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In conversation with Amanda Forrest


Amanda Forrest

Amanda Forrest is a local designer who is making a big name for herself. You may have already seen her work in the book Spectacular Homes of Western Canada, Spa Life Magazine, Y.A.M., or on the Marilyn Denis show as the Westcoast Design Expert on CTV. She was even a speaker at this year’s IDSWest.

She and her team have a flair for designs that are fun, and she strives to create spaces that are modern and vibrant, yet classic enough to last a lifetime. Browsing her portfolio, she has a range of styles, palettes and project types to adapt to her client’s unique aesthetics and needs. She even offers e-decorating to clients looking to achieve the designer look on a lower budget, or if they are far from her Victoria studio, or Amanda’s satellite offices in Vancouver, British Columbia or Cambridge, Ontario.

Amanda balances it all, a blog, TV appearances, publications, a family and her design business all at once. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for this designer. Please read on to get in on the conversation…

Iván Meade – What is your first experience with design?

Amanda Forrest – I don’t recall a time that design, in some aspect was not a part of my life. My parents renovated a historical home when I was a young child, it seemed as though I had years of wallpaper stripping, staining, painting and construction in my blood by the time I was 6 years old. By about 12 years my mother was asking for my decorating advice while planning her new home construction. By 15 years I designed my own room scheme using purple and turquoise.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – What is your favourite local find? Where did you get this item?

Amanda Forrest – Hands down my pieces of driftwood collected by my son are my favourite. I found it so interesting that he would walk the Vancouver island beaches and pay particular attention to the common shape of the pieces, narrow down the nicest for me. They sit proudly displayed in an oversized glass vase on my open kitchen shelves. They have been used as props many times!

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – Why is it important to you?

Amanda Forrest – It has a story, I love pieces with a soul attached to them.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

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

Amanda Forrest – The driftwood pieces are a simple but effective lesson in design: natural, local, inexpensive, timeless, sentimental.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade –  What is your design philosophy?

Amanda Forrest – To maintain a down to earth demeanor and an upbeat style. To create an exceptional space that reflects my clients character and lifestyle.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and weakness?

Amanda Forrest – My strength is the ability to read people’s character. It allows me to navigate through what the client is trying to say even if they don’t have the ability to put their feelings about the space in to proper design terms. My weakness is the fact that I work too much, it is common for me to put the kids to bed and go back to returning emails until late at night as I know clients are counting on me, great for work, bad for my health.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – Who are your design idols?

Amanda Forrest – Kelly Wearstler and Canadian Christiane Lemieux.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – If you could design a home for anyone, who would it be?

Amanda Forrest – Oprah Winfrey, she has so many stories, I would love to help showcase her life experiences in her personal space.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – What was it like to be published in SHOWC?

Amanda Forrest – It was a great feeling to see how excited my clients where to see their homes shown in the book. The book sits proudly displayed in my office.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – MDS and television media..

Amanda Forrest – I’m currently the west coast design expert for the Marilyn Denis Show. My role in the show is to showcase new design trends and ideas from the world of design on the coast! Doesn’t all have to be interior design, we feature products, hip destinations and trendy fashion. I was fortunate to be awarded this role after participating in a design contest earlier this year. Television media plays an important role in bringing together various design ideas, cultures and artistic values. It allows us all to learn and draw inspiration from each others visions.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

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

Amanda Forrest – Eco products, colour, whimsy. Farmhouse Glam is an interesting concept, rugged barn beams paired with chandeliers..love.

Interiors by Amanda Forrest

Iván Meade – What’s next for Amanda Forrest?

Amanda Forrest – I have several projects on the go, the MDS Show, I am on a colour forecasting panel working on 2014 paint colour trends, a panel to redesign moulding and millwork profiles, styles. I’m trying to enjoy this design moment..if I look ahead it’s to a vacation with my family in the new year.

I invite you to visit Amanda Forrest’s website at: