Join the IDIBC for a fabulous night of fun and 5-pin bowling at the 2nd annual Bowlerama! The event proceeds benefit the Tom Park Student Bursary and features a silent auction with additional games and prizes. Cheering tickets are on sale now! Come out to cheer on your peers, or network with interior designers and industry members. Click here for further details and registration information.


Left to right: Sharon Bortolotto (moderator), Alessandro Munge (Munge Leung), Cynthia Penner (Box Interior Design), Vicki Pearson (Porada)

What makes an interior space successful when it comes to hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs? What is there to know about hospitality design? How are top firms designing for today and for the future? Here are my key takeaways from the interior design keynote panel at Buildex Vancouver 2014.



Black and Blue – Alberni St. Vancouver, BC.

 Cynthia Penner of Box Interior Design shared the thought process behind the concept of Black and Blue. The restaurant creates a scene with a darker, provocative colour palette. Everything from changing the tenor with materials and design, to the guest experience, adds to the value of the atmosphere, making the venue a place to see and be seen.

Box Design and Inform Interiors came together to create an aesthetically pleasing focal point with Tom Dixon’s etch metallic frames. The light installation features 86 gold shades, located centrally in the restaurant.

The Roof at Black and Blue

The Roof at Black and Blue



1 Oak – Las Vegas, Nevada

1oak-07Munge Leung, a Toronto based boutique design firm, focuses on luxury condominium developments, restaurants, resorts and  nightclubs. 1 Oak, located in the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas boasts graphic prints, textures and bold colours.

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Oak Bay

Oak Bay Beach Hotel – Victoria, BC.

Hotels are “no longer a place to sleep until you get to the next place”. Hotels are becoming more of a destination, somewhere to experience and enjoy, with amenities like spas, fitness studios, open rooftops, bars and restaurants. Boardrooms and meeting areas are incorporated into the space plan to accommodate the guest traveling on pleasure, or the guest on business. Lobbies and entrances are viewed as a space to lounge in, often with a major design feature or focal point to break the ice and build up conversation.

Oak Bay 2Considerations in aspects of hotel design include meeting the needs of the client, while maintaining the brand of the hotel and keeping the design authentic to the location. The design intention can paint a representation of its surroundings to help one location stand out from the rest in its chain. If the space captures elements that make the hotel unique and suited to its area, there should not be a question of: “What city am I in?” – Vicki Pearson, Porada Design Groupph13In keeping with the times, many firms offer a Comeback Program, where a followup is done with the client to evaluate the space and see what is working and what can be improved. As technology is ever-changing, this is a valuable way to maintain an efficient, current and environmentally sound space.

Hospitality design goes beyond achieving a beautiful space, or showing off an unusual concept. In order to achieve a successful project, many facets of the design must be orchestrated together, as it comes down to the end user and a curated experience.

IMG_2132The Eastside Culture Crawl is a festival that celebrates and showcases the work of local artists. The crawl is now in its 17th year and attracts approximately 15,000 visitors over the 3 day event duration. Taking place between the boundaries of Victoria Drive, Main street and 1st Avenue, this is a great way to experience the heart of Vancouver’s creative community in a one stop shop.


Trays made from Stanley Park maple.

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Designed for energy, water and space efficiency, this Vancouver vertical garden yields 8 racks of plantation per day. This type of farming keeps land costs down in urban environments.


Using space leased from the city in a parking lot, rooftop farming has plenty to offer. This farming method is optimal when it comes to water efficacy, as it utilizes only 8% of the water that a California field would need for sustenance. Spatially, the farm carries a small footprint for the amount of greens it yields.


Daylight spectrum metal halide lighting is used throughout the greenhouse for general ambience.


The horizontal motion system is made up of 12 trays stacked vertically, with 3000 trays in total. The computer-operated mechanism allows for lower costing as it requires less physical labour. This increases productivity by better-utilizing man power to control the interior greenhouse settings as necessary, against environmental factors.


The “walls” in the greenhouse are made up of 2 layers of thin poly that are inflated with dead air in between, acting as an insulator.


To increase airflow in colder months, carbon dioxide is released to assist the plants.


The greenhouse roof has shading curtains to provide a controlled growing environment.

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Here is a beautiful video recap of DESIGNfinds – ‘Not Your Neighborhood Garage Sale’, courtesy of APM Production Ltd. The 5th annual sale, hosted at the North Vancouver ReStore, was a complete success. The sale not only created funding for safe, affordable housing, but also generated awareness by bringing the community together through volunteerism and of course, some wonderful design finds!

Click HERE for more information on ReStore locations, or HERE, to learn more about DESIGNfinds.

IMG_1897  IDS West is suitably held in the Vancouver Convention Center, showcasing the beauty of design and sustainability. The West building is the first convention center in the world to receive the highest  LEED rating with Platinum certification.

IMG_1954IDS West is the home of trade professionals, design enthusiasts and anyone looking for some inspiration. For the duration of the weekend, it provides design savvy individuals with a place to share ideas, network, shop and even learn a thing or two from guest speakers.
Below are some photos from ‘The Party on Opening Night’ and the weekend trade show.IMG_1839Dinner by Design InstallationsIMG_1842     IMG_1847 IMG_1848      IMG_1854      IMG_1860 IMG_1861      IMG_1867  IMG_1869   IMG_1872  IMG_1874               IMG_1890  IMG_1892                      IMG_1915 IMG_1916    IMG_1920  IMG_1924 IMG_1928     IMG_1940 IMG_1941  IMG_1943 IMG_1944 IMG_1945  IMG_1947 IMG_1948 IMG_1949 IMG_1951 IMG_1952   IMG_1956 IMG_1957