No need to dig too deep to discover where Amanda Powell’s passion for décor and talent for floral design stems from. As the daughter of Grace Powell, a highly-respected florist, and landscape specialist Steve Powell, Amanda was surrounded by plants and flowers from a young age. As a teenager, she often helped her mother decorate for weddings and had always hoped that Grace would incorporate more décor services within her work.
With aspirations of a career in design, Amanda studied architecture at Carleton University. The timing of her graduation seemed to coincide with engagements and weddings amongst her peers, who naturally turned to Grace and Amanda for creative help as they planned their special day. This ultimately led them back into the wedding industry, but this time around, décor became an integral part of the business now known as The Gathering Event Company.
Today they are highly regarded as an award-winning wedding and event décor firm. The mother and daughter duo work together, but Amanda’s office is within the home that she shares with her husband Paul Sanderson and their two children Annabelle, 7 and Rowan, 4.
Paul, a wedding photographer, and Amanda built their “dream home” on a large property in Carp that offered them plenty of space for both work and family living. Amanda was able to put her education to work for the project. “I used my architecture degree and skills as Paul and I designed our home together," states Amanda. “We wanted a space that is open to our family room, and focused around family time, yet one that can be functional for business and meetings.”
The home office is directly adjacent to the front entrance, and while it is open to the adjacent kitchen and family room space, it closes off for privacy with the ease of impressive barn doors that simply roll back and forth as required. That can mean a quiet work rendezvous for Amanda and Paul.
“Paul and I have our work dates, side by side. We feel connected and love that we both have our creative businesses and can grow them side by side,” offers Amanda. They also enjoy shutting the office doors to focus on family time. Over time, the pair has found a good home/work balance. “It took me a little time to figure out a balance between the two. This space and our home have been so wonderful for us,” admits Amanda.
The nature of their businesses has helped to create that symmetry. From the type of work they do, to their home décor, it is evident in their combined office space that it’s a place where wedding planning meets photography and masculinity combines with femininity.
A large kitchen dominates the main floor to create a welcoming atmosphere throughout. A combination of traditional and urban elements merges in a unified space that showcases Amanda’s talent for stylish warmth and hospitality. Open shelving, an oversized island, snack and beverage stations all come together to foster a feeling of the good times to be had at home.
Comfortable furnishings in the family room round the connecting space off, so that work, play and family living blend together in the most wonderful, harmonious way. None of the functional elements clash with the effortless style that seems to be a strong feature for the hardworking, yet graceful Amanda.