In this installment of Design Files, we discuss home trends and Kitchen Design with Kitchen Designer Alexandra Graham. 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 Alexandra Graham, a full-time Kitchen Designer with Thomas and Birch Cabinetry in Victoria B.C. Alexandra is known at Thomas and Birch for the way she blends her client’s dream style for their home while working within their ideal budget.
Spruce spoke with Alexandra about her design style, a few things people don’t understand about interior design, and the home design trends she thinks everyone should get excited about.
“Kitchens are the single most important room in the home…It is crucial that you invest in having a functional, beautiful, and desirable kitchen.”
Q & A with Alexandra
How would you describe your interior design approach?
I tend to be a very functional person. I love beautiful spaces that are low maintenance and easy to clean. I like to come up with ways that will make the clients’ lives simpler and more manageable. I find my design approach innovative, creative and functional.
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?
My biggest piece of advice would be to flip through magazines, save photographs of designs or pieces that you absolutely LOVE and that you feel inspired by! You should LOVE every aspect of your new design. Once you have an idea of your aesthetic preferences, take inventory of what you already own and decide whether there will be a place in your new space. Make a list of everything you’ll keep, sell, or perhaps donate.
What is something few people understand about interior design? Or a misconception about being an interior designer?
There are quite a few topics that I feel people don’t understand about Interior Design. Timelines seem to be a misconception. Renovations and projects take time, they don’t happen in a day!
What is something you think is really worth investing in when it comes to designing your home?
Kitchens are the single most important room in the home. The kitchen can make a significant difference in the value of your home. It is crucial that you invest in having a functional, beautiful, and desirable kitchen. Quality cabinetry, durable countertops, under cabinet lighting and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home on the market. More importantly, the kitchen also provides a space for fun family activities. Cooking and baking with your family is a great bonding experience. It also gives everyone an opportunity to get a little messy, create new things and learn new recipes.
What’s the most important factor in choosing an interior designer to renovate your space?
Friend referrals, portfolios, and reviews are important, but there are more pieces to the puzzle. It is crucial to find an Interior Designer who understands your needs and objectives, whose approach aligns with yours and, most importantly, one you feel comfortable placing your trust in. For success of any renovation project, finding a Designer you can trust financially, and get a good feel for how they approach their project is key. Your home should be a reflection of you and customized to suit your lifestyle. Make sure it’s a good fit and you feel connected with the Designer.
Are there any trends you’re seeing that homeowners should be excited about?
While the all-white kitchen will probably never go completely out of style, there are a lot of new design trends for 2020 that make me excited for homeowners looking to renovation or build. We are seeing a lot of natural elements with a pop of colour. We’re seeing more wood species such as flat cut walnut and oak details in a more natural finish. I love how rich and diverse the various woods and grain patterns can be and how they bring the outdoors in.
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