Ingeva Design Studio Series — Time With Tara

Ingeva Design Studio Series — Time With Tara

Posted: February 24 2023

Welcome to the third Ingeva Design Studio Series! This month, we took some time to chat with Tara, one of our incredible Interior Designers! Ready to tackle her client's needs, Tara shares great design tips, such as how to design small spaces and how to prepare for your one-on-one appointment. She also shares some insight into her style and inspiration.

Let's dive in! 

1. What’s your favourite room to stage in our show homes? 

Secondary rooms! It is a wonderful opportunity to create elevated, creative designs. From a glamorous bedroom or a whimsical, colourful children’s room to a luxurious den or a calm, collected retreat — there are many ways to show how one can elevate their space.

2. What is the best part about staging show homes? 

All of it! From developing an overall concept for the home to the creative layering of the interior finishing, such as flooring, cabinetry, tiles and lighting. Furniture and décor planning elevate the concept and bring functionality to the home. And then there are the final move-in days, where our team of designers bring the home to life. Maybe that is my favourite part — seeing all the design elements come together, producing a unique space that highlights the home's features and benefits!

3. In three words, how would you describe your design style? 

Textured, Layered, Evolving

4. What is a timeless interior finish for you?

Timeless design is a great background that can stand the test of time and will look fantastic with any trends you add to the space. I recommend timeless design finishes in areas that are expensive and/or may be difficult to change. Examples are flooring, countertops and cabinets. Selecting classic design choices that are simple, subtle, sophisticated and neutral can easily adapt to evolving styles. Of course, there are always exceptions in the world of design. If you want fashionable tile in a mudroom, bathroom or laundry room, go for it! These are smaller rooms and aren’t too difficult (or expensive) to change in the future.

5. Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from the world around me and the history of design. I feel inspired by nature, architecture, fashion, pop culture and other designers.  The old adage, “What is old is new again," for me is true. It plays a role in everything I do. 

6. What do you love about Ingeva?

Working with clients and being a part of building their homes! I love that I help in the selection process, making their homes into a space that uniquely reflects them and their lifestyle.

7.  How should you design small spaces?

Designing a small space can be challenging. I would suggest thinking of:

  1. Functionality. Who will be using the space? What activities will be taking place? Defining the needs of the space helps determine the layout, furniture requirements and storage needs.  

  2. LightingAdding more lights, such as floor lamps, sconces, table lamps, and multi-bulb overhead fixtures, make it feel larger and more open. Reflective light is another way to bring light around the room. Furniture or décor choices such as glass, leather, metal, and polished wood all reflect light, improving the brightness of a room.

  3. Mirrors. Mirrors are an easy way to reflect light and make a room feel larger. Mirrors placed across from the windows bring the outdoors in, opening up the space.

  4. Furniture. Consider maximizing the functionality of the piece. Choose pieces that play double duty, such as a storage ottoman to hide your goodies and serve as extra seating. In a small dining room, a bench may be a better option as it takes up less room, seats more people and can be tucked away under the table. Another option is a drop-down table as a workspace, allowing a space to open back up when you're done working.

  5. Declutter. And then declutter some more! Clutter makes a room look smaller. Be creative and make attractive displays using baskets and storage containers. 

  6. Colours. Light, neutral colours are usually ideal for walls as they reflect light better, making the room brighter and more spacious. However, light colours can go wrong. Pure white works best in rooms with lots of natural light. If your place is a little darker, try other neutral shades. Bolder colours can also work in a small room. When you combine bold colours with good accent colours and neutrals, the overall effect often gives the illusion of more space. One trick is to paint insets a rich colour to draw the eye out of the middle of the room, such as wall nooks, bookcase backs and between shelves.

8. What is the biggest advice you can give homeowners for their one-on-one appointment? 

Bring pictures with you to your appointment. These can be from show homes, Pinterest and other websites. Often, the most popular spaces for customization are kitchens and bathrooms. I recommend bringing images of these rooms highlighting what you want. Pictures can be a great starting point for a discussion with your Interior Designer, helping to make these rooms feel unique to you.

10. Lastly, show us a flat lay of finishes you would choose in your Landmark Home, and tell us why you picked them.

I am layering textures, natural elements and colour to create a warm, crisp, airy flat lay. 

Layering warm, light and medium wood tones in the flooring and cabinetry creates a natural backdrop. Woods can feel heavy and closed in. To contrast this and open up the design, I layer whites and off-whites to keep the design warm yet crisp. To help bring the outdoors in, I used natural and slightly rustic textures in the tiles, countertop and rug. I have chosen to contrast with geometric shapes, adding another unexpected layer to the design. This, along with the deep rich green accent colour, helps keep the design interesting and from becoming one note. To keep a dynamic design full of soft contrasts, I used fabric swatches to represent furniture choices in leathers, velvets and boucle. I added brushed gold metal elements against the natural woods and stones to keep this design soft. If I was to choose black/dark handles and plumbing, the contrast would be too hard. Chrome would be too cold of a contrast, changing the overall feeling of the design!

Thank you, Tara, for your awesome insight — especially the design tips for small spaces! We hope you enjoyed our time with Tara. If you have any questions for us next month, send us a message via our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

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