Interview with Amy McGeachy

Words by Michelle Heslop. Photo by Tamara Poppitt.

Did you take a direct path toward becoming an interior designer? Were there any designers in your family? The decision to become a designer was quite a hasty one. I was discouraged from being waitlisted for a pharmacy program that I was pursuing and was quick to shift to interior design as an alternate career choice. It was something that terrified me, therefore I knew I had to do it! I think I received a lot of my creativity from my mother who has a background in fashion and textiles. She used to do the window/marketing displays for Woodward’s department stores before I was born and she was always doing DIY projects when we were growing up.

Our homes are the most intimate spaces we have. Describe your approach to designing a space for a client? The design process really begins with a discovery period where we do a lot of information gathering and listening. It is our job to find the best solutions for our clients that will work with their lifestyle and fit into their space. It’s our goal to help clients feel as comfortable as possible and to fall in love with everything about the design. Once our design team finishes a project, the clients are ultimately the ones to occupy the space so the design really needs to work for them. Every project is as unique as the clients we are collaborating with.

Tell us the story of how you expanded your design business to become the television host of Trend on Chek TV. I love getting the opportunity to host Trend on Chek TV every week! It was never something I imagined doing; I was incredibly shy and very much an introvert. After being in the design field for a number of years, I decided to take a production course at UBC to shake things up and do something different. I never had a vision of being in front of the camera. Shortly after my course, one thing led to another and through producing some interior design-related material, I was given the opportunity to work with Chek. I jumped at the opportunity and was literally right in front of the lens. I love it! I’m fortunate to work with clients who offer me a first-hand look at the best homes in Victoria and introduce me to the latest and greatest products available to us. It keeps me up-to-date and current in this quickly changing industry.

Do you have a signature style or particular design sensibility that clients can expect from you? I wouldn’t say our design studio really has a signature style because our goal is for each project to reflect the client, their style and unique personality. We guide clients in the decision-making process and show them what elements work together based on their desires. We don’t just think about design elements, but always consider how to stay within a client’s budget and help them make investment decisions that are favourable to the resale of their home. We guide them on where to spend the money to work within their budget and where to splurge for the biggest impact. If the client is proud of their renovation or design, we have achieved what everyone set out to do.

What advice would you offer an interior design student? I always recommend that they build relationships with other design professionals and help each other. I suggest they find a professional mentor that can guide them through the industry and share their knowledge, only accessible through practical experience. So much of what designers know is a result of on-the-job experience.

What is your design studio currently working on? One of our most noteworthy projects is the recent design of a new and exclusive Driver’s Lounge at the Villa Eyrie Resort. We are designing the second location for Eye Etiquette in the new Belmont Market development. Tech company, Fresche has us on their team to design their new offices in Sidney. We have various kitchen and bathroom transformations on the go for residential clients. The best part of our job is being able to work in a variety of styles and bring our creativity to a broad demographic.

Do you have a favourite travel destination and do you bring any international elements to your designs? I love traveling to new locations when I get the chance to get away. They are usually hot and tropical or rich in culture. I love to pull elements of the various local artwork into my designs. I am always gathering inspiration.

What book is currently on your bedside table? I love to read and usually have crime dramas and murder mysteries in rotation. However, I am currently rereading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood before immersing myself in her recently released sequel, The Testaments.