Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stock Home Design Interview With Elisa Langenstam

The owner of Stock Home Design Elisa Langenstam, generously donated a pair of Ekelund tea towels for our last giveaway.  She is originally from Norway, and lived in Stockholm, Sweden for 16 years before moving back to Canada, hence where the name of her store came from (awesome and so fitting if you ask me!).  She is one heck of a designer, has impeccable taste and is one fantastic lady!  She also happens to be my neighbour:)  You can check out her website here.  Her store is amazing, filled with a beautiful mix of contemporary and vintage items, along with pieces from local artisans.  I finally got the chance during this busy holiday season, to ask her about the whole design process, her values and of course her gorgeous store.  Enjoy!  

May I introduce Elisa Langenstam

First and foremost Elisa, thanks for the lovely giveaway, everyone loved it!  I'm sure the readers would love to know how Stock Home Design came about.  How did it all start? 

My pleasure for the giveaway, thank you for your time and effort, and thanks to everyone that is looking at Stock Home Design! I worked in Stockholm Sweden for 16 years, and 10 of those years was spent working as a Visual Merchandiser for a large chain of lifestyle stores where I travelled the country building/rebuilding and optimizing design solutions for the chain. After returning to Canada 4 years ago I initially worked for Benjamin Moore as the in house designer, then a property management company in Whistler involved with re-design projects before the Olympics, and finally decided that it was time to spread my wings and work for myself. My dream of starting my own company began 2 1/2 years ago home based with redesign and staging services offering soft inventory rental, and then as my inventory grew it was time to make the next decision which included a storefront. Stock Home Design opened it's doors July 2010 in Squamish to continue to work together with my Whistler clients, and to offer the services through the corridor while also showcasing local artists and offering a unique selection of decor items for the home in a ever changing space.

Being from Sweden, how would you say that design is different from here on the West Coast?  Do you have a preference?  

Swedish/Scandinavian style is well known for it's very subtle style, smart solutions, and a great balance of design elements that has a cohesive look that in effect is simple. Compared to the west coast the huge difference is the architecture of the home that in turns dictates what style will suit it. I love both styles.

How would you describe your design style?  

My design preferences I find are always dictated by the spaces and change regularly, although I am a great advocate for mixing old with new.

What influences your design decisions both when decorating for clients and in the store?  

Designing for clients I have to try to really define their taste and what they're comfortable with, and interpret their vision with consideration to the existing architecture and views. In the store I try to constantly challenge myself that it can always be better, therefore ever changing and that also makes it interesting for my customers and hopefully keeps them coming back.  Usually in both cases there is a single piece that will be the starting point for design decisions, and then it's like a thread that you carry throughout the theme.

Where does your personal inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from everything...there is so much beauty around us in nature and art. I try to take the time to visit different artisan venues as well as an array of different design retail stores as well as my constant sourcing for new suppliers where my criteria is that it should be as unique as possible.

If there was anything that you wanted to do, what would that be and why?

I have a bucket list with my top choices of travel destinations and adventures... it's really hard to pick one thing.  I am married with two children, so I would want to include my family for an inspirational trip. For the long term I would also want to be able to give back to my community.

Being so busy with clients and running the store, when you get down time what you do like to do?  

Between the store and design projects I've been keeping pretty busy, so not a lot of down time. Time with family and friends is really important, and depending on the weather will dictate the activities. A walk with the dog, playing poker with the family (usually Sunday nights), a bike ride, going to the lake, going to the weekend market...

Who is your favourite designer? 

A lady who is very passionate about design lent me a book, and it was the first time that I heard about Louis Sagar.  He created a store in New York years ago that at the time was trend setting...Zona Home. His philosophy and design message has really touched me.

If you could meet anyone, who would that be and why?

Tough question, how do I pick just one? Hmmm, Tony Robbins I think would be pretty amazing to meet.  My husband and I went to an event with Mr. Robbins in London some years back, and it really was life changing.

Where do you see yourself in the near future?

Stock Home Design continues to grow, and I have a vision of what I want it to look like. At the moment we're in the process of incorporating a larger inventory specifically furniture, and a face lift planned for the store the first week of January. The idea is to showcase the services more, and continue to build a team of professionals so that we're able to meet all of our clients needs under one roof.

If you could offer any advice to anyone thinking of redesigning their home, what would that be?

One room at a time, and take your time. Create an empty canvas and "shop" your own home before you start making new purchases. There can be treasures that have been packed away, and there might be other pieces that are in different rooms that would be better suited in other spaces (re hanging/re grouping art work can do wonders). If you have friends or family that are design interested, usually an extra set of eyes can be helpful. I think that a lot of people get overwhelmed when there's too many different projects going on, so better to prioritize and tackle them individually.

Don't forget to check out her website and you can also find Stock Home Design on facebook and twitter.  

Happy Holidays to everyone and all the best in the New Year!


Sheila @SZInteriors said...

You asked really great questions, and I would so love to visit Stock Home Design one day!

Rosa @ FlutterFlutter said...

I love Scandinavian design, and think that living there would be such a great experience! Look forward to seeing the furniture she brings in!

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