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In Profile:
R-EID Studio

In Profile:

R-EID Studio

Shortlisted: for 2 categories

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024

Name: Michelle Sander

Company:R-EID Studio

Position within company: Founder/Principle Interior Designer

Tell us a little about your background in design:

I graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Interior Design [BAID] program in 2009, at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB.  Following my degree, I started as a Junior Designer, quickly progressing to a Senior Designer, at a high-end, custom residential firm in Calgary, AB.  Taking the years of expertise and the vast industry network that I built through my time there, I ventured out on my own and founded R-EID Studio in 2015.  R-EID Studio came to represent everything I wanted to change from my previous experience, from design execution to client relations.  R-EID is a true testament to curating personal environments that perfectly embody their inhabitants.

How would you describe your personal design style?

Personally, I gravitate towards the clean and intentional forms of contemporary architecture and interiors.  Through the stripping of embellishments, and the meticulous execution of the smallest details, to successfully evoke the essence of effortless design.  The careful attention to detail is a hallmark of my approach, where every nuance is considered and purposefully integrated, adding layers of refinement to the overall design.  I also place a very strong emphasis on connection, connection to people and connection to spaces.  A space must seamlessly flow from one to another, through the strategic use and placement of furniture, texture or colour palettes, there must be an intentional effort to unify the space.  Not only within its architecture and its form, but with it’s inhabitant as well.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Everywhere.  Inspiration isn’t just born from the subject matter at hand, it comes in all forms and from all sources.  Art, architecture, travel, colour, experience, nature, fashion, products etc.  My main source of inspiration is taking a small piece from all of these outward influences and integrating that feeling they give me into an interior space.  It stems from observation, experimentation, and the ability to draw connections between seemingly unrelated things.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

In a general sense, I feel design is moving towards sustainability, inclusivity, and digital integration.  There is a growing emphasis on creating products and experiences that are environmentally friendly, accessible to diverse populations, and seamlessly integrated with digital technologies to enhance functionality and user experience.  Minimalist and user-centric design principles continue to be prominent, focussing on simplicity, clarity, and efficiency.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2023 and beyond.

Five key themes that seem to always be present in the design of any space, varying in their capacity and importance, are:

Flexible and multifunctional spaces – even more so now with the fallout from Covid, remote and home-based business continue to be on the rise.  The demand for flexible lifestyles is more common, and with this, the demand for spaces that can easily adapt to different activities.  Home offices that can serve as guest bedrooms or fitness spaces.

Minimalism, but warm – Minimalism is taking on a slightly different face, with the integration of warmer, and varying textures and tones in hard and soft finishes.  The space can remain clean and simple in form but still feel cozy and inviting.  In Canada, with our longer winters, this is very prominent.

Biophilic design – incorporating nature into the interior and the exterior of homes, and buildings of all different use.  With the use of natural materials, exposure to natural light, planting and integration of living material.  This all enhances the overall feeling of well being.

Smart home technology – this market is constantly advancing and changing by the day.  The access to digital integration is allowing homeowners to personalize their spaces with the custom integration of automated lighting, sound, temperature control, and security.  This allows the homes to also become more and more autonomous.

Sustainable design – with the constant awareness of the environmental landscape there is a huge push to place more emphasis on sustainable design.  From materials used to energy efficiency, there is a need to plan for new eco-friendly alternatives and sourcing materials locally.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Keep it personal. If your space embodies the layers and stories of your life, it will forever remain timeless.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

The International Design and Architecture Awards are very important, as they are a global stage to bring together the international design community.  A chance to celebrate the advancements in design across all sectors and cultures.  They play a vital role in fostering excellence, promoting global collaboration, setting industry standards and inspiring professionals to push the creative boundaries in design and architecture.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on new, custom, single family homes in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the surrounding area.  As well as some out on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  With a host of renovations and furniture procurement projects as well, we are working with new clients and past clients on additional projects.  R-EID Studio does all of the interior design from concept to completion, from space planning to furniture procurement.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

I have just currently started the design on what is shaping up to be my favourite project yet.  With the interiors and the overall architectural forms being very much a reflection of my own personal style, and a client who is open minded and not afraid to explore the possibilities of the unknown.  It’s a refreshing breath of fresh air.  A true collaborative team on this project as well which not only makes the job more enjoyable but makes it exponentially more successful.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

I just recently finished up my most challenging project.  The challenge was not with the home itself, but with the team and the client.  Too many cooks in the kitchen, as they say, and just an overall lack of trust.  The professional team is put in place for a reason and when the communication, collaboration, and trust start to break down the whole thing quickly crumbles.  It was unfortunate because what ultimately suffered was the execution of the design intent.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

Custom residences.  I love the intimate connection with the client and being able to interpret what they don’t know how to express and give them a space they could only dream of.  Being able to be involved from the very beginning and being an integral part of every decision, pushing the boundaries with the creative use of materials and seeing the space come together as you envisioned it is just the most rewarding experience.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

To continue to design beautiful spaces and push the boundaries of design.  I want to become more connected with my local design community and continue to learn from others that have strengths in varying areas.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

This is silly, but a pair of nail clippers that were my father’s.  He passed very suddenly a few years ago and he always carried these nail clippers in his pocket no matter where he was going, what he was doing or what he was wearing.  To me, they are a little part of him that I’m able to hold onto.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere with sun, sand, and water.  I am a sun seeker and a water baby and just being in this environment brings me peace and happiness.  I also love visiting Italy and exploring the small towns and the stunning architecture.  Not to mention, the food and the wine!

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

Four Seasons, Restaurant Le Carré, Montreal, Fish & Duck

Your favourite book, film & song?
The Alchemist, Weak Layers, Like A Wreaking Ball, Eric Church

Your favourite food and drink?
A caprese salad [a good one] and a negroni

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Skiing with my two young boys and my husband.  Then, of course, enjoying the après ski.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A doctor.  I’m very fascinated with the way the human body works.  My father was a doctor and I’ve always been interested in the field.  The creative in me won though.

R-EID Studio has been shortlisted for 2 categories in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024.

design et al only work with the world’s leading companies in the International Design & Architecture industry.

If you think you have what it takes to compete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by following the links below:

Use the links below for more information about the Awards:

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024
are organised by design et al and sponsored by:

Sylka Carpets
Joseph Giles

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