Monday, January 30, 2012

IDS12: My Top Picks

The inspirational IDS12 has just lowered its curtains for the year.  The show featured creative talents from around the globe, transpiring the latest news and hottest trends from fashion to environmental/economic issues, and how these elements impact the way we live and our directions in home décor.

I gave you many reasons to check out IDS12 last week and in case you HAD to miss it, here are my top picks from the show.  Inspired by mother nature, these felt stripes created a dramatic backdrop to greet the guests.  Various in length, the overall effect of this installation is soft, organic, and strikingly powerful.  

Can't you tell I just love this space? This elegant living zone is designed by world-renowned Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni, who is also the International Guest of Honour of IDS12.  With a white box as his backdrop, Mr. Lissoni selected simple and understated Scandinavian inspired furniture pieces to wow his guests.  I was floored when I saw the space and especially so with this glass link chandelier!  It is elegant, glamorous, over-scale, dramatic, and yet takes up no visual space.  How brilliant is that?  

image via Style at Home

To add warmth and life to the space, Mr. Lissoni injected natural elements through simple floral arrangement and a handsome side table in its natural glory.

This white box also comes with a lounge zone where rich royal purple claims supremacy in this otherwise all neutral creation.  I love the use of velvet on these chairs for a touch of luxury.  Pairing with a purple second life rug and an all green floral arrangement, this room surely captures the hearts of both sexes.  No men will say no to this room!    

Details, details, and more DETAILS!  These books in shades of white and beige are subdued and yet they are the key to the success of this master piece.   Together, these book create an enormous amount of textural and visual interests to the space.  Same goes to these blue plates on a focal wall in the lounge area.

Here is Ms. Shauna Levy, IDS Co-Founder and Director, with Mr. Lissoni for a quick Q&A of his master piece for IDS12. 

Timeless, elegant, and sophisticated spaces always score high on my book.  This out-of-this-world, beyond gorgeous kitchen by Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry had me at hello with the mix of pale and dark grey, the combination of Calcutta and solid man-made counters, the attention to details including the crown moulding and the furniture like baseboard, and of course the commitment to brass accessories including the range hood, the knobs and handles on the cabinetry, and the unbelievable faucets by Rubinet.   

A closer look at these faucets and I love how Bloomsbury picked blue, cream, and white flowers to accentuate the grey, cream, and muted gold palette in this kitchen.

Pantry? Armoire? China cabinet? No, no, and NO.  This is actually a double door fridge!  I simply can't get over how elegant this fridge looks!  It's got laser cut detail at top of the doors with antique mirrors underneath, a pair of brass handles, panel details on the side, and check out those feet!!  I also noticed the beautiful grey and white wallpaper behind this "piece of furniture".  The color of the paper ties in perfectly with the rest of the kitchen and the circle motif balances all the linear panel details on the cabinetry.

Additional preparation space is tucked neatly in a small space behind the fridge.  Are you just as crazy about this bar off the kitchen island? What an attractive way to combine storage and function!  I was totally stunned by this kitchen, and had certainly taken lots of note for future reference.

A space with traditional details doesn't need to be restricted to a traditional color palette.  Here is how the talented Ms. Dee Dee Taylor from Taylor Hannah Architect injects bold colors, patterns, and whimsy to this studio apartment (a.k.a. SubZero Booth).   Looking for a pair of sizeable bedside tables: why not consider standard kitchen cabinetry? These "bedside tables" provide plenty of storage and ample of practical surface for lamps, books, and a few bottles of water!

Bigger isn't always better.  In this case, the kitchen takes up very little space but it certainly lives large with the use of bright, vibrant orange on the floating shelves and the mirror behind the faucet.  Of course I also love this backsplash with a basket weave motif and all the white accessories.   

Always looking after all your needs, Dee Dee incorporated two mini bars in the bedroom area and check out this sophisticated tiny water closet.  Tip to self: all you need is a little accent for a neutral space to come to life.

Now here is an ingenious idea for privacy in a studio apartment.  Check this out!

Elte also did a great job in their booth combining industrial elements with their new line of rugs done 100% with recycled Saris and sewn together with silk.  I wish you could feel the softness of these rugs.  I felt like a cat for a good 5 minutes pampering my fingers in this booth.

This space is edgy, with larger than life personality, and it takes guts to live in this space.  Love it!

Snob also caught my eyes as it featured my absolute favourite color palette at the moment: indigo + muted gold.  Check out this stunning mirror made with shells that were placed "inside out" for that amazing blend of blue and white.

Once again Snob has wowed me with their Halo lights.  While their handmade Egyptian pendants from IDS 2011 still linger in my mind, this series of simple, organic round brass pendants hung at various heights is decadent, whimsical, and definitely a conversation piece! I am also loving the plantation sensibility from these barrel back grass chairs pairing with these gorgeous pillows in blue & white geometric pattern.
Here is minimalism with an industrial flair.  Heidi from heidi earnshaw design did an amazing job with this vignette showcasing the beauty of meticulous design and top quality craftsmanship.  I just love the woven design of this stool and that pop of blue on the side table.  Of course I am also crazy about that colorful pillow on the sofa and how it brought the vignette to life.     

I'm looking for a pair of wall sconces as bedside lamps.  This handsome industrial piece is totally high on my want list!  Speaking about industrial inspired pieces, I love the contrast between natural materials such as the marble top and walnut drawer against the clean-lined, contemporary, polished metal frame.  This beauty is crafted by Lori Harrison.  

I am also hunting down a pendant for my foyer.  I have a small foyer, but being inspired by the dramatic spaces with the play of scale, and I am totally crazy about these two from FLOS.  I love how the warm glow cascades down from these golden circles and what a striking contemporary interpretation of a traditional chandelier in white!    

Speaking about reinterpretation, here is how Miele transforms the way we live through home appliances with the latest technology.  Not to mention how sleek the appliances look in the Miele Glass House. 

I don't know about you but sometime I do find it difficult to visualize whether the appliances would play nice to each other in our own home.  Well, here is how Miele makes our lives a touch easier.  With the latest touch screen technology, you can switch up different cooktop, dishwasher, fridge, and oven with a slide of your finger.  Better yet, the 3-D technology also allows you see the side profile of your selection in the space you just created on screen.  Talking about seeing your dream kitchen being built in seconds! 

Once you've selected your kitchen appliances and the layout is set in stone, it is time to look for the pretty stuff.  Nothing adds texture and interest to a kitchen other than a gorgeous back splash (well, maybe next to a killer faucet).  Saltillo has always been my go-to source for the best selection of intricate tile patterns in town.  Check out this incredible mosaic with a round motif.  I love the serene color palette!  I would totally use this mosaic tile to jazz up a kitchen.  Better yet, how about using it as part of a tile carpet in a powder room?  

Sorry about the quality of this image but here is my absolute favourite tile pattern from Saltillo.  Ladies and Gents, please meet Waltz, a combination of milk glass or Calcutta hexagons with tiny grey stone mosaics to act as grout lines.  Here is how Saltillo brought a traditional honeycomb porcelain flooring to a whole new level with luxury and class. 

And if you have extra space in your home and looking for a showstopper conversation lighting fixture in your home, why not consider these ingenious creations by commute home and BARTOSIK.  I love the free form and organic sensibility of the brass floor lamp.  I am also blown away by the simple, structural, and honest approach to these fluorescent tubes (a.k.a. Tensegrity Lights).  I would love to use it as a room divider in an industrial loft.  

Last but not least, the interactive National Bank Hub was transformed into a comfortable living room, home office for a small family by the talented Ms. Lisa Canning, with furnishings sponsored by BoConcept.  It's amazing how small spaces really live large with smart layout and creative storage solutions.  Want to see how this National Bank Hub unfolds from a shipping container to a customer service station, check this out!

These are my absolute favourite spaces and products from IDS12.  Come back on Wednesday for a walk-through of this year's featured exhibit "How Do You Live?". 


  1. Hey Tim,

    I had a lot of fun strolling the aisles with you on the weekend. Thank you for the invite, the good company and all the talks about design!
    Hope you enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

  2. Love your photos. I actually missed the show this year but from your pics, I think it was a good thing for my wallet!

    Have a great day,

  3. We are 100% in agreement about that Bloomsbury kitchen - the brass hood, hardware and fixtures just put it over the top. LOOOOOOVE!!!
    Oh, and I am totally using those honeycomb tiles from Saltillo for the backsplash in my new place. They are pure gorgeous!!
    All great picks, Tim.

  4. Two thumbs up for this beautiful house. From living room to kitchen it is nice. The kitchen worktops is nice.

  5. Great job Tim. You, too, caught things I missed. IDS is exhilarating and exhausting and I wouldn't have it any other way. Definitely my favorite time of the year.

  6. Thanks everyone. I loved the show this year and yes, between all the events day after day, it's a little exhausting too.

    More to come on Wednesday on the featured Exhibit: How Do You Live?

  7. Hi Tim! I don't think we got a chance to talk at the show but I wanted to thank you for coming to our booth and sharing your photos with your readers. Being part of a family business, you can't help but feel proud when people take to what we do so it really means a lot that you would feature our booth on your blog. There's more photos up on our Facebook page so if you haven't checked it out, be sure to do so ( All the best Tim and see you at IDS13!

  8. Thanks Andrew! Your family have a fantastic store and I am totally crazy about the new rug section! So many gorgeous options and your booth really stood out at IDS12!

    Congrats for a great show and looking forward to seeing you in store one day!