IDS12 impressions from a designer

Sonya Kinkade
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For the past five years now, I have anxiously headed to Toronto for the Interior Design Show & Gala hoping to come home full of inspiration and ideas to pass on to my clients.

Andrew Richard Designs & Alfred Sung

This contemporary design fair is the largest in Canada, and since its opening in 1999 has been reported to have over 500,000 consumers, media and design professionals walk through its doors.

This year, however, as a design professional, I did not come home feeling I had seen anything I hadn't seen before – or I hadn't seen coming for 2012. But what I did see was a visual explosion of a whole lot of gorgeousness!


COLOUR: Pantone's Colour of the Year – Tangerine – was popping up everywhere through the show, in various shades. This cheery orange couldn't help but make you feel good.

FUN DESIGN: Making the show fun this year were eye-catching booths that could be seen gleaming from far across the room. These booths combined whites with lots of texture and sparkle and rustic, masculine elements and feminine uptown bling. So much fun!

SMALL-SCALE LIVING: As predicated this year, there was a showcase for small-scale living. There were several booths demonstrating incredible use of space. The one that stood out most was this amazing explosion of colour used in the orange space designed by Dee Dee Taylor Eustace. You did not have be an orange lover to appreciate the eye candy.

VENDOR LOVE: Favorite vendor booth of the year goes to ELTE for a space rich in colour and full of texture. Old-world design came alive with rustic elements such as wood, iron, metal and leather combined with the beautiful rich colours of their new rug collections. I fell in love with the caged bulb pedants that hung in a row of three.

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL: There were two booths that stood out for me because of the simplicity and beauty of the space. The BY_LISSONI lounge did an incredible job on a white space by combining warm and cool whites with just enough texture to pull it off. And in a small corner of show was beautiful little room by Gresham House. It stood out for its beauty and simplicity in colour and form.

THE SHOWSTOPPER- The show-stopping kitchen by Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry, designed by Brian Gluckstein, was it for me; I was blown away by this gorgeous kitchen, the richness of the painted cabinets, the gold hood fan and faucet, the beauty of the combined countertops and the stunning fridge with smoked antique glass. It sent me home dreaming...

Final thoughts...

Although I really wanted to leave filled with new ideas to quench my design taste buds, I left instead with the desire to keep creating beautiful spaces, because in the end that is what keeps me going.

Follow Sonya on Twitter @Kinkadedesign. Click here for a slideshow of images from this year's show.

Organizations: Gresham House

Geographic location: Canada, ELTE

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Recent comments

  • Kelly
    January 31, 2012 - 13:19

    Great review of the show, Sonya :-) The Bloomsbury kitchen is right at the top of my list of favourites, as is the Elte booth. Loved all the colour, the wood, the gorgeous light fixtures, the creativity in Studio North... it was a great & inspiring show for sure :-)