What a week last one was! I’ve said many times before that I consider it a privilege to be doing the work I’m doing with Modern Karibou. Not only am I exposed to great design, but the people behind the designs and the events organized around them are just as inspiring.
TIDF (Toronto International Design Festival) celebrated its 2nd year with many events taking place around the city. I mainly concentrated my visits in the Art + Design District, where I discovered some cool local talent.
The Drake, where I stayed, was within easy walking distance of the Do West/Do Design event, on Dundas Street West. (Side note: If you’re going to stay overnight in Toronto, you absolutely have to experience The Drake. Although compact, their Crash Pads are designed for both beauty and efficiency. The staff is also very friendly and ready to assist with anything you might need.)
Being curious by nature, I rarely make a bee-line for my final destination. I couldn’t help but stop in some of the fabulous shops along Queen Street West. The first was INabstracto where I met Kate Eisen and Julie Jenkinson. The shop features great vintage and contemporary furniture as well as unique home accessories. Julie was recently featured in House & Home and Wallpaper for her hand-drawn wall coverings, textiles, and fine art prints. You can view some of her work here.
Next stop on my walk was A2Zane, where I only meant to have a quick look at the beautiful bags displayed in the window. I walked out of this pop-up store... 2 hours later! If you’re in the neighbourhood before the end of March, drop in and say hi to Zane. Be forewarned, his dandified fashion sense and inherent charm might make it hard to leave without grabbing a gorgeous bag by Rebecca Minkoff, or Three Thirds, or Hoi Bo. If you can’t make it to the physical location, then be sure to check out his online store.
Needless to say, I arrived at Do West a bit late in the day but was still able to take in a good number of exhibitions. MADE at home was a must see. It includes 26 studios or collaborations, 28 projects, and 37 participants. MADE was lucky to have access to an apartment that was recently vacated, above their showroom. The apartment itself was in serious need of TLC. Yet, this unexpected backdrop served to showcase the furniture and home wares in a witty and engaging way. The exhibit runs until February 12th.
The next stop on my tour started with some confusion, then a touch of embarrassment, and on to getting acquainted with a like-minded design lover. I entered Sovereign State to find a great looking set up. Modern furniture and cool shelves built from industrial pipes. When I asked shop owner, Joel Gregorio, if the pieces were his he answered in the affirmative. When I asked him if he was a designer, he responded that he was but with a perplexed look on his face. When I was about to inquire about the retail price of the tables, he went on to say that he was a graphic designer and that the space was actually his private studio. That gave me pause, but we both had a good laugh when understanding dawned on us. He was using his work place to showcase a piece from a local designer in the window. I finally understood why he was looking at me funny while I was inspecting his office furniture closely and that others entering the shop after me were following my example. He’s now dubbed it the 'nothing for sale' store. What a gracious guy! http://sovereignstate.ca/
The tour then led me to Bookhou for the multidisciplinary group design show Capacity.
View the rest of our TIDF 2011 photos on flickr.
I will have more on IDS (Interior Design Show) 2011 very soon...