Upon the launch of my new website, we also saw the launch of Refined Living, my interior design service that aims to enrich your home through deliberate, conscious and purposeful design.
The decision to begin this new venture was one that had been brewing for many a year. I had many requests, inquiries and questions around design and whether I could design people’s homes. Yet I always felt uneasy about launching an interior design company.
As many of you know, my educational background was not interior design or decorating. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I changed career paths and focused my attention on the world of design. To many, this means that I am unable to call myself a ‘designer’, and for a while I agreed with them. The process of becoming a licensed interior designer is not an easy one, however, I do feel continuing education, even as an adult, is an investment in yourself as well as a passion. I have always seen interior design as an artform, the process requires a skill that can be both natural and learned. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that to be defined as a designer one needs more than formal qualification, one needs an eye for the craft.
Many designers and artists have had no formal education in the fields that they have mastered. Frida Kahlo became a leading figure in the art world, yet she had no formal training. Jonathan Adler, one of my favourite designers, was told to give up his love for pottery and design and become a lawyer, he too had no formal training, but followed his love regardless. Kahlo and Adler are just a couple of names on a long list of artists and designers who who were qualified in their field based on their natural aptitude and passion for their craft.
Let’s take this moment to think of the history of art, especially in Canada. Native art is some of the most inspirational and fascinating forms of art that we have. Those artists weren’t trained to paint or sculpture, they did it because they had a message to share or a passion for the form. And herein lies the reason why I brushed off my stigma of what it means to be an interior designer and decided to launch Refined Living.
I see a home as more than four walls and a roof, a home is a reflection of those who dwell within it. Humanity is not defined, in my eye, in terms of its economic growth, its industrial progress or its current political policy. Humanity will always be remembered by its ability to evoke change. Change has been achieved economically, industrially and politically, and it will continue to happen; but art, philosophy and philanthropy truly defines a generation. I believe in this wholeheartedly and it’s this faith that has driven me to share my vision.
Refined Living is grounded by a sense of sustainability. I want to design homes that not only allow its owners to find sanctuary in them, but also embraces a sense of the future. I have been accused of being frivolous and excessive in my choices of furnishings and materials in the past. It is not my place to say that these opinions are incorrect, but I will continue to purchase well-crafted, well-designed pieces which are made from natural and sustainable materials. This is due to one reason – they last. Many mass produced items are built to last the length of a trend. They serve a purpose for a short period of time and then get tossed away once that design has become out-dated or unpopular. This is in no means a sustainable approach to interior design or decorating.
I wanted Refined Living to approach spaces with an idea of longevity. We pride ourselves in clean, classic styles that will stand the test of time and provide a comfortable and beautiful home for many years to come. We deal in heirlooms not trends. Refined Living wants to work with its clients to design purposeful and pragmatic spaces while understanding sustainability and the environment that surrounds it.
Now that I have rid myself of the uncertainty of my abilities and have centred my vision on something that I care about, I am proud of what Refined Living is set out to achieve. We are just not another interior design service, we are a design company with a desire to make your home perfect for you now and for years to come.