Some people are practically born knowing they want to be an interior designer. For others it takes some life experience before they realize that interior design is their passion. For Tatiana Wojtan of Tatiana Wojtan Studio it was the process of decorating her own home that brought about her career in design. Striving to create rooms that have a unique and timeless appeal, she mixes modern elements with vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces and supplements it all with a punch of color. Paying close attention to details she won’t stop looking until the perfect fabric for that vintage chair or little knick-knack to finish off a vignette has been found. Captivated by Tatiana’s bright and colorful spaces we reached out to get some further insight into her process and thoughts on design.
Were you always interested in design and creative endeavors?
As far back as I can remember, I have always been creative and artistic. It wasn’t, however, until my husband and I built our first house that I could employ these skills in a practical way. It also made me realize how much I loved it all. By the time we built our second house, interior design became my passion, and the house was turned into a lab to test my decorating ideas.
What was it like building and designing your home from scratch?
I loved it. It was truly exhilarating watching the idea being transformed into reality. It was like solving a puzzle, especially at the design stage, when as a family we needed to understand how we wanted to live and then came up with a solution in the form of a concrete floor plan and finishes that were both practical and elegant. And if you asked me if I’d do it again, I would tell you “In a heartbeat!” My Pinterest board and my head are already full of ideas for our next home.
What’s your approach to interior design?
While I like modern trends, I often find the spaces they inspire to be unnecessarily monochromatic. My goal is therefore to incorporate colour – it gives the space its unique personality and provides the homeowners with a much needed escape from the long, and often grey, Ottawa winters. I think most people actually like to surround themselves with colour, but they choose neutrals as a safer option. I feel my role is to help them overcome their reservations and propose a colour scheme that they would love. I also make sure to include interesting textures and patterns, as well as a mix of new and vintage pieces. At the end, it is the combination and interplay of all these elements and layers that makes the space.
What are your favorite type of DIY projects?
I love making throw pillows. I have a large pile of fabrics stacked in my closet just waiting to be turned into some pillow covers.
What’s your favorite textile to work with?
I would have to say velvet. It is so rich and luxurious. I use it a lot in upholstery and pillows. And it works in any style! I don’t think I have ever seen a piece upholstered in velvet that didn’t look great!
How big of an impact has Instagram had on your business?
It was big. Initially I used my Instagram account as my creative outlet, posting photos of my own home and my DIY projects. And at some point my aesthetics started to draw attention of decorators, designers, bloggers, and magazine editors, and helped me land my first clients. My absolute top-of-the-world moment came when Sarah Richardson, whom I have admired for nearly 15 years, reposted one of my photos.
How important are color and texture to a room?
I think they are absolutely key – not only do they define the space in the aesthetic sense, but they create a mood, which allows people to actually experience their surroundings.
What is your favorite color palette?
My colour palette changes all the time. Today my favourite colour is blue; a few months ago it was lavender, and earlier, chartreuse. In general, I am drawn to soft, pastels colours as they make any space look fresh and airy.
What do you think are the best sources for artwork?
I rely almost exclusively on online purchases for my art. I shop a lot on eBay, Etsy, and Instagram. However, my go-to place is Chairish. It is a wonderful place to shop for vintage artwork and to discover new talents!
Photo Credit: Miv Photography
What are your favorite sources for vintage pieces?
Again, I would have to say online sources. Although I frequently visit local flea markets, the Internet offers so many more possibilities. Not only can you shop from the comfort of your own home, but if you are looking for something special or specific you will eventually find it online. It is a wonderful feeling to find that unique, vintage piece, especially if it is in mint condition, although I really don’t mind items that show some wear or are in need of some TLC.
What advantage do you think vintage pieces have over new ones?
In the era of disposable and mass-produced goods, the advantage of vintage pieces is undoubtedly quality and uniqueness. If a piece of furniture from the 1950s or 1960s made it to today, it speaks a lot about its craftsmanship. Also, vintage pieces offer this collected look that new pieces can’t create. Since I always strive for my spaces to look unique, I’d rather have a piece that is one of a kind than one of a million. I take pride in owning vintage furnishings or accessories – it always makes me wonder who owned it before me, how they used it, how they styled it, etc.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
My very first project I did for the client who found me on Instagram. It was a match made in heaven! Aesthetic-wise we were on the same page and the client trusted me with my decorating choices, which resulted in some very coherent and coordinated spaces. And I’m happy to say we have just started working on a new project!
What’s your favorite room to decorate?
Living rooms are by far my favorite rooms to decorate. They are typically the most visible rooms in the house and, as such, can serve as the jumping off point for decorating the entire house. Plus, I get to use a lot of fabrics, pieces of artwork and accessories. These elements are easy to be moved around or changed for seasons.
What influences you the most?
Magazines, Pinterest and Instagram score high on my list of influences. But inspiration really comes to me in all shapes and sizes. I am often inspired by store windows or even pieces of clothing in some interesting colours and patterns.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your work?
The best compliment was to hear that my work is “sophisticated and fresh at the same time”. It’s important to me that my spaces don’t look too serious, that they have this element of unexpected, be it an interesting colour palette or a quirky accessory.
Photo Credit: Miv Photography