Designer Interview Series:
STUDIO ROSLYN

Studio Roslyn - La Bomba Floristry

Photo credit: Santiago de Hoyos  / Design Studio Roslyn

Studio Roslyn is a innovative interior design and consulting firm in Vancouver, BC. Co-founders Jessica MacDonald and Kate Snyder create spaces that are at times, in their own words, “unapologetically bold, sumptuously elegant, or charming and playful”. We caught up this creative pair to ask a few questions for our Designer Series: 

Studio Roslyn - Tresah Presentation Centre

Photo credit: Joshua Lawrence / Design: Studio Roslyn

OBAKKI
Let’s talk a bit about how you met, and how each of you got into design – was it a lifelong passion? 

STUDIO ROSLYN
Kate and I met at the University of Manitoba. We were both working through our Bachelor Degrees in Environmental Design, majoring in Architecture. We became fast friends, eventually inseparable, and then when we graduated we moved out West together to Vancouver where I'm from (Jessica). For myself, I knew at age 12 that I wanted to be a designer. I made my mom sign a contract to take me to open houses every weekend just so that I could study them, draw them, and be exposed to some many different and unique architectural styles. For Kate, her interest came from her Dad and the rural are in Manitoba where she grew up. Her Dad was a builder and actually built the log house she grew up in. He came out to Vancouver this past year, and with the help of Kate’s mom too, they all renovated her 2-bedroom apartment. 

Studio Roslyn co-founder Kate Snyder
Studio Roslyn co-founder Jessica MacDonald

Studio Roslyn co-founders Kate Snyder and Jessica MacDonald 

OBAKKI
You describe Roslyn as your muse. Where did she come from and how does she inspire you?

STUDIO ROSLYN
Kate and I both spent countless hours in the Roslyn Apartments in Winnipeg. The story was that the building was designed by a schizophrenic architect (no idea if that’s true). There were 2 main internal courtyards with footbridges connected one side to the other. There were hallways that led to nothing and to get to a friends’ apartment on your same level sometimes you had to cross a bridge, go down a hall, up a set of stairs, cross another bridge and then down another set of stairs. The building inspired curiosity! When we started out studio, we loved the reference to the apartments, but we also loved that Roslyn was a timeless, female name. Early on we spent time personifying the name. Roslyn is fearless, bold, provocative and highly intelligent.  

Studio Roslyn - Crane Loft

Photo credit: Lauren D Zbrasky / Design: Studio Roslyn

OBAKKI
You go very deep into a client’s ethos, don’t you? And inspiration from your projects comes from everywhere and anywhere that works—from the history of the materials you use, from music, from movies. What (or who?) led you to this unique and distinctive style?

STUDIO ROSLYN
As a studio we are curious and rigorous - very research and concept based at the start of any project. We really take time getting to know our clients: their interests, favourite restaurants, novels, movies etc. We find when we take this time at the beginning of any project, then the design of the space feels like it naturally unfolds and evolves as we move through our project phases. We also love the story telling layers that this approach adds to any of our projects.

OBAKKI
What hidden talents have you brought out in each other?

STUDIO ROSLYN
Kate has a not so hidden talent of being very charismatic and playful! Jess' (again maybe not so) hidden talent is her sensitivity and ability to listen to client needs. Both of our natural natures are highlighted in our unique roles in the studio.

Studio Roslyn - Wild Tale

Photo credit: Lauren D Zbrasky / Design: Studio Roslyn

OBAKKI
What are some of the more memorable design stages you’ve travelled through? 

STUDIO ROSLYN
We both initially approached our careers in design from different angles. Kate started her career working for architectural firms and then ultimately realized her main interest was in the world of interiors. Jess started her career in Industrial Design focused on furniture and lighting design, and then naturally moved into interiors as well. Our studio design approach is still informed by these initial design stages / paths we took. 

OBAKKI
What’s your secret power for understanding what clients really want?

STUDIO ROSLYN
No secret power, just slowing down and taking the time to really get to know your clients – whether that’s having a drink together, meeting their family, sharing a meal, or meeting their horses (that was an exciting site visit).

Studio Roslyn - Alera | Zensa Skin Care

Photo credit: Conrad Brown / Design: Studio Roslyn


OBAKKI

What are your favourite sustainable materials to work with, and do you believe sustainability is a key element of great design?

STUDIO ROSLYN
Our love for antiques, vintage, objects of virtue, and salvage / deadstock is the way that our studio approaches and deals with issues of sustainable design– and the waste that the construction industry produces. When we first visit a site, we are always looking for elements of the space that we can save and reuse. Currently we are working on a bar space in East Van where we have kept the existing vinyl tile flooring, wood wall panelling and wooden booths. We always still push to reinterpret these elements so that the final product / space is unique to our clients’ business and personality. With the booths for example, we are refinishing them and reupholstering them to give them new life. Jess’ home, ‘Casa Barrera,’ and our recently completed project, ‘La Bomba’, are also great examples of this approach to design and sustainability. 

Studio Roslyn - La Bomba Floristry
Brian McCourt Designs - Kitchen

Photo credit: Santiago de Hoyos / Design: Studio Roslyn

OBAKKI
What trends and colours are you seeing this winter?

STUDIO ROSLYN
Muddy / earthy tones offset by bright saturated colours tones. 

OBAKKI
What are your favourite Obakki collections or products? Are there specific artisans whose work speaks to you in a deeper way?  

STUDIO ROSLYN
We love the beehive wall hangings. Maybe it's the horse girl roots that draw us to these pieces. We also always love a sculptural / textural wall element. 

Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 47
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 79
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 27.5
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 47
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 79
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 27.5
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Beehive King Wall Hanging Wall Hangings

Beehive King Wall Hanging

$3,200.00
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 27.5
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 51
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 47
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 27.5
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 51
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings 47
Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging Wall Hangings

Autumn Xaweri Wall Hanging

$4,750.00

OBAKKI
Who are your favourite designers? 

STUDIO ROSLYN
Emily Bode (Bode), Nicolaj Reffstrup and Ditte Reffstrup (Ganni), Yasmine Ghoniem (YSG Studio) and Pamela and Ramin Shamshiri (Studio Shamshiri). 

OBAKKI
Where do you think a great sense of design comes from? Do you need to be born with a design sense to be a ‘great’ designer? 

STUDIO ROSLYN
I don’t think you need to be born with a natural design sense to be a great designer, but you do need to have an innate interest in design and you need to be driven by your curiosity about design and the arts.  

SHOP STUDIO ROSLYN'S PICKS

Tassel Wall Hanging Accents + Decor Natural
Tassel Wall Hanging Accents + Decor Natural
Tassel Wall Hanging Accents + Decor
Tassel Wall Hanging Accents + Decor Natural/Black/Green
Tassel Wall Hanging Accents + Decor

Tassel Wall Hanging

$275.00
Danzante Sculpture | Short Accents + Decor Natural/Black
Danzante Sculpture | Short Accents + Decor Natural/Black
Danzante Sculpture | Short Accents + Decor
Danzante Sculpture | Short Accents + Decor
Danzante Sculpture | Short Accents + Decor

Danzante Sculpture | Short

$375.00
Danzante Sculpture | Tall Accents + Decor Natural
Danzante Sculpture | Tall Accents + Decor Natural
Danzante Sculpture | Tall Accents + Decor
Danzante Sculpture | Tall Accents + Decor
Danzante Sculpture | Tall Accents + Decor

Danzante Sculpture | Tall

$395.00
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor Natural + Burgundy
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor Natural + Burgundy
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor Natural + Black
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor
Mini Rainbow Sculpture Accents + Decor Natural

Mini Rainbow Sculpture

$495.00

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