"Third time's the charm!" That's what came to mind as I sat with our distinguished panel of judges and reviewed the entries in this year's Innovation in Design Awards (IDAs). That's not to say the previous years' winners were not innovative in their own ways. But this year's projects represent a new level of sophistication, style and innovation that reaffirms my belief in the world of design in Connecticut.
Imagine a traditional saltbox whose rear façade is mainly glass, or a formal garden that somehow fits an odd-shaped property along the Sound. We saw a kitchen that juxtaposes concrete and steel with reclaimed timber; a designer's home that serves as a testing lab for high-intensity contrasts—dark and light colors, contemporary and antique furnishings; and a master bath that uses innovative and unexpected materials. You might argue that at first glance, these projects are beautiful—but not innovative. But take a second look and the ingenuity will become apparent. It is the tweaking of the known that creates an unexpected freshness. These projects will inspire you to look at your own homes in a new way.
While we're on the topic of innovation, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens is now on Facebook. My summer interns presented an idea to create a page just for the magazine that allows viewers to see what we're thinking in real time. Our page is full of information about the must-attend events each week, including great sales. Of course, our 2009 IDA entries are posted; you can also read contributing editor and art curator Helen Klisser During's report on the Venice Biennale. In the Notes section, our "Roving Eye" reveals the latest trends—think nature-inspired products like a driftwood coffee table, side tables that resemble twigs and a standing lamp in the shape of a branch. We hope you'll become a fan and write on our wall—do I sound 20 years younger? Let us know what you think. We want to hear from you. Who knows, I might just adopt Twitter next!
What's the bottom line in all this? From innovative design to emerging technologies—as in so many aspects of our lives—embrace the idea of expecting the unexpected. The rewards will be great.
Editor in Chief
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