Elemental at IDSwest

I felt in my element at the IDSwest show 2014, as so many of the displays were grounded and ELEMENTAL in their approach.

A big proponent of natural and elemental aspects in design, I can relate to the aesthetic currently being put forward. Of course things move in waves and trends and I’m wondering what the counter reaction will be to this bespoke natural vibe?

Montauk did do a brave booth all in tartan and it was certainly the photobomb booth of the show! It made real impact and was a bold, fun, strong statement. Despite my Scottish name though, I could not live with tartan on a daily basis! I will always stay true my authentic ‘natural eclectic’ style and my signature earthy/watery color palette, though I too will surely be influenced by trends and global movements and have subtle shifts in my style as time goes on.

I was delighted to have two designer firms whose work I admire incorporate items from our shop for their own Dinner by Design tables. ( they both happen to be recent recipients of the Western Living Designers of the Year awards, congrats! )


Sophie Burke Design  stayed true to form with her understated Scandanavian Modern setting which was pure, sculptural and eclectic. She used a gorgeous sleek wood table from Inform, and many of our French linen pillows along her banquette seating which created a sense of intimacy. 


Large smooth egg shape rocks we hand gathered this summer in Qualicum and placed into an old wooden butter bowl made their way into a sideboard built into Sophie Burkes booth, we love it when humble objects are seen for their inherent beauty. 

Marrimor Studio’s table scape was inventive and tactile. They incorparated our grey pinstiped linens, mid century glassware and a rare and eye catching mauve authentic old Hudsons Bay 3 1/2 point blanket into the mix. Now that was a find were thrilled went to a good home!

A fun hanging chair filled with plants hung like a chandalier above the whole setting, and they did a nod to our coastal roots with a sail cloth backdrop.

Of course I was also drawn to the watery sheer environment by Greenscape Design. They used clear chairs and see through everything to evoke an underwater feeling.


Another thing I noted at IDSWEST was a coppery blushy palette which  I find very attractive. As a metal I prefer silver, but when mixed into a soft tonal palette, I find these warm creamy caramel copper tones very alluring. The Cross Design and Decor did a breathtaking table in this palette for their Dinner by Design table-scape.  Many who attended the show said they found the dinner by design displays the most inspiring element to the IDSWEST show, a testament to our creative talent in Vancouver.


Garden Party Flowers did a modern take on a lush painterly floral palette that was so gorgeous! Air plants, succulents mixed with roses and dahlias, clear modern vessels, graphic forms and over the top blossoms. It was gorgeous!

Poppytalk curated an inspiring marketplace The District within the show…too many artists to profile here but it was so much fun to peruse. I love Jan of Poppytalk and all that she does in support of craftspeople. The work of local artisan Heather of Dahlhaus impacted me. She does chunky ceramic vessels with graphic glaze treatments and she had a fabulous booth with a fresh contemporary/retro vibe that people really seemed to enjoy.

Not everyone was local. Port and Quarter Interiors and our friends from Provide curated an exhibit of talent The Brooklyn Exchange from… you guessed it, Brooklyn! I was particularly drawn to VOLK  whose concrete shimmering bowls looked like moons atop Asher Israelow tables that evoked stardust to me with their gold inlay circles.


I’ve always loved elegant atmospheres with natural elements and textures, yet not so craftsy or homespun that they feel unsophisticated. When I opened my boutique 14 years ago and brought in earthy touches of lichen and found objects, some consumers seemed confused. ‘Is this a retail store?’…they would ask. Now as I stroll along my neighborhood I see even big box chain stores adding these touches to their displays. The Vancouver Sun profiled our aesthetic years ago, as you can see my elemental paintings are offset by antlers, I’ve hung photos of echeveria succulents ( so hot at the moment ) and natural forms and seashells abound!

Watching the news on George Clooney’s wedding in Venice this past weekend I thought hmmm, I wonder if all things Venetian might be the next big thing? I suspect to see it showing up in fashion very soon and trickling down to decor eventually, so I’m calling it now as a trend prediction ; )

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