Designer In Profile: Sascha Lafleur, Co-Owner and Principal Senior Designer at West Of Main

Name: Sascha Lafleur
Company: West of Main
Position within the company: Co-Owner and Principal Senior Designer

Tell us a little about your background in design
I have had a passion for design for as long as I can remember. There’s no denying that this is attributed to the number of creative influences I have been surrounded within my immediate family.
Woodworkers, builders, artists, fashionistas; there has been no shortage of creative energy surrounding me since I was a wee tot. I’m a modern-day hippie, with a love for beautiful, natural spaces which was fostered by my family’s deep appreciation for the unmatched beauty and tranquillity of nature. I received a bachelor’s degree in communications and then moved to Montreal to study Interior Design. It was important to me that to be surrounded by inspiration during my studies and Montreal possesses a strong foundation for a design aesthetic which flows through all elements of lifestyle in the city. I draw inspiration from my travels around the world. Paralleled with my love for design is my passion for travel – hearing the stories and connections behind the artistry is truly what soothes my soul. I am imaginative, intuitive and adventurous… I mean how can you know what you haven’t been exposed to yet?. As West of Main’s co-founder, my job is to curate elements that are both on-trend and functional. Above all, I am committed to designing spaces that are more than a valued addition to our clients’ varied lifestyles, businesses and environments, but spaces that are a true reflection of who they are, where they’ve been and where they are going.

How would you describe your personal design style?

An eclectic and travelled take on the romance of classic design

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Travelling around the world

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

I feel that design is moving towards a richer, deeper, moodier palette. I think we’re going back to the
basics with natural materials but adding glamour to the palette in a less ostentatious way. Textured
walls, warmer palettes filled with desaturated sunset tones that add a richness and warmth to the
environment, which only gets better with time. Patinas on contemporary renditions.

Name the key themes to consider when approaching design.

Timeless: we don’t need to continue filling landfills with trendy design, instead we can reuse and
repurpose the most beautiful materials.
Story: Do the pieces of the design tell a story, people are looking for connection and meaning in a world that can be very surface level

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

There is a happy place that rests between spaces being over-designed and thoughtless. Finding that
the place is key and then refining it is mastery.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

Behind every project is a hard-working and passionate team that spends countless hours planning,
creating, and finalising designs with the hope of creating something that not only will exceed the
expectations of their client, but will also be innovative, inspirational, and influential to the world of
design. The International Design & Architecture awards recognise this and provide a platform for firms
around the globe to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers. It is a space to
inspire and be inspired for the betterment of the industry.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Our aim is to attract interesting projects that have a soul and where the clients are invested in carrying out the design to its fullest potential. We have an amazing team and will continue to foster the growth and harmony of our internal culture to attract clients and designers that have a similar mindset.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
That’s so hard I have so many pieces I love but if I have to choose 1 I would say my pounamu necklace. My husband is from New Zealand and its tradition to gift a pounamu (New Zealand jade) to the person you love. We had a necklace custom made by a jeweller Golden bay (one of our favourite places on earth). The medallion is gold and circular to take on the shape of the sun. The rays are lightly inscribed into the gold and in the centre lays the pounamu.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Bali, New Zealand, Tofino Canada, Sayulita Mexico, Croatia and the list goes on

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Amour hotel in Paris because it’s so freaking cool. The food is delicious, it’s a steal of a deal, the people
are so kind and each room is designed by a different designer.

Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: I have so many favourites for different reasons but one that left a lasting impression was A Fine
Balance by Rohinton Mistry

The Legend of Bagger Vance

How will I know by Whitney Houston

Your favourite food and drink?
French fries with mayo and ketchup. Gin and Tonic.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Swimming/surfing: I love the water!

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Something in Fashion. I would definitely open a boho clothing boutique somewhere near the water.

Anything else interesting?
I tried freediving for the first time while in Bali a couple of years ago and it was a life-changing experience in terms of how relaxed I became in the water ever since. The course began by teaching you the biology of your body and how the breath works. We then went onto mindfulness training and calming your entire nervous system. It was interesting to find out that the first palpitations you experience are actually not a lack of oxygen but a lack of carbon dioxide in your system.
I then went on to hold my breath for shy of 3min and free dive up to 21 m. It was an incredibly powerful experience and since then I have had more confidence in all my water sports as well as taken up meditation which has helped calm my mind and introduce more focus into my everyday life.

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