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March 01, 2015

Style from around the World

Design trends and style tips from the 2015 Toronto International Design Show

David Crosson

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I recently had the pleasure of once again attending the Interior Design Show in Toronto, IDS15, which is a must-see for Canadian interior professionals looking for inspiration. The show is a great mix of both current and up-and-coming offerings and is, if nothing else, a great conversation starter when it comes to matters of design. Here are a few noteworthy prospects I selected for keeping an eye on at this year’s show.

Bright Industrial
Reclaimed and industrial motifs are nothing new in interior design but they are being approached in a fresh new way through crayon-bright colours.

Take, for example, Marco Pecota’s stunning line of furniture fashioned of wood and enameled steel in such gutsy hues as orange, aqua and fire-engine red, among others. Similarly, Rubinet — already in the forefront of coloured bathroom fittings — has added joyful flourishes to components within its line, be they turquoise handles on a vintage-inspired faucet or a cherry-red shower head that looks like it came straight out of a 1950s YMCA locker room. Delightful.

Advanced Geometry
At one time, geometric influences were relegated to the expected roster of rectangles, squares, circles and triangles. IDS15 showcased a whole new crop of mathematically complex shapes, whether they were trapezoidal components of a hair-on-hide chair in the Prototype/Studio North section or spectacular pendant fixtures from Lightform that conjured the double-helix formation of DNA. So many more examples peppered the show floor and offered wonderful solutions for infusing life into rooms, especially those functioning under the dictates of harsh right angles.

Technical Assistance
The role of technology continues to advance in the world of interior design in so many exciting ways. Stunning end tables showcased by Vancouver-based Quake demonstrated this handily, with intricate whorls and loops laser-cut into enameled steel cylinders to suggest bark. At Dystil, designer Dominik Gmeiner used a 3D printer to bring a pendant fixture to life, the resulting dirigible-shaped light covered in exquisite, frost-like facets generated collaboratively by an artist’s mind and a computer’s logic. Even old-fashioned 2D technology continues to dazzle, through digital printing on rugs and fabrics that not only fool the eye but our sense of touch as well. Rug manufacturer W Studio uses this to great advantage to create unique and exuberant offerings for all tastes.

It Felt Right
This could be a by-product of some of the ‘70s themes we’re seeing at the moment but felted fabrics were in abundance at IDS15 in the form of upholstery, objects and even straps that helped secure mirrors to walls.

Known for its durability and heathered visual depth, this (re)emerging material is one to watch — and embrace — in 2015 and beyond. Studio Lulo designer Jose Navarrete even chose a spectacular chromium yellow felt to showcase the elegantly spare Cosmo sofa he had on display, a clever choice that made the beautiful lines of his modular pieces truly shine.

Back to the Future

Transitional is a term used for a style that can comfortably exist in both modern and traditional settings. Interestingly, this “Switzerland” of the design world was notably absent (or, at least, diminished) at IDS15, with exhibitor offerings firmly staking a claim in one camp or the other. More interesting still, the ratio seemed to skew slightly more towards a new version of traditional, somewhat pared back to its essential elements but still relatively staid nonetheless.  Even IKEA, which usually showcases kitchens at IDS, opted for a two trad/one mod ratio and the results didn’t disappoint. (Note: their new Sektion line of cabinetry is stunning and coming soon to a store near you.) From tiles and textiles to faucets and furniture, everything old is new again and, speaking as a guy who’s mad for trad, I couldn’t be happier.

Hyphenated Hues
For those familiar with the colour wheel, we are definitely trending towards the tertiary.  What I call the “roommates” of the design world — hues such as blue-green, red-orange and yellow-green — stepped out in grand style at this year’s show, turning up in everything from glass to fabric to appliances. Also present were pale, chalky colours that picked up where last year’s pastels left off, this time around more greyed and sophisticated than their more juvenile cousins. Designer Liz Eeuwes used the toned-down palette of 1940s print work as a jumping-off point for her lovely, whimsical accessories that were widely embraced by IDS attendees. Regardless of tint/shade/tone, 2015 looks like it will prove to be a colourful year for, well, colour and I am thrilled to see more consumers taking the plunge. In uncertain economic times we generally see optimistic yearnings reflected in our colour choices and by all indications the future will be bright for those with patience. Now if we can just get basic black (read: oil) to coo


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