The catch: The designer only has a limited time- less than two days – to take an empty shell of a room and turn it into a place of warmth and character.
Three local Edmonton designers, Al Black, Brie Stachniak and Chantal Ross, each took on the Avenue design challenge. In just a few days, each of these designers was able to move in (and move out) an entire room’s worth of furniture and decor items. We photographed the results. Now it’s your chance to see how three different designers with unique influences take on the very same space.
You’ll never see a white duvet on designer Chantal Ross’ own bed, considering she has a child and a dog. It wouldn’t stay white for long. Taking part in this design challenge allowed her to work with colours, textures and themes that she normally wouldn’t use at home.
But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t experimented with designs in other homes; after all, she’s been designing since she went to NAIT, spending her first year in Architecture and her second in Interior Design Technology. She graduated at 19 and, 10 years later, opened her own design company, Chantal Ross Interior Design & Consulting Inc., in 2003.
The room she designed for this challenge focuses on warm, inviting colours and textures inspired by a trip she recently made to the Jasper Park Lodge. “Their beds are wrapped in these glorious duvets,” she laughs. Paired with the white linens, the walnut bed becomes very “R and R” and luxurious.
The side tables are also walnut, and the woodbox beam above the bed is made from a Douglas fir. The hollow beams have a lot of design versatility, says Ross: “If I had more time on the challenge, or was doing work for the private residents I would have suggested ordering beams to put on the ceiling.”
Adding textual elements to the room was very important, she says, pointing out the hammered metal spheres and velvet pencil-ball cushions. The large rug was custom made in Argentina using top-quality cowhides. The cream hue juxtaposes nicely with the dark cork floor.
The chrome legs on the mink chair and ottoman add an accentual contrast to the deep earth tones of the rest of the room, and the handmade iron table is the perfect complement to the warm theme of the design. The table is also an art piece, designed to create a more open feeling to the space.
“I had the idea of boutique-hotel-luxury-getaway in mind, because everyone needs to do that once in a while. And if you could do that every day in your own house, that would be glorious.”
Rustic elements give Brie Stachniak‘s room an inviting feel. She wanted her room to mix the masculine and the feminine, to have “sexual tension.”
Chantal Ross wanted her room to have the feeling of a country inn, with warm colours and an emphasis on creature comforts. But her work is modernized with clean lines.
Al Black‘s mid-century modern look is accented by brass. His work features a lot of black and white, which allows for any accent colours to stand out.
Three different looks from three different designers. Now, the question: Which one do you, the Avenue reader, prefer?
All three spaces have different things to offer. We understand that personal taste plays into these things. That’s why, when designing your own space, you should always communicate with your designer. But, this contest presents a rare case where the designers are given blank slates without any client demands. Because Avenue didn’t have any of those unique client demands, the designers had cartes blanches, which made for rooms unique to the designers’ tastes.