Magazines and websites are great resources for design ideas, but there’s nothing like seeing products in person to get the creative juices flowing. Texture and colour are nuances that can get lost or distorted in photographs, but it’s these details that often make the difference between something that we like and something that we LOVE. With that in mind, I recently visited Toronto’s National Home Show, one of the largest in North America, for a little inspiration. The best part about getting inspiration at a show like this is that we know we can actually purchase the products locally. (Unlike the products seen in magazines, which are often not available in our area.)
Here are a few of the items that caught my eye at the show:
Vintage Flooring — I love the combination of rustic and modern elements in most rooms. I grew up in a small town in southern Ontario, so the idea of having floors made out of reclaimed barn boards intrigues me. This sample is “Rockwood”, from Old Vintage Floors, in Flesherton, Ontario. It’s the only sample that didn’t look too yellow. The cost is $11 per square foot. My concern is whether this will make my room appear too ‘country’.
Oiled flooring — this sample from Appalachian made my heart beat a little faster. I love the matte finish in their Era Design collection. The grain and colouring of this walnut sample is sooooo much more interesting to me than the typical pre-finished oak floors I see everywhere. As far as wear and tear, I was told that if I were to make a nick in the floor, I can just drop a bit of oil on the area, rub it in, and buff it off. Et voila, the mark will disappear. Another plus: the flooring is Made in Canada. This is more refined than the vintage barn boards, but much more interesting than most pre-finished floors.
Distressed flooring — another sample from Appalachian, this one from their Villa Europa collection. This one is prefinished with a matte finish, and the wonderful walnut grain is not available in this group. But I like the man-made distressing and this colour.
More Wood Grain — I don’t see myself having cabinets like these, but I think they are fabulous. They were part of Perola Kitchens & Interiors‘ display and I thought theirs was one of the most interesting kitchens at the show. Topped with black countertops and accented with brass hardware, it was very daring, and NOT white.
Pretty & traditional — Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry had the prettiest kitchen at the show. Although I’m not interested in a white kitchen for my home, it made me realize that I definitely lean more to traditional than to contemporary for my own kitchen.
Tea Towel Rack — One of my favourite features of the Bloomsbury kitchen was this handy niche for drying tea towels….
….the rack pulls out of its niche. There was one on either side of the apron-front sink. How clever is that!
Lift-up cupboard doors — these were on a display at Lido Cabinets Limited, where I had a wonderful chat with several of the family members who own and work for the company. These are too shiny and sleek for my kitchen, but in a household of tall people, they are a great idea for those upper cabinets, to keep the door out of the way while loading or unloading the shelves inside. Best of all, you don’t have to be tall to lower the doors once they are opened — there are push buttons at the bottom of the cabinets to lower the doors automatically! I also spotted this concept on a medicine cabinet at Canaroma — very clever.
Cupboards down to the countertop — these were at Lido, but I saw this in many kitchen displays at the show. I would use this structure to hide small appliances, or to give us extra storage space for dishes near the dining area. It cuts into counter space, so I need to consider carefully where to put such a feature.