Designer Banfield leans on local slates and woods in Power Smart booth at BC Home & Garden Show

Image of designer, Jamie Banfield
Originally from the U.K., designer Jamie Banfield has embraced "West Coast style" in his design for Cardinal Cabin, the Power Smart booth at the 2015 BC Home and Garden Show that opens on February 18.

Efficient and green design expected to shine at this year's show

Posted by Blaine Kyllo

When the 2015 BC Home & Garden Show opens on Wednesday, February 18, there will be a lot of British Columbia in the BC Hydro Power Smart booth. Award-winning designer Jamie Banfield designed the Cardinal Cabin. He took time out from planning his design to talk about what visitors to the show can expect to see.

Don't miss out on 2-for-1 admission to the show

What is 'West Coast style'?

I grew up in the U.K., so I appreciate, maybe better than some, what B.C. has to offer. For me, West Coast style refers to using materials that are natural to B.C. and pairing them with textures from other cultures that are a part of the province. I pull out natural beauty by using local slates and woods.

What's your plan for the Cardinal Cabin?

We're doing all the finishing. We've added an extra door to the back of the cabin and turned one of the two bedrooms into a utility room. There's not a lot of space in the cabin, so we'll be focusing on function. We're sourcing things as locally as possible, and will be using lots of wood and some innovative tile and countertop products that feature durability.

There will be an Urban Cultivator in the cabin, too, which lets people grow their own herbs in their house. And the appliances are all ENERGY STARĀ® rated, and will feature some newer technologies.

I'm also looking for ways to represent the story of BC Hydro. I know people understand it's where they get their electricity, but our use of water to generate power is unique and I want to evoke the idea of water somehow.

We've got a week to take it from studs to fully installed, but that won't stop us from nitpicking the details.

Image of table made from reclaimed wood
Designer Jamie Banfield likes to use reclaimed wood for tables and other objects, as he finds that customers want to know where things are coming from. And nothing resonates quite like locally-sourced materials.

Why do you use reclaimed materials in your designs?

I find that my customers want a story. They want to know where things are coming from. There's a tree being milled into cabinets for a customer that came from their property.

How can the average person find reclaimed materials?

There's no supply store that stocks recycled building materials. But you might find things in your own neighbourhood. If there's a fence being pulled down, for example, you might be able to find a way to reuse the wood. You can use social media to find items.

You can also shop for products at Habitat [Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells "new and gently-used items for your home and garden"]. Keeping products out of the landfill is its own sustainability effort.

And being environmentally responsible includes asking where things are made and what goes into them. If you're putting in a hardwood floor, for example, ask where the wood came from and how it was processed.

Attend the BC Home & Garden Show

Banfield will be at the show, appearing on the HGTV Main Stage talking about his concept for the Linwood Cardinal Cabin presented by BC Hydro Power Smart, his preference for using found and reclaimed objects in his designs, and giving advice on how you can be energy efficient at home.

He will also be at the Cardinal Cabin answering your questions.

The BC Home & Garden Show is at BC Place Stadium from Wednesday, February 18 through Sunday, February 22 (show hours). Get two-for-one admission by using the promo code POWERSMART.

Blaine Kyllo is a Vancouver-based writer and frequent contributor to