DCOTA Daze, a free, daylong event, inspires amateur designers to throw away their beanbag chairs, dining room/bridge tables, and surrounding assorted chairs that don't match.
In addition to getting a close-up look at chic showrooms, participants can attend demonstrations, seminars, and food preparations. Interior designers will be on hand to answer questions and chat about home-related topics. Several themed showrooms are set up to welcome visitors. "Designer's Plumbing" shows how Zen, Indonesian, and Japanese influences are invading bathrooms. The trend is to use minimal wood furniture rather than traditional cabinetry that attaches to the wall; thus, when you move, you can take your bathroom furnishings with you.
You'll be able to get a look at some of the gadgets and appliances that Williams-Sonoma will demonstrate in the "Downsview Kitchens" showroom. Learn what's new, what's standard, and what's hot as John Novak demonstrates the ridiculously easy process of making sorbets with a Cuisinart ice cream maker. He'll also demonstrate how to make brochettes -- just shove everything into the bread machine, and you don't have to do anything else. Novak will also prepare pasta salad using some of the oils available in Williams-Sonoma's stores.
At "Trinity Designs" showroom, Chef Giacomo Dresseno, from Fort Lauderdale's Primavera restaurant, prepares some of his specialties: smoked salmon and spinach rollitini stuffed with crab in the morning, New Zealand green-lip mussels with red sauce and white sauce in the afternoon. Wash it all down with a winetasting, and be sure to get the recipes from Dresseno before you leave.
DCOTA Daze offers an intriguing glimpse of what's hidden behind the imposing 775,000 square feet of designer products and showrooms.