Lori Andrews is one busy lady. In addition to being a regular contributor to CREB®Now, the “insanely happy interior designer and photographer” can be found snapping photos and designing striking spaces all over the city, including the Fratello Analog Café in southwest Calgary. Andrews took time out of her busy schedule to talk a little bit about herself, her city and what it takes to turn a home from tired to timeless.

CREB®Now>> How would you describe your design philosophy?

Andrews>> I design clean, colourful interiors with an emphasis on ethical and environmental considerations. Practically speaking this means I work with clients who want a fuss free interior filled with timeless, well-made furnishings and personal mementos.

CREB®Now>> What’s the most important thing a client should ask their designer?

Andrews>> What value will I derive from your services? Your designer should be able to outline what advantage you will gain from their extensive experience. Personally, I openly discuss and share my trade discounts and I provide valuable information on the manufacturing of products that my clients appreciate. Additionally I always design for the space and for the clients needs. My years of experiencehave taught me the most practical and pragmatic way to address each situation.

CREB®Now>> What’s the biggest misconception about interior designers?

Andrews>> That we magically make everything happen overnight and without any need for troubleshooting. There are many businesses and people involved in every step of the process. Occasionally things go wrong and often take longer than anticipated.

CREB®Now>> How do you incorporate trends into a home while still making it unique?

Andrews>> I’m not a trend follower and often disregard trends while designing. My personal philosophy has always been to design for future trends in order to keep a home from dating. That said, perishable items like fabric cushion covers, cotton rugs and colorful artwork are the best ways to keep a home feeling “on trend”.

CREB®Now>> Is there such a thing as the best place to start decorating in the home?

Andrews>> Yes! For most of us the best place to start is with the hard surfaces in the home. I call it the “wrapper” and I like to keep it simple. Simply painting all trim and drywall surfaces in a similar light neutral (white most of the time) will afford you an instantly fresher home. Similarly, replacing damaged or dated flooring throughout the home means that you have a new look without breaking the bank. Do the same with countertops, cabinets and window coverings. Now you are ready to decorate.

CREB®Now>> If you could change one thing about Calgary, what would it be?

Andrews>> Slush and mud and the high price of local labor. It does cost more in Calgary than other major Canadian centers to accomplish the same outcome. A mudroom is an advantage in our Chinook winters.

CREB®Now>> What’s your favourite way to spend a day off in or around the city?

Andrews>> I like to be anywhere outdoors actively experiencing Alberta. Hiking, biking and snowshoeing are my favorite activities.

CREB®Now>> What’s your favourite room in your home and why?

Andrews>> My great room. I have a simple small one-bedroom home. The living, dining and kitchen areas are all in one light filled, high ceiling room. It’s where I work, entertain and relax.

CREB®Now>> What’s Calgary’s best-kept secret?

Andrews>> Honestly, I adore going to the top of the Calgary Tower to view the city from above. Most of us forget to be tourists in our own town and rarely take in this sight. I like to take all my out of town guests there to experience the glass floor and see how beautiful Calgary’s skyline really is.

To read articles by Lori just click on her name, in the tags, below.