IDS: Step Into Our Studio
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IDS: Step Into Our Studio

Heads up on the hands-down coolest things at the Interior Design Show: most of them spring from our own backyard.
And literally, too. There is a flourishing trend toward the incorporation of nature in contemporary design—a welcome wandering off from the hard lines and materials often associated with modernism—and local designers are embracing it wholeheartedly.
Toronto installation artist Rob Southcott‘s “United We Stand” (pictured at right) is actually a seat of sorts, a grouping of plain wooden chairs whose posts grow and twist into a branch-like sculpture. At once simple and incredibly intricate, the piece is a stunning fusion of interior and exterior. In the charming display by Vest Collective, an artisanal collaborative group, a delightful wood veneer lamp shines mellow light through laser-cut roses. Designed by Marta Mathew (as in, textile designer Marta Pietrzyk and furniture craftsman Mathew Birtch), the “Folk Lamp” (at left) retails for around $400 and can be made to order in various sizes. At Equinox Interiors, designer Rob Brown’s new line of furniture combines black walnut hardwood with stainless steel, etched with Japanese-style flora; the contrasting materials highlight, as he says, “the undiscovered beauty in each other.”
All of the above, and much more, can be seen at the IDS Studio North exhibit, featuring rising and shining Canadian creators. The exhibit is part showcase, part atelier: high-rolling homeowners can browse new, limited-edition collections (fan favourite: Luflic) and special-order one-off pieces, from Alain Belanger‘s “art furniture” to Rollout‘s exquisite custom wallpaper.
Interior Design Show public days are tomorrow and Sunday at the Direct Energy Centre (Exhibition Place). Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 at the door; doors at 10 a.m. both days. For more information, visit the IDS 08 website.
“Folk Lamp” by Marta Mathew courtesy of Vest Collective; “United We Stand” by Rob Southcott courtesy of Rob Southcott.