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IDS West >> Part I: Top Furnishings

I really enjoyed this year’s show and have put together a summary of my favourite finds and experiences. There was too much to limit to just one post, so I’ve decided to do two. One on specific furnishings and lines. One on specific ideas.So in the furniture and lines category, here are my top picks at the show:Blossom Table: The Blossom Collection by Mike Lam Design was definitely one of my top picks. This is a clever piece that gives a bit more dimension to a space than your standard box-style dresser or coffee table. The shape is reminiscent of a flower and it comes in both a 22- or 30-inch size and has a deep drawer for extra storage. (I love clever storage!) I prefer the 30-inch walnut version, but they can also be made in white oak or purple heart. In the right space, these whimsical pieces could be magic.Hide Rugs: Another item I loved was the hide rugs by Isikhumba Designs. Maybe it’s because I am a prairie girl, but I love hides. They are flat, which is handy for setting things on and makes them durable. They are natural. They have variation in the colouring, which gives texture to a space.  And, they are made of hair, so they are easy to clean. Oh, and the colours! Red-browns, browns, greys, blondes in addition to white, and black. They are just so versatile. The rugs from Isikhumba come via families in South Africa who create and hand-stitch custom rugs from the hides of the Nguni cattle that are central to their culture and livelihood. The rugs are made-to-order in a near endless number of patterns and colours.Convertible Furniture: Another great find was Resource Furniture. I am a big proponent of designing for the 90 per cent of living you do in your home and making provisions for the other 10 per cent through smart choices. For example, if you have overnight guests five nights a year you do not need a separate room that nobody goes into the other 360 days. Resource Furniture does space-savvy furnishings with a very modern flair. It’s convertible furniture that is compact, but with high style. They have also opened a Calgary showroom in the last two months and so it’s great to know their products are now available here.Craft + Art: One of my favourite booths at the show was Wood in Design, which is a platform for independent artisans and craftspeople working in (you guessed it!) wood. It was started by a couple seeking to provide smaller businesses with a design-savvy showcase for their products. What the creators are doing pushed so many of my buttons. I love the idea of a curated home that speaks to the life story of the people who are there. This company is simplifying the sourcing because what is easy to find these days is the cheap, the disposable and the homogenous. Sometimes, that’s got a legitimate place, but sometimes you really need to do something special. This is where I’ll be looking from now on.