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Vintage style and ENERGY STAR technology, shine at Vancouver Home & Design Show

Image of a kitchen by designer Jennifer Scott
"I don't design spaces to look perfect, or like over-styled magazine spreads," says Jennifer Scott, who focuses on the personality of the customer as she designs, often with reused or repurposed vintage pieces in the mix.

Designer Jennifer Scott loves finding new life for older pieces in modern urban homes

When Jennifer Scott started her design business A Good Chick to Know, her focus was a little more fashion-forward than it is today. In fact, it was a fashion business focused on wardrobe consultation and personal style. Her approach for clients was to start with aesthetics and find clothing pieces that fit her customer's personal style.

Her business has now shifted to interior design rather than fashion, Scott says, but her design philosophy is the same: it starts with the look and the personality of each customer.

That's the approach she took when designing the Power Smart space for the Vancouver Home and Design Show, taking place October 16 to 19 at BC Place. Her vision was to deliver a design that spoke to urban and suburban dwellers of small spaces: condos and apartments. But Scott says that if you visit the Power Smart booth at the show, you won't find any cookie-cutter rooms filled with the latest trends.

"I really design within a niche," she says of her typical projects. "I don't design spaces to look perfect, or like over-styled magazine spreads."

Part of her signature liveable design comes from a love of reusing and repurposing vintage pieces.

She loves vintage for its look and its personality, she says, but as a designer, she also loves it for its sustainability.

"There's a green aspect to using vintage materials as well. If there's an opportunity to reuse something as a conscious choice, that makes a better end result in my mind," Scott says. Accessories, furniture, appliances, dishes and fabrics all find new life in Scott's design.

And one of her favourite vintage products to integrate into a modern space is lighting.

Vintage lighting offers on-trend metallic accents, new options for energy efficiency

Metallic trends like rose gold, silver and copper are becoming more popular, which is great news for designers like Scott. Many vintage fixtures have brass and copper features that make them great additions to a modern design.

But as Scott points out, choosing an older fixture doesn't always mean that you need to use wasteful, older-style bulbs.

"There's so many options with ENERGY STAR® bulbs now, that even with vintage fixtures you can opt for energy efficient bulbs," she says.

But one of her favourite new finds when designing the Power Smart space was the huge range of new ENERGY STAR-rated fixtures available.

Even as a designer who keeps up on the latest developments and products, Scott says, she had no idea how many different energy-efficient fixtures were available. "I thought you could just use ENERGY STAR bulbs, but to see the fixtures that they have nowadays, that's great!"

ENERGY STAR fixtures come in a wide range of options, such as track lighting, sconces, ceiling mounted-fixtures and pendant lights, just like traditional fixtures.

She even went with an ENERGY STAR fixture as a key lighting feature within the home, saying it's a great fit with the overall look she created.

Urban 'Power Smart pad' shows off stunning design, efficient choices for small spaces

Not everyone can make major energy-efficient changes like changing windows or appliances, says Scott when she talks about the Power Smart space she's designed.

If you're a renter, if you have to work within strata bylaws or even if you're just on a tight budget, you might think energy efficiency is out of your reach. Instead, her approach is to show that small steps can integrate beautifully into your space, without compromising design.

"I like to say that nobody can do everything to be more efficient, but everyone can do something," Scott says when listing off some of the features she selected as part of her design, including:

  • Using smart strips to manage the electronics in the living room that's been designed for entertaining.
  • A feature lighting fixture that's ENERGY STAR-rated or features ENERGY STAR bulbs.
  • ENERGY STAR appliances that fit right in with the kitchen's fashion-forward, high gloss ombre cabinets.

"What I've found with a lot of spaces and clients is that people don't realize the options that are available for ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics. If you're considering purchasing new ones I really encourage you to see what's out there — the nice new appliances you were looking at are probably already ENERGY STAR and you may not realize it," Scott advises for customers looking for some energy-efficient inspiration.

Vancouver Home and Design Show begins October 16: get 2-for-1 tickets

If you need more inspiration or want energy-efficient design and behaviour tips for your home, be sure to stop by the Power Smart booth at the Vancouver Home and Design Show October 16 to 19, 2014 at BC Place.

You can get 2-for-1 adult admission with a special offer from Power Smart: enter the promo code POWERSMART when you purchase tickets online.