Saturday, January 28, 2012

IDS: 2012

Snob Stuff Exhibit Space

The annual Toronto Interior Design Show is on this weekend and I had a few hours to tour the show during Trade Day yesterday.   I have to confess I don't get too excited about trade shows in general, especially ones that are local for me and take place once year - its hard to exhibit new ideas, products and concepts every 12 months that consumers or designers haven't already been exposed to.  As a working designer I see these suppliers and products on a regular basis throughout the year.  What I do enjoy at trades shows are keynote addresses by Industry leaders from Canada and other parts of the world speaking on design and I love to see 'Concept' spaces designed by or in collaboration with Designers (I really wish there was more of that!).  I love to see the works of independent and emerging designers in the Studio North section of the show - this popular 'show within the show' never disappoints.  Overall, based on what I see when I tour IDS I know its only a small glimpse of the Canadian or Toronto design scene -  more apparant to me than who IS there, are all the fantastic products, designers and services (and trade only suppliers) that I know AREN'T represented at this show.  

While many of my favorites suppliers and products aren't exhibiting at IDS, some certainly were.   What I chose to capture photos of were products that I haven't seen before or products that were simply exhibited in a way that impressed me.  Here's a glimpse at what caught my eye-phone this year.

Always one of the most beautiful spaces at IDS with the most interesting pieces.  All their products are handcrafted in South Africa.  The brass ring pendant lights were a favorite of mine, a series of them floating over the table was captivating.  I'm always drawn to spaces that have a graphic quality to them, that contrast of black with white mixed with natural materials always resonates with me.  I think even the most simple objects looks sophisticated against black, as these primitive handmade pieces do set against a black accent wall and black dining table.  The impact of the oversize b&w image, the colours and the texture of the crafted pieces all created an artfully eclectic space.

In the Studio North area of the show, these rope pendant lights were getting a lot of attention. : )

I'm crazy for the natural character of wood and I loved this take on the stump table, especially the sides painted a dark black/brown.

This wall scultpure of reclaimed wood reminded me of an exhibit I saw at MOMA last year.  I loved the grey tones of the wood and the pattern and texture created by assembling the wood this way.  Simple material but so beautiful in this context.

The peacock chair.
  This is what resulted when Toronto design studio UUfie collaborated with Dupont Corian.  The intricate fanlike chairs designed by UUfie were made from a single sheet of corian, then cut and folded and bent thru a process called thermoforming.  The material does seem to have infinite possibilites, co-incidentally one of my favorites from IDS11 was a bookcase wall made from Corian.

The international host of honour, Italian Architect Piero Lissoni designed this gorgeous white on white lounge that was all the buzz.  Divided up into both social and intimate spaces with deep lounge sectionals and floor to ceiling bookshelving the vibe was modern, elegant and relaxed. The white on white scheme was a striking contrast to one of last years most raved about spaces, Ikea's black on black on black kitchen.

My favorite space of all was this concept space created by Mazen Studio for the "How Do You Live" special exhibit.  To me its the definition of "warm modern".  Its no wonder I was crazy about everything in this space, it features modern danish pieces, contemporary photography, a gallery wall, and many products from my own personal favorite sources like Hollace Cluny, Moncer Flooring and Zig Zag modern but even better were a couple of great 'new to me' sources.  And I thought I knew them all. ; )
 I'll leave you with more photos (sorry not such great quality photos!) of this space and simply say I absolutely loved every single thing about it. everything.

All Photos:  Carol Reed

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Upload: Update 2012

A crucial part of my job involves documenting spaces or items on a daily basis, everything from constuction site progress to a great vintage find, I'm rarely without camera phone in hand.  I take hundreds of photos on my Iphone every week, some project related and some are just details or objects or settings that catch my eye.... or just make me happy - like a classic black & white graphic print...on a dress.  Collectively these photos are a snapshot of where I've been, what I'm working on and what's inspiring me.  Initially I started posting a selection of these daily images in an "Upload" post every month then..... it became every other month.  Then the backload of images became so enormous, it was too overwhelming to tackle.  So what better time than the start of a brand new year to get back on track and keep these posts going thru the entire 2012 calendar.

In early November I spent a week in Naples Florida with 5 girlfriends.  It was our first time to see my friends new vacation home there.  She had spent the past few months getting the house furnished and outfitted, while there I helped her decide on some placement of wall art.  I'm pleased to report that 2 months later these glass wall vases I installed are still hanging (it required power tools and gerry-rigging some plugs).  Girl power. : )  My favorite shopping spot in Naples was the Sally Ann - it was a thrifters paradise and set up as well as any furniture showroom would be.  The huge pedestal table in the pic above was from there.  I scooped up a bunch of silver serving pieces and carried them home on my lap.  I don't think the customs officer believed me when the only thing I had to declare was some used silver from the Sally Ann wrapped up in newspaper. : )   But my travel partner had a set of gorgeous blue & white bowls in her Sally Ann bag ($25!!) so we made an odd but convincing pair of shoppers.  Designers!

I loved these modern orange planters outside of the Tommy Bahama store in downtown Naples.

While in Naples I had a meeting with Toronto clients who also needed some help with their Florida home.  But first, this winter I'm working on on a huge gut-reno for their newly purchased summer home a couple hours north of Toronto.  Its a character bungalow that's lost all of its charm, their architect and I will be giving it a complete modern overhaul inside and out, adding on a new master suite and an art studio.  She's a painter and her Florida home is literally a gallery of her work as well as their own collection of other fantastic artists.  

I loved these wooden sculptures she had flanking her garden doors.  An important element of their home in north Toronto will be its modern simplicity so that it can showcase art and antiques.  This is going to be a project that truly resonates with my design philosophy in many ways.  Stay tuned for more details about this project - I've been immersed in the design plans for the past month and I'm excited and challenged at how much this one is pushing me to refine and edit and explore new ideas.

And no worries, I havn't forgotten about Li'l bro's reno.  It moved along at such a fast pace I couldn't keep up with it.  But yes, they are moved in and our entire family was thrilled to celebrate Christmas in their newly completed home (pic above).  Between my recent travels and my brothers travels and the holidays, I just havn't had any time to get over there for some 'after photos' (literally the paint was drying as we were on our way for Christmas dinner  - but I promise an update post is coming soon).

The 70's bungalow is officially complete except for the landscaping (summer 2012).  I'm assisting them with some artwork selections for a couple of key areas and then I'm planning to schedule a photo shoot for March - can't wait to share some afters with you!!!

I had the opportunity to tour the most incredible architect designed modern home in Toronto which was completely furnished with original mid-century modern furniture and art.  This place made my heart race, it truly did,  and I got a little snap happy with my DSLR.  Of course I'll give you a tour right here in the coming weeks.

A fabric swatch that I had carried around in my totebag for almost a year, was the perfect fit as roman shades in a new home office that was recently installed at a clients.  

And when I spotted this tourquoise Ralph Lauren crackle glaze lamp at HomeSense, I knew instantly where it was going... The office has both his and her desks, her's is a large table desk I had custom made to sit in front of the window, the base is painted in a peacock blue and the tourquoise lamp is, well, i think its just perfect for it!  Score.  The rest of the room was outfitted with custom built-ins.  I'm hoping to return soon and help with some office accessories and storage containers - there's lots of shelves to organize.

The glass french doors on the office were original to the cape cod style house but the crystal door knobs aren't working, I sent her to The Door Store to find replace knobs....can't wait to see what she found!

And in the family room/kitchen nook, I'm having some banquet cushions and pillows made for them that will be family friendly for crafts, school projects, game nights, and messy meals.

A kitchen reno in a rustic log cabin north of the city had me on a search for green barn light pendants.  And I lucked out in finding both vintage and new options.  The Door Store had quite a great selection, I absolutely love this historic green, and thinking I need to find a match for this in a paint colour!

For a non vintage option, Home Depot has this slightly darker green version (also available in white and bronze and black).  A steal - great for really tight budgets and tight timelines.   Ultimately the client found some vintage wire cage pendants instead, they do look great but don't bring the impact of colour to the kitchen these would have.

Probably one of my favorite coffee tables of all time, I have a similar style in my own living room, this vintage barcelona table was scooped up for a clients living room just in time for Christmas.  I was crazy for this the moment I saw it, actually several months ago and couldn't believe it was still available.  An authentive vintage piece in 'nearly perfect' condition is my choice over a knock-off any day. It arrived right after my clients new marble slab fireplace surround was installed and right before the Mitchell Gold Hunter sofa was delivered.  A pair of modern lounge chairs on order from Style Garage will complete the grouping.  I think this coffee table deserves some 'after' photos.

It really pained me to leave the store without these vintage cane beauties.  I'll dream about these ones for years to come.

Just days before Christmas I visited the Moncer wood flooring showroom in Jordan, Ontario (wine country!).  I was incredibly impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of the product and the company's philosophy and dedication to great design in every aspect of their business.  I love my wood natural and with loads of character - these products deliver!!  For wide planks and long boards, I've never seen anything as gorgeous as the Moncer line.

Every single detail in their gallery like showroom was thoughtfully and beautifully planned.  Located outside of the city next to a winery, the visit to the showroom truly makes the experience out of the ordinary, just like their wood.  I'm ecstatic to be using these stunning floors in my newest project!!!  I'm sure it won't be the last...

And lastly on my iphone, a project that's now taking up every spare minute of my personal time is our own hunt for a house - its been pretty discouraging thus far.  Nothing but lots of photos of country houses we're quickly crossing off the list, like this one above.  It had some great outbuildings but the house was so teeny tiny it was no bigger than a 1 bedroom condo in the city and ideally, I'm really looking for something that's not brick.  So the search continues.....but the good news is -  I already have the new floors picked out (see above) : )

All Photos:  Carol Reed

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