When Jenny Martin was a kid, she watched her parents operate their construction business and thought, “I want to be on the creative side of things.”
The Victoria-based interior designer started small, with a staff of two that has grown to the team of 10 that led Jenny Martin Design to win the 2017 Builder and Designer Challenge.
The competition, sponsored by Metrie, a leading distributor and manufacturer of interior furnishings in North America, included not only designers, but builders, architects and remodelers.
“We were really flattered,” Martin says of the win. “It’s not why we do what we do, but it’s definitely nice to get the recognition.”
Martin says as a Canadian company in a North American competition, it was great to be honoured, but she’s quick to point out the project wouldn’t have been anything without the expertise of construction team, Coast Prestige Homes, and their attention to detail.
The year-and-a-half long, three-storey home renovation in Oak Bay utilized Metrie’s Then and Now collections.
“When [the house] was built originally it was slightly contemporary and lacked a lot of architectural detail, so the client we worked with had a real appreciation for some more classic details,” says Martin, who with her design team infused a more warm and inviting feel that into the house.
What started as just a two-bathroom renovation quickly evolved, she says, into a project also involving architects, designer Sarah Caspick and Jason Good Cabinetry.
That can happen, Martin says. “Sometimes it starts small and then folks feel like the rest of the house looks tired, so the project grows.”
Now 10 years into her interior design career, Martin says on the West Coast, people have a real respect for natural materials.
“I think we’re really fortunate living in Victoria that there are so many unique and exciting projects,” she explains. “Not just new builds, but renovations in character and heritage homes that give us a lot of opportunity to do fun things.”
Whatever the bones of a structure, it’s often about maintaining a bright and airy feel in spaces, with quality fixtures and finishings and always incorporating the view.
“It’s so beautiful here, it’s often about bringing the outdoors in.”
As part of the winning prize, Martin received a marketing promotions package, which will come in handy this time of year, when she says business gets booming because people are eager to get digging as soon as the rain stops.
As for what people are after this year, Martin says concrete textures, and slab materials are popular for a contemporary, industrial look.
“Tiles are getting really large, that’s a trend coming over from Europe. Whether it’s in showers or feature walls or kitchen backsplashes, with porcelain or natural stone or quartz.”
And, everything in white: “I don’t think that’s going anywhere, but lately we’re seeing deeper, more smokey tones.”
Above all, Martin says it’s about a classic approach to any look. “We try to keep things timeless.”