Vancouver Designer Ami McKay Wins Best of Houzz for a Second Time

Besting over 500,000 competitors, Ami McKay of Pure wins "Customer Satisfaction" award for the second year running

Credit: Janis Nicolay

Amy McKay of Pure “humbled” and “pleasantly surprised”

If winning a Best of Houzz award makes the industry take notice, what happens when a designer wins it twice?

The online design platform Houzz has just crowned Vancouver Interior Designer Ami McKay of Pure “Best of Houzz” 2015 for Customer Satisfaction — for the second year in a row — and no doubt the 500,000 other industry professionals she was competing against are dying to know her secret.

“What I won isn’t why it’s so important to me. It’s my connection with my clients,” says the designer, who started a Houzz account for the first time two years ago before winning later that year. 

According to McKay, other designers had more reviews, but the 25-million strong community chose her for her quality of reviews. “So I’m really honoured.”

For McKay, meeting a new design client is almost like dating.

“You get to know them and you really get to know who they are,” she said. “And what matters most to me is giving them a home that’s perfect and personalized to who they are.”

And like any good date, McKay has mastered the art of being a good listener. 

“I interview my clients and I write down every word they say and I find things that relate to who they are and what they want.”

Whoever the client is, McKay says she works to reflect that in their space, an intuitive talent that borders on the telepathic.  

“This woman lost her husband … and she had a print of this huge tree – around it had a rickety farm fence, an open field,” explains McKay. In the makeover for this client, she had kept the print amongst all her other artworks to be a part of the final design.

“She saw it and she started crying. She said that’s the tree they kissed under.”

Click through to see how designer Ami McKay of Pure won over more than 25,000 million discriminating Houzzers. 

Credit: Janis Nicolay

“Ordinary house” to “beautiful dream home”

“We loved the fact that Pure handled both the design and contracting, which gave us peace of mind and made it effortless for us. They are a one-stop shop. We completely trusted them to create a sophisticated and comfortable home for us, and they came through with flying colours. They successfully took our ordinary house and transformed it into a beautiful dream home for our family to enjoy for years to come.”

— fraserprospect of Houzz

Credit: Janis Nicolay


“WOW are the words uttered by everyone that visits us in our beautiful new home. Ami spent the time getting to know my husband and I so she was able to capture and design a home that incorporated our very different personalities and tastes.”

— hellohana of Houzz

Credit: Janis Nicolay

“Put sparkle into our home”

“Ami put sparkle into our home and helped us create spaces that stopped us in our tracks. When we gave her our budgets she worked within them. Her experience was obvious to us when she managed to organize the ideas in our dream book and make it a reality.”

— frenchfries of Houzz

Credit: Janis Nicolay

“It was truly a partnership”

“Ami and her team listened to and incorporated many of our ideas/desires into the design, and they also made a number of excellent suggestions that made clever use of the existing space. Together (because it was truly a partnership), we have created an open, bright, contemporary, colourful space that is a wonderful antidote to the rain/grey skies that are typical of a North Vancouver winter. No matter where you are on the main floor, there is something interesting and/or beautiful to look at – beautiful woodwork, interesting tiles, or colorful accents. I’m particularly happy with the kitchen, which any dedicated cook would envy!”

— Aeamratlal of Houzz

Credit: Janis Nicolay

“The style matches the existing house and our taste”

“We loved Ami’s service. She was professional and cheerful to work with. She found very practical solutions for our quick renovation in time for the arrival of a new [family] member. Most importantly, the style matches the existing house and our taste.”

—  liu_joan of Houzz