Friday, 30 July 2010

In Conversation with Tamara Radick

imageTamara Radick


As seen in SNAP Victoria, August 2010


After 10 years of experience in the design business, Tamara Radick opened her own firm - Inhabit Designs, in 2007 to bring her fresh, clean, contemporary style to residential and commercial spaces throughout British Columbia. You may have seen Tamara's work in the internationally acclaimed Opus Hotel in Vancouver or even locally in one of our favourite summer spots Glo Restaurant.  Tamara's spaces have a fresh and sophisticated style imprinted in every corner.  Inhabit Designs also offers graphic design, branding and project management services, complementing the structure of her design business.


Please read on to learn more about this talented designer…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Tamara Radick – My mom has always been my version of Martha. She is an amazing seamstress, crafter, writer & a fierce cook. She used to design & make gorgeous outfits for me, room décor, stunning birthday cakes, she could really do it all! And although I certainly do not have her prowess in the kitchen, I would like to think that my love of fashion & design came from her.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Tamara Radick- One of the first architecture books I ever received was on the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. I remember being in awe of Falling Water & thought it was amazing that you could build a house over flowing water. I have certainly been influenced by mid-century modern design, as well as the objects & spaces created by designers like Marcel Wanders, Phillipe Stark & Karim Rashid.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Tamara Radick- My personal style is modern & fresh. I love to layer texture, color & unique items to make spaces interesting & full of personality.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – What is your design philosophy?

Tamara Radick- Delight in design & design to delight.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – Previous to opening Inhabit, you worked at several architectural firms. How did your experience at these firms differ from your experience at inhabit?

Tamara Radick- While I loved working on large commercial projects with teams of other amazing designers & architects, I was only every working on a portion of the overall project. I love to work on every aspect of a job from creating the vision, to developing the details and executing the final installation. Being the owner of inhabit allows me to be completely involved in all phases of the design.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – Your graphic works are very well done, very clean and contemporary – much like your interiors. How did you become involved in graphic design?

Tamara Radick- There seemed to be a gap between graphic design & the built environment. I got into graphic design to help bridge this gap by creating environmental graphics & wayfinding signage for large commercial projects.


This developed over time into doing brand development, logo design & all print materials for my clients to offer them a complete design approach that would have continuity through the entire project.


I love to draw & paint, so working on graphics really let me tap into my creative/artistic side.


image Graphic Design by Tamara Radick


Iván Meade – Who is Tamara Radick? (Outside of being Tamara Radick – the designer)

Tamara Radick- When I am not designing I am either playing volleyball, enjoying great food & a glass of pinot gris, spending time with family & friends, or catching up on trashy TV!


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick


Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Tamara Radick- Clients seem to be better educated in design these days & are more willing to really push their boundaries. They are looking for unique spaces that truly reflect their style & personality, this makes designing so much more fun!


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – What would be your dream project?

Tamara Radick- My best friend is an amazing fashion designer. We would love to collaborate on a retail concept that combines fabulous custom couture items for the home & the body.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick


Iván Meade – What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Tamara Radick- Opus Hotel was one of the most challenging & equally rewarding projects that I have ever worked on. It was wonderful having a client that really wanted an end product that was overtly sexy & edgy. The result of the collaboration between the design team & the client produced an award-winning space that is ranked one of the top 100 hotels in the world.


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick


Iván Meade – What is the best advice (design related or otherwise) that you have ever received?

Tamara Radick- I think it would have to be ‘Love what you do’. If you love what you’re doing, it never really ends up being work…how fabulous is that!


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick


Iván Meade – What are 3 things you can’t live without?

Tamara Radick- Illy espresso, designer handbags, my boys (my husband Dave & my French bulldog Cito)



Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Tamara Radick- We just bought a beautiful 1911 character house. I can’t wait to blend the original architectural elements with my modern aesthetic. Looking forward to some interesting results!


image Interior Design by Tamara Radick

Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Tamara Radick- I simply want to create environments & objects that bring people joy.


I invite you to discover Tamara Radick's work at her website




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 –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cosmpolitan Magazine Then and Now…

A couple of weeks ago my aunt Guillermina gave me as a very special gift, over 100 covers of Cosmopolitans dated from early 1900 to 1930’s.


From my point of view as a graphic designer, I had lots of fun with the graphics and the text of these covers, as an interior designer It was very interesting to find out what were the HOT items from a century ago and how they used to promote them.  Those were the times when a purchase was made for the rest of your life time.




The idea of this blog entry came to mind when I saw the most recent Cosmopolitan magazine on the grocery shop.


Back in the day all the covers of Cosmopolitan where artfully illustrated in pastels promoting femininity and the main topic of each magazine was to review the latest works of literature. 




It is a bit of a departure when you put a 100 year old Cosmopolitan cover in contrast with the latest cover of Cosmopolitan featuring Britney Spears.   From Class to White Trash - Back in the day a hot chick was considered to be literate and classy; now a hot chick is the one who knows how to have sex,  what she needs in bed, the one who knows how to inhale a whole pizza, and the one who doesn't want to let him go.


britney spears cosmo cover It's Britney B!#ch!


What are your thoughts???

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Eye Candy of the Week – The Sinclair Chair by Charles Edmonds





The Sinclair Chair


Charles Edmonds


Charles Edmonds


Western Maple with a 3pt oil finish.

The seating is a woven rush with Shellac.


If you see this chair you may think it is the latest Dutch piece designed by Marcel Wanders, or perhaps the newest creation of Maarten Baas, but actually this is a year end project for the Fine Furniture Program at Camosun College in Victoria B.C.

I had the opportunity to see this beautiful chair displayed at Only Human a couple of weeks ago. I initially thought that in effect this chair was the latest piece by Moooi. What a surprise to learn that The Sinclair Chair was designed and carefully crafted by one of our own new local designer/builder talents - Charles Edmonds.

If you understand a little bit about the fine wood craft you will find that a chair is one of the hardest things to build in furniture making. Different types of joinery at difficult angles are a challenge for any designer/carpenter and this chair doesn’t have any straight elements making this piece extremely complex to build.

One can tell that Charles has wood working in his heritage as the piece speaks of tradition and yet incorporates enough modern moments that it represents an evolutionary step in fine furniture design. Charles honours his heritage by naming the chair after his grandmother Betty Sinclair as well all the past carpenters in his family.

The Sinclair Chair is based upon a late 19th century Arts and Crafts Sussex Chair popularized by Morris and Co. Charles Edmonds has maintained the elegance of the original piece while achieving a contemporary feel by incorporating the lines and posture of a lounge chair. The small vertical members in the back rest are part of the original profile and thus honouring its origins.


Sacchariferous !!!

What are your thoughts about this chair?

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 19 July 2010

Victoria’s Design Scene: An Inside Look

Early in the year an article that I wrote filled the pages of YAM Magazine – Today I am posting the complete content of the article with some new additions.


I am often asked the same questions – What do you think about the “design scene” in Victoria? Who are the best designers in Victoria? Is Victoria a good market to work in? Is there much competition in Victoria? 

I think “the design scene” in Victoria has drastically changed since I began Meade Design Group in 2002. In seven years I have seen the main group of designers evolving and growing, while constant newcomers are bringing new and fresh design options to the market.  When I started my firm, I kept hearing the same five names over and over again, but as time passed and I became more part of the design community the list has grown.  And this makes sense: Victoria is evolving into a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city considering its relatively small size. A diverse, competent, and celebrated design community is what one would expect in a city that offers such high quality cultural resources and entertainment.  What other city our size has such fantastic Opera, Ballet, Theatres, Museums, and Art Galleries?  Victoria even has commercial districts with distinctive styles and purpose like Antique Row, Lo Jo, and the new Design District.



When I was invited to brand and create the image for The Design District I thought it was a great opportunity to evaluate the design scene in Victoria.  I got to learn who are the designers that shop in the area?  Who are the design enthusiasts that go there every weekend?  Which couples do you see looking for bargains or for that perfect piece for the vacant corner in their home? What are the stores in the area that are bringing new customers and educating potential clients? 

I have also witnessed Victoria design clients becoming savvier and more design conscious. They have access to many of the resources that we designers have to inspire us and keep us up-to-date with new methods and materials; the internet, television, magazines and of course local design stores all contribute. Designers have had to raise their game and evolve to stay on top.  However, informed clients are also better clients: they make for better projects by pushing their designers to imagine outside of the box and to introduce new concepts that keep the trends moving. 



Interior Design by Meade Design Group

Being a good designer is not just about being able to create a beautiful space; it is also a designer’s responsibility to put their clients’ desires into a functioning design, and to bring the best value possible to the space. Victoria clients may have gained some skills in figuring out what they want their homes to look like but designers are still needed to make it happen. The creative process to find the right solution for a room, producing the best floor plan, sourcing a complimentary set of fabrics, creating a focal point that will make a room memorable or even just finding the right piece of furniture or an accessory in Victoria are all things that designers do and it’s not easy. Victoria is a growing city, but you really need to be creative in this town to find sources; after all, we live on an island. Although the Internet and all the products in the world are only a few clicks a way, it’s still not an easy job to fulfill our client’s shopping lists. 



Interior Design by Bruce Wilkin Design



Interior Design by Amie De Toro

I think what is critical to a designers success in Victoria is not being fantastically creative or gifted – although those attributes are important – it is to have have great resources, team members and trades people.  A good designer is also organized and can take a project from concept to completion while keeping their client happy and producing a space that will become the next show piece to inspire more people to line up outside their door. 



Interior Design by Sandy Nygaard

I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview many of the best international interior designers for my blog like Barbara Barry, Jonathan Adler, Vicente Wolf, Kenneth Brown and many more. I have also been able to interview the best local interior designers and I am proud to say that Victoria has amazing and significant talent that has gained international recognition.



Interior Design by Kimberly Williams



Interior Design by Robyn Meredith Bryson

Kimberly Williams and Robyn Meredith Bryson have both been featured in Architectural Digest, one of the top achievements you can receive as a designer; Bruce Wilkin and Bruce Wilson made the top 100 list of the best designers by Canadian House and Home as well as having their projects featured regularly in the magazine; I have been fortunate to have one of Meade Design Group’s projects appear on HGTV’s TOP TEN as the 6th best games room in the continent  for our project in Maple Bay, and Robyn Meredith Bryson will be in a future episode of the same show for the award winning home, “The Radius Residence”. Sandy Nygaard, JC Scott and Teresa Ryback are all featured in Spectacular Homes of Western Canada by Panache.  Amie de Toro is a new Victoria addition with amazing international exposure, her work and home accessory line has been published in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home and many more, and she is part of the wave of designers new in town.

Yes, the Victoria “design scene” is very rich and vibrant indeed.  Most Victorians probably are not aware of all of these local accolades because most of the aforementioned designers are also quite humble (what’s any design community without a diva or two?)  However, all of them have earned their status as being among Victoria’s best through their designs evident in Victoria’s finest homes.  



Interior Design by TD Swansburg



Interior Design by JC Scott



Interior Design by Gillian Ley Interiors 


But one may ask who these designers are? And, what makes them so good? Furthermore, who am I to give the answer?  Well, I am a designer myself and being an insider gives me the opportunity - from the professional and personal point of view - to share my thoughts about a great group of colleagues.

Victoria is a city of 300,000 and there are 75 designers within the yellow pages so you have an amazing designer for every 4000 people, not bad! The design community in Victoria is very supportive, as I mentioned earlier, we consider each other as colleagues rather than competitors; we have annual get-togethers and commend each other on achievements and often collaborate. Because of this, I have been able to enjoy the company of most of the designers in town and have found the role that each plays within the “design scene”.

Each designer has an immediately recognizable style and they really know how to merge creativity and business acumen.  This great group of local designers has attained success, as they continue to experiment with new approaches and take risks. 

There is also a group of superb independent designers who bring a sense of sophistication to Victoria:  Sushan Egoyan, Pauline Van Blokland, Pat Wickware-Tweten, Gillian Ley, Colleen Buker, Eleanor V.Smith, Susan Hargraves, Design One-Stevens, Barbara Gergel, Beth Krupa, Monika Kurc, María Leupelt, Ines Hanl, Danielle Campagne, Denise Hamalainen, Diane Kennedy, Wendy Wilson and Arlene Hart have all become established names in the Victoria design market.


Interior Design by Susan Hargraves



Interior Design by Colleen Buker

I also would like to mention Citta Construction, Christopher Developments and Zebra Design, who are better known for their refined architectural design work, and InSpace and Axis Design for their excellent commercial designs.


image Exterior Design by Christopher Developments


Interior Design by Zebra Design

But who are the new faces?  The new kids on the block?  The ones to watch?  The new generation of designers in Victoria is energetic; they are not just stylish they embrace technology and are savvy in social marketing tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Technorati - each of which are becoming important  parts of their business lexicon.  Names like Lana Lansboury, Tonia Di Introno, Leah Rourke, Jenny Martin, Tamara Radick, Heather Draper, Ben Brannen, Acacia Interior Design, Danisha Rice, Amanda Forrest, Inoui Design and many more that I have not met yet.



Interior Design by Tonia Di Introno Design


imageInterior Design by Inoui Design Collective 



Interior Design by Inhabit Design



Interior Design by Jenny Martin

As you can see Victoria there is no shortage of great designers.  You may be wondering how one goes about choosing a designer.  The majority of these designers have websites and you can surf in the comfort of your home and browse their portfolios. Some of these designers also have blogs so you can have a peek into their everyday life and maybe even learn more than you want to know.  Ultimately the designer will be a person who will match your personality and style.  Some designers offer free meet and greets to review their portfolios giving their perspective clients an opportunity to see if they are a good match for them and their home. 

A decade ago the sophisticated residents of Victoria had few options to consider when looking for a designer to transform their homes. Now, there is a wealth of options. The designers of Victoria are not just talented individuals; they are a diverse community that shares the goals of making this city a better place – even if it is just one room at a time.   I hope with this article, to recognize the inimitable talent and creativity of these designers and salute my colleagues with respect.  



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

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Eye Candy of the Week – Mirrors by Lladró


















Oval Mirror Black - Year Issued: 2010
Size: 93x58 cm

Limited Edition 300 pieces


Round Mirror Small – Year Issued: 2010

Size 90x72 cm

Limited Edition 300 pieces


Eight Sided Mirror – Year Issued: 2010

Size 78x50 cm

Limited Edition 300 pieces



Lladró – Design Department









In 2007 when I was designing our studio I wanted a black mirror with baroque motives  - Not an easy task then – I had a vision that I wanted this mirror in high gloss black – At the end I found an antique mirror and I had my painter lacquer this mirror. 


studio_070Meade Design Group Studio


I was and I am still very happy with the end result, but today while I was looking for my next eye candy I found these new mirrors by Lladró in porcelain.  They are exactly what I was looking back then -  I really like the fact that these pieces feel traditional but they have enough edge to be contemporary. 


Which one is your favourite mirror?



Exquisito !!!



Ivan Meade is a designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria BC Canada –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Seattle Public Library

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit The Seattle Public Library for the first time.  I was mesmerized by its supreme architecture and clever design.  The simplicity of the materials, but the complexity of its construction has made of this building an architectural icon in the United States.   I was also lucky enough to have this building as my hotel view during my stay in Seattle.


The Central Building for the Seattle Public Library was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/REX.  I found the space really inspiring, so much that I would like to share some of my favourite shots.


Next time you are in Seattle, this is a must see building.


Seattle 2010 121

Seattle 2010 024Sculpture at the Main Entrance


Seattle 2010 026 Achitectural View


Seattle 2010 029 Flooring


Seattle 2010 035Accent Wall – Children’s Section


Seattle 2010 051  Walls and Ceiling Structure


Seattle 2010 072Glass Reflection


Seattle 2010 041  Bookworms

 Seattle 2010 098Auditorium


Seattle 2010 104Ceiling Reflection


Seattle 2010 119 Exterior View


Seattle 2010 120Exterior View



Thanks to the magic of Wikipedia here are the facts

- The Seattle Central Library is the flagship library of the Seattle Public Library system. The 11-story (185 feet or 56 meters high) glass and steel building in downtown Seattle, Washington was opened to the public on Sunday, May 23, 2004. Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/REX were the principal architects and Hoffman Construction Company of Portland, Oregon, was the general contractor. The 362,987 square foot (34,000 m²) public library can hold about 1.45 million books and other materials, features underground public parking for 143 vehicles, and includes over 400 computers open to the public. Over 2 million individuals visited the new library in its first year. It is the third Seattle Central Library building to be located on the same site at 1000 Fourth Avenue, the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Madison and Spring Streets. The library has a unique, striking appearance, consisting of several discrete "floating platforms" seemingly wrapped in a large steel net around glass skin. Architectural tours of the building began on June 5, 2006.



Seattle Public Library by Iván Meade

Iván Meade is a local designer and principal of Meade Design Group, a multidisciplinary interior design and graphic design studio in the heart of downtown Victoria B.C. Canada –

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011