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In Conversation with Sandy Nygaard

SandySandy Nygaard

As seen in SNAP, November 2009

Sandy Nygaard has been creating comfortable, unique and enduring interiors for the last 15 years. Her refined eye has developed a style that is all her own – understated, contemporary, warm, and full of textural tone-on-tone details in natural materials with an emphasis on West Coast style.

As the principal designer of Nygaard Interior Design, Sandy takes on a wide range of projects, from homes to restaurants, from offices to retail and she puts her own spin on the projects with wonderful execution. She does however, keep the clients’ needs and style at the forefront of her designs – incorporating Asian details, a Tuscan palette, or whatever their needs may be into a Sandy Nygaard original.

Sandy and her firm has recently been featured in the book “Spectacular Homes of Western Canada” by Panache, with a four page spread of one of her residential projects. An excerpt from the book sums it all up nicely – “After more than 15 years in the industry [Sandy] continues to derive energy and excitement from the cohesive design process, creating lasting design and unique living and working spaces.”

Please read on to learn more about this local talent.

Iván Meade – What is your favourite design find?

Sandy Nygaard  That is hard to answer. I find things that inspire me all the time. I can’t say there has been one thing that has made me say  – that’s it, that is my favourite !


Sandy-Nygaard-1 Interior by Nygaard Interior Design


Iván Meade – What is important to you in design?

Sandy Nygaard-   what’s important to me in design is simplicity. Things I find that I get excited about are often about materiality, colour and texture and how it can be integrated into a space .


Sandy-Nygaard-2Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – How does this reflect upon your personal design philosophy?

Sandy Nygaard –. I think it is a challenge to not overdesign .    Therefore,  using natural materials and letting them be what they are can bring the energy into a design.    You don’t have to add a lot of extra stuff to make it exciting.    Simplicity in design allow the colours and textures of the materials do all the work.


Sandy-Nygaard-3Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Can you tell me what your next design venture is?

Sandy NygaardI have many projects on the go.

Sandy-Nygaard-4Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Sandy Nygaard – Being involved in the design of a house I was going to live in.  Coming from a 2 dimensional fine art back ground I thoroughly enjoyed the scale and 3 dimensionality.

Sandy-Nygaard-5Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Sandy Nygaard – It is evolving all the time.

Sandy-Nygaard-6 Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Sandy Nygaard – contemporary, clean, uncluttered.

Sandy-Nygaard-7 Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Being in business for over 15 years I’m sure you’ve seen many styles come and go in Victoria. What do you think is the worst trend we’ve seen here on the island?

Sandy Nygaard – I do not think Victoria is a bubble and has it’s own worst trend. I like where we are now, the doors are open to all influences and design.


Sandy-Nygaard-8 Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – How/why did you start your own firm? Could you tell me a little about the history of your company?

Sandy Nygaard – I studied and have my degree in Fine Art. We were designing and building a new house and I totally got side track ed . I loved considering space, function , light and colour and actually living in the art.

Sandy-Nygaard-9 Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Although you are known for your contemporary spaces (such as Carriero hair salon), you have also created some stunning traditional spaces (such as the Rogers Chocolates stores). Which shows your versatility as designer – Is it fun to change it up once in a while?

Sandy Nygaard –Definitely.

image Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Sandy Nygaard – the use of materials as a focus versus adornment.


image Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Your work at the Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa is one of my favourite projects you have done I believe is one of the best examples of Contemporary West Coast Style. What was your inspiration for the project?

Sandy Nygaard – For all projects the architecture of the building comes first.  What the architect is expressing is the beginning of the story, I try to respond and respect that and finish the story on the inside.  The building is contemporary, strong, and about the west coast materials. The interior had to carry those elements  through or it would not have been successful.

image Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Sandy Nygaard – There are not many that I have been dissatisfied with. I truly enjoy the process, getting to know the clients and working with them to create the end product. It is these relationships that fuel the design, good or bad. I have been lucky to have had wonderful clients that have allowed me to respond to their needs and create spaces that satisfy all of us.  Some of these houses have received National recognition.   It’s nice to know that the designs you create reach beyond the clients and are recognized nationally.

image Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work in your own signature style. What would you like your legacy to be?

Sandy Nygaard – I am not concerned about my legacy I am working in the now!

image Interior by Nygaard Interior Design

invite you to discover Sandy Nygaard work at her website:


Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria – www.themeadegroup.com