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Last night IDS13 kicked off the weekend in style at their annual opening night gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — the design world knows how to throw a party! I was lucky enough to rub elbows with some of the best local and international designers, and scout out the hottest new interior design finds.

With more than 300 exhibitors showcasing innovative, inspiring interior design, architecture and industrial design trends, the show is a must-see for design lovers. It's open to the public from today until this Sunday, January 27th. Buy tickets online for only $19.

A large-scale balloon installation by Chicago multimedia artist Willy Chyr greeted guests as they entered the exhibit space.

H&H's Mark Challen (left) and Kirby Miller (right) caught up with designer Thomas Smythe and his sister, Christie, of iconic Canadian label Smythe, at the House & Home booth. Catch Mark and Thomas, along with Lynda Reeves and Suzanne Dimma, up close and personal this Sunday — you won't want to miss it!

One of my favourite parts of the show was the How Do You Work? exhibit space. Four different designers explored the changing concept of today's work space by creating innovative installations inside shipping crates. blackLAB architects designed a stunning rainbow-hued pencil wall as the backdrop for their communal work table.

Dubbeldam's pop-up office had modular furniture made out of reclaimed wood pallet boards inspired by the key elements of mobility, adaptability and flexibility in a work environment.

Studio North featured 60 Canadian and international designers exhibiting custom collections of furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics and textiles. Here are a few of my faves:

I loved the sculptural quality of this coffee table by Toronto designer Endri Hoxha of Ehoeho.

This geometric Lightfold pendant lamp by Threepenny Studios caught my eye.

I also loved the delicate, paper-like quality of these wood pendant lights by Atelier Cocotte.

Guests mingled in the MCLV Lounge by the Design Agency throughout the night. Evoke flooring collaborated with them on the project, reimagining the concept of a heritage log cabin by using their luxury flooring to create chairs, stools and benches. Party-goers sipped on fruit-infused beer cocktails by Molson Canadian.

Meeting internationally acclaimed designer Karim Rashid — looking suave in a daring hot pink suit — was definitely a highlight of the night. Karim collaborated with Kia on their Design Icons exhibit, sharing his aesthetic and design philosophy: "Design is about the betterment of our lives poetically, aesthetically, experientially, sensorially and emotionally."

Can this be my car, please? Canadian-born designer Christiane Lemieux gave her Design Icon Kia a chinoiserie twist. Catch Lemieux at the show on Saturday at 12 p.m., where she'll talk about the fresh aesthetic behind DwellStudio. Did you miss my colleague Wendy Jacob's recent Q&A with the designer? Read it here.

Miele hosted media for a pre-party cocktail reception at Azure, where they unveiled their new state-of-the-art steam oven — and used it to cook us all some yummy risotto!

International guest of honour Oki Sato of Nendo collaborated with Caesarstone to design this beautiful Stone Garden. The designer used Caeserstone's quartz materials to evoke a Japanese rock garden.

There were lots of clustered pendant lights to be seen around the show, like these ones from Ikea.

Dinner al fresco, anyone? This patio space by landscape architects Earth Inc. was a beauty.

The pale blue and white palette of Andrew Richard Design's spring/summer 2013 collection evoked a Mediterranean landscape — and had me dreaming of warmer days ahead.

Check out these copper wall sculptures by Cocoon Furnishings — gorgeous!

Last but not least, make sure to head over to the Designboom Mart, dedicated to young emerging designers. Read more about it on senior features editor Kimberley Brown's blog post.

All in a day's work. See you next year, IDS!

Photo credits:
1-18. Chloe Berge

Author: 

Chloe Berge

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