Beating the winter blues

Interior Design Show It was a dark and stormy night, with a bitter-cold February gale blowing off Lake Ontario, as design mavens and hipsters raced from the parking lot to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. Inside the former National Trade Centre, however, all was warmth and good cheer at White, the Interior Design Show’s opening-night party. Billed as “a glittering gala of sensational style,” it boasted “the Tabby Johnson Contortionist Duo with Candelabras,” ex-Cirque du Soleil acrobats, strolling electric violinist Dr. Draw, and a preview of the 300-plus exhibits on the show floor.

01_Interior designer Frauke Illing confers with Beatrix Nienkmper in the Nienkmper booth. 02_Joan Harrison, publications director at Harco Publishing (Canadian Hairdresser, Beautybeat & Spa, Vibra Salon); photographer Joy von Tiedemann, who often shoots interiors and, I’ve heard, is a baroness; interior designer Doris Scolozzi, who owned the late, lamented furniture boutique Abitare; and Robert Gage, the celebrity hairdresser who once graced the cover of Toronto Life. 03_Devon McGregor, co-owner, and Rosanna Carelli, general manager, of Balance, a fitness studio. 04_Axiom Audio, based in Dwight, on Lake of Bays in Ontario’s Muskoka cottage country, is a major player in the worldwide audiophile home-theatre sound market. At Axiom’s Brian Gluckstein-designed booth, Axiom’s Ian Colquhoun, president; Ann Woudstra and Annie Colquhoun, marketing; and Alan Lofft, senior audio/video expert, stand in front of Axiom’s new, inconspicuous, in-wall W speaker series. 05_Derek Nicholson, Donald Chong and David Oleson hang out at Chong’s Small Fridges Make Good Cities booth in the show’s experimental Offspring section. Custom builder Derek Nicholson constructs homes for Shim Sutcliffe, Stephen Teeple, KPMB and other A-List architects. Oleson, of Oleson Worland Architect, planned the 175,000-square-foot show floor grid with broad boulevards cutting through at angles and terminating in major destinations, la Baron Hausmann’s Paris city plan. “You can go up and down the grid in four hours, or do the boulevards in half an hour to an hour at the most, so you choose your speed,” the architect of Yorkville’s Cumberland Park said. 06_Ryan Martin and Amy Kent, principals of Croma Design Studio, and Roman Cholasta, owner of stylish furnishings supplier Interior Elements. 07_Designers Gerry and Lindsey Anacleto, whose client roster includes restaurateur Oliver Bonacini (Jump Caf), devised a bathtub-in-the-metaphoric woods booth. Their conceptual space, titled Rethink, was cleverly green. The superstructure is clamped – not screwed, bolted or nailed – together, for quick and easy dismantling and re-use. 08_The death-defying Tabby Johnson Contortionist Duo hangs from the the chandeliers in the Henkell Trocken Aisle.

Teknion showroom story Photos supplied by Teknion How does Teknion entice 300 designers to travel to the northern outskirts of Toronto for the unveiling of its Michael Vanderbyl-designed showroom opening during the coldest month of the year? You send invitations that include a 5- by 7-inch piece of canvas on a wooden stretcher. Recipients were encouraged to use the canvas to express their creativity and enter a draw for a Vespa motor scooter at the showroom. (Nearly 100 canvasses were submitted.) You wine and dine them on mini-Ceasar salad shooters, tuna tartar in a mini Won Ton cone topped with Wasabi caviar, and Wildass Red and White wines and “Teknicolor” martinis. And you treat them to a runway show of one-off, Teknion-commissioned fashions by Toronto’s Annie Thompson.

09_Fashion designer Annie Thompson and Frank Delfino, Teknion’s president, Canadian and international markets, flanked by models posing in Thompson’s custom outfits.