In this instalment of Design Files, we discuss natural materials, architecture, and having a good design team with Interior Designer, Raubyn Rothschild of Rothschild West. Spruce’s Design Files series brings local Victoria home experts and their insights on trends, investments, and design to Victoria locals looking to refresh and spruce up their home.
Meet Raubyn Rothschild, a registered interior designer, planner, and the owner of Rothschild West in Victoria, B.C. Raubyn’s designs can be found in commercial spaces – like Part and Parcel in Victoria – and residential homes.
“It always starts with the architecture. Is there enough natural light in the rooms, are the doorways narrow, do the spaces flow? If you ignore some of those fundamental elements, much effort will be spent adding in decorative goods and distractions that may satisfy you short term but do little to improve how you live in the space.”
Q & A with Raubyn Rothschild
How would you describe your interior design approach?
My interior design approach is fluid, as each project is a unique synthesis between myself, the client and the architecture. I have a definite point of view, absolutely, but there are no preconceived notions. It’s my job to listen, facilitate and curate the essence of what the client wants to achieve.
If you could give one REALLY amazing piece of interior design advice to someone who doesn’t know where to start, what would it be?
Assemble the right team early in the process. Although project scopes vary, you are likely about to spend a considerable amount of money. Perhaps your project is addressing elements of form or function that have bothered you for many years, or your needs have changed; perhaps it’s a new property or a new build. The first step is to evaluate the architecture and floor plans with a critical eye. If you feel like this could be overwhelming, consult with an Interior Designer whose work you respect so you have the right strategy going forward.
What is something few people understand about interior design? Or a misconception about being an interior designer?
One thing many people – clients and industry colleagues alike – are surprised to learn is that the road to call yourself a Registered Interior Designer takes a minimum of 6 years and includes a formal education. I received my Bachelor of Interior Design from Ryerson University in Toronto and it was extremely competitive. Following graduation, we must join a provincial association and complete supervised work experience under a licensed Interior Designer or Architect until the prescribed hours are complete, which takes 2-3 years. Interns who complete their required work experience may then apply to sit for their official national qualifying exams. Once these exams are passed, you may call yourself an Interior Designer.
To maintain that title, we must continue our education annually, which includes courses related to current building codes, accessibility requirements and universal design. Because it can be difficult to distinguish those who have qualified for that title versus those who are simply using the title, you should ask if it’s important to you.
What is something you think is really worth investing in when it comes to designing your home?
This will vary depending on the architecture, but it always starts with the architecture. Is there enough natural light in the rooms, are the doorways narrow, do the spaces flow? If you ignore some of those fundamental elements, much effort will be spent adding in decorative goods and distractions that may satisfy you short term but do little to improve how you live in the space.
What’s the most important factor in choosing an interior designer to renovate your space?
Do you want to spend a lot of time with them? Ok, maybe that’s one of my considerations in choosing a client! In all seriousness, after you’ve found someone whose work you respect, it’s important to feel an initial comfort with your designer. It takes time to build trust and that happens naturally through the course of a project, but ideally you have an initial feeling that this person can be your collaborator or co-creator of your vision and feel they will be an asset to your project.
Are there any trends you’re seeing that homeowners should be excited about?
This is such an exciting time for homeowners because there is so much freedom to choose the style and aesthetic that speaks to you. You will see our projects span many styles, from mid-century modern to heritage homes and lofts, but a key component that is equally at home in all our work is the use of natural materials. It could be a honed marble, textural concrete, or a cane cabinet; these are materials that will always be welcome in our projects.
Continue Reading… Design Files with Cindy Scott of KC Custom Designs Ltd.