At Floor Coverings International Ottawa East, we love to bring you creative insight and perspectives from successful design bloggers across the globe. Our latest interview features Ontario-based interior designer Saree Parry of Decorating Den. You can follow Saree on Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Ottawa and studied at McGill where I earned a BA. I also lived in Montreal and worked in sales and marketing. I worked for Cirque du Soleil in a division where they brainstormed and worked on various and partnerships. I earned an MBA at Western in London then worked on Bay Street before moving back to Ottawa for love. I met my husband online and have two adult step-children and a 16-year-old cat named Berni. To sum up, I’ve lived in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City for a summer, London, Ontario, and Toronto. My favourite cities are Toronto, Paris and San Francisco.
I’m finally doing what I’d been searching for for many years. I knew I wanted to work in a creative environment while making a positive contribution to society. Today, I do that by helping people decorate their homes – a beautifully decorated space, one in which there is a place for everything creating harmony. I help create calming spaces for my clients, interiors that restore energy and make them feel good.
I enjoy gardening, running (I’ve run four marathons in three different countries), and traveling within North America and abroad. I’ve been to Europe, Africa, India, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. I’m a Rotarian and sit on the board of Sonshine Families, which runs a respite camp for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. I’m also active in my high school alumni association (executive on the Ashbury alumni committee) and active in the Ivey Alumni Network (board member of the Ottawa chapter).
I love photography and have been taking pictures since childhood when I mostly took photos of my stuffed animals, my cat and neighbourhood cats. When I was about 12 I discovered black and white photography. I took a lot of land and cityscapes of Ottawa. I also took natural shots of my friends while in high school. I have a knack for making people feel at ease in front of the camera. People find it easy to talk to me and relax. It’s only as I’ve grown older that I’ve come to appreciate this ability as a gift. I began posting some of my pictures on Instagram. I don’t use it to promote my business because it’s really all about the things I like as a person. It’s not a vehicle to grow my business (such as Facebook, where I have a business page, and Houzz) but rather a space to share and connect with others with similar sensibilities. I invite you to check out my Instagram photos. You’ll find me under saree.parry.
I have owned my business for three years and have a diploma in Interior Decorating from QC Design School. October 1 is my three-year anniversary.
Feel free to visit my website for more info: www.saree.decoratingden.com
How would you describe your design style?
My design style is really that of my clients because I design according to their tastes and lifestyle. I’ve created traditional spaces, contemporary spaces, cottage-chic and everything in between. I’m not afraid of colour and help my clients make colour decisions that they’ve always wanted but were afraid to make on their own. I particularly enjoy doing colour consultations and have developed a unique approach, which people seem to like.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
My inspiration comes directly from my clients. I get to know them well in order to understand what style they’re aiming for. When clients tell me that they love what I’ve done, I tell them that it’s really themselves they have to thank because in reality they’ve guided me. I’ve just helped to articulate and materialize their vision.
Tell us about a recent project you’re proud of.
I’m quite pleased with my most recent project, which is scheduled for completion at the end of the month. My clients and I are redecorating their great room. The job consists of new furniture, accessories, window treatments, and a new closet door. It’s a complete update and room makeover which introduces new colour, new patterns, and new finishes. I don’t yet have photos since the job hasn’t been completed but it will be transformative. I’ve attached concept photos. We started in June. It takes eight to ten days to complete a project when custom furniture is being used.
This project is similar to another project where I updated my Client’s space by redesigning her front entrance. See below for photos from that project.