With tonight officially marking the season finale of HGTV Canada’s show Home To Win, Real Style caught up with Toronto-based interior designer Tiffany Pratt and contractor Sebastian Clovis. As a dynamic design duo who has joined forces for the show, Pratt and Clovis manage to merge a love of colour with sensible minimalism. Here’s what these two Canadian design gurus had to share about the show, their favourite trends in interior design and their dream homes.
Real Style: What can you tell us about your show Home To Win?
Sebastian: We’ve put together a fantastic lineup of some of HGTV’s finest builders and designers. We’ve paired off into groups, contractor and designer. We’ve gone into this home which was very basic. It was a 3,000 square foot home.
Tiffany: It was basically butter yellow, and no excitement. No bells, no whistles, total builder’s grave boring.
Sebastian: Rather than building a brand new house, we’re doing a true renovation thing. We’re taking this house and we’re just designing it. We’re re-styling it. We’re not building anything brand new, but we’re adding on to it and we’re making something very basic become something very special.
Tiffany: We’re reimagining this country home into a modern getaway dream home that anybody of any style or age will find desirable. As far as what’s happening on Home To Win, not only are there 20 HGTV stars, but there is lots of room for us to be. The acreage around this property, the views, the potential of what is happening there, is worth winning this home for.
Sebastian: It has universal appeal. It’s a country home, but we’ve got a modern rustic feel to it.
Real Style: What were some of the biggest design challenges of working with a large team of 20 builders and designers?
Tiffany: Everyone has to sort of agree. This is the vision and we all have to stick to it, within our own design, styling and contracting parameters. Obviously the home needs to look like one full masterpiece, not a whole bunch of little compositions. We all had to agree on a common look and then grow.
Sebastian: That was the problem; it was putting this look of 20 different people into one place and finding that cohesive look. But what came out of it was a house that is cohesive, but every designer wants to put their own stamp on it. It’s really interesting how people have drawn inspiration from other people’s rooms, and continued building in the same vein, but with new twists.
Tiffany: A perfect example would be, I think I was the first person to put colour in this house. I had to keep within the scheme of the rest of the home, but still add punches of colour, where it was still my design. I think we all had to work that same philosophy in each of our spaces, not only with the design, but the way the space was laid out. Each contractor was really trying to put their own special spin on what was possible in each room, based on the framing.
Sebastian: What you come out with is a very eclectic mix of rooms that have very individual feels, but work together as a whole.
Real Style: Sebastian, do you have any tips for keeping your home renovation to a budget?
Sebastian: I guess the very first thing is to make sure that you have a budget. You want to make sure that you have everything that you want to have done; you have all of your materials laid out, you have your permits laid out and all of your costs laid out on a spreadsheet before you go into it. Of course, you have your contingency. If you don’t have that plan to begin with, things could just skyrocket really fast. When you get into a build, you start going into the design stores to pick up your different elements; your eyes can get big really quickly.
Real Style: Tiffany, you’re known for combining elements of fashion and interior design into your projects? In your opinion, how do fashion and design intersect?
Tiffany: I think everything in life is formed, and if it’s a room or if it’s a body, it’s really just the same thing. We’re all just walking canvases for opportunity. As far as a room is concerned, and I was saying earlier today, I started my career in fashion. Eventually, I started working on a home in Connecticut and began to fall in love with furniture over fashion. The lines of a sofa can represent certain lines that are in some fashion collections. If you really dig deep, each season you can see how each industry inspires the other.
Real Style: Are there any décor colour schemes for Summer 2016 which you personally love?
Tiffany: Right now, the palettes are really watercolour-y, really blown out, tons of white, lots of nature and organic. We’re still dealing with eclectic, everyone is still loving mixing old and new. We’re mixing fresh with something a bit dated. I am a huge proponent of juxtaposition in interiors, and it’s still going strong.
Real Style: What are your favourite interior design trends for 2016?
Sebastian: Matte black is certainly new. Batman did it first on the Batmobile, and then people started painting their cars because they wanted to be Batman! That’s kind of coming into the house too, anything that’s kind of metal is getting a matte look now…Are bidets coming back?
Tiffany: They are. It’s European, it’s fancy. I know this may be a Tiffany thing, versus a trend thing, but wallpaper! Wallpaper, decals, things in your home that are built-in looking sculptures. People want their homes now to look like art exhibits, like you would walk into a gallery and see.
Sebastian: People are now layering all kinds of different things together. Eighteenth century, 19th century, rustic, modern. Three dimensional printed pieces, very high end technological pieces, but mixed with local artisan stuff.
Real Style: How can homeowners transform a small space into a luxurious home?
Tiffany: The first thing I think of, designing a space, is when you’re dealing with a small space, you have to think of how your family or yourself live, then store around it. Think high, don’t think wide. As high as you can get your shelf, as tall as you can go, and as much stuff as you can put in any one space, give yourself ample storage that looks beautiful and uniform.
Real Style: Describe your personal dream home!
Sebastian: I’m a minimalist. I like things to look very clean, I like clean lines. I like everything to be tidy and have space. I’m a nature lover, I want at any given time to be able to bring lots of plants into my house, have lots of light flooding in, have lots of natural elements. Reclaimed lumbers, actual live edge slab tables. I do love technology, but I want the TV to be hidden away a little, I want the speakers to be up on the ceiling.
Tiffany: I’ve got my dream eye on a little beach house that is painted pink, somewhere in California. I want it right on the ocean and I need an epic garden. My indoor and outdoor space kind of co-exists. I need to have fresh breeze; I need to smell the salt air. I love high ceilings. I generally start with an all-white palette, my interior space would be mixed with old and new, so modern and antique pieces. I would probably give myself a meditation room, yoga room and an art studio off the back, where I could be painting and creating.
Photos: HGTV Canada