The Interior Design Show Offers Inspiration and Instagram Material

Whether your place is in need of a total facelift and you’re seeking some fresh design inspiration, you’re in the market for new networking opportunities, or looking to shake up date night, Toronto’s Interior Design Show (IDS18) is definitely worth checking out.

The show – which reflects this year’s “Future Forward” theme – runs all weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (tonight is industry night, but it opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday) and kicked off last night with an always-hot ticket party (did anyone else have a slight headache this morning?).

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Now in its 20th year, IDS18 fills the space with the best in innovative Canadian and international design, with inspirational (and, naturally, Instagram-worthy) exhibits, influential speakers, and leading products. This includes everything from futuristic and high tech appliances (like the game-changing Miele dialogue oven) and new textures and materials, to modern curves, conversation-worthy art installations, and carpets that are quite literally works of art themselves.

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Here are a few highlights of IDS18:

Definitely check out Design Workshop Architects’ “How Bright is Our Future” interactive installation for both a good photo op and reevaluate your thoughts on the future of technology. The immersive experience features a forest of internally lit blade structures that feature a series of statements and questions, with each structure highlighting a different theme (i.e. nanotechnology). On a screen that responds to the viewer’s touch, guests are asked about the most promising and the most terrifying changes and advancements of the future, and to record how they view the topic: either as one of hope or one of fear. The data gathered from the project is displayed on an illuminated meter that reveals where each individual, as well as the collective result, puts us on that spectrum of fear and hope.

This year, IDS18 shines the spotlight on Canadian designers in a major way with Canada by Design, an exhibit that features the work of 50 design firms and seeks to define the essence of Canadian design through commonalities. It reflects an aesthetic that’s connected to nature, leans on the rationalist and minimalist side, and has a deep respect and attention to detail when it comes to materials and craftsmanship. Importantly, this year’s programming highlights many designs from members of Canada’s Indigenous communities. 

Another photo-worthy stop is at the Ontario Wood display, the Clover Pavilion; an installation of partially enclosed floral display areas made from tension-activated plywood metals. The exhibit is designed to highlight the design opportunities offered with the variety of wood species offered in Ontario forests. Local manufacturers produce everything from structural lumber to flooring, furniture, log homes, and artisan goods.

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If you’re looking to step up your lighting game, you’ll find all kinds throughout the space, with designers from across the globe debating innovative and futuristic lighting. This means everything from lighting that doubles as installation art, to 3D printed light fixtures.

If you’re looking for smaller pieces that won’t dent the credit card as much (and to support up-and-coming designers in the process) hit the Makers section. Here, you’ll find the creations of emerging and small businesses.

Other talking points include an installation from Caesarstone. The coveted quartz kitchen and countertop manufacturer teamed up with renowned New York design firm Snarkitecture to rethink the concept of the kitchen island, exploring the changing states of water (from ice to steam), one of the most important elements of a kitchen.

As expected, you’ll also find vibrantly designed common spaces throughout, which make for quality Instagram backgrounds.

Check out IDS18 for yourself – it opens to the public tomorrow, January 20th. (warning: it may make your apartment feel “less than” upon return home).