Interview with Denise Ashmore from Project 22 Design

Portrait by Yasmeen Strang.

What are you currently working on that is inspiring you and your team? We just started a large scale renovation at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island. It has an incredible history with a beautiful waterfront location and they’ve assembled a great team to help steer its course for the next chapter. That said, I fall in love with all our clients’ projects. Its hard not to get excited when someone comes to you to help realize their dream — which means it’s really hard to pick one favourite… it’s like picking a favourite child.

You seem well-versed in creating a strong sense of place in your designs. What is the secret to fostering a mood? We love to make our clients’ houses into homes, unique to them and their needs. Creating a sense of place requires good listening skills and an iterative design approach. We are a process-driven firm which allows us to walk our clients through the design process step by step, so they can help make meaningful, educated decisions with us from start to finish.

From a design perspective, what has been essential to getting through the uncertainties of the pandemic? Flexibility and drive are the first words that come to mind. The pandemic has definitely kept me on my toes with supply chain issues and construction interruptions. The requirement to have virtual meetings has also demanded more from our presentation and client skills. Our clients have never been more focused on nesting, relocation and recreating locally and they have time to focus on these projects. All of these factors have made the past year the busiest we’ve ever had. 

Sunset, Vancouver. Photo by Sama Jim Canzian.
Cypress Place, Whistler. Photo by Janis Nicolay.
White Gold, Whistler. Photo by Ema Peter.