Design Chick  

Design Q&A With Crispin

I get asked random design questions by friends, family, even strangers pretty much all the time – it comes with the territory.

Interior design is a bit of an art form, and I don’t blame people for feeling slightly intimidated when it comes to making big – and often expensive – design choices for their homes.

Enquiring minds want to know, so I’ve complied several popular Q&As in the hopes it can offer some helpful and insightful expertise with your own projects come decision-making time.

Q: Grey is everywhere, but I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on it. Do I have to use it to be in style?

A: Heck, no. Grey is definitely classic and ultra-calming, but it’s been ramped up as the “it” colour for the past few years – everything from floors, to cabinets, to furniture can be found in 50 shades of grey – and it’s created  mindless design when it comes to pulling different finishes and materials together.

I love finding materials and fabrics that layer to combine hints of grey with tan and cream, and even walnut and deep charcoal. Bringing in some warmer undertones will eliminate the cold and sterile feeling aesthetic you get when you pick everything in grey tones.

Q: Granite or marble?

A: Both! But keep in mind marble is mega-porous and will stain if you spill red wine, pasta sauce, makeup, and anything acidic on it.

Q: Are painted feature walls still popular?

A: In a word, no – however, you are your own judge when it comes to your spaces, and if you really love the look of a bright or richly painted feature wall, who’s going to stop you?

Ten years ago every client I worked with wanted a feature wall (or several) somewhere in their homes, but now, the trend is to paint the whole house out in only one or two versions of the same colour, and infuse colour in your accessories and décor.

Q: Is running hardwood through my kitchen a bad idea?

A: This depends on the style and finish of the hardwood.

Choose something with more colour and grain variance, and perhaps something with a hand-scraped finish to help camouflage the gradual wear and tear any natural product will start to show over time.

Q: What’s your go-to, no-fail suggestion for art choices? And how high should I hang it?

A: Framed black-and-white photography… every single time. It can be sculptural, abstract, and timeless all at the same time, and can fit into any design scheme. 8”-10” off the back of your sofa, or centre the piece at 5’-6” on an open wall so the middle of the piece is at approximately eye-level.

Q: Do I really need to pull a permit?

A: Yes! Or almost always yes. You want to be insured after the fact don’t you? When in doubt, check with your local city planning department.

Q: What inspires you to always be coming up with new design ideas?

A: Honestly, in the digital and accessible world we live in, I don’t believe there’s really such a thing as a new design idea.

 I’ve honed my craft, so a lot of my design ideas are organic and derived from my client’s needs. But there’s a lot of inspiration designers take from concepts and visuals found on sites such as Pinterest and Houzz, online design blogs and sites like Elle Décor and House & Home, and from other well-known industrial and interior designers in the industry.

Scour magazines, and start collecting images of rooms and spaces that inspire you, and you will begin to figure out your own esthetic over time.


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About the Author

Crispin Butterfield is the creative force and mastermind behind Urban Theory; a graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, her engaging personality and design-commerce savvy make her a valued and well-respected professional and mentor within her field.

She’s able to uniquely see the parameters and vision of each project in ways her clients often cannot, and has honed the process and proficiency required to grow incredible long-standing client relationships. 

Crispin embraces a life full of ingenuity and imagination, fueled by raw ambition and a desire to leave her mark on the world. Her impeccable design style, expertise, and a rock-solid business acumen is the foundation which allows Urban Theory Interior Design to provide full scale services with authenticity, innovation, and ample amounts of personality.

Featured in Style At Home Magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and The National Post – www.urbantheoryinteriordesign.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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