A little over a month ago, I won the DXV Design Competition. (You can read all about that here) The experience at IDS Toronto alone was amazing, but what has been even more wonderful is that the experience didn’t end after the show. The DXV family is not only made up of some extremely talented designers whose work I admire, but also an amazing group of individuals who handle everything behind the scenes. I feel truly grateful to be considered part of DXV family. Now that I’m part of the “family”, they would like me to introduce myself. So, I invited DXV into my world and here is the interview that was the result of that!
At IDS Toronto Opening night with Dima Ahmad and Karol Wojdaszka. Photo: David Batten.
DXV: What did winning the DXV Design Competition mean to you?
It was such an honour to have my design selected by the DXV team to represent their brand as this year’s winner. Interior design is my second career and in some ways, I’m still fairly new to the game. There have been times when I have wondered if this was the right career move for me, even though I can’t see myself doing anything else. So when something like this comes along, and your work is recognized by your peers and by such a well known brand, it helps to reassure me that I’m on the right path. It also makes me excited to see what the future holds for Christine Elliott Designs.
DXV: How would you describe your personal design style?
My personal style is a bit more quiet and eclectic than the designs I create for my clients. I love using light and calming colours, a lot of texture, as well as, interesting pieces that have meaning to me. I try not to bring anything into the home I share with my partner that we don’t love. I like surrounding myself with items that remind me of the places we’ve been or the experiences we’ve shared.
Inspiration for my future Living Room. Source
DXV: What is your favourite room in the home?
I would have to say my living room. Although it needs a total revamp, I love how much light it gets. I enjoy having my morning tea in there while I catch up on my social media. A couple of years ago, we put in custom built-ins that provide us with great storage, a place to display the items we love and our favourite books.
Fabric plan for the Kitchen at my Willow Park project.
DXV: Where do you look for inspiration for a new project?
While I would love to start all my projects inspired by something my clients have, like a work or art or heirloom piece, I find that I usually need to bring the inspiration to them through fabrics. My mother was a seamstress, so I learned early on the importance of choosing the right fabric both in terms of design and function. I can literally spend hours in a fabric showroom. In the end, the fabric might only be used for a small pillow, but it will be the jumping off point in creating a cohesive design plan and colour palette.
Using tiles to create a pattern in the kid’s bath at my Hill Street Project. Photo: Stephani Buchman
DXV: When designing a bathroom, where do you start?
Always with function first. What do my clients need the space to do for them? Do they really need a tub if they hate having baths? Do they have enough storage for all their beauty products? Should they consider a double vanity in their kid’s bath (especially as they are entering their teen years)? Once we determine the functional needs, then I can figure out the best way to use the space and create the floor plan. After that, it’s all about finding the perfect finishes. Tiles are a bit like fabric to me. There are so many options, so it is important to me that we find the perfect one to inspire the design.
The Shadowbrook. A 3D printed faucet by DXV. Now this is how you make a statement!
DXV:Which fixture is most important to you in making a statement in the bathroom?
The vanity faucet. It gets the most use and you (and your guests) engage with it every time you use the room. Selecting the wrong one, even if everything else works beautifully together, can throw the whole design off, in my opinion. The vanity faucet is a piece that I think is definitely worth the splurge!
Loving the large florals on Ellie Cashman’s papers.
DXV:Are your clients requesting any trends when it comes to home design? Which current trends are your favourite and why?
I’m happy to share that in a lot of the consultations I have had lately, client preferences seem to be moving away from the grays. They seem to be more interested in experimenting with colour. I also find that people are gravitating towards the warmer metals like brass. I’ve always been a fan of gold over silver. so this makes me happy.
As for current trends that are my favourites, I’m loving all the floral patterns I’m seeing in fabrics and wallpapers. I do, however, prefer a clustered bouquet pattern on a dark ground over a smaller, “spread out” repeat pattern. It’s just more dramatic and feels more modern.
I’m also becoming a fan of using concrete as a finishing treatment. When done right, it can truly transform a space. And I love anything white – especially walls. A few years ago, if I suggested white walls to clients, I got a strong opposition. Now I’m being asked to pick the perfect white all the time! If the budget allows like to spec architectural mouldings to add interest to a space. They add such depth and texture and can take plain white walls (or any wall colour, for that matter) and turn them into a fabulous design detail that makes the room really special!
Thanks DXV for the questions! It was fun and I look forward to being part of the family!