September 13, 2016
Endless ideas at IDS
Barbara Barry keeps watercolour paints on her desk to quickly capture what she describes as “a colour thought” and to see how colours go together. Lately, the celebrated California-based designer has been thinking about a pale, rosy, almost poached salmon hue and loving it alongside the colours of mustard and plain ivory.
A guest speaker at this year’s Interior Design Show Vancouver, she says colour choices contribute to her signature elegant, quiet style.
“Subtlety, nuance, colour, many, many shades of maybe the same colour make me feel calm,” says Barry. “I’ve learned that from nature and I take it into my rooms and try to replicate it in a way that will bring a calm sense through varying shades of the same colour and varying textures.”
She says it doesn’t matter how much money we have or don’t have, we all have to deal with manoeuvring our lives through the world every day.
“The world is so busy – the technology, our iPhones and constantly being connected – that our homes really are a respite, a place where we can unplug,” she says.
Barry believes that release happens through design and through the choices we make when we put a room together.
“I’m not saying calm is for everybody, but certainly I feel like it’s something we can all relate to. That outbreath when we come into a room and we just feel like, ‘I’m home and I can drop everything, and I can be renewed and restored,’ because that’s what home does. I strive for that in my life, and it’s something that my rooms speak about no matter who we’re working for,” she says.
At IDS Vancouver on Sept. 25, Barry will speak about her favourite subject, beauty and design, and delve into how design influences people. That involves questioning, for example, why someone is attracted to a wooden bowl at an art fair, or a lamp they saw in a magazine. “What is their response to design and why?” she asks.
Barry likes to think philosophically, and says design is the outcome of that thought process. She adds that beauty is the most powerful force on earth and is manifest in several forms including kindness.
“Every single day is an opportunity to make something beautiful,” she says. “I see my life as my bigger, higher purpose in the world: to make beauty through all those different ways and not just in rooms.”
Aside from interiors, Barry designs for several companies and diplomatically declines to name a favourite product. However, one of her recent launches, Chalet – a new fabric line for Kravet – embodies her approach to design. The collection was inspired by a summer hike in Austria and represents her philosophy of being aware, being in nature and then taking those thoughts and working with them. The Tyrolean countryside, soft-coloured pine floors, crisp linens and a glass of cold Riesling after a day hike all combined to inspire the collection.
On those hikes she doubtless had her watercolours in her backpack. As a plein air (outdoor) painter she describes the pressure of having to complete the painting onsite as exciting and scary at the same time. When she looks at the watercolours later, she realizes she is capturing a response to the natural world. The paintings, later stored in folders, continue to evoke the memory of the experience.
But sometimes inspiration is close to home and appears where it is least expected. A day after exploring the combination of salmon, mustard and ivory tones, Barry had a lunch of salmon with brown rice. There it was on her plate, the brown rice was the perfect shade of “dirty ivory” to complement the soft pink of the salmon.
Interior Design Show Vancouver takes place Sept. 22 to 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Barbara Barry is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, on the Caesarstone Stage.
One of the world’s most influential designers shares his latest inspirations
By Rebecca Keillor
When Tom Dixon takes the stage on Sept. 23 at IDS Vancouver as keynote speaker for the Azure Trade Talks, guests will have the opportunity to hear from a designer who is equal parts creative and businessman, with fame the result.
Even before launching his self-named brand in 2002, the British designer was already a force within the design industry. He first achieved fame for his welded salvage furniture and went on to receive international recognition for countless furniture and lighting collections, including his beloved Wingback chair and his S Chair, which was designed for Cappellini and now sits in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
Dixon’s design research studio also handled the interior design for Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa Restaurant in London, the Mondrian London hotel, McCann Worldgroup’s Manhattan headquarters and many others. This year, he opened a Tom Dixon shop in Manhattan and Los Angeles, with another planned for SoHo.
“We’ve gone crazy,” he says. “Our best dealers are in Vancouver and Toronto, in truth, in the whole of North America, but America in general has become the fastest growing territory for us. It’s very interesting because we share a language, but also they’re starting to really embrace contemporary. Where the United States has been dominated for a long time by either mid-century modern, which remains an obsession, or Italian luxury brands, I think it’s opening up a lot, not only to people like ourselves, but a generation of contemporary American brands as well.”At IDS Vancouver, Dixon will present his Fire Kitchen, designed in collaboration with quartz manufacturer Caesarstone – the fourth in The Restaurant concept series (Earth, Fire, Water and Air) they presented at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in April – along with a Tom Dixon pop up store.
What else can we expect to see? “More lights, more furniture, more accessories, more everything,” he says.
One product people can look forward to seeing at IDS is Dixon’s iridescent petrol-on-water Flask pendant lights. “We’ve been mucking about with all kinds of plating techniques and we finally cracked, it least on glass,” he says. “I think it looks quite fresh, in contrast to some of the metallics we’ve been using for a while.”
And, Dixon adds, West Coast design is incredibly relevant at the moment.
“It’s got its roots in a bit more of a personal handmade aesthetic, which I think is very appropriate to now,” he says. “It’s not just design products, or architecture, there’s this whole tech thing which has been very influential in terms of getting people to feel modern again.”
Tom Dixon is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, on the Caesarstone Stage.
What’s old is newInterior designer and HGTV host Emily Henderson brings her eclectic style to IDS Vancouver
Emily Henderson’s style is equal parts vintage and modern. That may seem like an unlikely juxtaposition, but that’s exactly why it works. This interior designer, stylist, author and HGTV host knows how to pull a room together, and we were lucky enough to chat to her about her inspiration, style faux pas and top tips. Catch her in person at IDS Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Tell us a little about your design inspiration. What first interested you in the world of interior design? I started out in NYC in my mid-20s as a shop girl working for Jonathan Adler, which back then was not as big as it is now. I always loved and appreciated style and design, but wasn’t sure what I could do or how to really be a part of it.
Flash forward to when I met a prop stylist and I felt like I found my calling. I mean, who doesn’t want to shop and play with beautiful things all day while getting paid for it? If you asked me then if I could see myself running a full-service interior design firm and daily style blog 10 years later, I never would have believed you. But, here I am, still loving every day of it.
How would you describe your style? Style for me is an evolution. But I will always revert back to my favourites: blues, vintage and mid-century modern.
What is your design philosophy? Perfection is boring, Let’s get weird. I know that isn’t exactly a philosophy, but designing a room is all about finding the juxtaposition between the expected and unexpected and working with your client to find out what works for them.
What inspires you the most in your design?
I don’t think there is one particular thing that inspires me the most. Just as a room would never be inspiring if it were all purchased at one place, inspiration is not inspiring if it is all from one source.
What would you say is the one piece that brings together a room? A consistent colour palette. What I find most is that people buy things they love, but don’t keep in mind that if you buy a bunch of pretty, random things it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to look good together.
My rule is pick two to three colours for your interior and buy within that palette. It will save you a lot of headache when you try to pull your room together.
You’re speaking at this year’s IDS Vancouver alongside people like Tom Dixon. What are you most excited for at the show? Being named in the same sentence as such an influential and amazing designer as Tom Dixon is exciting enough for me.
One of my favourite things at these shows is to see all the new products out there as it allows me to see what the makers, influencers, and companies are introducing that I can then take back to my clients.
What can we expect from your speaker slot? You can expect some awkwardness, some tips, and some candid advice on my take on whatever I am feeling at the moment.
Emily Henderson is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m.
on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the Caesarstone Stage.
at the West Coast’s
signature design show
By Kathleen Freimond
Visitors to IDS Vancouver will collect the usual brochures and samples, but their most valuable takeaway will be something intangible – inspiration.
Show director Jody Phillips advises participating designers and brands not to treat their space as an extension of their showrooms: “People can visit showrooms; we want attendees to experience creative installations and to get inspired.”
With hundreds of exhibitors and eight group installations, this year’s show offers plenty of insights and ideas. Don’t miss these three unique installations.
For the third year IDS Vancouver features an Exchange installation. This year, Dutch Exchange: Eindhoven presents the work of graduates from the famous Eindhoven Design Academy in the Netherlands. Look out for works by Ontwerpduo – Tineke Beunders and Nathan Wierink – who take “fairy-tale ideas” and make them into functional designs, as well as Dirk Vander Kooij, who combines technology and traditional tools to produce works made from recycled materials.
New this year is Clay & Glaze, an installation that showcases the work of regional and international ceramicists whose work reveals their own sources of inspiration. The architecture of downtown Los Angeles and the themes of technology and space exploration influence Ben Medansky’s work, while Anne Carnevale shares the simplicity of functional cups and water jugs where, she says, an imperfect line and an off-centred object is the expression of art.
How does a paint colour inspire creativity? Ambience relies so heavily on colour that painting is often suggested as the first option to update or change the character of a room. Show attendees will see how designers interpret and conceptualise colour at the always-popular Open Studio installation.
Designers including Char Kennedy and Mango Design will pick one of 128 hues from Portland-based Colorhouse Paint’s palette to inspire their presentations in the Colour Edition, this year’s theme. Colorhouse’s decks range from variations of white – aptly called Imagine – to the warm yellow tones of Beeswax and the, well, dreamy shades of Dream.