Future of Canadian Living Exhibit

Designed by: U31



The interior design firm was invited by a national kitchen manufacturer to create an exhibit for a trade show that would feature and combine the cabinetry and materials of two exhibitors in one booth — as well as, showcase the firm͛s talents and diverse aesthetic.










Because of the firm’s expertise in condominium design/smaller spaces, it opted to create the ‘Future of Canadian Living’ – a conceptualization of vertical communities. Canada and the diversity of its inhabitants also formed the overall inspiration.














To achieve this, the stage was set with a dramatic floor depicting a wintry Canadian landscape. Above the ‘treetops,’ three angular spaces sat within a tree house-like structure comprising a kitchen, a bathroom, and a library — each vignette featuring a different Canadian archetype (displayed by the wallpaper installed within each space) and their various lifestyles.











The towering concept also suited the small 20′ x 20′ footprint allocated on the show floor. Each angular box was constructed from wood before interior designers went in with furniture. After furnishings, cabinetry, and surfacing were in-place, the bathroom and library were hoisted up on top of pillars, as well as, the ground-level kitchen structure.












Designing an impactful exhibit within a limited area posed a challenge which the firm overcame by building upward. Angular spaces offered maximum furniture placement within tight quarters. Rooms on the upper level also needed to be viewable, so mirrored surfaces were applied to the ceilings creating a reflective and faceted effect, which also injected an element of contemporary luxury.











Another challenge was devising an intimate living space within a voluminous, and rather cold, convention centre. To mitigate less-than-optimum surroundings, warm palettes and a mix of vintage and contemporary accessories were utilized, creating a cozy, yet eclectic feel.











The dominant feature is the “Cleaf” wall panels that cover most of the walls. This ‘thermo structured surfacing’ is composed of several layers of registered embossed paper, giving the panels a deeper texture, thus offering the illusion of real wood, leather, linen, etc. This process also makes the surfacing more durable and scratch/steam/stain-resistant (wood grains are often mistaken for real wood veneer).








Other eye-catching features include:

– The “high-wire” pendant light installed in the kitchen, hangs from wires like a yo-yo and can be customized and multiplied to suit small or large spaces.

– The flooring is created by having a custom blown-up image of a snowy forest landscape transferred onto “Sintra” a typical plastic used for wall panelling, but in this case was given an anti-slip treatment as it was used as flooring. It anchors the vignettes, while also providing context to the vertical living/tree-house/Canadian landscape theme.






The exhibit promotes urban vertical/denser living which translates into a smaller carbon footprint and an overall greener lifestyle. In an effort to recognize home-grown businesses, all furniture and accessories were on-loan from local artisans, fabricators, and retailers. This preserved the budget while promoting our suppliers͛ products to a large and engaged audience.