Monday, 30 April 2012


As seen in SNAP Victoria – May 2012



Deanna Sellyeh


Today I have the opportunity to introduce readers of SNAP! and the blog, to a new talent in town. Fresh from Vancouver Island University, interior designer Deanna Sellyeh has recently come to Victoria to bring her unique design approach to our neighbourhood.


Deanna was born in Ontario, but moved around a lot growing up, spending time in Bermuda and the Yukon. After high school, she went to the University of Ottawa (fun fact I must interject: her job while in University was a white-water-rafting guide!) to study for a career in Psychology; but when she found herself drawing floor plans in the margins of her notebooks, she thought it may be time to switch majors. So, in her 3rd year, she transferred her credits to VIU’s Interior Design program.



Detail Shoot – Interiors by Deanna Sellyeh


Miss Sellyeh feels her life experiences have probably influenced her design perspective and her focus on ‘community spaces’, where she enjoys creating designs that encourage guests to feel welcome – while maintaining her signature ‘less is more’ aesthetic. She also has a penchant for working on projects with uncommon circumstances, particularly those with atypical sensory perception where factors such as way-finding, emotional effect and a subconscious flow are particularly important.


Deanna has a great career ahead of her, and has already had the opportunity to work on a stunning project in  Bermuda which I want to share with you in particular, but I know her keen eye will take her far in the design world. Please read on to get in on the conversation…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?


Deanna Sellyeh – I grew up in Whitehorse and kids in the Yukon spend a lot of time building forts in the bush. In the winter (which was most of the year) we'd build snow forts. I'd carefully extract sheets of ice off the windshield of my dad's car which I would inset into the walls of my fort to create ice windows. It would be dark by the time school let out, so we'd put candles inside to light up the snowy interior all blue and gold. We'd make furniture out of wood or snow and rig up an alarm system with string and a bear bell. I think all kids play like that when they are young but some people stop when they get older...I don't know why.



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design

Iván - What is your favorite local find? Where did you get this item – how long have you had it?


Deanna Sellyeh – I picked up a hitchhiker near Mill Bay who gave me a Curious George fridge magnet as a thank-you. I suppose that's more of a gift than find, but it's my favourite object from the Greater Victoria Area. This was in 2007, after my first year of design school.


imageInterior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design

Iván - Why is it important/inspirational to you?


Deanna Sellyeh – Hitchhiking is in an interesting thing because you have to have faith that the universe will provide you with opportunities and that people are generally good natured. It's funny, because most people who pick up hitchhikers have hitched rides themselves, so there's this whole community of people who get it. The magnet I was given reminds me to relax and enjoy the ride.



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


Iván Meade – Did you always want to be an interior designer?

Deanna Sellyeh - I always had design related interests but I didn't know that interior design was a career until relatively late in the game. If you'd asked me at age ten, I probably would have said I wanted to design cars or be a carpenter.



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


Iván Meade - Do you consider being young in the business as advantage or a disadvantage?

Deanna Sellyeh - Youth can be an advantage but inexperience can make the job more challenging. The upside of inexperience might be that when you don't have a set of go-to solutions you've devised over the years, you're perhaps more open minded in your approach.  



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Deanna Sellyeh - For myself, I tend to like old but simple things with texture and a story. For a client, I can appreciate any style, though my focus tends to be on concept, space planning and millwork.




Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


Iván Meade – Recently you had the opportunity to complete a stunning commercial project in Bermuda – How was your experience?

Deanna Sellyeh - Thank you! It was a great experience and I learned a lot on this project. I did the design work in Canada in conjunction with SOS Design in Victoria, but I was happy to be invited to a few of the site meetings in Bermuda.

We used local suppliers as much as possible but just about everything in Bermuda is imported which has a considerable impact on cost and lead times. Also, things tend to corrode and get dirty a lot faster on the island, so that's something you have to consider in material selection. The space was very white, which most people assume is high-maintenance, but we used acrylic paints, finishes and textiles that are easy to clean. The client didn't want it to look like a typical office and I think we succeeded in that.  



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


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

Deanna Sellyeh - Biomimicry in architecture.



Interior Design by Deanna Sellyeh/Akureyri Design


Iván Meade – What would be your dream project?

Deanna Sellyeh - To design a school building to help reduce the anxiety a lot of students can feel in typical educational facilities. To start, this school would have no fluorescent lighting. It would have flexibility to do your class work sitting or standing, the materials would be chosen to reduce echo, noise and glare, it would make use of colour psychology -- not just the typical white, blue and burgundy due to a lack of conceptual alternatives. It would have living walls, flexible spaces and integrated way finding techniques and it would have lots of fresh air and natural light, especially in the hallways. To me, interior design is more about how space functions and how it makes you feel and that's a combination of all your senses. My primary interest in interior design is finding ever more seamless ways for space to work with people, as opposed to a world of people just working within space. I think schools are a great place to start investing in this kind of effort.



imageSOS:NDSS Thesis Project by Deanna Selleyeh

Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Deanna Sellyeh - My mama's front porch.



I invite you to visit Deanna Sellyeh’s website at:





Interior Photography by: Josh Nychuk

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Designing for generosity

Today I had the pleasure to see this wonderful video via Patricia Gray.  I would like to share it with you as it really resonates with me.




MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 10 April 2012








Ike Suspension






Shade: RAL Lacquered Color.
Frame: Chrome or Gold Plated.



Height: 14,37" | 36,5cm - Diameter: 23,62" | 60cm

Cord or pole height: customizable



Characterized by its rhythmic composition, this light fixture will bring a sense of glamour to any space.  This fixture has the right balance of black and Gold or Chrome.  Its clean lines make it memorable and easy to blend with any style.


Lately it has been difficult to find something unique that really excites me for the eye candy section.  It seems that we are in a time where everything has been already done or it is a new interpretation of a past idea, which seems to be the case of this particular eye candy.  What I like about this light fixture and company is the quality of their products and the time that they take to put together a piece.  There is a process and not only a machine made item.




MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 3 April 2012



Matt Politano


Matt Politano is a good friend of mine, but he is also a very talented photographer and graphic designer.  Born and raised in Victoria, Matt always took a liking to the arts and studied art and art history at UVic, graduating with a degree in Art Education. But Matt found himself drawn towards digital media and developed a passion for fine art photography and graphic design and now has two businesses: His namesake photography studio and Oculus Design + Marketing.


What I love about Matt’s image work is that he really blends fantasy and reality seamlessly, and has a fascinating process involving modern technology (such as Photoshop, digital cameras, flatbed scanners etc) and tried and true printing techniques for magnificently layered pieces. As a graphic designer, Matt is able to consistently produce work with and for his clients with a clean and understated aesthetic. I also appreciate that he is a proud member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, and is terrific at spreading the word on why it is so beneficial to work with a certified designer.




Another reason why I can connect so well with Matt? We are both avid bloggers! Matt does a great job of sharing ideas and work on his blog – including a daily dose of his photography, check it out for a little eye candy!


Matt’s got a new exhibition on the horizon, and I cannot wait to share his work and design insights with my readers – please read on to get in on the conversation…



Iván Meade - What was the first photograph you ever took, do you still remember the subject? Do you still have it?

Matt Politano – I think the first photo I took was probably a Polaroid at some family get-together. I remember being fascinated by Polaroids; watching the image slowly resolve before my eyes. I received my first SLR camera as a high school graduation gift (I still use some of the negatives shot with that camera in my work today) and shot almost exclusively in B&W for a number of years. My first deliberate art photo was actually a digital composite created from multiple scanned images – digital cameras still being exotic items at the time.




Iván Meade - When did you first get started in photography?

Matt Politano – It really started with that first SLR camera; I took a photo course in University and fell in love with the immediacy of the medium. I would spend long hours in the darkroom, often staying into the early morning hours – until the headaches from exposure to the chemicals just became too much. I experimented with anything I was introduced to: solarization, photograms, colour filters. Eventually, I transitioned to digital – lured by the increased speed with which I could experiment.



Iván - What is it about photography that interests you as a graphic designer/artist?

Matt Politano – I love the duality of photography: on one hand, because we can 'capture' what's in front of the lens, we have always trusted photography as a documentary tool – but, right from day one, photographs have been manipulated to match their creators' vision. With the tools at our disposal today it's easier than ever to fabricate reality and so there's a constant tension between our trusting eyes and our sceptical brains – it's interesting to explore and even exploit this tension.

I also enjoy the immediacy that photography offers, allowing you to not only be a part of the scene, experiencing it, but also capture fragments of it and manipulate the experience – and the memory of it – at the same time.



Iván Meade - Have you always worked in photography or have you worked in other mediums as well?

Matt Politano – I actually came to photography fairly late, starting out in more traditional media like painting and ceramics. Even now I don't work exclusively in photography; I integrate other disciplines/media where it creates the desired effect. And there's still something inherently satisfying about getting your hands dirty; a tactility that's missing in photography – especially digital.


Iván Meade - What has influenced you and your sense of style?

Matt Politano – I've always been drawn to the Surrealists and the Pop Art movement, perhaps because I have a well-developed appreciation for the absurd. I also love to travel and explore architecture and spaces/places where humans have imposed some kind of order on nature. A lot of my work is devoid of human presence, and yet focuses on spaces created specifically for their use. I think this is perhaps because I feel that these rational spaces are utilitarian in use but, by standing quietly, alone, one can truly appreciate their beauty – so many of my images place the viewer in that position.




Iván Meade - Who or what would be your dream subject?

Matt Politano – I have too many, I think, but an area I'd love to experiment with is fashion photography. One of my biggest influences is Tim Walker, who creates incredible images for Vogue – he has a delightful vision that could be described as 'Terry Gilliam shoots fashion'. His models are often players in absurd dramas and the images are more about concept than the models or even the clothes. There's so much room for whimsical and surreal storytelling.


Iván Meade - What is your favourite photograph?

Matt Politano – My absolute favourite photo is a Tim Walker image: Lily and Spiral Staircase – such a simple, but stunningly beautiful image. A recent favourite is Hideaway  by Rosie Hardy, a young photographer based in the UK. I also recently saw a show of work by Ellen Kooi  that simply blew me away; I could have happily bought half of the pieces.




Iván Meade - How do you find the transition from graphics to photography?

Matt Politano – In a word: difficult. The imagery I select, direct or shoot for communication and experience design is all carefully directed at communicating a specific concept or message and is usually only one supporting element that must work with text and other elements. Switching gears to personal work often requires a lot of effort, because I'm no longer focusing on someone else's needs, but rather on my own vision or feelings. So while I'm using almost all of the same tools, the intent behind it is very different.


I do find, too, that there are aspects of my personal work – a certain aesthetic– that sneak into my design work, as well as compositional and other design elements that filter through and influence my personal work.


Iván Meade – Do you use your photography in your graphic design projects?

Matt Politano – Absolutely. I don't shoot much commercial work, preferring instead to art direct and work with some excellent photographers in town (is an added bonus, I learn from their techniques and practices) but I do occasionally shoot for clients and also shoot elements like backgrounds or textures as needed for client projects. Stock photography is just so predictable and repetitive that I often prefer to simply shoot something myself. It's also a great way to keep learning and keep from getting stuck, creatively.


Iván Meade – You will be presenting on April 5th at Dales Gallery a new exhibition “The Floating World” – What can you tell us about this exhibit?


Matt Politano - The show features several different series I've been working on recently, including some large double-exposures, landscapes and a series of images that pays homage to Japanese woodblock prints, using a combination of photographs and appropriated imagery.  The prints are a mix of paper-based and transmounted, almost all limited edition and all signed. The pieces range in size from 36" wide down to some 10"x10" squares of market images, ideal for displaying in a kitchen and priced to make attractive gifts.


Dales Gallery is an excellent space for displaying these pieces – I'm really excited to see everything up on the walls and I hope your readers will come to the opening on Thursday, April 12 from 7-9. The show runs until May 1 so if you can't make it to the opening, the gallery is open Monday-Friday 10 am - 5 pm and Saturday 11 am - 4 pm. You can find the event on Facebook.


You can view my previous work, as well as some of the pieces in this show at Matt Politano. If you'd like to stay in the loop on my shows and new work, you can subscribe to my very occasional email newsletter – as an added incentive, until the end of the show's run, I'm entering everyone who signs up for my mailing list in a draw for a signed copy of my upcoming photo book.



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 1 April 2012


I have always been very impressed at how active and engaging our Art Gallery is in promoting local culture and supporting our community.   Following last year’s successful event, Let’s Talk Design, the Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria are offering a series of four interactive design presentations this April that are not to be missed.

This year the theme for the Let’s Talk Design event is “New Ways to Live”. The series will present four of Victoria’s leading interior design firms: JC Scott Design Associates – “Living environments that support your health”, Inoui Design Collective – “Back to the Future: Rethinking our traditional use of space”, Design One Stevens – “Your Kitchen Takes Center Stage”, and Meade Design Group – “What Luxury Means Today”, who will tackle this presentation in a variety of ways, sharing their ideas and engaging the audience.


Friday. April 20 @ 7pm | “What Luxury Means Today”

Ivan Meade and Echo Eaton-Thorne from Meade Design Group


Many of us imagine luxury in a home to be synonymous with grand, ornate spaces and furnishings that most of us can only dream of. However, luxury in an interior today can be so much more. During Meade Design Group’s lecture ‘What Luxury Means Today’, a variety of topics will be covered including space, furnishings, modern conveniences and how to combine the luxuries of today and yesterday in your space.



La Galerie des Glaces – The Palace of Versailles



Ivan Meade – Principal Designer C.G.D.
Ivan founded Meade Design Group in 2002 and the company has not stopped growing since. He continues to enjoy his design career because every day, every project, and every client is different. Design stimulates him and he is able to express himself and his clients with different mediums on a daily basis. He takes pride in enhancing clients’ businesses and homes so they can live their best life.


Ivan is a leader in the design blog movement world-wide with the publicly and critically acclaimed Meade Design Group – The Blog, which was one of the first of its kind when the first post was published back in 2007. The blog features interviews with top designers, the popular ‘Eye Candy of the Week’ and informative entries on trending design topics.



Ivan Meade


Echo Eaton-Thorne – Interior Designer D.I.D.
Echo grew up in the world of renovation and general contracting; she received her education from Vancouver Island University’s interior design program and graduated with an award in art history in 2006. She has been with Meade Design Group ever since and loves her career because it allows her to help clients fall in love with their homes all over again, through the functionality and aesthetics achieved after a fun and interactive experience between her and her clients.



Echo Eaton-Thorne


Sponsors: Gabriel Ross Inc. |&| Y.A.M.  Magazine

The series is scheduled to be held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on Moss Street April 19, 20 and 21, 2012.  There will be two evening presentations, one each on April 19 and 20, and morning and afternoon presentations on Saturday April 20.  Tickets for each presentation are priced at $20, with a maximum of 65 persons at each presentation. The sessions will be 2 hours in length, each presentation will be followed by questions and refreshments will be served.  An “early bird” discount (1 lecture free) will be offered for those buying tickets to all 4 lectures prior to April 5.

I invite you to support the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and attend what is sure to be a great event!   For more information please visit:





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