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The New Year arrived with a bang. I learned I could no longer eat food containing gluten. Ever! It’s been an adjustment to say the least. Though I’ve spent years cooking for a family of five, I’ve never really loved it. This new “adventure” may even turn me into a foodie. (There’s hope for me yet Wendy and Mark!)

My new favourite blog is gluten free girl and the chef. It’s written by Shauna James Ahern, a talented writer that celebrates fresh foods and flavours. I’m finding her so inspiring. Maybe life without gluten won’t be so bad after all.

Though Whole Foods has become my favourite haunt lately, I did manage to check out Trade Day at the Interior Design show in Toronto last weekend. The best part of the show has always been the Studio North area. This is where you’ll find raw creativity and new ideas. Some of the artists and designers are fairly well established, others are just getting started.

This gorgeous table caught my eye. Nomo creations is a new company started by a charming father/son duo. Furniture designer Jamie Sajdak is based in Toronto and his Dad Eric manufactures the designs in Prince Edward Island. Take a look at the orbit table. It’s made of steam bent and laminated walnut. The Sajdak’s can also make it in ash or oak and will do custom sizes. The cool thing about their work is it’s designed to be collapsed for storage or transport.

If you love cottaging and the outdoors like I do, check out Contact Voyaging Co., a partnership between owners Alex Jowett and David Barclay. Using the Semaphore navigational flag system, they’ve created some striking designs on basswood paddles. You can buy them directly from the company for $185. a piece. Take a look at some of their work:

This year, Zac Ridgely shared his booth with woodworker Nick Day. Here are a few of Zac’s striking lighting designs.

Nick Day combines solid surface materials with wood. His use of inlays really sets his work apart.

Walking around the show, Tangerine Tango – Pantone’s 2012 colour of the year seemed to be everywhere. The Benjamin Moore and Para booths were dull compared to Farrow and Ball’s display, which paired orange stripes (Charlotte’s locks) and gray (I think it was Pavilion Gray). The company used a handmade Hastens bed and a little modern glam – not your typical F & B look. It seemed to work. There were so many people hanging about, it was hard to get a good photo.

The Alfred Sung outdoor furniture line (below) was also surprisingly chic, given how affordable it is. The orange and soft brown colour scheme was warm and inviting. You can check it out at The Bay. Great display.

Snob was refreshingly original. It featured an interesting mix of handcrafted pieces from Africa. The materials and colours were so fresh. These are pieces you haven’t seen in every other store. The halo lighting was particularly beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed this snapshot of the show.

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