DESIGNING A KITCHEN WITH A CLEAR STATE OF MIND
Amanda Brady, architectural technologist and owner of Clear Space Design Co. in Saskatchewan, Canada is no stranger to transforming a house into a home. As the designer of hundreds of award-winning custom homes, Brady and her team take a holistic approach to curating any space. Their goal is to “design a home you never want to take a vacation from.” Brady sat down with VIGO to discuss her love of all things design and her approach to building a home from the inside out.
1. Let’s start at the beginning: where did your love for homes and interiors come from?
I always say I was just born with it. My earliest memories are of dollhouses and Barbie houses, followed by drawing furniture pieces and kitchens as a school-aged girl. Growing up, my parents were always working on our home and allowed me the freedom to explore my own creative ideas in my bedroom space. There was no question after high school what education I was going to pursue.
2. Your firm does both renovations as well as new construction from the ground-up. What about renovations specifically draws you in?
While new construction is exciting and dynamic in it's own right, my heart always pulls towards a good renovation. I love the challenge of seeing a space differently than the people who occupy the space. I dig in to how they live day to day and come up with functional, beautiful spaces that are a true reflection of them. The added challenge with renovations is always present because you're always working within some sort of "box". Sometimes there's structure, or plumbing, or electrical in the way that's not possible to move (or the homeowners don't want the expense of moving it) and we have to get creative on how we deal with those things and still create a knockout design.
3. A kitchen can be one of the most important rooms in a home. What fixture or item do you tend to design the kitchen around?
Honestly, it's different for every client. Some clients are big on entertaining and want lots of seating space right inside the kitchen. Some are big on having everything really clean looking and tucked away. During the initial conversations with clients, we ask the questions to give us our priority items and design from there.
4. You recently featured the VIGO Edison in your Oddie Street renovation. The clients for this project wanted an open and airy environment, but their old situation was a bit outdated and cramped. How did you combat this?
Easy, we just took out all of the walls! [laughs] In seriousness, we expanded the footprint of the space to make it physically bigger. Lightening up the materials and paint colors, without going too stark, was also a huge part in this. We were able to introduce some lighter, brighter finishes but still working in her naturally warm aesthetic.
5. What drew you to select the VIGO Edison in a matte black finish for this kitchen renovation?
The client chose the particular faucet for this project. In past projects, we have spec'd VIGO faucets for their look and feel. They are a great price point, and look fantastic.
6. The VIGO Edison has a dark finish; why does it work so well in this bright, white kitchen?
The spaces around the kitchen are all anchored with deep tones, as well as the hardwood floor. We opted for a matte black hardware on the cabinets, so it was an easy selection to go with the black finish on the faucet.
7. What are the three most important elements you consider when designing a new kitchen?
1. Function + Needs
2. Style Aesthetic
3. "One Day I Will Have..."...….Number 3 is something we want to pull out of every client and try our best to incorporate their dream items into the space.
8. Which design aesthetic do you tend to gravitate towards?
I love clean design with a hit of fun or whimsy thrown in. I like things that lean towards a bit of a mid-century style. I love design that balances elements of dark, light, and natural materials like stone or wood.
9. What is the most important piece of advice you would give to those looking to renovate their kitchens?
Leave yourself enough time to plan. Hire a designer - they'll save you stress and money. Go with a contractor that you get a great gut feeling about (if they're available tomorrow, chances are there's a reason for that). And lastly, always makes decisions from a place of knowledge over a place of assumption. Finding out what those seemingly "expensive" handles will actually cost you over the ones you are just going to settle on may surprise you. Always find out the cost and time implications and make your decisions confidently.
For more on Clear Space Design Co. and their designs, visit https://www.clearspacedesignco.com/
To see details on the VIGO Edison Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet visit https://www.vigoindustries.com/edison-pull-down-spray-kitchen-faucet-vg02001-2424