As seen in SNAP VICTORIA - May 2009 - "Design Feature"
Trish Puckett is the principal designer for Puckett Design and Construction and the owner of Place function+design, one of the best modern furniture and accessory stores in town. Her sleek design sensibility and her store’s unique solutions such as clean shelving units, modern and functional closet organizers, sliding door systems, and amazing furnishings makes Place the place to source all of your home needs. Place also has a very deep appreciation for the arts, the store houses their own art gallery, P.S. Gallery which currently features talented local artist and designer Iván Meade – another great excuse to stop into Place and P.S. Gallery at 3690 Shelbourne Street.
Iván Meade - What is your favourite design find?
Trish Puckett - I love the old cameras of my dad's. Especially the Minox sub-mini camera. Not really a design find I suppose, but very cool.
Iván Meade - Why is it important/inspirational to you?
Trish Puckett - I like the unique design of the camera. it's very small and very simple. It's meant to be concealed in the palm of your hand for taking spy photos. it has a slick modern look, but was made mid-century and like so many of the great designs from that period, it has a timeless appeal. And of course, it was my dad's.
It inspires me to take more photographs - a favourite hobby besides designing houses. I hope to do a series of images taken with this camera - not necessarily spy photos though - don't worry!
Iván Meade - How does this item reflect upon your personal design philosophy?
Trish Puckett - Well, it's simple and well made, and still useful today. I like how objects like this connect us to ourselves and our past. We feel best when we have some connection and personal investment in our surroundings. I think it's important to express personal choices, and consider the methods of living in the design of the spaces we create. It makes them so much more interesting and fulfilling. And isn't that what design is about? making spaces that are great to be in, that are beautiful, well made, and affect us personally.
Iván Meade - Can you tell me what is your next design venture?
Trish Puckett - We are working on a variety of projects from interiors to complete structural design. These projects give us the opportunity to combine the personal with the functional. it's always an interesting discovery.
Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?
Trish Puckett - I was about 12 and my parents were designing a house. It was to be on a rolling and rocky property outside of Edmonton. I remember how exciting it was to study the blueprints and imagine the finished spaces and how the house would sit on the land. I was always sketching imaginary house plans.
When I finished design school, Rick and I designed an built a duplex to live in. it was beautiful, with complicated roof lines and many jigs and jogs. I worked with Rick framing that house. Luckily he’s a patient builder.
That was a great learning opportunity and we won a CARE award for it.
Iván Meade - Who or what has influenced your style?
Trish Puckett- My parents were pretty stylish, in a very relaxed and comfortable way. I didn't realize until I was older that they had such great taste! They knew what they liked and they appreciated quality, comfort and simple designs. The first thing you noticed in their house was that you felt truly welcome. Then you noticed how nice everything was, not individually, but as a whole. I think that is what made it so welcoming. Nothing was there to impress, just to enjoy.
A family of 6 girls kept the house pretty active so there were no areas of the house reserved for special company. It was all used.
I think how we live in our houses should really affect the design of it, and not the other way around.
Place function + design
Iván Meade - What is the story behind Place, how did the company begin?
Trish Puckett - I have been a designer for about 16 years, and my husband Rick has been a builder for about the same length of time. We have been thinking about opening a store for a while. We wanted an opportunity to move our offices out of our home and at the same time to have a place to offer some of the wonderful designs we have found over the years. So many things are available in larger areas, but can be harder to find in Victoria. Both of us come from large families, and we have 2 kids of our own, so we really appreciate the value of having furniture that is well made, functional, comfortable and yet still feeds our creative sides. We wanted to offer these same things to others here.
Available at Place function+design
Iván Meade - Are you bringing any new lines to Place?
Trish Puckett - We are always looking. We want to continually grow and change. Some of our greatest finds have been as a result of searching for something for a customer, or following up on a request. We hope to add some wonderful linens, rugs and more lighting this coming year. Laura Skagfeld and I are also working on our own furniture ideas that combine art and design. We are very excited about that. We just need the time to focus on it!
Iván Meade - What kind of things might customers find at Place that they won’t find anywhere else on the island?
Trish Puckett - We have some really unique storage systems from the US and beautiful german-engineered sliding doors, as well as Molo from Vancouver and Iannone furniture and ceramic bird feeders from New York. I think it is the combination of products we have that is unique. We really try to make it an inviting place to shop.
Molo – Soft Walls and stools available at Place function+design
Iván Meade - One of the main features of your stores is the fact that you also are sharing space with The Gallery – a modern art gallery, How has the partnership enhance your business?
Trish Puckett - p.s. gallery at place has been a wonderful surprise. It started as a small venue to display some of our own work and has turned into the most amazing space. We are now booking well into next year and all the up coming shows are very exciting. It has been a great opportunity to present original artwork in an interesting setting. The design, furnishings and art are all related, and the mix works well. It offers an opportunity for people to see both things together, and in a relaxed way. Although the gallery space is somewhat separate, the connections are there. Through the gallery we have met so many wonderful people and been able to show beautiful, original artwork. It really has been a privilege.
It has also given us opportunities as designers, builders and artists to look beyond the usual form for art, and explore some interesting crossovers between art, design, and business.
Watch for a really interesting participatory community show next year. We have something very cool in the works...
Iván Meade - What kind of artists do you promote at The Gallery?
Trish Puckett - Local emerging and established contemporary art. That’s a pretty broad range from photography, landscape, abstract, and sculpture to traditional illustration. We have been fortunate to have fabulous artists and great, thought-provoking shows.
Iván Meade - Furthermore, do you feel that Victoria is ready for a change?
Trish Puckett - We have been very well received - by those who can find us!
Iván Meade - Where do you see design going in the next 10 years?
Trish Puckett - I think people will want to have a lot more say in it. I see more participation and an insistence on quality construction and materials for the sake of comfort, creative fulfilment and for the environment. Quality and timelessness are good environmental strategies.
Iván Meade - What do you think all furniture will have in the future?
Trish Puckett - Personality! and the ability to do more than one thing. For some things. Sometimes simple is good too.
Iván Meade - What is the most unusual request that you have ever received from a client?
Trish Puckett - Hmmm... A designer never tells.
I invite you to discover Trish Pucket, Place function+design & P.S. Gallery at http://www.placemodernliving.com/
And don’t forget to check out my X – Exhibition at PS Gallery :)
Ivan Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria – www.themeadegroup.com