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Inspired by Design

Finding inspiration at the Interior Design Show

by Michelle Medford
Visitors explore exhibits at last year’s Interior Design Show, January 24, 2010 by Shadow becomes White on Flickr

The Interior Design Show is back. The show’s 14th year kicks off on January 26 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and runs until January 29. Although the event is always a huge pull for the design industry, featuring a day dedicated entirely to trade companies, think twice before you cross it off your list. The four-day event is a great way to find creative ideas, even if you aren’t a design professional, whether you’re renovating the home or revamping a room. Here are three ways to find inspiration at the annual show:

Daily Talks

On January 26, the show features Conversations in Design, a jam-packed all-day event with several sessions from design experts (though at a hefty price). However, for those of us who aren’t as involved in the design world (and don’t have thick wallets), the weekend is also filled with drop-by talks. Saturday primarily features discussions from retailers, designers and various other creative minds, while Sunday focuses on media with talks from House & Home Media, daytime talk-show host Marilyn Denis and HGTV’s Sarah’s House host and designer Tommy Smythe. Find out where ideas come from and what’s in store for the design world.


Less interactive but more in-depth, the event also shows new films on design and architecture on Friday and Saturday. Once you’ve seen it all, stop by for a break and catch a movie to find out a bit more about some of the past and present designers, architects, photographers and various others behind it all.

The OCAD exhibit at last year’s Interior Design Show, January 24, 2010 by Shadow becomes White on Flickr

Staged Exhibits

By far, the best part of the show is the staged exhibits. Whether you’re a new homeowner or you just like to play house in kitchen and bathroom set-ups at hardware stores, the exhibits are a must-see. With over 300 exhibitors this year, designers and retailers come together to recreate thoughtful, interesting and unique set-ups of living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and more. There’s even a condo exhibit, perfect for those living in downtown high-rises. Pick up on colours, layouts, shapes, and styles to help fuel your artistic mind.

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