|Born||October 27, 1964|
|Education||Bachelor’s degree of Science and Interior Designs|
|Alma mater||University of Calgary
|Television||Divine Design, Candice Tells All|
I'm an interior designer, first and foremost. I can do one thing really well, and I'm going to stay in my little niche.
We're a very active family, and I like everything in its place. I'm all about designing every little space. It will help me in the business of being a mom. Every single day is so crazy with my work that I just need to be able to come home and do that business as efficiently as I try to do my professional work.
A common mistake people make regarding dining rooms is to buy a matching set of table and chairs, which can be monotonous. I like to mix guest chairs in one style and head chairs in another for a more interesting, dynamic look.
I credit my mom with inspiring in me a love of design, matched by her creative problem-solving abilities. This is a woman who could find an old, discarded piece of furniture, bring it home and turn it into something fabulous.
Things have changed a lot since the earth was cooling and I was a teenage girl, but the basics of teenage bedrooms have remained the same. Every girl wants a place that they are proud to call their own and where they can express their own individuality.
Clients usually come to me when they want to update the look of an existing room.
There are a million studies that say the money you put into a kitchen and bath update you get back. That's one of those places you can't go wrong. It can be as simple as updating counters and a backsplash.
There are designers who say, 'Oh! I see wallpaper and blue carpet.' I usually start by knocking down walls. 'You thought you just needed some new drapes? Well, guess what: That wall's gotta go.'
There has been a major shift in how we live in our homes. Everyone knows the kitchen is the soul of the house. It's more of an open-concept approach.
When I'm doing kitchen planning as well as bathroom design, I try to walk through the day with the homeowner. If we're talking about a kitchen, it will be: So, we are walking in with the groceries. When we are taking them out of the car, where will they go? What is the distance to fridge, to pantry?
One of the most common reasons people renovate their homes is a change in their lifestyle – an upcoming wedding, a new baby, or grown children moving away.
I never try to be the poster child for the perfect mother/wife… You prioritize, you do the best you can possibly do, and you don't beat yourself up.
I simply adore getting dressed up for a special occasion. I feel incredible stepping out in luxurious fabrics and a bit of bling. That's also how I feel about special-occasion dining rooms. Because these aren't everyday spaces, they contain all sorts of drama for that once-in-a-while 'wow' event.
Today's kitchen is all about a well-planned space that makes cooking a completely interactive experience among family and friends.
I love doing kitchen renovations where we're opening up the kitchen and creating open-concept main floors. I think that's one renovation that really changes the way people live in their homes.
We don't have one of those houses where there's a rope that separates the kids' area from the adult area. There's a happy medium. It's all about fabric choices, accessories.
Spaces I love to do – the uglier the better – tend to be really old, dated basements – especially from the '60s to the '80s. I love those.
I've dealt with a lot of couples over the years, and most cite the battle for closet and bathroom space as one of the most frequent causes of marital discord.
Sometimes living in a room that's badly designed isn't the worst thing in the world. Trust me – this is a fact! Living in a room that has no design whatsoever is even worse. I've learned this from my many clients over the years that have moved into new houses and just can't figure out where to begin.
With every bathroom renovation, there are three areas that I focus on: budget, function and style.
I know it can be difficult for parents, but I really do believe that kids need to play the predominant role in the choices that go into their own space.
It's great to design a beautiful, modern, sleek home like you'd see in a magazine. But if it doesn't suit your lifestyle, it's really wasted.
Mom raised me all by herself, and although we went through our share of lean years, she always worked hard to make our home warm and welcoming.
There are no more white linen sofas in my house. We have a rule here: Anything below 36 inches has to be brown or black – the color of chocolate or peanut butter!
I never want to hold myself up as the poster child of the successful mother-businesswoman. It's a total 'Gong Show.' I won't pretend. When you do so many things, something always suffers. You just can't be great at everything.
Look for inspiration in books, magazines, and even other people's homes – then be brave and take a chance with a room in your home.
I firmly believe that if your environment works for you and your family, it translates into a better life.
Ask any teenage girl to describe her perfect bedroom, and you'll get answers like 'a room with a private phone line, a place to hang out with friends, and for it to be way-cool and funky.' Ask parents the same question, and 'a locked door that opens on their 21st birthday' might top the list!
Now that our kids are getting older, they need their space. We dug out the basement so they will have a place to go crazy in the wintertime. My son is already talking about how he's going to make a skateboard ramp. It's just a mosh pit down there, so they can do whatever they want. We're not even going to finish it.
Why do guests always end up in the kitchen at parties? Is it a social phenomenon? Some strange gravitational pull? I don't know, but one thing is for sure: If your friends are going to congregate in your kitchen, you'd better make it as nice as possible.
Bathrooms are, on a square foot basis, the most expensive room in the house to renovate. If you want to test your heart's fitness, try shopping for simple bathroom faucets. Add in the cost of the required valves, mixers and trims, and you may need reviving when you see the tally!
Strip makeup lights just don't give you a fighting chance no matter how good looking you are. Light sconces that flank the mirror illuminate your entire face evenly.
I think people underestimate the importance of lighting – layers of lighting, not just one light. I do a lighting seminar where I take a $300-a-yard fabric and a $3-a-yard fabric. I show what lighting can do to either one.
The type of renovation I do most often is opening a kitchen to the family room.