Aug 8, 2013

The Vancouver Home + Design Show’s big ticket challenge, Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer, is heating up! Three finalists have been chosen to throw down in the name of good style by creating the ultimate living room using items from Urban Barn, to be featured on the show floor and put to a public vote from October 17-20, 2013.

One lucky voter will win a $5,000 gift card to Urban Barn, and the victorious contestant’s living room will be put on display at Urban Barn’s flagship store on South Granville.

Without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Finalist #1,
Laura Borrelli!

Why design?
Design has always been a part of who I am. Since graduating from the Interior Design program at Dawson College in Montreal, I have been moving forward with my career by focusing on a variety of design aspects.
Where does your interior design “voice” come from?
I gained a vast amount of knowledge working for the Aldo Group as an International Project Leader, opening stores in Norway, China, Saudi Arabia and Latvia. Now, nestled happily in Vancouver, I hope to push my love for design to new levels through experimenting with the West Coast aesthetic and, hopefully, adding something unique along the way.
Spice Colour Palette
Image from Laura's winning Urban Barn Pinterest board. 
What is your favourite design trick that amazes your clients every time?
Simply re­arranging furniture. Sometimes people are pleasantly surprised when their existing pieces are just placed in a different spot that they had never considered. Doing this simple exercise, before diving head first into destroying walls and buying new furniture, is a great way to cut down on costs and waste.

What trends and colours are you majorly into for Fall 2013?
It’s all about metallics this fall. They can be paired with anything. You’ll be seeing a lot of coppers, bronzes, golds and nickels in home accessories and even furniture. Colour wise, I’m really digging Midnight Violets. They are deep, sensual and perfect for the season.

Name one thing any homeowner can do to instantly perk up their pad for under $100:
It’s been said a thousand times, and it’s the truth: paint does wonders. But if you’re happy with your paint scheme, hanging shelves is another way to instantly perk up a space. Showcase some of those books you’ve invested in over the years. Printing photos and framing them is also something that is rarely done in this digital era. Go ahead, hang them up! They make great conversation pieces.
Image from Laura's winning Urban Barn Pinterest board. 
What is one major design pitfall that people often fall into? What is the best way to avoid it? 
Overusing neutrals. It’s easy to just paint everything the same colour and pick tiles to match, but what results is very middle-of-the-road. Yes, neutrals are essential, but picking even a single accent colour, no matter how dark or light, will push your space into another design realm.

Name your signature design style (describe if needed):
I like things simple, sensible and beautiful. I love Scandinavian design for this reason. Its simplicity is perfectly balanced with flare and versatility. Designing a space that accentuates the identity of its users and serves its purpose well is what I strive for. It is a fine balance and can take time, but it’s so worth it to create a space that makes people feel calm and comfortable.
Charisma Coffee Table
Image from Laura's winning Urban Barn Pinterest board. 
Follow @LauraBorrelli on Twitter to stay up to date on her progress, and if you want to see her finished product, purchase tickets online and save $3 on regular adult admission! Check back with us on August 15 & 22 as we reveal the other two finalists for Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer.