Another coastal gal on the blog whose talent is mind blowing!
Dawna, although not formally trained as a designer, has oodles of talent and oozes creativity.
I first stumbled across her work when her living room won a Canadian House and Home reader's choice online contest. I loved the scale of the space, the black and white scheme with touches of organic elements. Simply stunning. But what blew me away further was the home tour video that House and Home shot of Dawna's home. Her kitchen and the breath taking views were simply out of this world! I suspect we will see a lot more of Dawna in the future!
Dawna, tells us a bit about you? Have you always been creative and interested in design and all things pretty?
Ever since I was a young girl I always took pride in my room and making it beautiful whether it was taking time to rearrange it or pick fresh sweet peas to add to it, although other interests crept in as I got older, my love for design was renewed once again when I met my husband who is a builder. Since then it’s been my passion!
Are you formally trained in interior design? If not, what did you do to get yourself to where you are today?
I’m not formally trained. I have 17 years though of experience gained form not only working in the industry alongside my husband, but also from building 4 homes of my own, you understand completely the ins and outs, and the dos and dont’s when you are your own client. Valuable information, that you can pass on to your clients.
What are some design faux pas that you simply can’t stand?
I think for me, and I’m not so sure it would be considered a faux pas, is thinking that good design has to cost a lot of money. So many magazines feature homes that to the average person, is completely unaffordable. Good design doesn’t require that, nor is it necessary. I am always trying to strive for myself and my clients, to find ways of achieving a look without breaking the bank. It takes way more ingenuity to do that then to just right a big fat cheque. The other side of that though is always finding the balance of knowing when to splurge and where to save! And of course at the top of the list is repurposing what you already have.
What are some design tips you have have that give the most design bang for little cost?
The biggest for me is, re-using what we already have! Look at it in a different way, give it a coat of paint, breathe new life into it, before you decide to get rid of it.
Also don’t underestimate the power of paint, for dollars you can transform an entire room.
Trim is another one. You can take the most mundane space, and by adding substantial trim or paneling detail to the walls, you can have a spectacular space.
You live in a smallish community on the coast of British Columbia, where are your go-to design resources?
I am an internet junky! I have come to rely on the computer to order the things I want, and I’m rarely ever disappointed in what I receive. I know a lot of people have to touch and see things, I actually don’t, I can see from the picture whether I am going to like it or not.
Is there anything in the design business you simply wish didn’t exist?
The stigma that some designers give thinking they are somehow better then others.
I think that for me it is always having a mutual respect for all other designers, and their different levels of expertise. It doesn’t matter whether you have had 20 years experience or 2, whether you have had your work published or not, whether your budget is 2000 versus 2,000,000, we are all doing it for the same reason, and we need to learn to respect each other for that, not look down our nose because we think we are better.
If you could meet anyone or go anywhere who or where would it be?
I would love to meet Kelly Wearstler. She, to me is the epitome of “Girl Power” she is not only muti talented at everything she sets her mind to, but she manages to carve out time for her fans and most importantly her family.
What do you love to do in your free time?
My health is number one for me, and with recently not having good health for the past year, I now make it a priority every day to carve out time to exercise.
You are a mom, blogger and wife, how do you balance all those roles?
I love writing my blog, and connecting with my readers, so I carve out the time to do just that by setting a specific time on the weekends where I just sit and write. I prepare what I’m going to talk about the days before hand and then I’m not just sitting at the computer staring blankly. Once that is achieved then I have the time to spend the rest of my weekend with my family.
What are your views on the role of Canadian design on the world stage? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we dress, design and decorate our homes? If so, what do you think sets us apart?
I think we are very cutting edge, and we have made a great name for ourselves in the overall design industry. People like Martha Sturdy, Brian Gluckstein and even Sarah Richardson, have really helped people to see that we as Canadians are serious about design and making our mark by setting trends not just following them. I am so proud to be Canadian!