
About the author: Melissa Davis is a celebrity designer well-known for her appearances and creative work on HGTV programs.