On the Cutting Edge of Modern Design

The WestEdge Design Fair, in Santa Monica, Fills Barker Hangar with Contemporary Décor, Special Events, and Educational Programming

One of our favorite design-oriented events to attend each year is the WestEdge Design Fair, in Santa Monica. This four-day extravaganza of smart creativity features a carefully curated list of over 150 leading interior design brands and artists, with specialties ranging from textiles and furniture to appliances and lighting. WestEdge is also chock-full of programming, with studio panels, presentations, and discussions. While the event is in only its fourth year, it has grown into a must-attend for any Los Angeles–area interior designer, architect, stager, or stylist. It’s also beloved by many who simply appreciate high-end, modern design.

The WestEdge Design Fair will be held Nov. 3–6, in the Barker Hangar, in Santa Monica. Visit the website for ticket prices, event hours, programming, and more.

WestEdge showcases local L.A. talent as well as international creatives. The design fair has been hailed as “the most inspiring and important trade show we have here in Los Angeles” by Laura Schwartz-Muller, ASID allied member, 2015–2016 ASID L.A. president, and CEO and founder of FOUR POINT Design+Construction Inc. “It brings together new, luxurious, and important designers, artists, independent and local manufacturers, and visionaries. WestEdge is where you will get up close and personal with key trendsetters and innovators making a difference in the world of design.”

See Matt Gagnon's beautiful sculpture in person in the WestEdge Lounge. Image provided by WestEdge Design Fair.
See Matt Gagnon’s beautiful sculpture in person in the WestEdge Lounge. Image provided by the WestEdge Design Fair.

This year’s show features two must-see lounges: the Outdoor Lounge, designed by Roche Bobois, and the WestEdge Lounge, featuring a custom sculptural installation from the amazingly talented L.A. designer Matt Gagnon. Gagnon’s creation stands over 16 feet tall and showcases the beauty of 7,500 pieces of alder wood. The sculpture is assembled by hand, piece by piece, and makes a stunning focal point for the design fair’s eponymous lounge.

Modern Bicoastal Talent

WestEdge’s MADE:MODERN section—an attendee favorite—makes a repeat appearance this year and will feature a new lineup of emerging talent from both the West and East coasts. Sponsored by Design Milk, this showcase highlights over 40 innovative, independent designers and makers of contemporary furniture and lighting.

Design inspiration abounds, and these exhibits are filled with amazing pieces to complete any room or project. If you find a must-have piece, take it home with you! All items in the exhibit spaces will be available for purchase, with exhibitors taking custom orders on site, as well.

Artists featured (left–right): M. Shively Art + Design, Oso Industries, Phloem Studio. Images provided by WestEdge Design Fair.
See designs from (left–right): M. Shively Art + Design, Oso Industries, and Phloem Studio. Images provided by the WestEdge Design Fair.

This year’s MADE:MODERN features brands that are sure to impress you with their fresh takes on home décor and design. Some of the designs we’re looking forward to checking out include Phloem Studio’s smooth-lined wood products, stunning lighting from ZiaPriven, MOQU and the high-quality pieces it makes right here in L.A., Oso Industries’ very modern-feeling concrete objects, and M. Shively Art + Design’s inspired creations.

Anna Pavao Zinn, of blankblank, said of last year’s MADE:MODERN section: “We are so grateful for the wonderful attention we received at WestEdge. It was a tremendous show, and we’re so happy to have met so many wonderful design enthusiasts who stopped by our booth to ask about our sustainable, California-made furniture; lighting; and art.” Pavao Zinn and blankblank were part of the inaugural installment of MADE:MODERN, and they return this year with their heirloom-quality pieces melded with modern design.

Contemporary Design from Around the World

WestEdge carefully selects design companies from around the globe to represent the latest trends hailing from Paris, Italy, Brazil, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, and more. The international component of the show reflects L.A.’s growing presence as a global hub for design and culture. WestEdge public-relations specialist Erin Cullerton shared with us that this year’s event is expected to be the largest to date, showcasing high-end international manufacturers like never before.

Manufacturers featured (left–right): Tidelli and Roche Bobois. Photos provided by WestEdge Design Fair.
Manufacturers featured (left–right): Tidelli and Roche Bobois. Photos provided by the WestEdge Design Fair.

We are in love with the previews Cullerton shared with us of Missoni Home’s colorful collections, the bright furniture pieces designed by Roche Bobois, and Tidelli’s high-end outdoor furniture. Other notable brands and products featured in this showcase will include David Trubridge’s nature-inspired lighting; the luxe furniture of MinottiCappellini, with its sleek and modern designs; the effortlessly chic B&B Italia; and Tecnogas Superiore’s high-end cooking appliances that almost look like art. Of course, this is just a sample of the treasure trove of designs WestEdge is bringing from around the world to the Barker Hangar. The rest you should check out in person for a truly immersive design experience.

Top-of-Class Programming

WestEdge and partner Jenn-Air never fail to impress with their educational-programming schedule. While all three days of their seminars and panel discussions offer something for everyone, the show organizers recommend that designers check out Friday’s schedule. Saturday’s and Sunday’s schedules are geared more toward homeowners.

Enjoy a variety of educational panels, seminars, and discussions geared toward industry professionals and homeowners alike. Image provided by WestEdge Design Fair.
Enjoy a variety of educational panels, seminars, and discussions geared toward industry professionals and homeowners alike. Image provided by the WestEdge Design Fair.

For trade professionals, our Friday picks include ASID Los Angeles’ panel, Health and Wellness in Chic and Sophisticated Interiors, at 9 a.m., followed by an introduction to the WELL Building Standard, presented at 10 a.m., which provides an opportunity for CEUs for the American Institute of Architects and the US Green Building Council. Cap your Friday with a panel discussing new design trends in L.A.’s public spaces, at 4 p.m.

For homeowners and design lovers, your list should include Reimagining the Classics for Modern Living—a very on-trend topic sure to prompt engaging conversation—at 11 a.m. Saturday, and Understanding and Creating Healing Spaces, at 3 p.m. Sunday, exploring the variables and challenges of designing a home for health and comfort.

For a complete list of WestEdge’s educational panels and seminars, visit the schedule. The programming is complimentary to design-fair attendees, with admission to most programs included in the price of registration, unless otherwise noted.

Are you a WestEdge veteran? Tell us about your favorite design-fair finds in the comments!