Q&A With Yumi Murayama
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Yumi Murayama: I discovered my passion for interior design when I renovated the home I used to live in. I enjoyed the whole interior design process – space planning, selecting materials and finishes, and making the spaces not only beautiful but also functional and practical. I discovered I could provide a great experience through my creativity. I worked for one of the top global design companies for five years and earned an expansive set of design skills. I continue to create beautiful and functional spaces for my clients.
C: How would you describe your style?
YM: Japanese and Scandinavian fusion; simple and clean lines with some pop of colours.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
YM: Travel, food, fashion magazines, street fashion, and everyday objects – inspiration is everywhere! Wherever I go, I look for something interesting and new.
C: Favorite room in the house?
YM: I love my living room. This is the space my partner and I spend most of our time together to relax and connect at the end of the day. The living room also has a spectacular view of the Northshore mountains and Stanley Park.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
YM: Design rules are just basic guidelines because each project is so unique and different. I feel it’s okay not to follow every single rule. Of course, I always consider visual balance and function to make sure the spaces work for my clients’ lifestyles and needs.
C: Recent project that inspired you?
YM: I recently renovated a two-bedroom condo in downtown Vancouver. The main focus was to open up the kitchen to the common areas (the living & dining areas) and update the overall look. My favourite part of the design process was the kitchen design because it dramatically improved not only the look but also the function and storage solutions. The bright blue patterned backsplash made the kitchen unique and interesting. I believe Vancouver needs more bright colours and textures that reflect the homeowners’ personalities.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
YM: I love so many different shades of colors, textures, and patterns, and it’s hard to choose a specific one. I am always drawn to blue and fuschia. In terms of pattern, I use many geometric and abstract patterns for accent cushions and wall art. I like wool texture because it creates warmth and it feels great to the touch.
C: What is “good design” to you?
YM: Great design accommodates homeowners’ lifestyles and needs. My focus is to deliver WOW interior design with functionality.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
YM: Kelly Wearstler’s Malibu home. I admire her maximalism design and creativity.
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
YM: I want my guests to feel comfortable. A great seating area is a must. Great food and wines are also important.
C: Best advice for DIYers?
YM: Make sure to have the right tools and basic knowledge. It’s better to understand your limits because it might be more than you are capable of.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
YM: Ask yourself which designer’s style really speaks to you. I would recommend getting to know the designer on a personal level to see who is the right designer you feel really comfortable with.
C: What is one design trend you are most excited about this season?
YM: I am very excited to see more maximalism, including bright colors, and the layering of textures and patterns. I want to try a colorful, patterned wallpaper with different shades of colors in the same space. I believe that as long as each color complements each other, they all work together. Also, modern and traditional furniture can meet in one space to create maximalist look.
C: How do you take your coffee?
YM: I have to have coffee in the morning otherwise, my day doesn’t start. I prefer to have strong coffee with a little bit of milk.