By Dan Glennzig
Day 1 of the four-day Interior Design Show (IDS) Vancouver was everything we imagined it would be. From the expansive floors of the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Center, over 200 exhibitors gathered to share their newest designs and product innovations.
Although the show bills itself as the “Pacific platform for all things design” our first day in the trenches felt like so much more than that. In fact, we were immediately blown away by the international influences at every turn.
Will we get to every booth over the next few days? We sure hope so. Since there’s so much to see and do here at IDS, we hit the ground running the minute the doors opened and we don’t plan on stopping until we find every last hidden product gem and bring that information back to you.
Over the course of the day, we interviewed a number of company representatives who couldn’t wait to share information on their products with us. Here were some of our favorites from Day 1.
We were excited that Jody Phillips, the Director of IDS Vancouver, took time out of her busy day to talk with us about her amazing show.
We started our conversation by asking Jody what speakers, exhibitors, and other aspects of the show she’s most excited about. Of course, that’s a difficult question for her because everything is top-notch here at IDS.
Jody did say that the entrance of the show, which features a major design collaboration titled “Design for Industry” definitely sets the vibe for the rest of the event. Aside from this and other design collaborations here at IDS, Jody appreciates the chance to learn from a number of influential speakers in both keynote and panel discussions.
Per Jody, “The design community in the west is growing. We’ve become international. So we traveled a lot to handpick this global design team. We hope we continue to engage international designers. Ideally, we want to expose west coast designers to the international market and vice versa.”
No matter what, Jody hopes people from all walks of life and design influences find their niche at the show.
Miele is a household name throughout the world and here in Canada. Since 1899, Miele has been designing and manufacturing appliances out of their home base in Germany. Here at IDS, we had the pleasure of speaking with Kelly Lam, the VP of Marketing for Miele, Canada, and he gave us the inside scoop on some of the new products Miele is putting on the market this coming year.
Kelly showed us around their large booth themed “Timeless Evolution.” Why this name? Because Miele is determined to offer products for people at any stage in their life. No matter what, they’re committed to creating ideal product solutions, Kelly explained to us.
The most exciting product they’re launching is actually Miele’s first ever bagless vacuum, called the Blizzard CX1. It’s a sleek, easy-to-use vacuum that gets the job done without any hassle. In addition to their extensive, premier-quality floor care products, Miele is also putting some new laundry appliances out there, including the W1 and T1 washer and dryer, which feature the most innovative heat pump technology out there today.
Whichever type of appliance you need for your home or business, Miele is sure to have you covered. Plus, because the company is European-based, many of their products are available in a wide range of sizes to accommodate by the European and North American markets.
“We want to give consumers an experience, not just a product,” says Kelly. Well, they definitely gave us a superb experience today at IDS.
LIXIL, a home and building manufacturer from Tokyo, Japan, presented their state of the art water technology here at IDS. What sets LIXIL apart from competitors? They focus on high-end luxury, something that’s becoming more common for homeowners buying at every price-point here in North American homes.
Par Frozan, a representative from the century-old company, showed us around their booth and let us take an up-close look at their amazing shower heads, bathtubs, and other features including the Spectra Collection featured under the American Standard brand. Par told us that LIXIL is all about providing people with both innovative products that are also accessible and we think that’s a perfect way to describe this Spectra collection. These deep, modern tubs would go in just about any home perfectly!
LIXIL has also added a bonus technology to the mix with their introduction of a remote-controlled showerhead. “You can change the shower setting without reaching up and touching the actual shower head. It’s perfect for the elderly or small children,” says Par.
Technology is exciting, isn’t it?
It’s the first time Smeg, a premier appliance manufacturer from Italy has come to IDS, according to operations manager Sonia Settori. But they’re making up for it by highlighting 3 new products at the show.
“This year, we’re introducing a unique line of refrigerators. These include 100 hand-painted fridges designed by artists.” This collaboration was made possible by a partnership with Dolce & Gabbana. We got a chance to see one of these here at their booth at IDS and it was both intricate and lovely.
Aside from elaborate fridges, Smeg also makes an assortment of cooking products and small appliances, including toasters and electric kettles. These are designed to look both modern and retro, the perfect blend for the everyday homeowner.
We actually feature Smeg’s awesome toaster on some of our virtual rooms. If you get a chance, take a glimpse and imagine what one will look like in your own kitchen.
Greg Born, who represents Gaggenau, loves his 334-year-old company. Yes, you read that right, 334! Gaggenau is literally the oldest appliance manufacturer in the world.
Today, the appliances Gaggenau puts out on the market are “ultra high premium” and designer for the consumer looking to put the absolute best products in their home.
Gaggenau's product lineup here in North America is expansive, covering everything but the laundry room. Their bread and butter, however, is cooking and refrigeration. We loved the numerous wine coolers on display, as well as their superior induction cooking technology.
“We think Gaggenau is a premium brand that matches IDS Vancouver and the west coast market,” adds Greg.
One of the most interesting moments of the day was when we joined Bosch’s Shelly Hagan and made coffee straight from a phone app! It was as easy as pie to use Bosch's Home Connect app to create a delicious latte macchiato. Of course, choosing the type of coffee we wanted was the first big decision. Then, all it took was a few special selections and we were on our way to a perfect, freshly made cup o’ joe.
There were customizations galore, depending on your tastes, from the heat of the liquid (not too hot, not too cold), the strength of the brew (medium, please) and the size of the cup (is “gallon” an option?). The best part is you can even save your favorite brew types to your profile for future perks.
We’re obsessed with Bosch’s coffee machines and quite thankful for our experience with Shelly.
“We’re here to connect with designers” Edyta Drutis of Blanco Canada tell us. As a world leader in kitchen sink technology, Germany-based Blanco is paving the road for new, trendy sink options.
Over the past 30 years, Blanco Canada has been crafting granite composite sinks, called Silgranit. These contain a mixture of natural granite and polymers, leaving them extremely heat, scratch, and stain resistant. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more durable sink!
Here at IDS, Blanco introduced their Urbana Collection of faucets, which feature 9 different finishes to match any home.
Farmhouse sinks are another product Blanco Canada is currently focusing on since more and more homeowners are looking for something a bit more unique to add to their kitchens.
Blanco Canada came to IDS to connect with designers, but they sold us on their versatile, streamlined product line.
MilkDesign with DXV
Big-ticket modern fixtures are everywhere here at IDS, including at the DXV booth. But aside from getting a good look at some of the fashionable products gracing the hats of a half dozen DXV models, we were also lucky enough to sit down during an interview between Jaime Derringer of DesignMilk.com and Jean-Jacques L’Haneff, Vice President of Design at DXV.
Jaime was interested in learning all about the inspiration behind DXV’s new Modulus line, which is set to start shipping out to key markets in mid-October. According to Jean-Jacques, all of DXV’s designs are inspired by modern American architecture and then put together based on a fusion of form and function, including the customizable high-style products in Modulus.
What sets Modulus apart from previous collections is the sheer number of sizes and configurations available.
All of DXV’s products are made to be usable, reflecting how each and every lavatory is used based on an understanding of the wet areas versus the dry areas. But it’s not just the purpose of each item that keeps the design team busy. Jean-Jacques also aims to give each faucet, tub, and even toilet a special final touch — a fashionable “zing,” so to speak.
That “zing” is entirely evident down the entire product line. If you’re looking to create a bathroom sanctuary, start with DXV.