When it comes to interior decorating, every designer has their own personal take on what the “hot” look should be. Some prefer a very stylized Mid-Century Modern look, while others like a very homey and down to earth Farm House Chic aesthetic. Cynthia Weber, of Cynthia Weber Designs, prefers to bring out her clients’ personal style by blending classical design and modern touches to form a simple and elegant feel. Recently, Cynthia sat down with us to discuss her rising career, her budding website, and of course, her much sought after personal design style.
Cynthia, we’re so excited to have you here today! Please tell us a little bit about your Design firm, Cynthia Weber Design.
Everything about Cynthia Weber Design is personal and keeping it that way is my goal.
My husband Kent and I run our studio from our home BannockBurn 1878, a stone house on seven acres in the pastoral countryside near the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario. I love the small firm feeling. I don’t want a client to ever feel they are lost in the shuffle… their homes are incredibly important to them; they are the heartbeat of their lives and the soft place they land at the end of each day… Helping them make [their homes] everything they want them to be is something that I feel I can do best with this hands on personal approach. From the first email or phone call to the final reveal… we are hands on and fully invested in the success of your project.
I think the fact that we run the studio from our home is a reflection of that philosophy … after all, our home is the heartbeat of our lives too!
You are a formally trained Designer and a member of the Canadian Decorators Association. Where did your love of Design first begin and what led to your path of starting your own design firm?
My uncle, one of Canada’s favourite painters, Peter Etril Snyder and his beautiful wife Marilyn inspired me to pursue a career in design from an early age. Their beautifully designed home layered with texture, art, and collected treasures filled me with delight. They also had cultivated such skill for thoughtful and creative entertaining, making everyone who visited feel pampered and welcome… It was a huge influence on me, the concept that a beautiful home was only one aspect of creating a beautiful life. I wanted to help people love their homes and create that haven.
Starting my own firm seemed a natural fit for us. Kent and I have always worked together. We can’t imagine it any other way!
How do you go about designing the look of a new space for a client?
I start every new project with a consult. It is like a first date. We talk about their lifestyle, house goals,budget, timeline… etc. It is also an opportunity for them to get to know me. I think sometimes people underestimate how personal it feels letting someone into your home and opening up all your hopes and dreams to them. They need to be comfortable and I need to know what makes them tick so I can design a space that they will love… it is sort of like shoes… they might be beautiful but they also need to fit!! Once I know what will fit I go from there.
You mention a love of history on your site. How do you try to bring this love of vintage pieces and places to the work you do for your clients?
I do love history and it is reflected in my work. Most of my clients have seen our projects and are drawn to that aesthetic. I think incorporating important family pieces or collected treasures into a design adds dimension and connection. Most people are at least somewhat nostalgic in nature. Well placed pieces from the past evoke memories, pride of heritage, and in some cases a connection to someone gone but never forgotten. I don’t want homes to feel like museums but incorporating special pieces in a way that works with how we live is the goal for me.
As a Design Professional, how would you describe your personal design style?
I love many styles. That is the beauty of this business… I get to design spaces in many different styles. In my own home, my style takes a formalized farmhouse feeling that suits the age and character of the house. We recently bought this property and have just finished a major restoration/renovation of the main floor. Designing a modernized kitchen with a historic feeling was a fantastic challenge! It has made me realize how much I love historic properties!
What events in your life have influenced your personal sense of style? How would you say that they have affected it?
One of the most influential experiences I had growing up was a trip to England when I was ten. The gardens and homes we toured were so beautiful. Colour, texture, fabrics, mill-work and architecture… It all fascinated me. It made me want to create beautiful spaces and forever connected interior and exterior design… I can’t imagine a stunning home without lovely gardens.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give our readers about designing their own homes?
Buy excellent quality neutral statement pieces!
Changing the style and feeling of a room with your mood or for the seasons can be easily accomplished if the big pieces are neutral. Trends come and go but classic shapes and fabrications make interiors appear well planned and bespoke.
Also… don’t forget art!! Find pieces that makes you happy and take your palette for paint, fabrics and accessories from that inspiration.
As a woman in business you have to find a way to balance your home and family life with your incredibly busy work life. How do you maintain a balance in your own life, and what advice would you give others to do the same?
Finding balance is a challenge, especially if you are like me and have your work space in your home and a big part of your brand success is being active on [Social Media.] It is very tempting to never be entirely off the clock so to speak!
A few things that work for me are:
Set time limits and then take a break, if the task isn’t finished, when you come back to it you will have a new perspective and do a better job..
Stay organized… I text myself lists for the next day so I can relax and sleep knowing I will have the reminder in the morning.
Plan to be “off the clock” as you would “on the clock”
What can we expect next from you and your site?
I have some exciting client projects coming up this spring. I will be sharing those projects on the blog and [Social Media,] so I hope you follow along! I will also continue to share our journey restoring the house and expanding the gardens here at BannockBurn 1878. Owning an historic property comes with loads of adventures and it gives us great pleasure that so many people seem to enjoy following along on our journey!
Special thanks to Cynthia Weber for sitting down with us today. If you would like to check out more by Cynthia and her husband Kent, Please visit their site here.