Sep 11, 2012

Image & Design via Alykhan Velji Designs

We’re officially in countdown mode for the Vancouver Home + Design Show, October 11-14 at BC Place. Just four weeks to go until the show! With that, it’s time for us to kick it into high gear here on our little blog. We’ll be profiling the biggest names appearing at the show over the next few weeks, offering more giveaways (hint: October promises to be a generous month!) and giving you more inside access than ever!

Today, we’re profiling Calgary’s Alykhan Velji, who’s become somewhat of a regular at the Vancouver Home + Design Show. A extremely talented residential and commercial designer, Aly has placed in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40, was shortlisted for the Western Living Designer of the Year Awards, and was named a Leader of Tomorrow by Business in Calgary. Not too shabby, we say!

Catch Aly’s tips for capturing chic style in any small space on the HGTV Main Stage, then check out his brand-new feature on the show floor: Close Quarters, a 300-square-foot micro-condo built for living the good life with less. Check the schedule here for his presentation times.


Name: Alykhan Velji

Occupation: Residential and commercial interior designer

Birthdate: June 24, 1980

Horoscope sign: Cancer

Hometown: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

What was your first job? Working at the Calgary Stampede – a true rite of passage for every young Calgarian.

How were you discovered? HGTV’s Designer Superstar Challenge in 2005. I finished top 3.

What famous figure(s) inspires your career? Karim Rashid, Thomas Obrian, Iris Apfel

If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would be your dream job? Fashion designer

Any embarrassing on-the-job moments you’d like to share? I tried being a barista for a day and couldn't figure out how to make a drink to save my life. I had to quit immediately – there was really no other option.

Describe your design style in five words or less:  On trend but timeless.

What design trend or item are you coveting for fall? I am in love with geometric prints!

What is your favourite room in your home and why? I love my living room. It's casual and sophisticated. Perfect for entertaining company or just lounging on a Sunday morning.

The last item you bought for your home: Vintage mid-century chairs for my great room.

How do you keep your home looking great? Any tricks of the trade? Refreshing with pillows and continually changing out my accessories. It’s the easiest and most economical way of changing a space’s look and feel.

What is your Twitter handle? @alyvelji

What movie or program is at the top of your Netflix queue? I love vintage films. Anything from the 50s and 60s. Doris Day is my fave!

What’s on your Kobo reader/iBook right now? I prefer real books. I just finished The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Everything happens for a reason.


As always, we look forward to welcoming Aly back to the show this fall. Don’t miss him! And, check back here tomorrow for a sneak peek at his Close Quarters feature – a must-see for every showgoer!