Tag Archive | "Eco-friendly"

A Quick Trip Through IIDEX Canada

Sunday, September 29, 2013


On Thursday I took a quick spin through IIDEX Canada, the designer trade show owned and run by IDC, Interior Designers of Canada. IIDEX is very trade oriented, not a consumer show, so the focus tends to be on materials and innovative products, as well as on contract furniture and industrial suppliers. That said, the 2013 show pumped up the sex appeal with a number of special exhibits that felt VERY editorial, entertaining for the trade but targeted squarely at the press machine.

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New Windows Not Necessarily Better

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm contacted by publicists all the time with pitches about this or that product or designer. I rarely take the bait but I was intrigued by what Ottawa-based general contractor Paul Denys is doing on the restoration front, specifically his methods of reviving and restoring hundred-year-old windows to make them energy efficient and beautiful again. Denys is putting new technology at the service of old technology and saving the environment and his client's money in the process.

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Philippines Via Dundas West

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


On the weekend I made a reconnaissance sortie to Magiks Home Furnishings, a quirky little shop on Toronto's Dundas Street West (near Dufferin). Proprietor Rodel San Miguel was very sweet: "Everything in the store is from the Philippines," he said, "including me." The shop window proclaims, "Authentic. Majestic. Divine." which struck me as a rather odd tagline until I went in and confronted the perplexing range of religious icons and statuary peppered among the plantation-style furnishings and lighting. "The Philippines is a very catholic country," Rodel said solemnly, and then he explained a bit about the Spanish colonial tradition of folk art santos and bastidor sculptures. Magiks' lighting in particular caught my eye: this enormous capiz pendant is $800 and I especially liked the range of woven kabuti lamps.

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Reclaimed Zen

Monday, November 7, 2011


Normally, one photo from a shop review jumps out as the one to feature. I'm usually looking for some colour and an image that gives a good sense of what the post is about. But the choice was especially hard with Toronto's Zenporium (998 Queen Street East, 416.778.1936), a relatively young retail operation specializing in home furnishings crafted from wood reclaimed along the Pacific Rim, particularly Indonesia. To make choosing even more difficult, Zenporium's offerings fall into two distinct camps, the rough and rustic and the sleek and contemporary. Teak root side tables have a foot in each camp (priced around $400), while this dresser is crafted from wood reclaimed from old fishing boats (about $1,000).

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What’s New, What’s Now at IIDEX/NeoCon

Saturday, September 24, 2011


While January’s Interior Design Show encompasses residential spaces and applications, IIDEX is much more focused on contract architecture, landscape and hospitality design with lots of trade-only seminars. IIDEX/NeoCon is where designers and commercial buyers come to source the latest materials, textiles, wall and floor coverings, lighting and storage systems. Sustainability continues to dominate the design world with revolutionary materials and new technologies stealing most of the thunder. Think: Material (above) is this year’s showcase of innovative wall and flooring materials made from everything from coconut shells and sugarcane pulp to new polymers, laminates and recycled glass.

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