Q&A With Danielle
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Danielle Pollock: After studying design in university, I moved to Toronto after living in the prairies my entire life. After what felt like an extensive job search, I was hired on as a designer at an amazing boutique interior design studio. The Winnipeg connection is always a strong one, and low and behold the owner of my new firm was also from Winnipeg. I gained a great deal of experience and confidence while there, and give credit to those ladies for helping me get to where I am today.
While my time in Toronto was wonderful, my partner and I decided to move back home to start our next chapter – and the start of Canvas Design Studio. Deep down, I think I always wanted to own my own business. Being your own boss is both wonderful and challenging, exciting and stressful, but overall super rewarding.
C: How would you describe your style?
DP: Homey! Fairly modern with natural elements and character woven in. I really believe our interior environments should be a direct reflection of ourselves, and thus each space unique and special in its own way.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
DP: I grew up spending my summers at the lake. It is a place where I feel so at ease and inspired. I also find a ton of inspiration from travelling, books & design magazines, and Pinterest is always a go-to for me! When tackling a new project, a good playlist is pretty key! Although I am not musically inclined whatsoever, it plays a huge role in my life. Finding a new band or artist always inspires me and having good background music really helps my creativity.
C: Favourite room in the house?
DP: In terms of a space to design, it would definitely be the kitchen. My favourite stage of the design process is space planning – It is so satisfying when you finally achieve that perfect layout that is both functional and visually pleasing. My partner and I love to cook together, and we always talk about how we would lay out our dream kitchen (a plan that will hopefully come to life in the not so distant future!) It is super interesting to hear how people use their spaces differently – do you prefer to load your dishwasher on the right or left side of your sink? Do you prefer to look out a window as you wash your vegetables, or into your living space so you can have a conversation as you cook? Everyone’s wish lists can look very different, and I like the challenge of bringing them to life.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
DP: Symmetry! There are lots of ways to make a space feel balanced without everything being centred and even. For instance, if you are installing a new linear fireplace in your TV room, consider offsetting the fireplace and TV and floating some shelves or art above. A TV above a fireplace can be tricky as it doesn’t allow for an ideal viewing height. Let your fireplace be one ‘zone’ and your TV another! Another ‘rule’ I often get asked about is if you can mix metals. I say why not! Mixing different finishes adds interest and texture, as long as you don’t go too crazy!
C: Recent project that inspired you?
DP: An old character home I am currently working on. The owner has such a great eye and the house is filled with such beautiful light. I left my initial meeting feeling so excited and inspired, and very thankful that I get to go to work every day doing something I love.
C: Favourite texture/pattern/colour?
DP: Herringbone. Such a classic pattern that can be used in so many capacities and scales. This is a pattern that I don’t think will go out of style – you see it on details of old brick homes and fireplace surrounds, and more currently in fabrics and mosaic tiles. If you’re on a tighter budget, but still want to achieve that look in your kitchen or washroom, opt for an affordable elongated subway tile laid in a herringbone pattern. Choose a matching grout for a subtle look, or a contrasting colour for more of a pop!
C: What is “good design” to you?
DP: Good design is design that reflects the client and the space. I think it is so important to hear your client and what their everyday needs are. By working together, you are able to achieve that perfect space that is both functional and beautiful. Function is the first and foremost key to good design.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
DP: Kathleen Kelly’s Brownstone in ‘You’ve Got Mail”! The bookshelves lining every inch of wall space, the tall ceilings, the giant windows – swoon!
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
DP: Good music & lighting – and yummy food!
C: Best advice for DIYers?
DP: Make a plan and do your research. Measure twice and cut once! It is so easy to get excited and jump right into a new project, but having a plan is key to a successful DIY project.
C: Best advice for hiring a pro?
DP: Get them involved early on in the process. Renovations always take longer than expected and there are sure to be some hiccups along the way. Give yourself the time you need to explore all of your options and to have a plan in place.
C: What is one design trend you are most excited about this season?
DP: A shift to warmer tones. Not to say I don’t love a bright white Chantilly Lace space, but the trend of incorporating warmer tones and natural materials really make for some cozy interiors. We are seeing a lot more wood in kitchen and washroom millwork and lots of brushed brass hardware and light fixtures that add that touch of warmth as well! One of my favourite warmer go-to paint colours lately is Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood.
C: How do you take your coffee?
DP: I actually don’t drink coffee every day, but when I do, I drink it black. The mug is just as important to me as what is inside. Lately, a cup of tea in my favourite stoneware mug, with a little bit of honey is my go-to!