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Designer Spotlight: Winnipeg’s Design Shop pushes traditional interior design boundaries

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Design Shop was founded by Debbie Golub and Amanda Minuk in 2013 and has been thriving in the Winnipeg interior design scene ever since. The boutique design firm pushes traditional interior design boundaries, focusing on Avant-Garde design in both residential and commercial settings.

We recently connected with Debbie to talk about her collaborative and passionate team and how they work hard to infuse their clients’ stories into each of their projects.

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What does a typical day look like for you at your design firm?

Most days generally begins with a touch base with the team to review everyone’s schedules and our project critical paths. We’re incredibly collaborative on all of our projects, with a minimum of two designers working on one design at a time. All creative thinking, strategic planning and design development are done as a collective to ensure we are always thinking big and provide superior quality control. Part of my day includes meeting with each designer independently and reviewing project work and next steps. I also oversee the majority of the on-site design management with the design I partner on, helping to move projects along and troubleshoot any issues with contractors, clients, site conditions, lead times and any needs other our design team members may need.

Where do you find design inspiration for your projects?

Travel is generally a huge inspiration (among other things) for us but given the challenges of the last 15+ months and not being able to travel, we’ve deepened our inspiration in the concept of everyday living and human behaviour. We’ve been challenged even more recently to motivate clients not to just look at design as an aesthetic application but beyond that into the purpose of the space and its connection to the mind and functionality.

We apply ourselves to the concept and strategy of a project to get a feel for the purpose and vision that the client has. For example, if we’re taking on a commercial project for a yoga studio, our team will participate in yoga classes in our community, research direct and indirect precedence, study the history on the evolution of the practice, look to trends and so on. We take back our experiences and bring them together to create a design tailored to the client’s wants, needs, business plan and budget.

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What do you find is the most significant request from clients when it comes to project planning?

Because of the pandemic, priorities have been shifting. Our residential clients are looking for new ways to breathe life into their homes, including multifunctional spaces and rethinking how their home serves them. Home is no longer just a place where we eat, sleep, entertain but its where we’re now spending extended periods of time, doing different activities (work, zoom dance, etc) and interacting so spaces must reflect the people living in them and function to serve them in the best way. We’ve been encouraging our clients to embrace who they truly are and their personalities to find ways to inject that into their homes. I always tell clients that the design should reflect their individual and unique styles and ways of place making. Echoing something they’ve seen in an Instagram post doesn’t truly reflect their personal story.

You’ve worked with Cosentino products in the past. Tell us what your experience has been working with the Winnipeg showroom.

Our team is always so impressed with the Cosentino Winnipeg showroom and the experience the staff there provides. It’s a great support tool for design buy in, as it allows us to bring clients in to view large slabs and various applications to give them a better idea of how things may come together for their project. The showroom space is very inspiring and allows clients to feel both excited and more involved in the design process of their space.

What is your favourite Cosentino product to specify and why?

I personally love Cosentino’s ultra-compact Dekton surfaces. The brand is unbelievably versatile and offers several colours and textures that are really distinct. They have fashion-forward colour options, which is precisely what we’re looking to achieve with a lot of our projects. I think that countertops should always be the statement piece of a space versus just your standard slab.

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Can you share an example of a project where you’ve used a Cosentino product and why it was a great fit for the space?

We use Cosentino surfaces for a lot of the show homes for Dynasty Homes that we work on. It is always good to showcase your favourite materials in these builds, and using product that would appeal to a large audience. This is obviously advantageous for a home builders company’s sales and community buy in!

For more information on Design Shop, visit their website or follow them on Instagram.

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