From October 3 – 6, more than 6,000 design enthusiasts arrived in Santa Monica, California, for the first-ever WestEdge Design Fair. To celebrate the debut, a grand opening night party welcomed over 950 guests including Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Ty Pennington, Amy Devers, Tobi Tobin, Kathryn M. Ireland, Barrett Foa, Alexandra Von Furstenberg, Roderick Shade and Oliver Furth, among others.
Bullard and Ireland
"I was delighted to be a part of WestEdge,” said Bullard. “Not only was this show totally inspirational but the atmosphere was light and friendly—a rare combination in a trade show. I found the booths well thought out and perfectly vetted for quality and stylish vendors. This show is exactly what we were missing in LA and now I'm very pleased to say that hole has been expertly filled. I greatly look forward to next year’s show.”
Royal Botania and Renson
The fair catered to the trade, press and the public and allowed attendees to meet the product designers while shopping furniture, lighting, kitchen, bath, outdoor furnishings and other products for the home.
Benjamin Moore sponsored the event’s theater with multiple panels and seminars every day including “Taking Care of Business” presented by the Leaders of Design Council; “Embracing Technology: the Client Wants it, Are you Prepared?” presented by the Architect’s Newspaper; “Why Should you Care About Original Design” presented by ‘Be Original Americas’ and IIDA; “Hollywood at Home: Celebrated Designers Spotlight California Style” presented by Interiors California; “Color Inspiration” presented by Benjamin Moore; and “Elements of the Perfect Beach House” presented by Coastal Living. High-Luxe Real Estate," “Design in the Digital Age" and “Sustainable Living” were just a few of the other topics which rounded out the diverse program offerings.
ASID panel: Darrell Schmitt, FASID, Darrell Schmitt Design Associates; Gary Drake, Gary Drake Construction; Tim Barber, AIA, Tim Barber, LTD; Bart Mendel, Stonemark Construction Management; Katherine Fern, ASID Los Angeles Chapter
Another topic, “Architecture Inside Out: Architecturally Inspired Products with Function,” was moderated by contributing editor for Editor at Large, Vanessa Kogevinas. Russ Diamond of Snyder Diamond, Soli Besharat of Soli Architectural Surfaces and designer Delta Wright of the noted interior design firm Curated discussed the impact of a well-detailed room, including the importance of fine subtle breathtaking colors, impeccable hardware and forward thinking finishes. The case studies covered award-winning contemporary projects with decidedly modern interiors, and all the high-design elements required to make a lasting impression.
Special feature areas included the Reading Room furnished by Design Within Reach, a Pop-Up Café presented by Whole Foods, a Press Lounge designed and furnished by Graye LA, the Belgian Café sponsored by Stella Artois, and a central VIP Lounge designed and furnished by Ligne Roset to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its TOGO collection with a lighting installation created by David Trubridge.
“We’re thrilled with the level of enthusiasm and engagement by the West Coast design community and are extremely grateful for the foundation to build upon for 2014, as we enhance the offerings within the Los Angeles design calendar,” said Megan Reilly, the fair’s co-founder.
Plans are already underway for the next edition of the WestEdge Design Fair, which will take place in October 2014.