As we focus our attentions closer to home, finding ways to make our spaces more inviting takes on new importance.
Where we might have planned a boutique hotel getaway or sunny outdoor escape, this year it’s time to make our own spaces welcome “destinations” we love coming home to, says Lianna Armstrong, owner and designer of Nanaimo’s Evolve Interior Designs.
After studying in Toronto, then building her career and business in Vancouver, Lianna is excited to be back in her childhood home of Nanaimo, near family and friends – and as a first-time homeowner, undertaking her first renovation as her own client, she adds with a smile.
“I grew up here and moved away for college and career, but I’ve wanted to come back for years and years. Now I’ve bought my childhood home,” says Lianna, an award-winning designer serving both residential and commercial clients, who brings 17 years of experience to everything from small renovations to full new builds.
With her early career based around kitchen and bath design, with a specialty in custom millwork, opening her own design company a decade ago let her expand her scope and help clients fully discover the possibilities of their spaces.
“I love the creativity of interior design and the uniqueness of each project and client. I am never doing the same project twice.”
Creating your vision
With a focus on approachability, the first step with any project is sitting down with clients to learn more about them, and their goals for their space.
“I really try to listen and be open – I like my clients to participate, and to really feel they have a say throughout the project,” Lianna says, sharing a few questions for clients to think about heading into a potential renovation or design project.
- What’s your style? In addition to thinking about what you hope to see for your space, starting a Pinterest board or magazine clipping file can help fine-tune what you like, or don’t like.
- Consider your budget. Having a general sense of how much you want to spend will help determine the scope of your project. And a skilled, experienced designer can not only help guide your design decisions, but offer cost-saving solutions through material choices or adapting one large project into several smaller, more manageable projects to complete over time.
- Think about how you’ll use the space – Do you have growing children? Pets? Do you enjoy entertaining? Is this your forever home, or a for-now home? Answering these kinds of questions not only helps guide Lianna in her design, but can help you fine-tune your wishlist.