In a nutshell, our day was fantabulous.
We got our initial view of the design show as we strolled over from the parking garage:
First, we met our good friend Sarah Richardson to review some paint samples. She was more than happy to pose for photos with us:
It didn’t take me long to make a purchase…how about 7 minutes after we arrived! But, really, how could I be expected to pass up…
ORANGE TOILET PAPER!!!
I had to choose my favourite colour, but seriously considered the black toilet paper, also. Why not make a dramatic statement in the bathroom!
Debbie and I were terribly excited at the prospect of attending two free shows offered this Sunday.
At 12 noon…Lynda and Brian…
Join these two powerhouses of design as they share the trends they love most. Lynda Reeves and Brian Gluckstein have sorted through the biggest looks from around the world to bring you the best of the best. Come and get their hotlist.
Then at 2 pm, Suzanne and Tommy:
You won’t want to miss Canadian House & Home Editor Suzanne Dimma and designer and TV personality Tommy Smythe when they spill their secrets for giving professional polish to a space. Learn how to achieve an expensive “designer” look on a budget, and hear their tips on adding edge to your rooms.
At 11:15 a.m., we noticed that seats were filling up already for the 12 o’clock presentation by Lynda and Brian. Debbie and I tossed our jackets over two aisle seats in the 8th row, then wandered off to peruse the booths for 40 minutes. Only in Canada could you trust the honour system, I swear!
Debbie covets a wine fridge, such as this one, for her home:
If/when we ever renovate our bathrooms, I lust after a bowl sink for our main floor water closet:
Loved that both the 12 noon and 2 pm shows started bang on time.
My favourite of the two presentations was Brian + Lynda. I *know* Brian from his Cityline appearances, and he was exactly as charismatic, dynamic and LOL funny as on TV. Lynda was more personable and warm than I expected, given the tone of her voice in written articles in House & Home magazine, and the times I have seen her on TV. Together, the two were witty, compatible, and obviously close friends, given their relaxed demeanors and comfortable rapport.
Plus, they gave sound design tips!
The forever student in me I jotted notes, a few of which I’ll pass along, here.
Theme: “Talking Trends:”
- charcoal instead of black
- grey and black in the kitchen; no upper cabinets in the kitchen
- banquettes as kitchen seating
- the closet as furniture: feature an armoire (SIL Ana and The Brother just did this!)
- have ONE statement chair
Between the two shows, we spent a lot of time at the ELTE booth. This area rug was the best find of the entire show for me:
Price? $3195. High, yes. Beyond what I would have thought? No. Plus, I love the story behind these one-of-a-kind rugs:
Our most delightful conversation of the day occurred with Ken from ELTE – for some reason, we just got engaged in conversation, and spent at least 10 minutes chatting! Ken has been with the company for 32 years, and his sons are fourth generation! [I just read the company history here; Ken is the grandson of the founder].
Then, it was back to the stage for…
Tommy is the reason I watch Sarah Richardson’s shows, to be honest! (And did you know he is the grandson of Conn Smythe?!)
Tommy and Suzanne presented on “Designer Tricks.” We learned that:
- no kitchen is too tiny to have an island
- the statement chair must be attractive from a 360 degree view
- when starting out, look at how you want to use your home: where do you want your tv? do you even want a tv?
- poppies are Tommy’s favourite flower :)
I also really enjoyed this presentation. Tommy and Suzanne were high energy, enjoy an obvious camaraderie, and shared helpful tips. However, I didn’t feel that they were quite as poised or polished as Brian and Lynda; also, the audience did not seem as entralled and in love. That being said, I still give all four presenters A+ in terms of “entertainment value.”
Both Debbie and I wholeheartedly agreed that we would have gladly paid the price of admission solely for the two shows that we watched. They were most definitely the highlight of our day.
We finished off with a tour through four design spaces by Sibling Revelry. This was the only area where we had to wait in a line-up. I was really impressed with the number of Sibling Revelry collaborators present (both Dixons, the Dressler brothers) , interacting with the general public as we toured through…
My two highlights:
Seeing the designer Lar Dressler, an eco-modern designer:
Viewing the three rooms designed by Sarah Richardson, using her brother, Theo’s, pieces:
Debbie and I departed with happy hearts. The whole day was a delightful experience from start to finish. We’re contemplating bumping it up a notch next year, and springing for tix to the Thursday evening Opening Night Party! Go schmooze with Brian, Sarah, Tommy, Lynda…??? Sign us up!