Local Vancouver-based interior designer Christine Friend will be speaking at the upcoming BC Home and Garden Show from Wednesday February 20th to 24th at BC Place in Vancouver.
Christine Friend is the designer behind Friendly Decorator. She is experienced in family friendly decorating, so I asked her what her thoughts and suggestions are about that area of decorating, but also about a few other topics of interest. Read on for my interview and some family friendly decorating ideas.
A design or decorating project with Christine need not break the bank. Her philosophy is; a beautiful and welcoming space is dependent on the people who live and work there – not on how much money is spent.
-quote taken from FriendlyDecorator.ca
I recently got the chance to ask Christine a few questions and got a lot of great ideas from her. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she has to say at the BC Home and Garden Show, when she takes to the main stage.
1. This is the first year that the Home and Garden Show has a dedicated Family Day, and I know you’ll be speaking about family-friendly design.
What are a few key pieces of advice you have for family friendly decorating?
When purchasing products or materials, think cleanable. Consider outdoor fabrics for upholstered pieces – the material is surprisingly durable yet comfortable in the home and there is a great selection available. When looking for furniture such as tables, think rounded corners. Eggshell paint is a must for walls and either satin or semi-gloss for door casings – these are high-traffic areas in your home so you want to be able to easily clean off finger prints or scuffs.
2. What would you say is the most impactful room or area to focus on when someone is selling their home?
Every room in the house has something to offer. I, like many others, believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s one of the most expensive areas of the home to renovate but it certainly provides the most impact and value when selling. Most people have difficulty visualizing what could be done in a room – thus having the kitchen refreshed or completely renovated will assist in a quicker sale.
3. How much and in what way does the local landscape inspire your design style?
I like each room to be part of the home and each home to be a part of its neighbourhood. At the same time, having your own style to represent you and your family is important. It’s always nice to be able to leave natural items such as that huge boulder in your backyard – what seems a nuisance now could be worked into a new construction house, or perhaps become part of a waterfall! Sometimes you have to work with what you have instead of changing it.
4. What inspired you to leave the insurance industry for your new career?
To be honest, I thought I was going to retire in the insurance industry. Many things changed in my life a decade ago and I let life itself dictate to me what would happen – I went with the flow and here I am now, 10 years later, loving what I do!
5. What do you most enjoy about your interior design business, and speaking at events, like the BC Home + Garden Show?
I most enjoy seeing and sourcing new products, fabrics, and design items, and sharing these with clients. This will be my first time appearing on the HGTV Main Stage at the BC Home + Garden Show… ask me my thoughts on that on Monday, February 25! But what I do hope is that homeowners take a least one tip home with them and follow through on making a change.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Decorating and designing should be fun. There are no hard rules! You live in your home, you and your family are the ones living in your space daily, so make decisions that make YOU happy and not anybody else!
*photos in the post courtesy of Christine Friend.