We sat down with Sebastien Fauteux, Creative Director and decor expert here at Urban Barn HQ. He shared some great tips on what he does, how he does it, as well as what to expect from the new Spring range coming in 2017.
How do you stay on top of the game with fresh new ideas, when there are so many information resources?
I spend a lot of time traveling to industry trend shows, as well as for pleasure. I see myself as a gatherer and filter of information and try to see inspiration emerge.
Then I see how I can make this accessible in both style and value to the consumer.
How do you highlight what you do?
At Urban Barn, I’m the Creative Director and Merchandising Manager. This gives me the opportunity to use both sides of my brain – being creative and analytical to grow the company.
What is your “Zen place” that inspires you the most to come up with new ideas and concepts?
Being away from home and routine gives me the chance to detach from everyday responsibilities and be open minded.
I keep the television at bay, leaving me more room to concentrate on conversation and my love of cooking, which I find very Zen.
When looking so many seasons ahead, how do you split your focus between ‘what is on trend’ vs. ‘what could be’.
The nice things about what we do here at Urban Barn are more of an investment. The process of thinking about this type of purchase is an investment into furniture that will be with you for many years. With accessories, we are able to be more trendy and change with the seasons. It’s the best of both worlds.
What has been your largest source of inspiration for the Spring line?
The are four themes or colour directions for the upcoming Spring collection, all of which are inspired by new beginnings that the season brings and a feeling of escape.
Although each inspiration is different from another, they all have a fresh and bright, yet relaxing feel.
How do you choose what products you showcase?
To put focus on design enthusiasts, a mistake I have seen is their eagerness to finish quickly. There’s something to be said for the pleasure of in making the process last and spend more time thinking about what works in a new space.
Who is/are your largest sources of inspiration?
The obvious answer is colour and trends. The other is fashion and food, social trends and hobbies. For example, I see a correlation between people loving craft beer and loving furniture that has more of a rustic feel.
If you were to give a home designer / decor expert 1-tip, what would that be?
Don’t underestimate the effect that an area rug can do for a space. You can add colour, style, also define a space in an open floor plan. It does wonders for heat and noise reduction.
What trends / styles are you looking forward to seeing in Spring 2017?
I’m very excited about the ‘Blooms and Bonbons’ collection for Spring, with soft pink, yellow and blues. It’s fresh, sexy and relaxing.
How do the themes / collections come together?
The process is 12 months in the making. It’s a collaborative effort between myself, our buyers and the feedback gathered from our team members and clients.
What are you looking at for Summer 2017?
We have an exciting collection of outdoor furniture. Stay tuned for more updates on that one! 😉
How do you take pieces from all over the world and make them come together?
It’s a giant inspiration board and we make all the pieces fit, one item at a time.
How did you get started in home design?
I started 20 years ago when Urban Barn was a new, exciting venture. The rest is history.
What is one thing about Urban Barn that few people know?
Still many people don’t know that we’re a proudly Canadian company and people are still surprised by that.