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Designer Divas: Cobi Ladner, Theresa Casey and Tara Seawright

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Home Decor


Designer DivasThese inspiring designers continue to devote their talents and creativity to orchestrating beautiful spaces that mesmerize our minds. Passion for art and a heightened imagination often materialize at an early age. For Tara Seawright, Theresa Casey and Cobi Ladner, this passion has elevated each of them to incredible heights.

Cobi Ladner
Cobistyle is all about showing your true colours at home and making a comfortable, beautiful and happy place for the ones you love – it’s as simple as that.

Spring is in the air! Why not use the new season as motivation to freshen things up around your house and add some personality and colour. Your home should be a joyful backdrop for daily life and reflect your own unique character – in short, it should make you happy when you walk through the door at the end of a long day.

Many of us have invested in neutrals over the past few years, which is not a bad thing. Neutral colours are a wise, safe choice for large items and spaces. Of course, too much of even a good thing can become – well I hate to say boring, but – definitely predictable. Plus it’s tough to say much about who you are and what your life’s about when you’re working inside a beige box.

So now the fun part: You get to add the juice to the neutral environment you’ve so wisely built! It doesn’t take much to turn bland into brilliant – one or two pieces of upholstered furniture in a vibrant velvet; new drapery in a lively, hip floral; a few toss cushions, throws and accessories in bright, happy colours. As a rule of thumb, I would suggest adding five things in one or two of your favourite colours, and you’ll have a brand new room.

Now that’s pretty easy, isn’t it? Decorating should be an enjoyable process, not something daunting or stressful. Add some colour and character to your home this spring and watch it blossom before your eyes.

Theresa Casey
Attempting to describe Toronto interior designer Theresa Casey’s style often results in a run-on sentence. The founder of Casey Design Planning Group Inc. has received accolades for her unique design applications that brush across a broad canvas of contemporary to traditional. “I don’t have one thing that I do, so it’s often driven by my clients, their interests, the architecture of the space we’re working in and the functionality of what they’re looking for,” says Casey, who studied art history in Florence, Italy and has a degree in interior design from Toronto’s Ryerson University.

It is this chameleonic quality that continues to engage new clients, whether it’s restoring an existing residential home, designing a new addition or customizing a commercial interior. For Casey, functionality is equally as important as esthetic appeal. “I always say to clients, ‘if you can only do one thing get a good floor plan,’ because it doesn’t matter what you do to the space, you can make it look any way but if it doesn’t work it’s never going to work,” she says. As for finding that one item to perk up a room, Casey says it’s more about finding a good mix that establishes harmony.

Creating spaces that convey her clients’ personalities is not only her most distinguishable forte, it’s also the genesis of her passion. “There’s a wonderful exploration and development and transformation which is really exciting. It’s wonderful to see people who really love being in their homes and appreciate the process of learning a bit about themselves; it’s really an expression of them.”

Tara Seawright
While recently dining at a restaurant in New York City, interior designer Tara Seawright was enticed by something other than her entree. “It was a very natural restaurant, very granola, but they had changed the décor and they had just put up these three pieces of huge canvas hung on hooks, not very well done, but they were just painted in stripes and they were overlapping – and for me that’s inspiring,” says the president of Manhattan design firm Tara Seawright Inc. Through her deepened esthetic awareness, Seawright demonstrates the powerful influence of observation.

Her work is typified by an enhanced ability to transform metropolitan spaces into calm oases through the unabashed use of colour, antiques, vintages and character pieces. “Right now I’m really into grey and wallpapers with texture, but you know I love a little glamour, too. I love a little sparkle, whether that comes in the form of either a chandelier or silver leaf or some sort of reflection mirror; but I think it’s the combination that’s so exciting for me,” says Seawright, who particularly loves marrying materials like lucite, horn, cowhide and marble.

When it comes to 2011 wallpaper trends, Seawright points to distinct patterns and textures with personality. “The quality of wallpaper has really changed … it’s very exciting to get a Venetian plaster finish that’s really fine and amazing and even goes beyond decorative paint finishes.”


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