Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IDS12: How Do You Live?

"How Do You Live?" is the feature exhibit at IDS12.  Can you believe this? Toronto currently houses 170 condo developers with over 80 cranes standing as we speak!  Understanding many condo dwellers are challenged with how to condense their everyday lives, design aesthetics, and desires to "green living" in 750 square feet, the concept of a 2-story building showcasing six uniquely designed rooms is born.

image via IDS12
The first space to greet you when you walked into the exhibit is a dramatic dining room designed by Caroline Robbie & Rick E. Mugford from Quadrangle Architects, entitled "Feast".

image via IDS12
Inspired by "The Last Supper", Caroline and Rick created the dining experience that reflects our modern lifestyle.  The vibrant tomato red ceiling symbolizes our tongue palates, the chairs for the 13 guests are iconic designs from the 20th century, the mural backdrop has images of fruits, vegetables, and what else has been introduced to our dining table lately? Our iPad and iPhone.

I love this lighting fixture for its organic aesthetic and how the mini light bulbs illuminate these mini "spoons".  I would love to have this at a foyer for a memorable first impression!  Unfortunately I do not know the source of this intricate lighting fixture.  Please drop me a line if you know where I can get it!

Up next is Mazen el-Abdallah from Mazen Studio.  

image via IDS12
Similar to his own home, which was featured on Canadian House & Home (I will dedicate a post about Mazen's modern Victorian home soon), Mazen has ingeniously maximized every last square footage, enhanced practicality of the space, and created a stunning interior with a eclectic mix of furnishings from mid-century modern sofa in distressed leather, Art Deco inspired floating storage shelves, natural wood coffee table, and contemporary pendant and artwork.  His space is entitled "Layered" and I'm in complete agreement with Mazen.

Our talented designer incorporated distinct textures, wood tones, and materials into the space including a stunning brass pendant, top quality vintage teak wall units, as well as a marble peninsula that double for home office or dining table when entertaining.  Such a feast that appeal to all our senses!

Thanks Mazen for an inspirational tour of the space.  I couldn't help but notice the well appointed gallery wall at the back of the "office": yet another striking feature in this multi-functional space.

The design duo, Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun, from Mason explored the "primitive rituals" in their kitchen and bathroom illustration.

The back wall is clad with weathered wood in rustic shades of grey.  To contrast the "primitive" element, Stanley and Ashley installed a continuous concrete surface with backlit shelves to house all your cooking ingredients.

Check out this 13 foot long oak table!   It is also a vessel for running water designed to look after our eating and cleansing needs: a critical task and routine that take place in modern day kitchen.

Other delicate details in the space include the neon sign of "Our Home and Native Land" and these beautiful cutlery in brass. 

Who doesn't love L'Atelier in Toronto? It is an amazing store right in the heart of Toronto, showcasing exquisite treasures with exceptional quality hand selected by Youssef Hasbani himself from around the globe.  I've always been a big fan of his store and so are many designers when sourcing for one of a kind unique conversation piece for their projects.

Situated on the upper level, Mr. Hasbani greets you with this outdoor sanctuary accented by stylish lanterns, and a French chef saying "bon appetit!".

This space is sumptuous, decadent, and absolutely delicious!  With the vibrant red wall, the morocco inspired window cut-outs, and the dark grey tufted chaise and sectional, I was transported to a luxurious courtyard in Morocco in the blink of an eye!  Who wouldn't want to stay in this exotic retreat?

I'm now totally obsessed with this murano glass chandelier, this powerful jaguar in matte black, and this beautiful quartz votive.  Now I just need to save up some cash before taking them home.

Adjacent to L'Atelier is a neutral contemporary space with an Art Deco twist by Jill Greaves from Jill Greaves Design.

image via IDS12
The design direction for the space is soft and effortlessly elegant.  With the walls and the main pieces of furniture all in neutral tones, it allows the natural beauty of the wood pieces such as the coffee table and side tables to be the stars of the room.        

To add warmth to the space, Jill placed a reindeer rug on the sofa to double as a throw and installed an understated contemporary fireplace in the lounge area for cozy conversations.

To complement the richness of the wood pieces, Jill injected orange and blue in pillows and accessories.  I love all the block-print art pieces in the space and surely I am not the only one!

Isn't this the perfect private balcony retreat next to this stylish contemporary living space?  It takes up very little space but that is just what all condo dwellers need: a little piece of urban oasis.  

Our last stop is "The Dream Archive" by Casey Design Group & DesignWorks Studio, a space that metaphors the design process itself where our creative minds explore, discovery, and reveal the "vast transformative powers of our imagination".

image via IDS12
Here is Theresa giving us a walk-through of her creation during the media preview (left) and another great conversation about her design concept on the Trade Day (right).

I love the intensity and energy from this peacock wall.  Did you know that peacock feather also symbolizes the power of reborn, healing, and rejuvenation?  This is exactly what we need during the design process: a "reset" to our minds, so we can re-interpret and create spaces that are uniquely articulated to one's needs and desires.

Here is my recap of the feature exhibit at IDS12.  Hope you enjoy the walk through as much as I did in person, and be inspired to mark IDS13 on your calendar!

See you all on Friday!


  1. Love this post! How fun Tim ;) Fabulous photos. Thanks for making me feel as though I was there. Cheers!

  2. Hey,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    The Light in the "Last Supper" vignette is by Moooi and is called Heracleum avaiable at Klaus in Toronto.
    Rick Mugford

  3. Thanks Rick!! Love the lamp and now heading over to Moooi to check it out!