In the run-up to next week's Interior Design Show, which kicks off at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Thursday, Deborah Moss will have little time for lounging. She and Edward Lam, her husband and partner in the design studio Moss & Lam, are busy mounting an installation for the show; called Ursa Major, it is built around the connections between nature and art.
When they do take pause, in the 4,000-square-foot house they share in the city's west end with their two teenage daughters, Poppy and Charlotte, their favourite room to relax in is their living room, where natural elements prevail. The sunken room features objects and materials either inspired by or derived from the out of doors and boasts an unobstructed view of a stand of mature trees located just beyond the windows.
"It is an adult room in the sense that there is no TV or computer, just an audio system," Moss says. "Sitting here when the sun's shining in is blissful."
The bear side table
"The cast-plaster Walking Bear Side Table is our own design. Nature is our ultimate design source and here we were inspired by a classic Canadian symbol that we interpreted as a fractal sculptural object."
"This is a Diz Chair, made from imbuia wood by Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues, from [Toronto retailer]Avenue Road. It is super-comfortable and has a sculptural quality I could marvel at forever. It also works with some Danish teak pieces I have throughout the house that I inherited from my family."
The Chinese armoire
"This we hauled home from a trip to Shanghai 15 years ago. It provides great storage."
"We ordered 600 elk and white-tail deer antlers for a ceiling-mobile project at the MGM Grand Detroit. These are the five that were left over. The antlers were all harvested as seasonal drop-offs, making it a palatable material for us to use."
The coffee table
"This is one of the first purchases we made when we were starving art students. It's from Quasi Modo Modern Furniture in Toronto."
"This South Beach sectional was designed by Yabu Pushelberg. We sat on it at [designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg's]Miami home and knew we wanted it. It is well-proportioned, which is what makes it comfortable. We had it upholstered in a wool boucle that is indestructible."
The wall hanging
"The wall hanging is my own art piece, a version of which was commissioned by Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street [in Toronto] It is made with hand-shredded Japanese papers. I have a bit of a paper obsession: the process behind it, its tactility, how it can be manipulated."
"This is a piece of science-class apparatus that we found in Hudson, New York."
The side table
"One of our own designs, this piece, called the Hex Table, is made of solid walnut. We source the wood from dead local standing trees, so it is harvested responsibly. The facets are cut according to the shape of each tree, so each table is unique."