MADE at Home = one amazing apartment
Design week has begun in Toronto. Anchored by the huge attraction that is IDS, many smaller design shows time their exhibits to open the same week, resulting in a slew of design-inspired parties, galas and openings.
For the last few years, MADE's Radiant Dark shows have set the standard outside of the actual IDS Gala. They have raised the bar every year - culminating in last year's divisive CIBC corporate lobby show, which had many commenters arguing that Radiant Dark had jumped the shark. For the record, I loved it. Designers were aware that the show space was large, and the designs on display reflected that.
So when they announced that this year they would host a show that would take over a real life Toronto apartment and show what could be done with design on a more realistic scale, I was worried it would underwhelm.
I was wrong. Wednesday evening's preview was like a proper house party, and seeing pieces in context was rewarding. It was like visiting friends and checking out their new place. I assume this is exactly what the couple behind this store - Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson's actual home looks like.
I enjoyed meeting the artists in this confined space and hearing (sometimes overhearing- one of my favourite house party pasttimes) about their take on the space or the place. I had the opportunity to corner Orest Tataryn in front of one his amazing neon sculptures and quiz him on how they are made. Orest is the real deal - an artist/ designer who constantly tests and tries out new methods, materials and processes. And that is what it's all about in my opinion.
Understanding materials and exploiting them to produce fresh results is the key to success in design. One example of this mastery of the medium is from the design team AHDI. Their console table made from simple bright painted steel and topped with end grain wood was a refreshing winner. An exceptional piece that exploits a common material - wood - in a completely uncommon way.
Bev Hisey's gemstone shaped rugs that would enliven any space with a splash of colour and whimsy.
Yvonne Ip shows that industrial materials can be warm and inviting with Bind, her felt and rope seat.
Periphere's blown glass heart chandelier is a definite favourite. Seperate elements each loaded with cool details like braided, coloured cord and simple knots holding up the hand-blown glass.
Katherine Morley's Habitat hand tufted carpet struck a perfect balance between timeless and modern.
The show continues through February 12 upstairs at MADE, 867 Dundas Street West. There will be a Walk & Talk on Sunday at 1PM where 5 designers will discuss their work in the space and there is a public reception is on Sat. from 3-8PM.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak
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