Inside the Interior Design Show West

One of the defining differences between the Interior Design Show West (IDS west) and your average home show is the fact that IDS west is geared to appeal to industry insiders, as well as the rest of us: everyday decor and design junkies.

And let's face it, we like the mixed company. It's a rare opportunity to be both in the know and in the company of bona fide interior and industrial designers, while ogling contemporary furnishings and design.

"Visitors come to the show to learn about new trends, ideas and products, but what they're really looking for is inspiration," says show director David Tyldesley. "And I believe inspiration is about sharing ideas and collaboration."

Appealing to both the trade and the average consumer is a challenge, but one worth pursuing to ensure the show is always fresh and edgy, relevant and accessible. Industry participation and insider inspiration are keys to IDS west's success, according to Tyldesley.

"We have to walk a very fine line between appealing to the trade, the general public and the design enthusiast," Tyldesley notes. One of the ways the show's organizers do this is to curate their marketplace and exhibitors, ensuring high standards and consistent esthetic appeal.

On that note, here's what's not to be missed at this year's show: Be future ready The fourth volume of Future Masters showcases the best of Western Canada's next generation of designers and is front and centre at the main entrance to IDS west. The young designers' pool includes the best and brightest students of western Canadian design institutions. Each is given the opportunity to present past and current projects in a curated gallery-type exhibition at the show.

Stage acts Enjoy the opening night party entertainment, plus presentations and conversations with decor celebrities, design icons and behind-the-scenes professionals at the Para Design Stage. Here are our top picks for each day.

Friday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. - The Evolution of Design: A Conversation with The Design Agency, moderated by Kelly Deck.

Hear Toronto speakers Anwar Mekhayech, Allen Chan and Matt Davis of The Design Agency discuss the way design has evolved throughout the centuries. This moderated panel, including well-loved local Kelly Deck, will delve into "The Evolution of Design," - how global economic conditions and changing environmental priorities, plus lifestyle perceptions, shape our culture's modern views.

Sat. Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. - Taste Matters. Designer Brian Gluckstein and House & Home's Mark Challen will dissect and discuss the hallmarks of good design (and good taste) from fashion and film to products and interiors. Stick around for insider tricks at 4 p.m. - House & Home: Behind the Scenes, when H&H Toronto speakers Suzanne Dimma and Mark Challen dish on how a home gets selected, prepped, styled and shot to become a dazzling magazine feature. They'll also take you behind the scenes and share design tips, tricks and home decor styling secrets.

Sun. Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. - Maximal Minimalism - The New Canadian Aesthetic

Speaker: Anna Abbruzzo & Alain Courchesne, of Igloodgn, Montreal. Explore the concept of "maximal minimalism" a distinctly Canadian esthetic garnering international attention. Be first to discover, understand and embrace this new Canadian style.

Head to the top

Studio North features the hottest up-and-coming Canadian designers of 2013, emerging talent with collections in production. Of the many works featured, don't miss the clean-lined Danish-modern inspired furniture collection by Jess Tasker of Trunk Studio.

Find something for you

In addition to handmade home decor products, The District features more than 40 artisan fashion, jewelry, artworks and accessories. Looking for something chic and modern? Check out Fiber Lab's contemporary light shades and Amanda Parker Design baubles.

Got a problem?

Discuss your design dilemma with a registered interior designer. The Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) is offering free, 10-minute mini design consultations with IDIBC registered interior designers on-site. Bring your swatches, iPad, Pinterest pix and floor plans and prepare to solve your design problems in a jiffy, under the guidance of a qualified pro.

Think small: win big

The compact future-ready H&L Laneway Home built by Alair Homes is a 516-square-foot custom abode designed for modernists who appreciate the value and investment of a laneway lifestyle. This home is one of a kind, valued at more than $500,000 and will be unveiled for the first time at IDSwest, then sold on open auction to the highest bidder on Sept. 21 at 5:15 p.m. There is no minimum bid on this home and all net proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of BC.

IDS west takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. For more information, visit ids


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Meet the team

  • Will Pratt
  • Justin Sabbagh
  • Mike Wilcox

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