Almost all of the Fluffians visited IDS West this past weekend and we were all really impressed for the second year in a row. It feels like the design community in Vancouver has embraced this event and that everyone from students to seasoned professionals take part in the experience. What we noticed as a continued trend from last year was the evolution of the trades-person/designer combo. We find this exciting because Vancouver has some amazing talent and this year we felt that our homegrown people stood out along side the super talented Portland and Seattle crowd that was here for their second year.
We saw modern wood stains paired with lightweight metals over and over to produce really contemporary innovative designs. The Vancouver standout for us was the Atlas Universal Wall System from local company Antill. The traditional millwork studio has come up with this brilliant and beautiful wall system with every possible practical need filled. The system is modular, easily re-arranged and totally coordinated. It has to be seen to be really appreciated. Basically, it will take any wall or room and turn it into an organized, finished space with wires concealed and finishes coordinated. We were lucky to speak with one of the owners, Nate, who explained his product with passion and enthusiasm. This product is really a winner.
Groove Box is a Seattle based company making modern planters and fire pits. We loved the simple design, bright colours and the combination of metal and wood. The products come flat packed and are light which makes them easy to put together and ship. Plus they look really great.
Another great local design startup we discovered in the Prototype area of the event was ChopValue. These designers have found a way to make sustainable, recycled products with used chopsticks. Considering the love of Asian food in Vancouver, we think this project has great potential. They estimate that there are over 2000 Asian restaurants in Vancouver that use chopsticks, most of which are disposable and have a lifespan of less than an hour.These wooden shelves however, will last forever in your home. chopvalue.ca
The decor game seemed strong this year, with Tom Dixon leading the charge on warm metal accessories for sale at the show. We really loved the brass pendants by Steven Banken showcased in the Dutch Exchange and the “not yet local but hoping to be local”, Ontario based company Norquay with their hand made artisan canoe paddles, very on trend and pretty Canadian!
Another local find for us was Urban Walls, these ladies have come up with a really modern and fun version of the wall decal. We liked the pattern decals that take the place of wall paper and we loved how the designs are favouring current trends. The giant peonies are gorgeous and we picked up something special for a little project we will be doing in Patti’s office. Keep checking in to see our progress.
The show, the party, and all the glamour of the IDS West weekend was great and we are feeling inspired and excited for what is happening in interiors right now. We couldn’t be prouder of our own makers and designers and we look forward to working with some of the talented people we met at this years show. Nice job Vancity.