Last night was the big kick-off party for Toronto’s 2011 Interior Design Show and I do mean BIG. I took nearly 300 photos but it will take me awhile to sift through and make sense of them, a job I plan to do on Saturday morning. In the meantime, I’ll give you a taste of the star power lighting up the convention floor. It was great to chat with Sarah Richardson and design sidekick Tommy Smythe about their three small rooms, part of the Sibling Revelry exhibit.
Richardson and company created rooms around furniture designed by the star’s brother Theo Richardson, who is one third of the hot New York design team, Rich Brilliant Willing. Using primary colours from Theos’s furnishings as their inspiration, Richardson’s rooms were among the most vibrant and whimsical spaces in the show.
Another TV designer, Glenn Dixon, above left, created an adjoining space in black, white and silver with the help of his fashion designer brother David Dixon. The boys were kibitzing with their fans and having a jolly time soaking up compliments and date proposals. Their space revolved around a round banquette and a round, shrouded bed that summoned the spirit of Hollywood glam; the ceiling was dressed with 1,000 origami cranes.
In the centre of the exhibition hall, my friend Ingrid and I ran into Kennedy McRae from TV’s Dirty Business, which has just been picked up for another season of high-end landscaping high jinx. McRae’s company, Earth Inc., was one of five design teams tasked with creating something surprising from Corian, a material that doesn’t usually get past the kitchen counter. So what a surprise to learn that the hanging chair, which reminds me so much of Finish company Secto‘s birch pendants, is in fact, made of Corian. The designer mentioned that his team has a book in the works and judging by the pics on their website, it will be primo garden porn.
A little further along we bumped into Colour Confidential‘s Jane Lockhart who actually had a booth of her own promoting her furniture and interior design business. Jane was in high spirits and looking great but I couldn’t help noticing that her booth and most of the work on her website veers toward the neutral, strange for a star who’s built her brand on being colourful.
Earlier in the week, I’d been unable to attend the Toronto launch of a new outdoor furniture line by Alfred Sung but the designer was on hand last night to talk up his beautiful collection, which will be available at the Bay this summer. Sung’s large, lavish display in blue, green and black tartan was chic and refreshing. The designer himself is trim and youthful, and looks just as he did when launching his career 30 years ago. Alfred, what’s your secret??
And that’s just the tip of the IDS iceberg — the show is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the Toronto Convention Centre. I’ll pull some of my favorite pieces and products together for a couple of posts this weekend.
I have to mention that I arrived at the show on an art high, having just toured the wonderful, annual Come Up To My Room exhibit at the Gladstone Hotel. This year’s edition is particularly strong and I’ll be blogging about it later today on LiveWithCulture.ca. Also well worth a stroll is Do West Design organized by Made and stretching out along Dundas Street West. For other events and happenings check out the Toronto International Festival of Design website.