Whether you are furnishing a new home or re-vamping the space you've been living in for twenty years, a little help from a professional can often make a huge difference in how a lifetime of your home furniture and pieces come together in a cohesive theme or feel.
Most interior designers specialize in helping you merge your past with your present to help you transform your home to the house of your dreams. I'm new to home design, so coming up with this list of Vancouver’s top interior designers was a great challenge. If you feel that we've missed a designer who is worth mentioning, let us know about them in the comments below.
1. Ledingham Design Consultants
Good design must express function, comfort and individual style.
With more than 40 years of experience in interior design, Robert Ledingham’s company advocates timeless, classic interiors merged with diverse fabrics and accessories to give rooms their own distinctive character. A winner of countless awards (the Leadership Award of Excellence, the Silver Award for Colony Management Offices, the Award for Hospitality 1st Place for the Aura Restaurant & Patio Lounge, and the Renovation to the Queen Charlotte Apartments award: Exterior), Ledingham recommends using small-scale furnishings and mid-century furniture in small spaces or combining neutral-coloured furniture with colourful paintings. It’s quality over quantity when it comes to his work.
I’ve always stressed quality. I am proud when I visit an interior that I did 20 years ago and it still has very good bones and pieces hang together well. A sofa may simply be tired, so I’ll change the shape of the arm and reupholster the piece to give it a new look,
Ledingham revealed in his interview with BC Home magazine.
His company has worked not only on private homes and condos, but also hotels, restaurants, and office spaces. Ledingham Design Consultants has its own showroom at 125 East 4th Avenue; and is open by appointment only. Call 604.847.4900 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your visit.
Address: 125 East 4th Avenue, Vancouver
2. Alda Pereira Design
Good things come in small packages: If you live in a smaller place, make it multi-functional.
Right after graduating from an interior design program at Kwantlen University College, Alda Pereira started her own business. It took her just one year to get a gold IDI award by IDIBC for innovative design in a retail store. Quite a successful start for a career, don’t you think?
She has even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and one developer named his building after her. Since then, Alda’s team of professionals has grown, and it is very passionate about any project — ranging from urban residences to hotels and restaurants. Their attention to the little details and their love of art, natural materials, and lots of light guarantee that their design will always hit the mark. Here’s a a tidbit of advise:
If you live in a smaller place, make it as multi-functional as possible.
Pereira and her team are all about getting the most from small spaces. A hallway, for example, can easily be turned into an art gallery or vice versa. If you need help with programming, space planning, contract documents, project management, site administration, furniture, fixture and equipment specifications, or custom furniture design, contact them at 604.736.2179.
Address: 1721 Fir Street, Vancouver
3. BYU Design
If your home feels chaotic, your life probably does too.
Does the phrase “Bob’s your uncle” mean anything to you? The familiar Briticism expresses how simple it is to do something. This philosophy is inherent in the namesake of residential design company BYU (Bob’s your uncle), founded by Cheryl Broadhead and Ada Bonini nearly ten years ago. This company specializes in the multi-family housing market — particularly small homes.
They have a great attitude about people having different tastes and therefore, treat each client as an individual:
What keeps our job interesting is the variety. You can have two developers five blocks away from each other and the design can be worlds apart,
Ada said in one of her interviews.
Their portfolio includes projects such as Ginger, a condominium complex in the heart of Chinatown that earned them bronze for best multi-unit residential in the Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia’s Awards of Excellence 2010, the Capitol Residences downtown, and the Eden Boutique in Yaletown. According to BYU, scale is one of the most important elements when designing a home. If you live in a small space that needs a redesign, don’t be afraid to put your project in their hands.
Address: Unit 307, 375 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver
4. BBA Design Consultants
Keep things simple, uncomplicated and uncluttered, both in life and in your home.
Sharon Bortolotto is the head of BBA Design Consultants. Over the thirty years of the company’s history, she has transformed BBA into award-winning designing team. The endless list of awards proves their commitment to excellence in everything they do.
Bortolotto is not afraid of combining expensive and inexpensive pieces, and she believes that design doesn’t have to be about decadence... and that even IKEA can provide extraordinary furniture.
Design doesn’t always have to be about big stuff. You can be small and subtle.
The same principle applies to mixing contemporary and old pieces. Bortolotto suggests buying multi-purpose items for tiny spaces. If you want to see the projects her company has worked on, check out their website below. The number of hotels, spas, restaurants, clubs, offices, and residential units they have worked on is really impressive.
Address: 202—1168 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
5. Giraffe Design
Create a timeless and classic interior that still reflects your personality.
Giraffe Design was established in 1993 and has garnered a solid reputation for designing both contemporary and traditional interior designs. The company was named after the elegant animal to remind itself that it would always be “alive and running.” The young team of professionals led by Danielle Laureau puts creativity first when satisfying their clients. Travelling is Danielle’s chief passion, and she likes to draw inspiration from her travels around the world. She loves to combine modern contemporary style with the elegance of old-fashioned charm. So if you prefer elegant interiors with a bit of French influence, Giraffe Design is the way to go.
Address: 1706—989 Nelson Street, Vancouver
6. Kelly Deck Design
Embrace your inner artist.
Kelly Deck of Kelly Deck Design received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, sculpture, and ceramics at the Emily Carr Institute. During her studies, she also spent a year abroad, studying ceramics in Cardiff at the University of Wales, which precipitated her falling in love with design and craft even more. Her successful career started in 2002, when she opened her interior decor boutique named Simple Design Boutique on Main Street. The little store made Kelly popular among those who admired her chic decor and asked her to design their own spaces. It didn’t take long for Deck to open her own design company. The firm now has ten employees and specializes in high-end private residences.
One tip to make your home look better?
Buy good art. Decorate with it opposed to around it, so that it’s just part of the conversation. I think art is what charges up a home.
— Kelly for sZinterior
If you can’t afford expensive art, try checking local thrift stores such as Wildlife Thrift Store or Sellution Vintage Furniture. Even Deck shops there. But what she likes even most when it comes to art and design is creating masterpieces with kids — so this is definitely a family friendly firm.
Address:102—1636 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver