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weekend happenings…king east design district exhibition

September 28

King St. E. in Toronto has long been a community of interior design suppliers – I remember visiting many of the contract design showrooms back in the ’90s when I was designing office interiors. Now it’s all about residential design and in the past number of years the number of residential furniture, design stores, and showrooms has doubled in the area, now dubbed the King East Design District (KEDD).

This weekend (Sept. 29 & 30), the inaugural KEDD Exhibition will bring together leaders in design and architecture to showcase the expressive future of the neighbourhood to the design savvy public of Toronto. And last night, at the KEDD launch event at the Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom (with Lynda Reeves of House & Home), I got taste of what to expect.

I particularly like the philanthropic tie-in of this weekend event: for a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity Toronto, you will receive a Passport that will guide you to the partner venues. Collecting stamps in your Passport at these retailers will qualify you for an extensive prize draw (see the list further down this post).

Here are just a few of the spots that I plan to check out…

I first came across the now 60-year-old BoConcept while wandering the shops of Glasgow on a vacation a few years back. And have since visited the store in Vancouver a couple of times. I’ve always wondered when one would open in Toronto, and now we have one. BoConcept features a diverse collection of furniture and accessories with an urban perspective.

This weekend they are offering 30-minute seminar sat 3pm on Saturday and Sunday to help you discover how to convert a small space to a more clever, chic and comfortable area with inspiring Danish design. BoConcept will show you how each piece of furniture adds personality and how to make the unlikeliest of pieces stand out. Seminar participants will be served sparkling wine and offered fabulous BoConcept gift bags. Guests will also have a chance to win a $300 gift certificate for 40% – 60% off on selected accessories. Also, be sure to ask about the 10% off gift certificate promotion valid until October 31st.

After a bit of viability uncertainty a few years ago, UpCountry continues to be a strong presence in KEDD. This weekend they’ll be featuring ‘man cave’ (oh how I loathe that term) decor, showing the latest in classic interior designs and impeccable craftsmanship that bring luxury to any  space. They will also be showcasing British designer Timothy Oulton and his unconventional take on traditional English furniture mixed with the spirit of rock and roll. The store will be giving away a designer overnight bag by Oulton to one lucky prize winner. Guests are invited to an in-store discussion on the Belgian Linen Collection.

Calligaris Toronto
I’ve always been drawn to the elegant yet inventive designs of Calligaris. Experience in-store seminars with tips on how to transition from summer to fall in a breeze and preview the latest pieces from Milan Furniture Fair. Sample delectable Italian refreshments such as Illy’s espresso, Gelato Fresco’s gelato cups, Alimento Fine Food Emporium cheeses and of course Italian baked goods and pastries. You will have the chance to take a bit and bite of Italy home with gifts including packaged Italian treats, $400 off regular priced Calligaris items and the luxury of an in-home consultation. You will also have the option to have your photo taken while sitting in your favourite Calligaris chair by onsite staff members and enter their Photo Contest.

Mangia & Bevi
Of course all of this decor shopping will help you to work up an appetite. Stop by Mangie & Bevi to enjoy delicious samplings of fresh wood-oven pizza and Italian specialties made from the best local ingredients.

Passports are available for purchase online and can be picked up at any sponsor retailers at the event with your online purchase confirmation on hand. Passports are also on sale at all the partner retailers and at the National Bank at 333 King Street E.

Get a minimum of 7 stamps (i.e. visit 7 retailers) in your Passport and you’ll qualify for the draw, the prizes for which are:

  1. A designer sofa gift certificate – redeemable for $1000 towards custom furniture and a 1-hour scheduled in-store design consultation valued at $295 from Alexander Interiors & Design.
  2. An Xtra Ottoman/Bed valued at $467 from BoConcept. (Item will be available for pick up in the store).
  3. A $300 gift certificate from BoConcept.
  4. A Kartell Attila Statue from Studio B
  5. A designer overnight bag by Timothy Oulton from Upcountry.
  6. A special quartz cheeseboard from Cambria.
  7. A 4×6 area rug from Modern Weave.
  8. Dinner prepared by a gourmet chef for you plus eight guests from Sub-Zero/Wolf.
  9. A teak muskoka chair from Andrew Richards Designs.
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