Toronto’s massive design expo – the Interior Design Show – enlightened the city once again with beautiful displays and a wide array of new products from local makers and international mega brands alike. Designlines and Azure staffers were on hand to take it all in.
Over the course of four days – and despite a massive snowstorm – thousands of visitors hit up Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre to take in all things design, from the ephemeral “what’s trending now” in interior decor to the essential, like the very latest in building materials. Hundreds of exhibitors were on site to show off their wares and expertise and editorial staffers from Designlines, as well as from our sister publication Azure, were there to meet them, with our custom designed “Loves tags” in hand. We distributed roughly 30 “Loves tags” to our favourite products, installations and art objects; here are but a few of the best of the best.
We fell in love with the Betty Sconce as soon as we laid eyes on it. A mid-century form contemporized, it’s the cinched waist and material palette that had us swooning – just look at those mold-blown glass spheres anchored by a cast brass back-plate finished in vintage or blackened brass. Lovely.
Combining an ovoid mirror with a bulbous peach powder-coated steel support has winning results for Toronto-based designer Lauren Reed. The refined, yet playful curves provide the perfect amount of whimsy to effortlessly enhance the simple act of looking.
The Partisans kitchen for Monogram was made with glass sheets upcycled from Apple stores (which, after disassembly, Partisans will build into partitions for Toronto Life’s offices). I really love the long glass island.
The internationally renowned product designer, Jonathan Adler – most recognized for his uplifting and surreal ceramics – hogged a good deal of the spotlight by partnering with quartz surfacing manufacturer, Caesarstone, for the show’s feature exhibit. Called “Dreamland”, the expansive display was a fantastical playground for the designer’s objets as well as his huge cartoonish depictions of fluffy clouds, iterated in plush sofas as well as low-slung coffee tables made, of course, using Caesarstone’s latest product colour ways.
Called “Sunday”, this impressive floor and wall tile collection from the Quebec manufacturer delivers a big textural effect: the enamelled porcelain tiles have a lovely glass overlay that directly references old-world cane furniture. Offered in 4” x 8” formats, the five velvet-inspired colourways come in both matte and glossy finishes with complementary flat-surfaced tiles that help highlight the mesh-like pattern.
Concrete, and nothing else. That’s the ethos of Quebec’s Pur Beton, whose tactile Rituel bathroom fixtures convey a sense of material honesty that can only come from the real thing. Refreshing and unpretentious.
Unsatisfied by his nascent career in aircraft maintenance, recent Sheridan College graduate Wang took up design instead. The result: a series of brushstrokes rendered in blackened white ash that envelopes the sitter, a wholly modern look that blurs the line between calligraphy and woodwork. This seat was best in show at the Studio North exhibit.
Only One Yes
Ideas of entropy, ruination and decay are hallmarks of Only One Yes’ (a.k.a. Boris Yu) conceptual material study Anomaly Table No.1. Rarely do objects so self-consciously, and effectively, show their wear – literally disintegrating before your eyes.
Paired with light wood tones, corrugated plastic takes a luxe turn in the Fuwa Fuwa collection. Bearing WOOYOO’s characteristically minimalist Japanese influences, the low tables make an elegant virtue of the abundant, inexpensive material that so often goes to waste.