Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chatting with Glen & Jamie from the GTA Home & Reno Show

Move-in dates have come and gone for many of our purchasers and renters. It's so exciting to see Aura come to life with all of the people living in the building! Putting together a new home, though, can be difficult. Making a space feel like home is always a work in progress and we wanted to share some tips from the pros for decorating a brand new space. 

We spoke with Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander, one of Toronto's foremost interior design teams, about decorating and designing for small spaces. They will be at the GTA Home & Reno Show this weekend and we're giving away 3 pairs of tickets on Twitter! Here's what they had to say.

Aura: Do you work predominantly in Toronto? How do you find people from Toronto differ from clientele from outside of the city/in the suburbs?
Glen & Jamie: We travel internationally and do lots of work throughout North America. We certainly work in Toronto as we have our office and studio there. People are generally the same in our out of the city limits however the constraints of space are felt much less acutely in the suburbs. The things that clients like are as varied as the clients are. Clients in the downtown tend to be smaller families with two working parents and occasionally domestic help where as families are generally larger and the design needs to consider the extended family as well.

Aura: What are some of your go-to design/furniture stores in Toronto?
G&J: We have two retail stores as well as the firm so they tend to be our favourites. Otherwise we generally work with manufactures and wholesale suppliers when we require product for our clients. We often customize the furniture so that it suits the home, the clients and their life style perfectly. We do however like Klaus, Montauk, Design Within Reach, Weavers Art, Casalife, and Elte if we were forced to head out into the big ol world

Aura: What do you enjoy about designing a small space?
G&J: Small spaces are about economy of scale and insuring that every square inch is well used. You also want to give the user the experience of something larger. Combining the elements of grandeur with a small space is a fun challenge which often requires creative thinking and making good use of your resources.

Aura: What are the biggest challenges?
G&J: The most challenging aspect of design is dealing with people’s budget vs. what their expectations for the space are. In commercial projects the choices are usually predicated on finance where as residential clients are a combination of emotion, expectations, and finance. Anything is possible with enough time and money. We often argue that the best way forward is to set a realistic budget and allow design professionals to let you know how best to allocate those funds.

Aura: What is your best advice for people looking to add a personal touch to a condo suite?
G&: Art and accessories can be a great way to individuate your space and tell the people coming to your space about you. Sofas, coffee tables, and chairs are often common to most spaces but the selection of accessories and art is often a very personal choice based on the emotions it evokes.

Aura: How do you bring your own style to each client you work with? How do you incorporate their styles into your work?
G&J: The important element in a client space is their style. Our job is to curate and execute the client’s style and that should be the aim of every design professional. There are rules that have to be followed and sometimes what clients hope to get out of a room simply isn’t possible without altering the room’s dimensions. We work with the client to be able to determine their style by having them go through many images and discussions about what does and doesn’t appeal to them. If you look at our body of work it’s hard to find two projects that are really similar. We strive simply for good design.

Aura: What is your favourite room to work on?
G&J: Great rooms that are connected to the kitchen are fun to play with as there are many elements associated with the kitchen and that tends to be the area that is the heart of the home. It is an area that brings a great deal of joy to the entire family.

Aura: How will people be able to catch up with you at the GTA Home & Reno show?
G&J: Check the website at for details of everyone at the show.

We are on the Main Stage Saturday at noon and Sunday at 2 and will also be at the Reno and Decor booth both days helping people with Design Dilemma’s along with many other talented designers. Check on line for times and design professionals to help you with your design dilemma’s!