In this instalment of Design Files, we discuss designing with passion with Sarah Donald, Interior Designer and co-founder of Hansenbuilt Design. 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 Sarah Donald, Interior Designer and co-founder of Hansenbuilt Design. Her work can be seen all around Victoria, B.C. in well-known commercial locations such as KWENCH Culture Club, Crust Bakery, and the Belfry Theatre.
“Interior Design has historically been seen as a luxury or an aesthetic pleasure rather than a skill that focusses on the real needs of the space. So much valuable, hard work goes into the process of design to create a space that truly functions. It is not just about soft furnishings and colour, but also includes, concept development, co-ordination, budgeting, permit applications,
documentation and regular visits to the site to liaise with trades and the construction team.”
Q & A with Sarah Donald
How would you describe your interior design approach?
Good design stems from a detailed, intensive approach which is similar to that of theatre, music and art. Our process begins with the conceptual – a story, intention, and broad strokes – which we translate through sketches, space planning, colour, and texture right through to the tangible design. By synthesizing all the information gathered from listening, observing, asking questions, researching and honouring the architecture of the space, our goal is to make our clients visions come to life. Whether it be a commercial or residential project, we are always looking at how to make our client’s experiences better.
What is something few people understand about interior design? Or a misconception about being an interior designer?
Interior Design has historically been seen as a luxury or an aesthetic pleasure rather than a skill that focusses on the real needs of the space. So much valuable, hard work goes into the process of design to create a space that truly functions. It is not just about soft furnishings and colour, but also includes, concept development, co-ordination, budgeting, permit applications,
documentation and regular visits to the site to liaise with trades and the construction team. It is about figuring out what is right for you and your space, what your needs are and how to achieve an original design that supports and reflects you as an individual.
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?
Start with something that you are passionate about as your inspiration, it can be vintage blanket, your favourite song or a good book, anything that tells an interesting story. Then create a narrative or yourself, documenting your day to day activities, and remember to keep things simple, fun and trust your gut! Of course, I wouldn’t be a good professional if I didn’t say, hiring an Interior Designer will add so much to your investment; in the design, the execution as well as emotionally and financially.
What is something you think is really worth investing in when it comes to designing your home?
Anything that brings meaning to your life and inspires you. For me, it is musical instruments. I
have been a fiddle player most of my life and over the years I have invested in various
instruments. I love the way the wood creates a sense of warmth in our home, as well as evoking fantastic memories of playing with family and friends.
What’s the most important factor in choosing an interior designer to renovate your space?
First and foremost seek out a designer that you trust and feel comfortable with because you will have an intimate relationship with this person over the course of the project. The design and build process can be both emotional and stressful so it is extremely important that the designer shares your values and can guide you through project challenges to create a successful outcome.
Look at portfolios, get recommendations, ask questions, share your story, and take your time.
Choosing a designer that you connect with is not a process that should be rushed and it will help the process immensely over the course of the project.
Are there any trends you’re seeing that homeowners should be excited about?
Here in BC we are lucky to be surrounded by so many talented local designers. Whether it be
lighting, metalwork, furniture or decor, buying locally is a trend that I hope is here to stay.
Continue reading… Design Files with Interior Designer, Carley Petillion of Spaciz