Name: Jeffrey Douglas
Company: Douglas Design Studio
Position within company: Principal
Tell us a little about your background (education, experience, etc)
I’m artistic at heart and have always drawn and painted. I am particular, and think in a very detailed fashion. I’m interested in people and derive inspiration from them, so I believe the most unique ideas come from collaboration rather than isolation.
This interest also makes me an effective listener and negotiator with architects, builders and tradespeople. I love helping my clients realize that a home that is uniquely their own and an expression of who they are.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I take pleasure in creating interiors that accurately express the homeowner’s own lifestyle, while creating the most functional environment for their needs.
In both furniture and interior design, I reference past cultures and styles, while juxtaposing a freshness and timelessness.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Perhaps it’s banal to say this, but I see inspiration everywhere. It’s about looking at the world with an artist’s eye until you see into things, you feel them and become aware of their origins. Traveling is my favourite way to refresh.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I’m seeing a strong technological influence in design solutions. With complex modelling programs and increasingly accessibility of 3D printing, how we conceive is changing. Some worry about the end of art and craft, but I don’t think this will ever happen. You simply can’t replace the beauty of something well-made by hand.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2016 and beyond.
Understanding local lifestyle and needs
Bespoke unique solutions
Sustainability of materials
Superlative service and attention to detail
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
I would like more developers to consider the cultural impact of their work. When its cheaply and quickly built, it says something about the culture. Sometimes you need to make something with lasting importance.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
International celebration of design achievements is incredibly important to establish and share appreciation and understanding of a valuable point of view.
What projects are you currently working on?
Several luxury custom built homes and condominiums in Toronto and New York
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I see working internationally on high quality hotels and spas as an extension of the residential work I love. I am keenly interested in culture and how design is a reflector of our individuality. I will continue to expand the furniture line I began last year to encompass a wider range of needs, styles, eras and cultures.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Brazil – I love the rhythm there!
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
I love places like Hotel Cotton House in Barcelona because it’s of the place and unique at the same time.
Your favourite book / film / song?
The Underpainter by Canadian author Jane Urquhart. Vivid, haunting and rich in detail.
Your favourite food and drink?
Pan seared scallops and a crisp Chablis wine, but I love everything!
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
I’m looking forward to having my nails done with my two young nieces. With virgin cocktails and gossip!
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
An artist. In high school I had to make a choice between fine art and applied art.
Anything else interesting?
I write poetry. I am also passionate about helping youth in need and improving mental health understanding in our society.