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Finding inspiration at the Interior Design Show

PLY IN THE SKY Anemone Pendant Light (available by custom order), $395 through


Held twice a year, in Toronto and Vancouver, the Interior Design Show is the most important gathering in the Canadian design world, merging artisans, craftspeople, designers, retailers and a strong contingent of international brands. The event showcases everything new and relevant in products and materials from all over the world in one place. There is always much to discover – and lots to be inspired by. And while there is always a strong focus on big-picture concepts and interpretations of modern living, IDS is also a wonderful place to find the goods you need to feather your nest. Here is a sample of some of my favourite finds from this year's show – all Canadian.

Ply in the sky

The creativity and innovation displayed in IDS's Studio North, the area devoted to Canadian design, is one of the most inspiring and exciting aspects of the show every year. This Anemone Pendant Light by Tychotic Design was part of Studio North's Prototype pavilion, which showcases works by independent Canadian designers that haven't yet made their way into production. This playful and colourful pendant was inspired by the form of sea anemones and pushes the boundaries of sheet plywood by adding volume and a fluid line to a basic building material.

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Top of the brass

My favourite segment of the show this year was lighting. There were so many wonderful ideas in so many fresh variations.

Tahir Mahmood created the elegant yet whimsical Sunehra lamp (complete with carrying handle for those who like to move their lighting around). Rendered in brass and copper, this sleek yet subtly industrial-looking lamp with delicate details would add a warm glow as a sculptural desk or bedside lamp. Whether your style is urban modernist or rural traditionalist, this fixture crosses design camps and would be at home in almost any room.

Old-school appeal

The Brothers Dressler, a pair of twins known for their imaginative reworking of salvaged goods into clever original designs, have put their signature stamp on a midcentury classic. This Reclaimed Breuer Chair was made from seating that they discovered roadside on campus at the University of Toronto. With salvaged elm slats, this previously bound-for-landfill seating gives a design icon a second act.

Drawn to the folds

Ridgely Studio Works is an anchor in the IDS Studio North scene, consistently playing with new shapes and directions in lighting and furniture. Inspired by crumpled paper, this powder-coated aluminum Luster Sconce makes metal feel delicate and elegant. If minimalist white isn't your thing, you can choose any colour for the sconce's exterior, and a number of options are available for the interior, too. I'm dreaming of a pair of these for the bathroom to bring texture to all the hard surfaces and sharp lines normally associated with bath design.

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The world at your feet

The Murano Rug from Weavers Art Studio pays homage to the many colours of Murano glass. Reminiscent of a boldly painted canvas, this area rug puts the focus of your room underfoot. In silk and wool, with more than 10,000 knots per square foot, this work of woven art will add a dose of happy colour to any space.

A welcome matte

This one is on my dream bath-renovation list. The Emma DADOquartz tub from Caml-Tomlin might look similar to other freestanding bathtubs, but the difference is in the details. Instead of the usual glossy white polish, this tub, made from engineered stone that combines crushed quartz with UV-stable resin and pigments, features a matte satin finish that is silky smooth. This design incorporates classic lines and subtle details such as a raised band around the base, yet its simple form will work in traditional or contemporary bathrooms.

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