In this instalment of Design Files, we discuss the creative process and incorporating art into your home with Interior Designer, Kyla Bidgood of Bidgood + Co. 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 Kyla Bidgood, the Principal Designer at Bidgood + Co. in Victoria, B.C. The local design firm takes on commercial and residential projects that range from construction drawings to space planning to fixture procurement.
Kyla Bidgood and Bidgood + Co. have won numerous awards and nominations for local spaces like MediaCore Office, Sherwood Cafe, Still Life for Her, and many more.
“Don’t over-design. Simplicity and refinement make a much stronger statement. Your hardest job may be to remove anything that is unnecessary.”
Q & A with Kyla Bidgood
How would you describe your interior design approach?
Like composing a piece of music, we believe great spaces should have harmony among the elements, a connection to textures, objects and people that together create a sense of beauty. Good design can be genuinely transformative to lives and to businesses.
Our gut plays a big part in the early stages. We let our instincts guide the creative process and concept development but those ideas all go through our filter of knowledge, experience, budgeting and construction feasibility. It’s an art to design beautiful things but it’s a skill to successfully execute them. You really need to be strong on both spectrums to see great ideas through.
Before delivering our work we make sure the problems are well solved and the goals are met. That the space has served the people it’s intended to serve, evokes a feeling of comfort and well-being as well as being beautiful. It’s our strong belief that interior spaces must be an extension of the users, not an imposed style. We put the person or people in the centre of the ideology.
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?
Our first piece of advice is that while Pinterest and Instagram are great for inspiration, they are not a cheap replacement for the real deal. Replicating other peoples spaces is not design. Hire a professional to collaborate with you to create something tailored and original, they will be able to guide your ideas. The investment you make in your renovation or new-build project will go so much further with a professional interior designer on your team.
That being said…for the DIY’er determined to have a go, start with a mood board with 5-10 curated images that speak to you, and check back in with your board throughout your process to make sure you’re making decisions that align with your vision. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny things you may come across while sourcing and they may be great finds, but they may not be consistent with the other elements of your space.
Don’t over-design. Simplicity and refinement make a much stronger statement. Your hardest job may be to remove anything that is unnecessary. And finally, budget every step of the way. Don’t wait until you are ready to build to crunch the numbers, you will be shocked by how quickly things add up.
What is something few people understand about interior design? Or a misconception about being an interior designer?
As an industry, interior design can be incredibly broad. It encompasses everything from the micro details of object design through to planning entire buildings. Good design is not fast. The process of design – creating and developing ideas, communicating those ideas, collaborating with other professionals, obtaining permits, creating the documentation, as well as construction – all takes time.
Our job is to thoughtfully create designs while following this process. If you cut out steps, you are not going to get the same end result. We have had clients try to save money on design fees by hiring us for concepts only but not full documentation or site visits and what they end up with is a cluster of details needing to be solved and questions on-site which cause delays, cost money, and often times lead to unfortunate sacrifices that compromise the concept.
Design is in the details. There is tremendous value in design if you let us see them through to the end.
What is something you think is really worth investing in when it comes to designing your home?
Unlike many accessories or even furniture, original fine art can say more about your individual expression than any other element in your home. It evokes meaning and can truly transform a space. It’s a solid investment that can appreciate in value over time, and remain relevant and meaningful to you throughout your life. The art in my home is something I’ve collected over many years is are a reflection of who I’ve been in the past, places I’ve traveled, artists whose work I admire, concepts that inspire me, and items that reflect our family.
What’s the most important factor in choosing an interior designer to renovate your space?
Make sure you connect with them personally as well as their portfolio work. Follow their lead, trust their opinion, and let them guide the process. I can not say it enough; if you cut out steps, you are not going to get the same end result. A good designer understands what people need, perhaps better than they do, and they know how to execute.
Are there any trends you’re seeing that homeowners should be excited about?
In general, we try to avoid recommending anything too trendy, especially in residential design. Like “fast fashion” overly trendy interiors are fleeting and disposable. Our approach is refined and more timeless interiors, with personalized artwork and accessories that resonates with our clients for years to come.
Interested in more articles like this? Read Design Files: Home Organization with Emily Barrieau