iYellow Wine Club at West Elm

Last night I attended iYellow Wine Club Presents+Design Series by Crush VQA Wines at West Elm.  Beautiful food was provided by Mildred’s Temple.  I sipped, noshed and strolled through West Elm – fabulous way to shop!

Believing that great design should be affordable, West Elm’s furniture collection helps create living spaces that are stylish and unique.  And while searching for inspiration in far-away places, West Elm offers accessories that have an artisanal and organic flair to them.  Since I am in the middle of a cottage reno my focus was on ‘cottage style’.  It was interesting to see how West Elm’s style could be interpreted  to a lakeside, seaside, weekend space.

I thought this collection provided a contemporary spin on a nautical blue & white theme.

I loved this bedroom setting with the mix of barn board and contemporary furniture pieces with bedding in white, blue and cinnamon.

The organic blown glass pendant lights give an artisanal feel to any space.

White and muted pottery gives a relaxed vibe to a weekend space.

Red and white vases that have a resemblance to boat buoys and colourful pottery give an air of coastal charm.

Of course I found something that would be perfect in my cottage space so this weekend I shall add a little West Elm style to my lakeside retreat.

All images via Modmissy

AZ Awards for Design Excellence

Last Thursday I attended Azure Magazine’s AZ Awards Gala Presentation at the beautiful Thompson Hotel in downtown Toronto.  The AZ Awards for Design Excellence celebrates with designers and architects from around the world the very best in international architecture, interiors and product design.

The event was generously presented by Keilhauer and Audi.  Sponsors included GE Monogram, George Brown College School of Design and Grange of Prince Edward County Winery.

The evening began with wonderful food provided by executive chef Robert Mills, award-winning Grange of Prince Edward County Wines and mingling with friends and colleagues.

Then we got down to the business of the evening – handing out the awards.

Hosting the awards presentation was Diana Swain, broadcaster/journalist for CBC Television.

A jury of 6 (contemporaries within the industry) had the tough job of selecting winners for 14 categories from 621 entries, representing 30 countries from around the world.

The AZ award trophy was made from cast glass designed by Jeff Goodman Studio.  Loved it!

As winners went up for their awards I could feel excitement and pride in the air akin to the Oscars or the Emmy’s!!  Talent is talent regardless of industry.  The caliber amongst these winners is outstanding.  Congratulations to all.

  • FURNITURE DESIGN: Waver Chair by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra, Switzerland
  • FURNITURE SYSTEMS DESIGN: New Logica by Gabriele Centazzo for Valcucine, Italy
  • LIGHTING DESIGN: 28d by Omer Arbel for Bocci, Canada
  • INTERIOR PRODUCTS DESIGN: Open Space, EOOS for Duravit, Germany
  • RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE: InBetween House by Koji Tsutsui & Associates, Japan
  • ARCHITECTURE: COMMERCIAL <1000sq/m: Sunset Chapel, BNKR Arquitectura, Mexico
  • ARCHITECTURE: COMMERCIAL >1000sq/m: Nike Football Training Centre, Soweto, RUF Project, Canada
  • LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: People’s Choice: Sugar Beach by Claude + Associés, Canada
  • TEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE: Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts by Thinc Design, USA
  • RESIDENTIAL INTERIORS: V4 House by Studio MK27, Brazil
  • COMMERCIAL INTERIORS: Alchemist Boutique by Rene Gonzalez, USA
  • UNBUILT CONCEPTS: Cottages at Fallingwater by Patkau Architects, Canada
  • UNREALIZED CONCEPTS: Multi-Sport Training Facility by Mark Horton Architecture, USA
  • A+ STUDENT AWARD: Polytropism: Tower Concept by Newsha Ghaeli & Caileigh MacKellar, Canada

The Ottawa Collection by Karim Rashid

Yesterday I attended the furniture launch of ‘The Ottawa Collection’ by designer Karim Rashid at BoConcept www.boconcept.ca.  BoConcept is Denmark’s leading global retail furniture chain and design brand with 250 stores located in 54 countries around the world.  Catering to the urban-minded shopper, BoConcept offers very functional modern designs.  Karim Rashid, considered one of the most prolific designers of his generation, has to date over 3000 objects in production and works featured in 200 permanent collections in over 35 countries.  With the recent collaboration, Karim Rashid has designed a complete dining collection from cups and lamps, to dining tables and chairs for BoConcept.  Karim shared with us yesterday that this collection is the “fingerprint of him”; about going back to his roots when he graduated 30 years ago from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where he received his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design.  At the start of his relationship with BoConcept, Karim visited Denmark many times and found that there was a similar feeling, a similar climate to that of Ottawa.  So in paying homage to his 30 years in design and drawing inspiration from the landscape of Ottawa and Denmark the Ottawa Collection was born.  Many of the pieces in the collection are inspired by nature.  The Ottawa Chair is leaf-shaped with a forest of legs.   The collection is also about being very practical and extremely functional.  The Ottawa table is extendable and can be easily expanded by one person to seat up to 14 people.  I thought this engineering feat was brilliant. Taking his inspiration one step further, Karim explained that the Fingerprint Rug is literally his own fingerprint!   Karim answered many of our questions; the process of designing the collection, the time it takes to get an idea into production, his journey with the collection.  It was a great event and along with a ‘swag bag’ what I took away that really resonated with me was Karim’s words, “design is about being honest”.

Karim Rashid and The Ottawa Collection

Karim Rashid and Modmissy


Benjamin Moore Color Pulse 2013

Last night I attended Benjamin Moore Color Pulse 2013 for a look at emerging design and colour trends.  The presentation took place at the Corus Quay in downtown Toronto, which in itself is a very ‘colourful’ building thus creating a very vibrant evening.  Travelling to the far corners of the earth throughout the year, Benjamin Moore gathers their inspiration and translations of world trends.  They visited furniture fairs, art shows, met with artists, attended fashion events the world over.  “Where our physical spaces intersect with our desire for expression, we seek to balance the dynamics of everyday living with cultural, environmental and personal reflections through design and color.  Benjamin Moore’s color forecast for 2013 explores these tenets and translates them into tomorrow’s color palettes”.  This year’s main theme was Intersection – the convergences of space, time, ideas and relationships.  Divided into 4 sub-groups:

  • Interflow: reintroducing colour and texture of the past.
  • Intercylce: repurposing and upcycling, new potential for useless objects
  • Interanimate:  escaping the everyday with bold and dynamic colour
  • Interconnect:  technology evolving into organic form.

In a previous post I wrote about Pantones Color of the Year being Tangerine Tango whereas Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year is not just one colour but rather the ‘pulse’ of many colours.  Benjamin Moore’s ‘pulse’ of colour for 2013 are:

  • Sophisticated reds
  • Soft pinks
  • Deep coral and camel toned oranges
  • Red/orange toned yellows
  • Kelly green and pale green
  • Watery blues
  • Mauvey purples


Jeff Goodman Studio

What is so fabulous about this time of year are all the studio tours, open houses and parties that take place.  It is a time of year when artists give us a glimpse into their studios.  When décor shops let us wander, sip and nibble.  One of my favourite studio tours that I have attended for many years is the Jeff Goodman Open House and Sale.  Jeff creates with glass.  His hand blown pieces are both ethereal in design and embracing of the natural force of gravity.  Jeff is one of Canada’s preeminent glass blowers.  Establishing the Jeff Goodman Studio in 1989, Jeff began pushing the boundaries of designs in glass and soon, his passion for architecture sparked a new phase in his career – researching and testing the potential for glass as a structural material.  Today, the Jeff Goodman Studio works with hotel and condo developers, private collectors and homeowners to produce dramatic blown glass vessels and chandeliers, as well as architectural glass installations. Jeff’s work can be seen in public spaces, galleries and cultural centres in Toronto and around the world.  And in my home too – I have a few of Jeff’s pieces, both blown and cast.  Check it out this Friday and Saturday if you have time.


in[sid] perspective

Last week I was invited to the opening night of The Year End Show, in[sid]perspective  at Ryerson School of Interior Design (RSID).   Each spring, RSID showcases the outstanding work of its students and recently has developed its own branded name:  in[sid].  This year’s show focused on the graduating class and the students’ perspective on design; in[sid] perspective.  Leave it to an Interior Designer to ‘match and coordinate’ acronyms!  The show was a lot of fun to walk around and see all the exceptional and creative work done by 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students.  On the first floor in the 3D Studio & Materials Lab the students’ project was to create a prototype of a bench using fabrication methods of bending wood and veneers.  The bench had to be aesthetically appealing and structurally sound.  On the second floor in the Design Studio the students had to apply their perspective of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design theory to practical problems.  Using corrugated cardboard the students created various designs.  One prototype was a purse that turned into a chair; “a fashionable purse becomes a valuable asset when comes the need to sit”.  Another prototype was a stool designed to look like a flower; “the seed of conversation leads to good discussion”.  On the third floor was the Set Design Studio which creates an important new platform for the aspiring Interior Designer to acquaint themselves with ‘Scenography’; creating identifiable spaces for television, theatre and film.  Overall it was a great evening with lots of fabulous designs and inspiring visuals.  I came away from the event with a sense of excitement.  The students energy and passion for their work was evident from the very moment I stepped in[sid]!


Designer Market 2011

On Saturday I attended the annual ‘Designer Market’ at The Distillery Historic District in downtown Toronto.  The event is organized by Kimberly Seldon whose original idea was to make the event feel like a Paris flea market.  The Market has over 40 vendors, ranging from antique, vintage, modern and flea market finds of fabric, furniture, food, jewellery and clothing.  The location of the Market is in the Distillery Fermenting Cellar and very much sets a mood that transports you back to another time.  Walking around inside the Fermenting Cellar one can feel the ghosts from the past still lurking about and also visible are some of the old apparatus (large wooden wheels, pulley systems) that would have been used for the distilling process back then.  In 1832, William Gooderham and John Worts established Gooderham and Worts Distillery.  In 1877 the Distillery was the largest in the world.  After 153 years the Distillery ceased operation and closed.  Throughout the ‘90’s The Distillery was used for film locations making it the second largest location outside of Hollywood.  In 2003, the Distillery District was re-born and once again became a vital part of the city.  The Distillery Historic District is now a pedestrian-only village of restored Victorian Industrial buildings with original brick-lined streets and home to restaurants, shops, schools and live theatres.  I always find the Designer Market event to be a lot of fun and I really do feel that I have been roaming about Paris, if only for a morning.  This year I scored a great lamp for only $10!  Not that I needed it, but hey, when in Paris…..