Judges Announced for Kentwood Design Challenge at IDS 2017


January 2017, Toronto, Ontario:  Metropolitan Hardwood Floors (Metro) is pleased to introduce the panel of design professionals who will serve as judges for the Kentwood Design Challenge at IDS 2017. The upcoming event follows on the success of the first ever Kentwood Design Challenge, held last year at IDS 2016 in Toronto.  Students were challenged to create a unique design utilizing Kentwood hardwood flooring, and five finalists were selected to ‘build out’ their visions at IDS, where their work was judged by a panel of industry experts and viewed by the over 50,000 visitors to the show.  “The event was a resounding success, and the 2017 edition promises to be bigger and better, says Metro Vice-President of Sales & Marketing Brady Page.”

“This is the second year of the competition and as such we had a higher level of awareness and interest from the students.  The quality of the submissions was really impressive and we’re looking forward to seeing them brought to life at IDS.” Page said, adding:  “We’re also really honoured to once again have the participation of an amazing group of design professionals to judge the competition.  Their opinions not only add a lot of interest to the competition, but it is a fantastic experience for the students to have their work critiqued by such an esteemed group of industry insiders.”

The judges for the 2017 Kentwood Design Challenge are:

Corey Klassen, Design Team Leader, Corey Klassen Interior Design

Corey Klassen Interior Design is an award-winning, full-service design firm based in Vancouver.  Founded in 2011, the firm is known for creating curated spaces that are contemporary, authentic, and functional, with a special focus on project management and custom cabinetry.  The firm’s design work has won multiple international awards and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Globe & Mail, Vancouver Sun, Gray Magazine, Homes & Design Magazine, and more.  Corey is an adjunct instructor in a local interior design program and regularly contributes to Ask a Pro with the NKBA. coreyklassen.ca

Elaine Cecconi, Founding Partner, Cecconi Simone Inc.

Cecconi Simone is a multi-disciplinary interior-design practice based in Toronto.   Established in 1982, the company has created award-winning interiors for the retail, corporate, hotel-hospitality and residential sectors in Canada, the United States, Anguilla, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, India and China. The firm has designed some seventy-five condominium communities in Toronto alone.  In addition to her work at the firm, Elaine is in high demand as a lecturer, speaker and design consultant. She and her business partner Anna Simone were also key players in HGTV’s Design Interns, currently in syndication in the United States.  cecconisimone.com


Hannah Waisberg, Team Leader, Seven Haus Design Inc.

Seven Haus Design is a multi-disciplinary design studio that blends the disciplines of interior design, architecture and graphic design into creatively inventive interiors for commercial and residential use.  Hannah brings a strong background in the development industry and a vast knowledge of multi-unit residential design to the Seven Haus team, where she specializes in overseeing the creation of beautifully functioning spaces that combine efficiency and simplicity with a touch of luxury.  Recent projects include The Carlaw Lofts and Carnaby Residences, both for Streetcar Developments.  sevenhausdesign.com


Melissa Davis, Founder, Melissa Davis Group

Toronto-based celebrity designer and contractor Melissa Davis has been providing renovation and design consulting to clients throughout Ontario for nearly two decades.   A specialist in helping clients get maximum value for their design dollar, she served eight seasons as Art Director and Series Designer on the award winning HGTV series Income Property.  In addition, her work has been profiled in several national print publications and she is a regular contributor to the Toronto Sun and a variety of other design publications.   melissadavis.com

Neil James, Managing Partner, Stylegarage

Stylegarage is a leading designer and builder of beautiful, functional, custom-made contemporary furniture.  Their signature collection is made in Canada, supports local craftspeople, and sources sustainable materials whenever possible.  They also provide customers with the opportunity to tailor designs to their personal tastes – creating a true, custom-made experience.   Stylegarage is the original Gus* Modern retailer, and operates a flagship retail store in Toronto in addition to working directly with architects and interior designers.  stylegarage.com

Vicky Sanderson, Writer & Broadcaster

Vicky Sanderson has been writing about décor, design, trends and lifestyle for nearly two decades.  She is a regular contributor to The Toronto Star and  Reno and Décor magazine, and was recently named décor editor for a new magazine called Abode Toronto. Her work has also appeared in The Globe and Mail, House and Home and Canadian Living.  Vicky frequently appears on CBC Radio, Breakfast Television, Global Noon News, and CHCH Morning Live.  Follow her on Twitter @vickysanderson

The finalists for the 2017 Kentwood Design Challenge are:

  • Leticia Hutchings of Ryerson School of Interior Design for her concept titled <25
  • Fangyuan Zheng, Avis Ho, Iris Ho and Sony Chen of OCAD University for Immersion
  • Kexin Zhang and Alana Lee of Ryerson School of Interior Design for Structurally Chaotic
  • Nazanin Minoei and Raha Rouhollahi of OCAD University for Embrace
  • Kyle Wong, Andria Wong and Eleanor Ching-Yee Kuan of Ryerson School of Interior Design for Rift
  • Parker Galbraith-Nolan and Dylan Roworth of OCAD University for Empty Gestures

All six finalists are hard at work to bring their visions to life in the Kentwood booth at IDS, which runs January 19-22.  Judging will be done during the Gala Opening on Thursday Jan 19 and the winners will be announced from the show floor on Friday Jan 20.  The installations will remain on view throughout the weekend, and visitors will be invited to vote on a ‘People’s Choice’ award.

About Metro:

Metropolitan Hardwood Floors is a manufacturer and distributor of premium quality hardwood, laminate and luxury vinyl flooring.   Founded as a hardwood flooring retailer in 1992, the company has grown to become a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty flooring products, with sales and distribution centers throughout Canada and the US.  For more visit www.metrofloors.com.

About Kentwood:

Kentwood is Metropolitan’s flagship product line, launched in 2003.  This unique collection of premium quality genuine hardwood floors offers a wealth of ideas for the contemporary home, all bearing the Kentwood hallmarks of superior quality, inspired design, and outstanding value.  Unique custom-designed colors, hand-worked artisan surface treatments and innovative finishes are just some of the high value features that have made Kentwood an international success story. For more visit www.kentwoodfloors.com.

About IDS:

IDS is Canada’s leading showcase of interior design.  Begun in 1999, Canada’s design fair celebrates leading brands, innovative speakers and rising local talents as well as internationally known designers and manufacturers. The Interior Design Show has established itself as the breeding ground for design creativity, innovation and inspiration, bringing together hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors each year. For more visit www.interiordesignshow.com.

For more information, images:

Eventful PR
Sharyn Smith
905 839 2930



Katherine Nielsen, Communications Assistant

Metropolitan Hardwood Floors



January, 2017