Who: Sharon Halpin
From: Fruition Designs
About Fruition Designs:
We translate design to best suit our clients individual lifestyles, budgets, and aspirations. We pride ourselves on listening and understanding our clients and then delivering dream interiors. We deal with a network of skilled trades and suppliers from around the world to obtain the highest quality of design and workmanship possible. By negotiating, managing, and coordinating on behalf of our clients, our company-wide purchasing power ensures that our client’s dream interior is timely and cost effective as well.
How long have you been working with Cantu Bathrooms & Hardware?
Sharon Halpin: I have been working with Cantu since the inception of my design firm, Fruition Design Inc. in 2006, so ten years and counting now. It has been a more successful relationship than most marriages!
What is your favourite thing about Cantu?
Sharon Halpin: The expanded showroom is an impressive design tool to have. I am able to bring clients into the showroom whereby they can browse a wide variety of fixtures and see and touch some of the products that we would be ordering. Being able to turn on shower heads, and strange as this might sound, but sit on toilets, or in bathtubs is very helpful for most clients. Additionally, as a designer, the fact that I can purchase hardware such as handles, hinges, door stops and towel bars in one place is a great help for me. Lastly, I also like that I can have access to almost anything that I see in my design travels, from high end lines like Fantini to more obscure lines like MTI.
Oh and the staff…. Can’t forget about the staff… and it’s dog friendly!
How long have you been doing interior design/What is your favourite thing about being a designer/What inspires you when you are designing a kitchen or bathroom?
Sharon Halpin: To answer how long have I been doing interior design… as a profession, well over ten years, but the passion started long before that when I was a child. I grew up in Europe, where my Mother always had wallpaper and beautiful furniture, and I would have remnants of the samples and cuttings for my doll houses.
My favorite thing about being a designer is working closely with my clients to bring a vision of a design, what starts out as an idea on paper to, pardon the pun, Fruition! It is hugely gratifying to take a space and change it into something special, a house into a home, and a reflection of who my clients want to be and how they want to live.
The inspiration behind the design of a bathroom or kitchen is tied in very closely to how my client wants to live, to entertain and to enjoy their home on a daily basis. It really is all about the client. But I enjoy providing my clients with design ideas that they may not have thought of themselves, products that they may not have seen or heard of and clever ideas to maximize function and space.
What is your favourite project you have worked on and why? (pictures)
Sharon Halpin: I have so many that it is hard to pick a favorite. But I am partial to a heritage penthouse renovation in which my client really gave me carte blanche to tear down walls and start from scratch. Indeed, the master bathroom is a combination of two smaller spaces, with a glass wall separating it from the hallway. It’s a great shower for two… or five…
Another favorite of mine was a large master bathroom that had an unfortunate layout with a large round bathtub in the middle of the space with a very small corner shower space. My clients really wanted a double shower with steam and body jets so we were able to remove the tub and elongate the master vanity to incorporate two sinks, a mirror with a tv, a vanity space and expand the shower. It is a stunning part of the home, and the views aren’t bad either!
Lastly, a sweet little bathroom in a home in Toronto. My client wanted something that her son could grow into, that would be unique but timeless. We used Fantini in the matte black with a contrast of striking white tile that I know they won’t ever tire of.
What is the most common design challenge most home owners face, and how do you fix it?
Sharon Halpin: Unless you constantly renovate or build, it is always hard to know the costs associated with building or renovating a home. Having a professional, with knowledge of the design industry trends and products available and suitable, is important in order to ascertain where to value and engineer a design budget. Everyone is working within a certain budget and being able to educate a client as to where to assign funds to maximize value is an important part, but sometimes overlooked part of what I do. Clients appreciate when you are mindful of the budget and look for ways to maintain the design intent while maximizing value.
I think the other challenge that I face is the trend issue. Every season, there are new colors, new trends, new products that hit the market. Clients can fall in love with a trendy design that may not work for their space long term. So listening to your clients and balancing what is new and fresh, with what actually works is a fine line. I will very seldom tell my client that they cannot have something, but will usually temper my enthusiasm with a phrase that almost always works… “I think we can do better”.
What are some up and coming trends in the bathroom and kitchen scene?
Sharon Halpin: As you can see from my previous answer, I am always wary about being trendy. My design aesthetic is really clean and timeless, with quality products and materials laid out in a thoughtful, functional manner.
Trends I do love for are a return to the natural and organic materials of the travertines, the marbles that tell a story every time you look at it. It’s a little like art. Combined with the new finishes like Danish manufacturer Vola is offering in brass, or Dornbrachts new Cyprum finish in rose gold, and you have a luxurious elegance of a signature bathroom or kitchen. I know gold is making a comeback, but unless it comes in brick/bar form, I am not using it!
What is your favourite tv show?
Sharon Halpin: I plead the fifth on this. I may never work in this town again.
Where is your favourite place to spend time in Vancouver?
Sharon Halpin: West Vancouver dog beach, Jericho when the tide is out, Lighthouse Park all year around and anywhere in nature where I can breathe and become inspired by the colors, textures and contrasts of nature.
Oh and at my home… because I love how I live. I have the best designer!
You dream it, we’ll find it