Aug 22, 2013

Drum roll please! Put your hands together for the final designer slated to compete in the Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer challenge at the Vancouver Home + Design Show, Penelope Sloan!

Penelope is in the running for the top designer title against our two previously announced finalists, Laura Borrelli and Lianna Armstrong. These designing women have been chosen to create the ultimate living room using items from Urban Barn, to be featured at the show and put to a public vote from October 17-20, 2013 at BC Place.

Voters and competitors alike have an opportunity to win, as the victorious designer’s living room will be put on display at the Urban Barn’s flagship store on South Granville and one lucky voter will receive a $5,000 gift card to Urban Barn.

But, before the girls battle it out for the Urban Barn’s Next Top Designer honours...

Let’s take a moment to get to know Finalist #3: Penelope Sloan!

What is your signature style?
My design style is ever evolving, but my signature style usually has a sexy, laid back vibe with rich pops of colour and elegance. My style also incorporates my love for all things made by nature. To put my style into adjectives: contemporary, funky, clean, colourful, inviting, chic, bold, global and eclectic. All in one!

Splurge or save? List your favourite high-end and low-end products:
I love to invest my clients’ money in quality pieces, like a great sofa, luxury bedding, beautiful lighting and unique finishes. It’s worth investing in pieces that are going to enhance your lifestyle. There are lots of ways to balance the budget and I love to find inexpensive décor items at discount stores, as well as online. I also love to include one-of-a-kind pieces made by artisans from websites like Etsy [] too!

See more of Penelope's design style on her winning Pinterest board.
What is your go-to paint colour for any home improvement project?
I don’t have a specific go-to paint colour. I always take the time to consider what colour would be best for the project. I am more of a custom-made kind of girl, so I tend to go for something that is unique and fitting for the project instead of relying on a certain colour. However, the no-brainers are black and white.

What trends and colours are you most looking forward to for Fall 2013?
In the fall I tend to veer towards warmer tones, darker décor and heavier textures. I love coral and tangerine because they can make a space cheerful, even when the sun starts setting at 5pm. I am also a huge fan of teal and deep, aqua greens because they are calming and remind me of tropical seas.
See more of Penelope's design style on her winning Pinterest board.
Where do you do most of your home improvement and design retail therapy?
I always start online. For inspiration I like to use Houzz and Pinterest. I browse online décor and furniture shops for hours. Sometimes I check out eBay and Craigslist to find unique items. I also love to pop into furniture and décor shops here in Vancouver, but where I shop depends on the clients’ taste and budget. I usually hit up Gastown, South Granville and the Armoury District close to Granville Island.

What is one major design pitfall that people often fall into and what is the best way to avoid it?
The biggest pitfall people fall into is not working with a professional. Hire someone who knows what to do and how to do it properly. In the long run it will save you time and money. You are also going to get the results you wanted without the headache.

To stay posted on Penelope’s progess, follow her on Twitter @nelavision. To see Penelope’s finished product in person, purchase tickets online for the Vancouver Home + Design show and save $3 on regular adult admission!