Pro Spotlight: To Make the Most of Your Home, Design for the Long Term
A Calgary designer shows how to take an interior-architecture approach to your renovation

“Creating a beautiful space involves more than creative flair. There must be a design strategy with a goal for long-term sustainability.”

More often than not, the catalyst for hiring a designer is that homeowners have aesthetic design goals but don’t know how to execute them. Specializing in interior architecture, renovations and new builds, designer Jacqui Loucks of Calgary takes design one step further.

“I honed my career around construction and large projects, and was always analyzing how to create better efficiencies and refresh tired spaces,” says Loucks, who owns Jacqui Loucks Interior Concepts. “I apply principles of architecture and construction to interior design to create personal sanctuaries.”

Defining parameters. Understanding the way you live and any limitations of the space is a top priority when determining the scope of your renovation and design, Loucks says. “It’s often about problem-solving and seeing the benefits of a better use of space. Solutions can include creating layers of interest using texture, scale and proportion for the right balance within spaces.”

Identify your strategy. Good design looks nice, but a great design strategy is more than aesthetic, Loucks says. “It’s serene, comforting and energizing, but most of all, it’s timeless. When you design for sustainability and longevity, you don’t have to renovate or remodel every couple of years when trends change.”

Interested in taking a fresh look at your design? Follow Loucks’ tips below for some interior-architecture inspiration.

1. Warm Up Contemporary Design

Clean lines and minimal detailing are the hallmarks of contemporary design. But when details are sparse, a space can look barren or cold if the design isn’t fully developed.

Clients in Scenic Acres had been dreaming about transforming their traditional, dated home for years. “With their love of entertaining in mind, we engaged in a whole-home renovation that included removing several walls, relocating and redesigning the staircases, and straightening the curved windows,” Loucks says. “To keep the space from feeling cavernous and cold, we used a matte dark stain on the new hardwood, plush fabrics, a matte finish on moldings, and a dark fill on the windows to complement the floors.”

2. Look for Hidden Kitchen Storage

Using every available square inch of space in your kitchen — particularly concealed storage in overlooked areas — will help make the most of your kitchen renovation, Loucks says. This home in Britannia is in a gated community with strict architectural controls. “We didn’t have the option of adding square footage to the footprint of the existing house, so we redesigned the kitchen and layout by opening the space to the living room,” she says.

“We used toe kicks at the base of lower cabinets for additional storage for cookie sheets and large serving platters, and installed appliances with integrated millwork fronts,” Loucks adds. “We also gave them a raised island for a visual break as well as a beautiful central space for socializing.”

3. Show Off Your Ceilings

Realizing the potential of often-overlooked surfaces by adding textured finishes or millwork can mean uncovering beautiful design features, Loucks says. For the same clients in Britannia, she took down interior walls, resulting in a more open plan. “To create definition in the new open space, we installed coffered ceilings in the dining room and added a layer of visual texture with wallpaper,” she says. “We were particularly conscious of the kind of lighting we would use to draw the eye up, so we installed two chandeliers in addition to task lighting.”

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