As an interior designer, how would you best describe your initial process when you engage a client? 

My mantra is that I believe your home should be designed to tell a story, create conversation and be an extension of yourself and what you love.

Hiring an interior designer starts with a conversation of wants and needs. As a professional, my focus is to simplify the process for my clients. A home must speak to who you are and what you love. Allowing your home to tell a story takes time to create and to make your home special. 


Let’s talk trends. Can you tell us how we can incorporate upcoming 2018 trends that are shifting the look of our interiors?

We have had a great run with the greys and the monochromatic scheme that we all love! However, things are shifting in 2018 and now we are seeing more colour. We are adding warmth with deep jewel tones, warm metals and lots of patterns. The brass is warmer, the paints are more subdued and your curtains don’t need to match your bedspread. If you have recently renovated and committed to yesterday’s greys, there is an effective solution to stay on trend: simply make sure to incorporate the latest trends with your monochromatic scheme, and if you need to throw on a new colour of paint, go for it! 


How can we add a personal touch? 

I personally love a gallery wall. It’s a great way to display memories and art you love. It can be photos of your children’s art, money from a trip abroad, art you painted or a meaningful photo that belonged to your family members. The intention is to get creative and tell a story that matters to you. Add your masterpiece to your children’s bedroom, hallway, basement, family room wall or over the sofa. 

Pick the wall and buy the frames first. Thrift shops can be great for this, and if you don’t like the colours you find, get out the spraypaint. The next step is to start digging for your artful treasures. 

I once had a client with her children’s typical old school “Sears” baby’s first portrait hanging in her entrance. She wanted to take them down because they didn’t fit the home anymore. I decided to give them new life. We had them cropped, altered the colour and reprinted. We bought new frames and they are now part of her gallery wall and they look perfect!


Tell us about how we can use colour to update the look of our homes. 

As I mentioned earlier, updating your paint colour to the latest trend will definitely make over any house, but being up with the latest trends should not be a priority. I have seen many clients be concerned about what’s on trend rather than what makes them happy. People always ask what I see for their home. That’s a tough question because I don’t live there. Interior design does not just translate into what we see but more importantly how we function and feel in a space. My job is to take what you love and make it all come together. If it does not work I will tell you but at the end of the day you have to love what you come home to. If pink is your favourite colour, then pink it is! A good interior designer will keep you on the right track and help you choose current pink tones that can all work together, in moderation. Keeping it classy is the ultimate form of sophistication. 

You can bring warmth into the home simply by introducing texture. Wallpaper is always a nice touch and can drastically change the look and feel of any space. Wallpaper has come a long way. The painstaking days of trying to remove wallpaper are gone. There are so many new products on the market that make the removal process simple. Don’t be afraid to layer patterns and different textures to give you the warmth you may feel your home is lacking. Take it a step further and change it up seasonally. 

If you are not one for colour and are a diehard neutral fan, we have the solution for you. A monochromatic colour scheme is always on trend—just remember to create depth with texture. If it’s a more sophisticated, elegant look you are trying to achieve then throw “some” shimmer in there. I emphasize the word “some” because you need to know when to stop. Less is more and too much of a good thing can easily derail your plans. The goal is for the room to come together as a whole with a few showstoppers.


Barn doors were a craze—is it true that they are sliding their way out?

Yes, it’s true. I love a beautiful barn door and they do have their purpose but it’s time to move on. But instead of throwing the concept right out the window, try something a little more personal. If you are in a situation where a sliding door with an exterior rail is your best option, then start exploring all of your options. Have a door made and possibly incorporate some type of glass inlay or head down to a flea market and browse one-of-a-kind pieces that would suit your home perfectly. Again, it’s about adding your personal touch to your home or workplace.


Plants are taking centre stage, can you share more on this?

You are seeing plants more and more in homes again and I love it! Plants are another easy way to bring warmth and life into the home or workspace. The best part is they are inexpensive and very non-committal. This makes for a very easy option for anyone who is afraid to tackle décor projects on their own. We are seeing large leafy plants with a tropical feel to them.

Don’t overthink it; just buy what you love and be sure to research your plant. What will work for your home or workplace? Do you have pets or allergies to contend with? If you don’t have a green thumb they have plenty of plants that are low maintenance. 


Good design takes time and so do contractors. How quickly can I expect to hire contractors when hiring an interior designer?

The biggest challenge when you decide to renovate or even simply redecorate is timeliness. The question I usually get asked is, how long is it going to take? When clients approach a designer, chances are they have not remodelled their home in the past 8 to 25 years and probably won’t renovate again for many more years to come. My thoughts on this: why not do it right? No doubt we are living in a much different world, we are all moving at a quicker speed and instant gratification is the norm. Most people have the mindset of I just want to “get it done.” Unfortunately I have seen so many projects that have been rushed and anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Having your trades working in each other’s space is ideal or recommended. Words of advice: Allow yourself the time and I promise you will be so grateful in the end. More importantly, if you take the time to do things properly, you won’t be living your life regretting the things you wished you had done. 


What do you wish clients would better understand about the process? 

I say this with a humbled outlook: great designers are artists and art can’t be rushed. There is a design process that cannot be rushed. Tradespeople are not machines; they are hardworking humans with no on/off switch who are always doing their best. I encourage clients to research. Speak to designers from interior design firms that appeal to your style and get an initial consultation. Once you have hired the designer of your choice, you can expect a minimum of a four- to eight-week lead time before a design concept is presented to you, depending on the scope of the project, though you may be able to find a junior designer with fewer clients and a quicker turnaround. For tradespeople, depending on the company, I would say there is a minimum four-week waiting period. Then you have to get through the renovation process. I would love to say I have the magic number of how long that will take. But just try to stay patient throughout the process—your home is worth it.


Danielle Nicholson Design is an interior design firm and furniture boutique. Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing space or looking to refresh a room, we are committed to bringing your vision to life. 

3055 Dougall Ave / Windsor, ON / N9E 1S3 / 519-564-9695 / info@daniellenicholson.design