Interior Design Show 2016 Opening Party

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On Thursday, I had the chance to get a sneak peek of the Interior Design Show 2016 in Toronto. This year marks the 18th edition of the Canadian design fair, offering the most innovative products and brands in interior design. I used to attend the show every year with my mom, who was an interior designer and always looked forward to visiting the booth and scoping out trends. It’s always interesting to see how design trends in the home mirror the trends on the runway or red carpet, so I wanted to share some highlights from the Interior Design Show 2016.

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Wood was definitely the top trend at the Interior Design Show this year. Incorporated into furniture, wall coverings and unique design solutions, the warmth of raw wood felt very appropriate and Canadian for this design fair. I personally liked seeing wood used in innovative design solutions or transformed into sculptural shapes, like the pendant light by Wood Anchor above. However, you can’t go wrong with a rustic teak coffee table.

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One of my favourite products at the Interior Design Show was a standing desk solution by Gereghty Desk Co. that’s perfect for small spaces. I love the idea of standing desks, but I often think they’re better for a cubicle and are never compact enough. I love how this option is adjustable and doesn’t clutter your floor with legs, while you can still lower it, pull up a chair and work off your MacBook like at a normal desk. I like the wood finish, but I can even picture myself painting it to match my walls for a truly seamless solution.

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Mixed materials is another trend going strong. These two pieces were some of my favourite designs. The interlocking tables by Garman Furniture can be moved around and I love all the design options. Studio 50’s concrete tables and vessels add an earthy, rugged feel to your space.

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Spanish tiles in monochromatic shades were a huge hit at a few booths in the show. I like the idea of mixing and matching them for a backsplash or going all out and tiling a shower in your bathroom! Because the tiles come in muted greys, the look is less overpowering than your standard cornflower blue and orange tiles you’d see at a Mexican resort!

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Pantone’s Color(s) of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity popped up all over the Interior Design Show. I’m loving Nicole Tarasick’s (from the Stylegarage booth) iconic YYZ pillow in the girly colour, while the pink barn doors are giving me serious Hampton’s vibes. I loved how Urban Barn mixed in a soft Serenity blue in a textured Mongolian sheep fur pillow with different shades of blue for their bedroom decor display.

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Speaking of colour trends, Farrow & Ball’s booth debuted nine new colours ranging from Shadow White to a muted teal and rich light chocolate. Teal was definitely the standout and I saw the trend picked up in other booths as well, including Urban Barn’s sofa. I had the chance to quickly chat with their creative director, Sebastien who said that teal is a great unisex colour.

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He also pointed out the that cow print is another developing trend for them as well. In addition to Urban Barn’s chaise, I saw this print on a pillow at UpCountry. Personally, when I furnish my first place properly, the first thing I’m buying is a cow hide rug!

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Solutions for small spaces were another trend present at many booths. Miralis’ kitchen designs maximized on space with smart pull out drawers for easy access storage. Resource Furniture also had plenty of transitional systems for small spaces. I really enjoyed this booth because my own apartment is around 300 sq ft, so I know how important it is to have effective furniture! I personally love my murphy bed and see them becoming a lot more popular as people find a compromise between space and serenity in their urban condos.

EQ3 debuted Assembly, a snapshot of Canadian design. I fell in love with the dressing table above by Zoë Mowat. I love all the colourful elements of the piece, as well as the half-moon mirror. It reminded me so much of the De Stifl furniture at the Rietveld Schroder House, which often had different coloured pieces meeting perpendicularly. A marble and copper umbrella stand also caught my eye, but I forgot to snap a picture of it!

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How stunning are these carpets from Jan Kath? I love how they look like worn persian rugs or as if someone spilled paint on them. interior design show 2016 (17 of 39) interior design show 2016 (12 of 39) interior design show 2016 (35 of 39) interior design show 2016 (39 of 39)

Other random things I liked at the show include a flamingo sculpture, because it’s a flamingo. Adam Fullerton’s playful upcycled marquee sign is perfect for a loft or chic studio. I also really liked this triangular bracket from Simon Johns in the designboom mart area. Makes me wish I could install floating shelves in my apartment! Tom Dixon was

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I liked the idea of the designboom shopping area, which allows attendees to purchase items from artisans and designers themselves. There were tons of cute accessories and design solutions, and even fine jewelry from Disegno, which I will definitely check out once I’m back in Ottawa!

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I rarely get excited about bathroom fixtures but I just about lost it at the last two faucets from DXV. The company is an offshoot of American Standard and the booth was full of modern and beautiful designs, but the 3D printed faucets were out of this world. The first one reminded me of the throne from Game of Thrones, while the clear lattice faucet made me lose my mind. Incredibly, the line runs through the metal itself for a seamless look. That faucet was definitely the most innovative and exciting product I saw at the show!

There were also other brands offering beautiful fixtures as well. Kohler faucets had plenty of elegant options for condos and homes, while Blanco had their industrial-chic sinks on display.

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Last, but certainly not least, the Habitat for Humanity exhibit called upon attendees to help build homes, Brick for Brick. The display, made entirely out of blocks was very playful but drove home the message of community. I enjoyed learning about ReStore, a new initiative that allows consumers, retailers and manufacturers to donate new or used home items. ReStore will come and pick it up for free and even offer tax receipts. If you’re remodelling your home or redecorating, I would definitely consider using the service. Even for students, when you’re done living away at school, you can call them to take away your desk, bed, you name it! If you’re also looking to furnish your place, you can shop at ReStore and get major bargains. Every purchase goes to help build homes to people in need too, so I will definitely stop by Ottawa and scope out whether they might have my dream ottoman!

I’ve never attended the Opening Party before, but it was a blast! The public can purchase tickets and I definitely recommend the experience. There were tons of drinking and delicious bites to eat, from top restaurants around the city. I also got to taste the first canned sparkling wine, which is so convenient when the occasion calls for bubbly but you don’t want to waste a whole bottle! The event was packed and the vibe was upbeat and fun. If you work in the design industry, trade day is also nice to visit the show, as it’s less crowded and I find reps are less swamped and can take your questions. The Interior Design Show is open to the public on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), so you still have a chance to catch the show tomorrow!

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