Kendall Ansell

We caught up with Vancouver interior designer Kendall Ansell to get tips on how to refresh your home for spring without breaking the bank...


BCL: What's one of the biggest decor trends for 2017?
KA: I find that people want to know the story of the maker behind their products. People are investing behind the story more than ever before. We’re seeing the Vancouver Candle Company everywhere and I’m seeing a big comeback as well with the Hudson Bay blankets.
Also, the Eastside Culture Crawl is so heavily attended, and that has all the local furniture guys selling their furniture products. What’s really cool is that you can actually go in and talk to the person before you buy the piece, instead of not understanding anything about where it comes from. I think that more than anything is becoming a trend—people are realizing that their DIY project isn’t working out in their favour!

BCL: What are your top places for finding home decor inspo?
KA: Pinterest and Houzz are usually the two top ones. I also find that just Googling a few key words can bring up some inspirational pictures. I think that people need to realize that if they’re looking for ideas, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of a room, it can be just a piece of art that they really gravitate to. There’s a lot of key ingredients to good design in everyday art.

BCL: Do you have any recommendations for incorporating Pantone’s Color of the Year, greenery, into the home without completely redesigning your colour scheme?
KA: For sure. I think this particular colour is definitely more of an accent colour. I don’t predict people will be buying sofas and chairs in it but will be adding it as an accent colour in glassware, candles, pillows or throw blankets.

BCL: Other than greenery, what are some other trending colours this season?
KA: We’re seeing a lot of really deep navy blues. This is totally up my alley because it’s my favourite colour of all time! People are saying that navy is the new black, and I think that’s a reflection of people looking for things to not be so cold and harsh; they’re looking for things to warm up a bit and I think blue does that beautifully. I also love the idea of using the deep blues as a neutral.

Kendall AnsellKendall Ansell

BCL: Is the navy blue trend something that you see every year or is it specific to this year?
KA: I saw it creep up about four years ago when dark blue and gold was popular, so we’ve seen a glimpse of it. I think it has always kind of been there but is now something that people are starting to talk about and commit more money to in their kitchens, bathrooms, and upholstery pieces.

BCL: So velvet is also very popular in home decor this season. What are some tips for incorporating it in the home?
KA: So I have a small baby… and velvet’s definitely not a good choice for a family who has little sticky fingers, but I feel like it’s a really cozy choice for people who maybe have a condo that’s very grey or white. Adding velvet in chairs or decor pieces brings a little cozy factor to the home, and again, I think that’s what people are looking for with the trends this year. People want to feel a little more cozy and secure.
What I love about velvet is that it pairs really nicely with lots of different linens. I wouldn’t invest in pillows per se—I’ve seen some very expensive pillows, like $500 a piece in hand-dyed velvet satin, and I think that’s too much of a commitment—but I really like the idea of doing some more inexpensive velvet pillows just to be on trend. I would also caution people to invest in more neutral fabrics.

velvet pillowPottery Barn

BCL: Are there any retailers that specialize in velvet that you'd recommend?
KA: Suquet Interiors has some really beautiful velvet pieces at their south Granville location. They’ve got pillows to choose from and a chair that’s in a crushed grey velvet that’s really fun. Pottery Barn also typically uses a lot of velvet in their regular stuff.