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May 10th, 2011

Why interior design?

I’m frequently asked  “why interior design?” My answer often surprises people, as there were no fancy design school or no prestigious internship for me. I simply have always enjoyed observing life and taking inspiration from it to create, whether that be a room, a piece of furniture or sculpture. For as long as I can remember I have always followed my gut instinct for what I love and have tried to maintain a respect for line and flow. I actually see myself more as a translator. I study life, people, nature, and with the inspiration I have gained from these observations, I simply translate the key elements (line, pattern texture, colour) into interior space.


By taking the time to “field study” the world around us we start to understand that good design is created by having an emotional connection or response to everything we bring into our homes. Design should always have an underlying story. This prevents our homes from becoming holding containers of “things”. That doesn’t mean we can’t embrace designers, decorators, welcoming their advice, skills and creations. It’s just that creating space needs to be more than copying a space seen in a magazine or on TV. I believe we all have a human need to see beauty, interpret it and translate it into out daily lives and the home is an extension of that.


Designs should reflect our loves and experiences (places we love, moments in time we connect with. Recently, while touring furniture-manufacturing facilities across Canada, I renewed my appreciation of the importance of how something is made. As I watch craftspeople lovingly selecting materials, interpreting them, manipulating them into pieces of furniture, I realized that these pieces are already born with a story, one that is built on core values of quality, care and a sense of pride. These are qualities I welcome in my home and delight placing into my clients.


Hunting for inspiration


Pic “Hunting for inspiration”: Take a moment to notice the world around you, Here, my fabulous wardrobe stylist Jeska Peczek and I were transfixed by some critters while filming “Inside the Box with Ty Pennington”. I take pictures of everything!




Open your eyes: Whether you are traveling far or even on a hike, look at the world around you and study how things are put together (man made and in nature), what appeals to you, what doesn’t. Make sure these values and likes are found in everything you bring into your space.


  • Posted by Carla on May 10th, 2011, 21:16
    This is awesome, real, wrote with passio and inspiring, I love it. Thanks for sharing some tips to observe the world around us, we just need to open our eyes and look closer :)
  • Posted by Howell on August 8th, 2011, 17:56
    I love your work. I have also travelled and I'm always bringing things back for my home. I can change a whole room around one item. I'm dangerous when I get bored. I look forward to more tips from you. Your friend Andrea. X
  • Janette  Ewen Posted by Janette Ewen on September 15th, 2011, 00:52
    Hi Andrea and Carla, Sorry for my late reply... I am just sorting how to respond on my blog:) THANK you both for your support and comments!!!
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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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