One on One with ASK Steph

Stephanie Redmond, or “ASK Steph” began her residential design career in 1999 following a BA in Art History from McGill University in Montreal and studies at The International Academy of Design in Toronto. Her aesthetic is ‘natural contemporary’, blending organic materials with sleek, clean edge design. With 15 years experience in residential design, Stephanie is comfortable in both construction boots and stilettos. Her projects include new builds and renovations in Toronto, Creemore, Georgian Bay & Kenora. She has a keen interest in the real estate market, has flipped several homes and is always working on the next project. She has two children and resides in Toronto but secretly considers her home 2 hours North in a town abutting Georgian Bay.

We recently sat down with Steph and got to know her a little bit better:

1) Why not an pilot? Were you always interested in design? 
I still have architectural plans for imaginary homes that I did when I was 10 years old. It was the 80s so they all have hot tubs, pool tables and are angular with round windows. I keep them in a file to remind myself that I am dedicated to my line of work. I’m afraid of heights so I’m not sure piloting an aircraft would have been my bag.

2) Where do you draw your inspiration from? 
I listen to my clients. Usually they have an idea of the direction they want to go. I ask for magazine clippings or Houzz accounts so I can see what they like and then I roll with it. I love the countryside and our wonderful lakes so I trend towards wood, glass and natural stones. It keeps it earthy.

3) Are you seeing any new or innovative trends in interior design?
Always! People are creative in this business and are always inventing something new. I just saw tiles that were made of petrified wood. Amazing. And lighting is something to watch evolve. With the new generation of LED bulbs, their ability to dim and the softness of the glow, we are seeing lighting designs that are not limited to bulb size. It must be liberating for the designers.

4) What mistakes do people make when decorating their home?
Doing what they think they should do instead of what they want to live with. I know white is in but if you like colour you may find this look too stark to live with. Another error is scale – Measure everything out first. Tape an outline to the ground if you need to, but measure in your space instead of guessing at the store. It is really hard to judge how something will fit in your home without a bit of due diligence.

5) Do you need to be wealthy to have fabulous décor and thoughtful interiors?
NO! There are so many wonderful & inexpensive options out there, some of them at major retailers like West Elm and CB2. Affordable and clean looking design. And no one can beat a great flea market find, it just takes time and a bit of courage too.

6) Whose home would you love to decorate/design? Why?
I would have to go with someone with a private island in the Caribbean. I love the islands and working in that environment would be a dream!