In 1989 I was living in Winnipeg and starting an apprenticeship in construction. I bought an abandoned house and began to renovate it. Over many months of living in the house, I first tore it apart and then rebuilt it from the ground up. What had been a condemned building was given new life as a charming, solid structure, and in the process I learned a valuable series of lessons that not only complimented my formal training in constructionbut solidified my love of renovation, design, and reconstruction.
In the decades since then, I’ve continued to study and learn as my career has progressed, evolved, and expanded into diverse areas related to construction and renovation. I began as the sole female in an apprenticeship program that had me working concrete on high-rise buildings, and today one of my specialties is refined concrete for residential applications – custom formed and polished concrete sinks, tubs, and countertops. Since renovating my Winnipeg home, I’ve worked on million-dollar houses, heritage buildings, country studios, urban lofts, tiny apartments, and even yoga studios.
One of my greatest strengths is an in-depth understanding of space; one of my greatest pleasures is working closely with clients. As a designer/builder I get to combine these, listening carefully to my clients and creating spaces that fit their needs and desires. Nothing beats a client who is surprised by an end result that exceeds expectations.
It’s a challenge I love and which continues to offer opportunities to learn. After 25 years of design and renovation, I still get a thrill from changing a cramped dingy apartment into an expansive and efficient living space.
Since 2010 when I opened my Montreal studio, my design/build work has gained another dimension. By repurposing materials salvaged from my renovations I honour the unique qualities of old timber and give new life to what would otherwise end up in a landfill.
About this Site
Photos by Niamh Malcolm.