Name: Shannon Lenstra
Company: Kon-strux Developments
Position within company: CEO and Owner
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I have a degree in Anthropology and Sociology, and went on to study Interior Design in Ottawa, Canada. I was selected by the Canadian government for an overseas placement and chose to work for a design house in Boston. I worked for several houses and did designs throughout the Northeast and in Las Vegas. I returned to Canada because I wanted to bring an advanced design aesthetic home to Calgary, Alberta and build the industry here. This year I am celebrating the ten year anniversary of my company. I prioritize exemplary design, highly personalized client service, and work-life balance for our staff. I am an industry leader and mentor for women in trades and construction, and our company has won numerous regional and national design awards.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Transitional: bridging and merging styles to create unique looks that suit each client’s personality.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I love art, particularly painting and sculpture, and collect pieces around the world that speak to me. Our office is full of paintings from my personal collection. I love bold colours and unusual abstracts. I also make a point to attend the annual student art sale at the Alberta College of Art and Design – those kids are still raw, and create great work.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
- thinking outside the box
- build it beautiful, build it to last forever
- push the limits
- don’t do what everyone else is doing
- design it for the client, not for “resale”
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Respect the balance between negative space and whimsy.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The design industry peers with whom you collaborate are second to none. We appreciate the bald ambition of these awards in terms of the categories and scale of design.
What projects are you currently working on?
Customized preconstructed recreational structures
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My French bulldog, Izzy
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Momofuku (original!), East Village NYC
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien / song: Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone
Your favourite food and drink?
Sweet & salty specialty popcorn from Mary’s Popcorn, Banff; a great gin sour.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
I can’t wait until my children are old enough to travel with me and help me shop for art! I know that will be my favourite, I think about it all the time: c’mon, grow!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Roller derby queen