WARMING UP AT THE INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW: Nothing Neutral about Patrizia Moroso at IDS ’14

succulents and cacti in the foreground with furniture and paintings in the background

A fresh colour mix from Moroso at The Interior Design Show Toronto.

Toronto design events are notorious for a certain palette – black, beige, bone and a about 50 plus shades of (not-so-sexy) gray. And truth be told I find something oddly soothing about the natural tones, it suits the Canadian disposition of neutrality and our desire to diplomatically blend into the background.

But when you turn the corner and are washed over with waves of colour you realize just how thirsty you are for juicy! And leave it to an Italian to quench that thirst by rocking hues of blood orange and citron.


For the Interior Design Show lounge area Patrizia Moroso, IDS ’14’s International Guest of Honour, explained to me that she didn’t want it to feel like a showroom but a comfortable artist studio where life is informal, creative and intimate as you get to see what is close to the artist’s heart.

Patrizia was able to translate this perfectly because she embodies all of this in the way that she fluidly moves through her world. She acknowledges that for her, there isn’t a clear separation between work and her personal life. Her way of living seems to be an improvisational dance, her steps guided by a strong sense of intuition and a desire to truly love what enters into her mix. For the lounge area she pairs her most adored pieces from the Moroso Collection with tiny arrangements of succulents and cacti just because she finds them beautiful. These small clusters of sweet but unassuming plants are balanced in the extreme by grand abstract canvases. These stunning paintings are eproductions of her husband’s pulsating art. The love-of-her-life has come along for the ride even if only in spirit.

And she also brings along the spirit of her mother and father. A second generation family owned and operated business, Patrizia’s parents started the furniture company after their town in Italy was devastated by The Second World War. While many left for greener pastures, like Canada, her parents stayed. From almost nothing they pieced back together their broken community by working hard and playing passionately in order to restore the vibrancy of the Dolce Vita.

With siblings and cousins brought into the business where those who worked together also played together, Patrizia grew up with an ethos of blurred lines and soften boundaries that allowed her free spirit the encouragement to explore life fully.

After attending art school and believing she was moving in the direction of an art critic or gallery owner her path shifted when her family called her back to work her magic on Moroso. What she did was infuse the furniture company with an artist’s touch and the invigoration of an avant-garde approach to design. Immediately she gravitated towards collaborations with artists (her first collaboration being with one of her closest friend’s from her art school days) and it has become a regular endeavour for Moroso to curate exciting exhibits (like M’afrique in 2009) around a multi-discplinary meeting of minds – artists, furniture designers and architects. The process that results from these collaborations has not only lead to Moroso being a leader in their industry but to Patrizia growing her intimate circle and extended ‘family’. In her Q & A with Azure Magazine’s Executive Editor Nelda Rodger as she took us through the company timeline she narrated a story of Moroso that sounded more like the history of a family tree. She spoke fondly of each Moroso collaborator and when speaking about Moroso‘s work with designer Patricia Urquiola you could tell she was not only speaking of a strong professional relationship but of a person who has become for her a close creative sister.


Perhaps that is why, when photographing Moroso‘s furniture, they feel more like people who were invited to the table, with their own personalities and something to say and contribute. The joy of the marriage between Moroso and the creative geniuses they have worked (played) with busts through the seams!

As I watched the crowds mingle in and around the lounge on the coldest of winter days it was clear that the informal invitation to hang out in Patrizia’s space for awhile was accepted.

Thanks to IDS and Azure Magazine for another round of great Trade Talks!







All above images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

FLASHBACK: IDS Trade Talks 2012 French & Italian Were on the Menu

Italian designer Fabio Novembre speaking at IDS in front of a double image of himself on the screenItalian designer Fabio Novembre at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012. 

French Designer Matali Crasset & Italian Designer Fabio Novembre. 

The AZURE Trade Day Talks that day were passionate. Cerebral French & Emotional Italian. Elemental to each of their designs – wit and whimsy.

As different as they were what Matali and Fabio demonstrated that day was that they are both dynamic and thoughtful human beings who create with a concern for those who will interact with their designs.

Click here IDS 2013 Trade Talks. See you there!

For more information on IDS visit www.interiordesignshow.com or follow on Facebook & twitter @IDSToronto & #IDS13.

Italian designer Fabio Novembre speaking at IDS in front of a double image of himself on the screenItalian designer Fabio Novembre at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012 showing his re-vision of the Panton Chair

Designer Matali Crasset speaking at IDS on stage in front of screenFrench designer Matali Crasset speaking at Azure Trade Talks, IDS 2012.
Above images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag. 

image of Matali Crasset beside a sample of a room she has designedColourful room designed for childrenobjects for a cooking in a kitchen designed by Matalie CrassetFabio Novembre seated naked in a black and gold chair he has designedWoman standing beside white chair in shape of a face mask. Model is nude wearing only a white face mask. Black metal shelving unit with red section Black metal book shelf in the shape of a robot