Spring was welcomed early as the Toronto Interior Design Show (IDS) at the Metro Convention Centre opened its doors.  In its 17th year, IDS is a design industry hub for business opportunities and new ideas. It attracted a who’s who of exhibitors such as IKEA Canada, Missioni Home and the industry ground breaking Cubitat.

The exhibition showcases innovative new products, cutting-edge designers, and new style concepts from North America and Europe. The design show began with an Opening Night party on January 22nd, followed by a Professional Trade day on the 23rd and two days of General Admission January 24thand 25th. At close of the design show, organizers said it was the best year historically this far and attendance far outweighed conservative estimates. Over fifty thousand people participated in the three day event.

Local Canadian talent was in obvious display with Montreal’s Montauk Sofa, which won an Award for its noted minimalistic and somewhat monotone Tartan booth and Sofa. This was a less is more nod to interior design. Montauk Sofa is a twenty year old Canadian success story with six stores across Canada and the United States. Studio North held court with thirty eight booths of burgeoning Canadian talent. A hit feature was its large Prototype display. Studio North and Prototype participants have their work reviewed by a panel of international industry leaders and design experts. Studio North is designated as a “show within a show”.  It featured Canada’s vibrant and independent design scene comprised of ateliers and designer-makers from coast to coast.

International guest of honor and the creative director of Moroso was Patrizia Moroso, design star Dror Benshetrit of Studio Dror, creative director of Diesel Home Dennis Askins, and Johnathan Adler  TV style star of Bravo’s Top Design shared their wisdom with interior design. This eclectic grouping also included Marlon Blackwell, FAIA the 2102 recipient of the Architecture Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and newcomer and fellow award winner, Sebastian Herkner who has designed products for manufacturers such as ClassiCon, Very Wood by Gervasoni, Moroso, Sancal, La Chance and Rosenthal, as well as working on interior design projects for exhibitions and museums.

Sadly Wanda Jelmini, the Creative Director of T&J Vestor for MissoniHome was missing in physical action but not virtual. Touted as IDS15 International Guest of Honour, Wanda did however grace the audience via video conference from her home in Italy and was joined in-person and on-stage by Giorgio Jelmini, Operations Manager, for MissoniHome.

In essence Missoni Home celebrated its 60th anniversary with the brand’s never-before-seen retrospective. Missoni added to its eclectic patterns with a new 2015 floral poppy design. Navi Randev of John Paul and Co, hosted and sponsored the limited edition Missoni pop-up shop on the show floor.  Navi explained that “partial proceeds will support Habitat for Humanity. Prices for our iconic furniture designs, such as the Nap Collection retail for thirty one thousand dollars.” Missoni to honour its 60th year created the wonderful lotus like lanterns that floated above the 21 meter chasm of the entrance hall. These thirty beautiful Ombre orbs greeted all who attended the show.

The clear by far fan favourite was the futuristic Cubitat. For space challenged homes and markets Cubitat is a dream come true. It was unveiled at the design show. Cubitat creates a prefabricated house in a box that can be inserted into any form of structure, from new residential, old factories and lofts to schools. It is an engineered and precision built product. Toronto developer Urban Capital and TreeHugger founder, environmental designer and Architect Graham Hill, collaborated with European designer Luca Nichetto to develop Cubitat. It’s a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ cube that is totally configurable, to develop layouts that flowed around a central cube which included the bed.

The Plug and Play Cube is densely packed with the expensive wet paraphernalia like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry, all the costly dry stuff like closets and storage and a pullout Murphy double bed. It is everything you need for only eight five thousand dollars.

The Toronto International design show delivered a fait accompli for all who attended.

Cristoph De Caermichael






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