The best way to source furniture that gives your home true design cred? Buy stuff endorsed by the experts. You’ll get a chance to do just that on May 24 at 7 p.m., when Design Exchange, Canada’s design museum, hosts its annual DX Design Auction on the historic former trading floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Everything up for grabs has been sourced from generous donors by a star committee that includes interior designers, showroom owners, and other industry elites. In other words, if your living room’s looking a little bare, this is the place to invest in a chair that becomes a future family heirloom. Get your cheque book ready.
Items on the block include both classics — like a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair — and more avant-garde contemporary fare, such as Moooi’s quartet of dining chairs modelled after wisps of smoke. And with drinks and bites on hand, the night promises to deliver a proper scene.
Best of all, any funds you part with during the live or silent auction will be going to a good cause. The event is a fundraiser for Design Exchange’s education programs, which include tours, hands-on workshops, and community partnerships that teach youth and adults across Toronto how design can make the world a better place for all.
Pick up your tickets now (pro tip: use the promo code “SHARPDXDA” to save 10%), and prepare to square off against us if you’re planning to bid on any of the four items below.
The Impulse Buy: Press Mirror
If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of contemporary design, this sculptural mirror from Umbra’s Shift collection of designer collabs is a smart acquisition. Made by flattening a polished steel metal tube, it’s proof that sometimes the best designs are the simplest to achieve. No wonder its creator, Philippe Malouin, was named Wallpaper magazine’s 2017 Designer of the Year. (For more on Malouin, pick up our May issue, which includes a profile on him and other top new Canadian designers.)
Valued at: $150
The Limited Edition: Snoopy Lamp
This marble-and-metal table lamp by the Castiglioni brothers has become as classic as the Charles Schulz comic strip character who inspired it. To mark its 50th anniversary, Italian lighting manufacturer Flos introduced a limited edition run that swaps out the original light’s glossy black shade for a powder-coated matte version. Only 1,700 pieces were produced, and only 80 of those were made available in North America. This is one of them.
Valued at: $2,075
The Investment Piece: D.154.2 Armchair
The Italians have always been the true masters of sophisticated den design. Case in point: this elegant shell chair by architect Gio Ponti, which was first designed for the living room in a private Caracas villa project he envisioned back in 1954. Reintroduced by Italian manufacturer Molteni&C in 2016, the chair’s curves and velvet upholstery remain just as grand today.
Valued at: $7,450
The Experience: A Two-Night Stay at Fogo Island Inn
What Lake Como is to the Clooneys, this remote east coast getaway is to design industry VIPs. It’s as worshipped for its spectacular setting — the rocky terrain of Fogo Island — as it is for its striking modern timber building-on-stilts, conceived by Newfoundland-born Todd Saunders. Enjoy a decadent dinner in the award-winning dining room, then head up to the roof to soak in a hot tub overlooking the ocean.