In this installment of Design Files, we discuss timeless interior design with Interior Designer, Ivan Meade. Spruce’s Design Files series brings local Victoria home experts and their insights on trends, investments, and design to Victoria locals looking to refresh and spruce up their home.
Meet Ivan Meade, Principal Designer at the Meade Design Group in Victoria, B.C. His Victoria-based multi-disciplinary company has received international and critical acclaim for their work in interior, graphic and industrial design.
“My design mantra is usually to invest in quality for the things you touch or use every day,” says Meade. “I strive to create timeless designs. I always think in my head: “how is this going to look in 10 years?”, that usually gives you the answer.”
Q & A with Ivan Meade
How would you describe your interior design approach?
This varies depending on whether I am working on a residential design or a commercial design project. For residential design, first of all, I need to understand my client’s needs, so I can work them into the function of the space. The understanding of my client’s style comes second, so I can translate this into the elements used in the space; and finally, I need to do an evaluation of the architecture of the space to see how I can get the function and the aesthetics working within – both stylistically and spatially.
It’s very important to understand your boundaries within the space. Once you have a functional floor plan, you can move on to the elevations and start having fun and being creative. For commercial design, I have a similar approach, but you also need to understand beyond your client’s needs, specifically who is your client’s client? and how to make the space work for both of them.
If you could give one REALLY amazing piece of interior design advice to someone who doesn’t know where to start, what would it be?
Design with a timeless sensibility in mind. I always think in my head: “how is this going to look in 10 years?” – that usually gives you the answer. Also, to invest in quality for the things you touch or use every day. That’s usually my design mantra. With this I am not saying that everything needs to be expensive, this is dependent upon your budget.
For instance, a cheap faucet from a box store is going to last you just a couple of years. Yes, they look nice, but the quality is not there, in a few years that faucet will leak or break, and then you have to buy a new one, and bring a plumber once again to do the installation. It is a vicious cycle of consumerism that will force you to buy a new faucet every so often, which is not environmentally friendly either. Always check the guarantees of the pieces you purchase – that is a good indicator of its quality.
What is something few people understand about interior design? Or a misconception about being an interior designer?
A misconception is that we are just pillow fluffers who choose nice things. People in general think we are expensive, but our expertise can make your life more comfortable, and your investment (your home or business) more sound and appealing to a general market if you have to sell your property at some point. Good design is not just how it looks, it is how it works, its function, its flow.
What is something you think is really worth investing in when it comes to designing your home?
As I mentioned above – quality! Not necessarily expensive things, but everything that you will use every day needs to be of good quality. To me, a good sofa to watch TV comfortably, a good bed to have the best night of sleep, good appliances to prepare your meals efficiently, good fixtures and lighting are the areas that I would recommend to invest in. It’s not just an investment in these “things,” it’s an investment of your enjoyment in everyday tasks and experience – making more out of the mundane.
What’s the most important factor in choosing an interior designer to renovate your space?
You need to trust your designer, and that they are a good fit for you, understand that the designer that you choose has you and your project in mind, and are designing in a way that is going to improve your everyday life or business ROI.
Are there any trends you’re seeing that homeowners should be excited about?
I am not fan of trends per se, usually my approach to design is more timeless, but I like to have a couple of trends in the form of pillows, lamps or accessories that you can easily change to be current. Right now, that would look like pastel colours, tribal or rattan/cane elements, terrazzo and definitely all those sexy curves are in.
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