We received over a hundred submissions for our customer inspiration photo contest last month. Here’s our interview with our winner, Danuta Darling from Calgary, Alberta. Danuta combines her background in civil engineering, construction and design to create beautiful home projects in her spare time with her husband, Mr. Darling.
Rove Concepts: Hi Danuta, congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing your photo with #MYROVE. We loved the clean aesthetic of the design that you and your husband recently created for your home in Calgary. This is the first home project that the two of you have worked on together. We’d love to hear more about the inspiration for this project, and how design plays a role in your life. First, what about this project was inspired by the city you live in?
Danuta: Thanks, Rove! What a pleasure. Calgary has fairly recently embraced modernism, so throughout my childhood I was always fascinated by international magazines featuring beautiful boxy homes with clean lines and minimal decoration. That being said, as a kid I had the fortune of walking by the iconic “Connaught Gardens” townhouses on my way to school everyday. They were so different from everything else in Calgary at that time (1992) – boxy, white stuccoed units, with black windows and bright colored front doors, and I remember loving them for it. Calgary is a beautiful, clean city with nice views and plenty of sunshine so it’s a really great place for modernism!
RC: Did any part of your childhood, growing up, influence your design ideas?
D: My childhood definitely affected the way I think about design. My parents were constantly renovating homes, so I was always part of, or at least listening to design decisions about layout, materials, finishes, etc. My mom is also an artist whose personal style is modern and abstract art, so she really influenced my appreciation for simplicity and form.
RC: What is your favorite room in the home?
D: My favorite rooms are either the kitchen or the ensuite. The kitchen turned out exactly how we envisioned it, and is a wonderful hang-out and entertaining space. We’re really happy with the white, grey and charcoal color palette, and minimal handle-less cabinetry, including a hidden pantry that looks like a cabinet. The island with seating on both sides is also really practical and a good alternative to a breakfast nook. The ensuite is wonderful because it gets flooded with natural light from the west facing windows and feels like an at-home spa. We really love how the charcoal, low gloss floor tiles add drama, while the over-sized calacatta wall tiles maintain a feeling of luxury.
RC: You speak eloquently about the use of colors, textures, and materials. What are your favorite types?
D: My favorite material is probably exposed concrete.
RC: And what design trends can you forecast for next season?
D: I think next season will feature more textures in decorating – we’re already seeing it with cable knit rugs and floor cushions, sheepskin pillows, and continuing use of weathered wood. I also think we’ll also see thinner countertops, colored kitchens (rather than predominantly wood or white ones) and great accent lighting as LEDs become more and more affordable and popular.
RC: What are your favorite interior design trend right now?
D: I love that integrated appliances are continuing to become more popular, especially as people pack more and more appliances into their kitchens. I’m also still enjoying the geometric tile patterns trend. When it comes to decoriting, my favorite trends right now are the textured textiles – cable knit wool, sheepskin, boucle. It’s nice to use textures to add warmth to modern living spaces.
RC: Is there anyone who inspires your interior design style?
D: The iconic mid-Century furniture greats – Wegner, Eames, Bertoia, and current design leaders like Tom Dixon, Omer Arbel, among others. I also follow a number of great designers on social media. Some of my favorites are Calgary based BBloc and Vancouver’s Falken Reynolds.
RC: I see why you chose the Wishbone Chair reproduction from Rove Concepts to grace your home. Do you have any other favorite pieces from Rove Concepts?
D: Womb Chair + Ottoman reproduction. I’m hoping to add the Womb chair to our home in the near future!
RC: And if you could design your ultimate dream home, what would it look like?
D: My dream home would be perched on a hill surrounded by green space and expansive views. It would feature soring ceilings in the main living spaces, and a wall of windows to bring the outdoors in. I would love to feature exposed concrete, and natural wood tones throughout.
RC: Sounds a little similar to a project you’ve already done..! Thanks for sharing your time and insight with us today, Danuta. Congratulations on winning the January #MYROVE photo submission contest! We hope this short interview will inspire our new customers to share a dose of inspiration from their lives, too.
Get the look! Wegner-inspired Wishbone Chairs
Be sure to submit your photo to #MYROVE for a chance to win $250 shopping credit to Rove Concepts!