IDS 2012 is coming up at the end of this month and it promises to be a design feast! Personally, when the Opening Night Party starts this Thursday I’ll be headiing straight for one location: Studio North. For someone like me who follows industrial design closely and is constantly sourcing new and creative products for my home, my clients, and my business, Studio North, the ‘show within a show,’ is a must see. With each turn you are greeted with stunning creations in wood, glass and textiles, and, even better, designers eager to discuss their work or answer any questions you have.
Although it’s a challenge to decide the order of priority on the "can’t wait to experience" booths, below I’ve highlighted five Studio North exhibitors I’m eager to visit:
Designer and sole proprietor Meghan Irish will be exhibiting at IDS 2012 for the first time, presenting her new line of rugged, modern décor pillows. Irish sources vintage army blankets, anywhere from thrift stores to Craigslist, and then screen prints Canadiana images on the pillows with plastic based inks. Rumour has it she may be introducing an outdoor line of pillows at this year’s IDS.
Left: Migration Cushion by iDentity; Right: her Majesty Cushion by iDentity
Left: Antler Cushion by iDentity; Right: Camper Cushion by iDentity
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to achieve perfect bathroom lighting? Lumidesign might be the answer to this particular design dilemma. The Kelly backlit mirror is one well-designed product that I have placed in several clients’ washrooms; I’ve even ordered one for my own home. The design and craftsmanship on these mirrors epitomizes "form meets function"; they’re sleek, minimal, and refined, and yet they allow you to see every last whisker to be shaved or eyelash in need of mascara. These backlit mirrors are simply beautiful.
Left: The Kelly Backlit mirror provides 3000 lumens of lighting with 20,000 hours of bulb life. (Lumidesign manufacturers and produces locally. This minimizes its eco-foot print and consumption of our worldʼs natural resources.)
This year Lumidesign will be introducing some new designs in their Studio North Exhibit space: their new Canadian Vanishing TV/Mirror, above right. It’s a special two-way mirror which allows 65% transmission of light with a 35% reflectivity. This allows brilliant images to show through the mirror when the TV is on. When the TV is off it reverts to a reflective mirror. Not only is it seamless technology, it allows you to hide the television for that clean, uncluttered look. Think of all the HGTV you could watch!
Another new design: the Allegro backlit wall sconce. The size, shape, color, frosting and finish of the front piece of glass can be customized. You can backlight room numbers, logos and even colored images.
Owner, founder and designer Barry Roode lives in Mushaboom, Nova Scotia (hence the company name!). A textile artist, Roodeʼs wall coverings and custom wallpapers have been featured in oodles of glossy magazines such as Canadian Interiors, House Beautiful and East Coast Living. Barryʼs 17 plus years in the textile industry in Canada, Europe, and the United States have definitely informed his sense of style, colour and pattern.
Every pattern is drawn and illustrated (over hours and days) by the designer first and then he creates complex digital files with up to 26 different colors…which is well above average for textiles. Roodeʼs beautiful textures are inspired by nature and his local Maritime landscape. A must see!
Left: Stroll, Royal; Right: Victoria, Peach
Taylor Head, In situ. Images: Mushaboom Design™
I first saw this filmmaker-turned-designer at IDS 2011 and was mesmerized by the simple yet modern lines of his products. Yet the materials used (mostly wood and ceramics) were incredibly rich in texture. This year Mahmood will be introducing new designs at his Studio North exhibit space. Below is a sampling!
Clockwise from left: "CHANDA" floor lamp, Roshan Candle Stands (Red), Roshan candle stands (Blue). Images: Tahir Mahmood
Kate Thornley Hall
If you havenʼt seen Kateʼs custom designed carpets somewhere in a magazine, or on TV lately, you could quite possibly be living under a rock! Founder Kate Thornley Hall is a Canadian interior designer who has spent nearly 20 years in London. Sheʼs now brought her skill and craftsmanship to Canada. Each carpet is a work of art, handcrafted by her team in Nepal.
This year at IDS 2012 she will be featuring flat weave style rugs in new patterns, enhancing her initial collection of Tibetan knot wovens, that vary from traditional to contemporary styles. In addition, she will be showing a collection of wallpapers that incorporate a similar range of beautifully elegant motifs to some more whimsical elements.
Finally, Kate will also introduce a small collection of pillows using a variety of mixed fabric materials including some eco-friendly organics to create a consistent line of classic, beautiful objects merged with playful pops of colour and design. Iʼm anxious to see how these carpets are going to fit into in the relatively limited exhibit space of Studio North!
Left: Carpet: El Tablero by Liliana Rodriguez; Right: Boot by Susan Fothergill
Carpet: Dig Deep by Janice Carbert. Images: KateThornleyHall.com
Donʼt forget to check out The Prototype Exhibit features, which "addresses the theme of innovative consumer products intended for mass production." These are works by independent designers not currently in production.