Tuesday, 30 September 2008

In Conversation with Christian Barnard

I had the opportunity to meet Christian Barnard almost a year ago when he approached Meade Design Group to design his new graphic identity. From that moment we established a professional relationship that later became a friendship. It was truly a pleasure to work for him and his portfolio was an amazing source of inspiration.

Landscape Designer, and overall naturalist Christian Barnard is one of the island's most talented young people. Because I appreciate his talent I wanted to showcase him via a blog interview. I sent him some questions I always wanted him to answer and I wanted to share them with my readers.

Christian Barnard -Landscape Designer

Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?

Christian Barnard - I clearly remember windsock design and construction with my mother at a young age. I was amazed how the environment and its elements brought my creations to life.

Sherwood Plan

Iván - Who or what has influenced your style aside from nature itself?

Christian - I look to varying artistic mediums like sculpture, fashion and architecture. Many different things influence me, and inspiration comes in a multitude of forms and may strike at any time. I always have a sketchbook with me, and I am continuously filling it with drawings, thoughts and work that stimulate me.

Sculpture Garden

Iván - What attracted you to a career in landscape design?

Christian - One of the attractions is that it combines such a diverse range of disciplines, including art, science, horticulture and engineering. I have always enjoyed creating, and this in combination with my education and extensive experience working in gardens and construction, have led me to where I am now. Over the years I have formed a close relationship to, and found inspiration in, the earth and its cycles. I feel our outdoor environment is essential to our society and our quality of life. Ultimately I want to design outdoor spaces that engage and inspire people, as it does me, every day.

Hartford Legacy Screen

Iván - Your designs are stunningly well balanced, modern yet timeless, spacious but not stark. How do you keep current in the garden design industry?

Christian - I spend a lot of time reading art, landscape and architecture books and magazines. Time away from the studio and travel is also important to stay fresh. The key is being mindful not to cling to the trends, to trust your instincts and create your own unique approach and style.

Sherwood Concept Sketch

Iván - Do you feel that Victoria is ready for a change? Where do you see landscape design going in the next 10 years?

Christian - Absolutely Victoria is ready for a change. We are so lucky where we live and I feel the interest and appreciation for the west coast in a local and global sense is growing. In the years to come there will be a deeper understanding and commitment to the space we are given, and a greater need to utilize our outdoor environment. I feel the home in its context, the occupants and their immediate outdoor setting will need to be more environmentally active and balance harmoniously, both functionally and aesthetically.

Iván - You received your education from London's Inchbald School of Design and began your career in England; what has the European culture brought to your designs here in Canada?

Christian - Green space is highly valued in European cities, where space is limited, work hours are long and holidays short. These spaces are used to relax and are key to the communities well being. I was left with this awareness and knowledge of how important the time in this valuable space is to our culture and health.

Sherwood Residence

Iván - Victoria is also your hometown, what do you think your Canadian background brought to your projects in Europe?

Christian - Growing up on the Canadian west coast filled me with a deep respect for the land and its rhythm and allowed me a more sensitive approach to each project. Instinctively my designs reveal and agree with the deeper context and are more functional, economical and sustainable over time than designs that disregard it.

David Residence Plan View

Iván - What kind of things do you have to keep in mind while creating a landscape design that the client might not realize is important for you to know?

Christian - It is critical for me to know how much time the client has to maintain my vision. I do not create complicated gardens; it’s just that a landscape or garden is not finished when construction has been completed. A garden takes time to shape, it needs to evolve and establish.

Hartford Legacy Screen Concept

Hartford Legacy Screen Completion

Iván - What is the most unusual request that you have ever received from a client?

Christian - No request has ever been too unusual, the more unusual the better.

Iván - What do you consider to be your greatest strength and weakness?

Christian - My strength is that I completely immerse myself in every project. I love what I do and pride myself on attention to detail in all aspects of the design and management process. My weakness would have to be my passion for fine footwear.

Davis Residence

Iván - What project are you most proud of?

Christian - It is a garden I grew up shaping and working in from a young age. The client showed me the important aspect of the sense and history of a place, while creating your own unique style within its context. It is a garden where I learned through experiment, a space for work, play and relaxation. It has been an ongoing project now for roughly 16 years.

Iván - What would be your dream project if you were given carte blanche?

Christian - It would have to be an avant-garde urban landscape where the public could experience my work. A green space that reveals local natural processes and resources, improves environmental quality and stimulates other initiatives. A place to build knowledge and relish in biodiversity.

Davis Residence

Iván - What is your favourite plant to work with?

Christian - Every site and project is unique with different requirements and I rarely, if ever, look at plant material for a singular quality. My plantings are created in a painterly fashion, using them en masse, or as “living sculpture.” I select plant materials for their structural character, mutual compatibility, and how they contrast together.

Hartford Legacy

Iván - What is your most valued possession?

Christian - My tan briefcase and its contents.

[ I wonder what the contents are ... ]

Iván - What's next for Christian Barnard Landscape Studio?

Christian - I am currently consulting and working on some very unique projects. What's next? Well, it's really about being open to each distinct challenge and opportunity and embracing the unknown.

To see more of Christian Barnard stunning work please visit:


Christian Barnard Studio

Suite 300 # 3 Fan Tan Alley

Victoria British Columbia V8W 3G9

P 250.590.5098

F 250.590.2930

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Welcome to Victoria Thomson & Page

Thomas and Page has finally opened their new store in downtown Victoria and has brought with them 80 years of tradition in fine furnishings. Located at the newly restored
Leiser Building at 524 Yates Street, it is conveniently just around the corner of the Meade Design Group studio.

Thomas and Page has recreated a store where space and high end furnishings complement each other. The stylish and knowledgeable Eliza Kenny-Orr greeted me at the door and gave me a really interesting tour around the new showroom.

The pieces by Barbara Barry for Baker really caught my eye, as well a beautiful white lacquer credenza at the entrance. I have to say that the lighting was also spectacular, in particular I thought the chrome shade Maurice chandelier by Jonathan Adler was stunning. I just couldn't resist all this temptation and purchased a beautiful cream cashmere blanket that I have been looking for forever.

Jeff Knauer & Lauren Clegg

Siblings and current co-owners, Jeff Knauer and Lauren Clegg, took over the business from their parents in 1997 and have since introduced many new lines and a custom order service. They moved the business to Kerrisdale in 1999 where they continue to serve the Vancouver and B.C. market with only the best furniture and furnishings and home accessories.

Conveniently located this new furniture store houses brands such as:

+ PEARSON (a great furniture line only available in Victoria)

+ BAKER I have personally labeled this brand as the NEW antiques of today; with pieces designed by Barbara Barry, Bill Sofield, Thomas Phasant, Laura Kirar, Jaques Garcia, Archetype and more...

Baker Furniture speaks the language of style. Not satisfied to be of the moment, the company works to be of the movement, in the role of taste maker and innovator rather than a follower of the whim of fashion. The accent is on product - through Design, Materials, Craftsmanship, and Finish.

X Oval Back Chair by Barbara Barry

+ HURTADO (European aesthetic and high quality craftsmanship)

+ VANGUARD (as they said it all started with a velvet chair)

+ HICKORY CHAIR designer creations by Thomas O'Brien, Mariette Himes Gomez, Alexa Hampton, Suzanne Kasler, Albert Sack and more.

New Thomson Dining Room Table and Dabney Chairs by Thomas O'Brien

+ COPELAND - The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection


American Leather is known for being a leader in creating leather furnishings that offer fashion, performance and innovation. From the sleek motion of American Leather's Swing Chair to the more traditional stylishness of their Boutique Collection, American Leather offers something for everyone. To learn more, visit American Leather

To see even more brands please visit:

Thomson & Page

Victoria Showroom
524 Yates Street Victoria BC, V8W 1K8 Canada

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Future Forecast

The versatility you find in a man made product such as Corian brings new life into the designs of Kedar Naik
. The innovative use of Corian to create wash basins with the benefits of Microban technology and superior durability make this product to be soon in everybodies radar.

Kedar Naik Industrial design, Lifestyle Accessory Design http://www.coroflot.com

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Victoria's Top 10 Dining Chairs

Looking for the perfect dining chair for your home? Shopping in the beautiful garden city of Victoria British Columbia? Well, here are ten great options as recommended by the design team at Meade Design Group. We invite you to sit back and enjoy our virtual shopping experience.

Prescott Chair by Jonathan Adler
Only Human

Tulip Chair - Saarinen
Gabriel Ross

Kertas Armchair
Pier One Imports

Smoke Chair
Deisgner Marteen Baas - Moooi Only Human

Wishbone Chair

Knoll Eero Saarinen Chair - With Arms - Wood
Gabriel Ross

Ghost Chair
Design by Philippe Stark

Gabriel Ross
Place Function + Design
Design House

Margo Chair Design by Candice Olsen
Norwalk Furniture

Howard Dining Chair
Urban Barn

Mondetour Side Chair
Design by Jacques Garcia - Baker
Thomson and Page

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Eye Candy of the Week

Product: Baindoles - Tea Set
Material: Sterling Silver
Designer: Armani Casa
Yummy Factor: Delectable !

I love the elegance and the simplicity of this tea set - hint! hint! my birthday is coming soon.

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Friday, 19 September 2008

How to be the favorite son-in-law ?

If you are looking for that special "in" with your mother-in-law. I have just the thing for you.

A couple of years ago Brenda Marks, the island's Kravet rep brought me a fabric book from Pierre Deux. Inside the book was a fabric that I thought could be perfect for my mother-in-law. Why, you ask? My mother-in-law believes she invented the french country style, specifically the rooster motif.

I couldn't resist I had to do something with the fabric for her, and I decided to make pillows with the fabric as her Christmas present. The pillows were a hit and she loves the fact that her interior designer son-in-law made her one of a kind cushions to the envy of all her friends and family.

Well, I just discover that her bragging can now move to the next level. As I picked up the lastest issue of House Beautiful featuring the best of classic and modern fabrics, what do I see under french country (page 100)? None other but the very same Pierre Deux fabric I choose for Pat a couple of years earlier.

Here is to you Pat, I think this is the best gift I can give you (further bragging rights), not only is your fabric featured in the pages of an international magazine, but now you have been the subject of a post on the infamous Meade Design Group Blog - Have a great Birthday !

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 14 September 2008

New Africa

Today's Africa is modern, sophisticated, strong.

You can definitely see the origins of the modern design coming from a primitive and rustic base. Far away from ethnic stereotypes and trends these pieces can live in any style. The rough synergy that these pieces bring to a room can add comfort and uniqueness without compromising the end result of a well thought out space. You can find today ostrich feathers lamps, ebony, wenge and kiaat wood products, African masks, Baoulé sculptures, animal prints, and ceramics that will definitely bring a vintage feel that feels new and renovated. This is the result of a new breed of designers from Europe and other continents that are approaching design from a sculptural perspective and having African roots as their inspiration.

Baguette Table Lamp - Weylandts

Zulumama Chair by Haldane Martin

Feather Hat

Ethiopian Coffee Trade - Weylandts

Louise Geldelbloom Ceramic

Chaise Lounge Haldane Martin

Available at Gabriel Ross

Club Sofa by Prospero Rasulo - Zanotta

Siwalan Planters

Synapsis Table by Jean-Marie Massaud - Porro

Ostrich Feather Lamb by Haldane Martin

Biba Rounded Mirror - Weylandts

Riempe Bench by Haldane Martin

Cameo Flame Scatter Silk Pillow - Weylandts


C-U-C-Me O Hanging Lamp - Weylandts

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011