In this installment of Ask an Expert, we spoke with the lovely April Dietrich, one of our talented showhome interior designers. We wanted to know what makes her tick, and if she has any design tips for you. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself. Your specialties, what got you into design, how long have you been doing this, what your favorite part about being a designer is, etc.
I’ve had a love of design and color from an early age and have always dreamed of working in this field. Upon moving to Edmonton, I immediately enrolled in the Residential Interiors program at the University of Alberta. Since graduation, I’ve been privileged to spend the last 4-5 years working on projects for Pacesetter Homes and private clientele (residential & commercial). My two favorite facets of being a designer are seeing a space come alive and working with the people who support me in doing this. Relationships are so important in this industry, we all pull together to complete beautiful projects (Tradespeople, window covering designers, product suppliers, etc.) After months of selecting finishes and items for the space, it all comes together, I love that part!
What types of stores should I be looking in for items that may be unconventional?
You can find unique pieces almost anywhere if you spend a bit more time hunting. Don’t forget online shopping, there are some fantastic online retailers and artisan marketplaces (like Etsy) that ship to Canada.
What are some must have trending items or colors for homes today?
Brass/gold is very hot right now and has been for a while. A warm metallic can make a space feel more luxurious. (Word of caution: use trendy items sparingly or layer with classic metals and finishes for a more timeless look.)
Do you have any tips for small spaces? (What type of furniture to use etc.)
I love the challenge of working with small spaces. You just have to be conscience of scale. Choose more tailored furnishings and pieces that can be used in multiple ways. Typically, light fabrics are more appropriate as they tend to feel less ‘heavy’ in a small space.
What are some organizational tips for kid’s rooms/toys?
Storage is a must! An inexpensive solution is to set up simple cubby shelves in a kid’s room or play area. This will allow you to hide toys and games neatly inside decorative boxes placed in each cubby. Furniture with additional storage is also a great way to keep organized (for example: a platform bed with drawers underneath).
Do you have any other design advice or tips that you would like to share with our readers?
De-clutter! Periodically, we all need to purge unnecessary items from our homes. I love the quote –‘have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ (William Morris)-it perfectly defines the necessity to surround ourselves with pieces we actually love and that are functional.