9 Questions With Heather Draper

9 Questions With Heather Draper In anticipation of Heather Draper’s main-stage presentations at the Calgary Home + Garden show, we ask her about her favourite decor trends for 2015. By Ricky Zayshley February 25, 2015 Heather Draper, the creative force behind The Heather Company, a Calgary-based home decor shop and…

9 Questions With Heather Draper

In anticipation of Heather Draper’s main-stage presentations at the Calgary Home + Garden show, we ask her about her favourite decor trends for 2015.

Heather Draper, the creative force behind The Heather Company, a Calgary-based home decor shop and design business, will be one of the main stage speakers at the Calgary Home + Garden Show, which runs from Thursday, Feb. 26 to Sunday, March 1.

She’ll be dishing out design advice and talking about trends for Spring 2015. Here, we get to know her a bit better, learn about her favourite decor trends, and hear a bit about her disdain for espresso cabinetry.

What’s your favourite thing about owning The Heather Company?

I really love the people. It’s such a little character store. I always joke that we’re like the non-store. We had a sign on our door once that we closed for a dance recital for my nieces. We’re that store.

And your customers get it?

They don’t just get it, they love us for it. And we love our customers and we know them by name. They text me: ” Do you want a coffee?” when they come in for a 20 minute visit.

What kinds of things do you sell?

The bulk of the business in the storefront is furniture, but it’s definitely more of people come in once or twice, they get to know us, they trust us and then they bring us these big problems, like an entire room, and then we take the whole room to completion – every piece of furniture, and the drapes and the carpet and the lamps.

The sense that I get is that people are happy to find that one-stop solution. Because it’s not really shopping. We’re creating the solutions.

What’s the biggest design dilemma you encounter with your customers?

I feel like people bring me is this sense of, “This is what I really want to do, but I just don’t know if I can.” Sometimes it’s “I like this floral print, but my husband’s aunt’s cousin doesn’t like red, so I don’t think I can use it.”

What would you tell that person?

We take the time to really listen, and we have a big wall of fabric books. So we start to lay these things out for them, and you can see people’s eyes light up when they’re falling in love. And then we explain to them how they can use something they love in a way that’s not overwhelming.

We also give people the permission to say, “It’s your home. You should love it first and if someone else doesn’t like it, then they’re welcome to take their opinion with them when they leave.”

How do you feel about home decor trends?

My whole talk at the Home and Garden show is going to be about trends. I want people to know that they don’t need to feel pressured to stay on top of trends, and that there’s a way to do a trend in a classic way so that it’s stylish. I’m going to be talking about how to identify the difference.

Can you give an example of a trend that can go sideways?

A great example is the geometric trend. It’s still going strong. I’ll be showing the difference between a trendy version that’s going to age quickly and a beautiful trellis print which is rooted in classic architecture. That’s an elegant fabric that will absolutely stand the test of time.

What are a few of the trends you’ll be talking about at the Calgary Home + Garden Show?

One trend I’ll be talking about is the watercolour trend, which I absolutely love because I think it will be a movement back to the larger floral prints. I think this is that gentle introduction.

Another is mid-century modern. I’ll be speaking about that, because that’s an example of a trend that you can take too far, but if it’s done well it’s timeless.

And then the gold metals, which is still a big force in the design industry. I’ll be looking back to the last time it was trendy, and look at how to do it this time.

Which trend do you avoid?

Do you remember the espresso kitchen trend? I refused to do a single espresso kitchen. During that time [the early 2000s] I had a client who wanted to do one, but I said, “Let’s do walnut instead because it speaks to all the things you’re looking for.” That house sold in competing offers three years ago. The house beside it with an espresso kitchen couldn’t sell for $300,000 less.

I think it’s a good example of if you see a trend everywhere, don’t do it.


See Heather Draper’s presentation, “Trends for 2015: How to live with or without them!” on the main stage at the Calgary Home + Garden Show at the following times:

Thursday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 1 at 4 p.m.


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