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In Conversation with Colleen Buker

Colleen Buker

  As seen in SNAP – November 2008 – ” Design Feature ”

Colleen Buker is a very talented local designer. I had the pleasure of meeting her years ago when I started my career in design here in Victoria. I do remember a very valuable lesson she taught me back then, when she noticed that my measurements for a window treatment were backwards. Coming from México and adopting myself to the imperial system was a real challenge, and I was so appreciative of her taking the time to help me. Since then we have shared a great friendship.
From residential to hospitality design, Colleen’s award-winning designs are matched only by her passion for people and overall great taste. One of Colleens many strengths is custom furniture design. Colleen’s furniture pieces have always been characterized by the elegance and the understanding of their lines, scale and proportion bringing a sense of uniqueness to each space that she designs. Her interiors are often transitional with a perfect blend of classic and modern characteristics. Colleen Buker is one of the best keep secrets in Victoria.

I have always found what my design colleagues treasure very intriguing, so I had to ask Colleen what her favourite design find was and the story behind it.

Iván – What is your favourite local find? Where did you get this item – how long have you had it?Colleen –My print of “The Chinese Girl” by Vladmir Tretchikoff. I was wandering through an antique emporium and saw the print from far away. It just captured my attention and I knew it was important. It was in a kitschy 60’s frame. I have had it since 2003.

“The Chinese Girl” by Vladmir Tretchikoff

Iván – Why is it important/inspirational to you?

Colleen – Reading about and discovering [the artist] life was so interesting…it is about perseverance and following your passion.

IvánHow does this item reflect upon your personal design philosophy ?

Colleen – “Express your passion – do what you love – no matter what” Quote from Vladmir Tretchikoff Says it all, don’t you think?

Iván Meade – What is the best moment of your day?

Colleen Buker – The first sip of coffee ……. The brand: Kicking Horse Coffee. The blend – Hoo Doo Jo

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – What was your first experience with design?

Colleen – When I threw my red stuffed horse out of my crib…. I was space planning.

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – Your interiors are not just beautiful and contemporary, but they are also very livable. How do you archive that?

Colleen – I believe you must be able to live in your space…..the elements which bely comfort are paramount.


Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – Is there any designer and/or architect from the past, you appreciate a lot?

Colleen – Tommi Parzinger – designer & Alberto Giacometti – modern sculpter – painter Iván – and those still working? Colleen – Tom Stringer – Helene Aumount – Katherine Newman.

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – I believe one of your strengths is in furniture design all your pieces are always exquisitely well done – Where do you get your inspiration?
Colleen – Sometimes my inspiration is based on a reinterpretation of an existing piece ….. sometimes it is modeled from a beautiful line or piece of wood. I like to create pieces which marry elegance and comfort, blending the masculine and feminine. In this I hope to create pieces which have a lasting appeal.


Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – I know that one of your favourite activities is to visit art exhibitions – I also noticed that you always use real art in your projects. Do you select your art pieces to work with the room or the room works around the art pieces?

Colleen – In most cases the art has been selected after the room has been designed. The clients are in regeneration…..they have expanded to a new scope and so does the art collection. In other cases I have client’s art collection which is the consideration point to centre the design.

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – It’s the big installation day. What could have gone wrong did go wrong. How does Colleen Buker deal with that?
Colleen – At the moment of discovery – I first register disbelief, second I am in denial and third I am disappointed. Once I have worked through the initial ——— I quickly assess the level of issue or issues at hand and move to correct what needs to be done.

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – The popularity of the design shows on TV has brought interior design into homes all across our country. If you had a show, how would you educate the viewers about interior design?


Colleen – It is difficult in a half hour time frame to show the amount of time & effort required to plan, develop and execute a project, but I feel this would be very important to present to viewers in setting reasonable expectations for their own projects. I would include budget costs for rooms developed as well.

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – A decor fad you hope never to see again?
Colleen – The do it yourself paint technique called “smooshing”

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – What is next on your design journey?

Colleen – I am currently designing a custom sectional for a clients media room in their French inspired home. I am very excited about this project…..

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – Any words of wisdom?

Colleen – It is in life’s spontaneous out cast moments when the door opens gifting us laughter, love and creativity. Take time for those moments!

Interiors by Colleen Buker

Iván – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles, what would you like your legacy to be?

Colleen – You have lived a good life Charlie Brown.

To see more of Colleen Buker stunning work please visit: