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Melissa Davis’s 7 top picks from the 2016 IDS

Sinks, sectionals and shades of pink round out show favourites

I traded my heels for flats this past week and set out on a mission to discover the latest and greatest for the home at the 18th annual, Interior Design Show in Toronto.

What began as a modest, industry trade show, has now morphed into the place for designers, decorators, architects, builders and homeowners, alike, to see the latest and greatest available for the home. The perfect mix of discussion, creation and consumerism is the secret sauce that keeps us creativetypes coming back year after year.

A show favourite is Studio North & Prototype where emerging designers share a select work with the hopes of kind and constructive peer feedback. This has seen the launch of many talented new groups, as it truly is the most sets of influential eyes imaginable looking to pluck the next Tom Dixon from thecrowd.

I’m happy to report my cool blue heart, warmed to rosy pink (both perfect colour of the year hues) as so many exhibitors offered creative and thankfully not too cutesy interpretations of Pantones 2016 selections. From pink doors to bespoke lighting, here are my top style picks from this year’s show.

1. Imbue Light by Wood Anchor 

Created with a single piece of 1/8” oak veneer, and custom forged aluminum, this chandelier had any and all stopping to admire first its beauty, then to marvel at the skill required to create it. This small Manitoba custom shop is doing everything right. www.woodanchor.com

2. View Bell 3 by Bellfires 

The gas fireplace has come a long way and this three-sides model caught my eye. Offering a perfect view of the fireplace from every angle, in designer speak, equals more focal point for the investment! Also love the new driftwood insert with a more modern take on the traditional log set. www.nee.ca

3. Junction Sectional by Style Garage 

A versatile, modular series of club-style lounge seating, thissectional is made in Canada by local craftsman and upholsterers and available in a wide variety of fabrics and leathers. Anything that can go from cool living space to bed-like movie watching has my vote. Note the pink Canadian themed cushions. www.stylegarage.com

4. AVANI by AYA Kitchens 

AVANI is a highly curated, strictly modern, custom-made kitchen collection featuring clean lines, warm textures, movement and fine hidden details. Competing directly with Europe’s best brands, but made in Canada. This year’s booth, a full kitchen, was designed by Diego Burdi of renowned duo Burdifelek and it was simply spectacular. www.avanikitchens.com

5. 1925Workbench 

This husband-and-wife team (Rock and My Le) creates and builds furniture, doors and barn door hardware. Their passion is infectious, and the true authenticity of their work offers that much sought-after character that the mass-market design sadlylacks. Their booth this year with perfect pink doors was a show favourite, for sure. www.1925workbench.com

6. Purparket 

Flooring suppliers showed their new collections and the trend is definitely still towards wider plank, more matt finished engineered products. My standout was Purparket as the only 100 per cent FSC-certified and VOC-free option. The oil topcoat is both practical for wear and tear and free of the nasty chemicals lurking in more traditional products. www.purparket.com

7. Ikon sink by Blanco 

The only apron front natural granite composite sink available in the marketplace, this new addition to Blanco’s Silgranit collection has designers doing a happy dance. An impact-, acid-, heat- and scratch-resistant material that’s virtually indestructible, this sink comes in three fade-resistant neutral colours. This German pioneer continues to revolutionize the modest, kitchen sink. Since they are also manufactured right here in the GTA I’m letting them slip in for my all-Canadian roundup. www.blancocanada.com