Like most careers that embrace talent, the forming of Irene Langlois Interiors started ten years ago as a passion and evolved into a successful business.
With a degree in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa, Irene Langlois enrolled in the Interior Design program at Algonquin College and combined her talents to find the success and career she was looking for.
Describe your personal style. I would describe my personal style as "New Traditional." I like classic pieces rendered in a neutral, natural manner with a little sparkle of crystal or mirror thrown in. Renovating and decorating can be an expensive process, so it is critical to invest in good quality neutral pieces. For example, my cream-coloured living room sofa is almost 20 years old. Over the years the wall colour, accent cushions and accessories have changed, but that cream sofa works in every scenario.
Describe your professional style. It's hard to say what my professional style is. As a designer, I feel that it is critical that a finished project is a reflection of my client, not me. Most people have a very good idea of what they like and what they want their space to reflect. My role is to make their vision a reality. In the end, it really is a team effort.
What are your favourite types of projects? My work is primarily residential design and I have a particular fondness for older homes. They offer so much, not just in terms of character, but challenges too. So often, these design challenges turn out to be stunning design elements. You never know.
What do you see as upcoming trends in the design world? Diversity! At the Design Show in Toronto in January, it was amazing to see the wide range of products and styles out there -- from a giraffe patterned glass tile to a wonderful slate veneer. But I really noticed a lot of re-claimed wood. It's being used for everything from flooring to furniture. This is clearly a reflection of the eco-friendly, natural feel that people want in their homes.
How do you implement trends in your own home? That's an easy one -- paint! A new paint colour is the fastest, easiest way to introduce a new trend and drastically change a space. After that, changing little things like accent cushions and the odd accessory will keep any space looking current.
Where do you get your inspiration? That's a tough one, simply because it comes from everywhere. I always keep an eye on the latest trends, but I also keep the focus firmly planted in the longevity and practicality of any design. If you follow trends too closely, you are guaranteeing that your space will look dated in a few short years.
What are you favourite home decor stores?
You can't beat Home Sense for mirrors and accent pillows. Stores like Restoration Hardware and West Elm have great websites, and in most cases, ship to Canada. I enjoy browsing through consignment stores and flea markets. You never know what treasures you will find! Irene Langlois, Irene Langlois Interiors, 613-599-3393