We are growing, and we aren't referring to the inevitable winter weight pack on
Design Shop is pleased to announce the addition of our first natural blonde interior designer, Natasha Bargen!! We scooped up this talented, vintage clothing connoisseur, hotel hopping, kitty lovin, choco eating wo-man + we are beyond thrilled! 
And, her design talent - look out.. Well versed in commercial, residential, furniture + film, set design, she is the perfect addition to our wee team.
Give this girl a warm welcome !!

From left to right... Newbie: Natasha Bargen, Partner in crime 1: Amanda Minuk, Senior Designer: Melanie Dupuis, Partner in crime 2: Debbie Golub #teamawesome #thelittlefirmthatcould #girlsgonewile

From left to right... Newbie: Natasha Bargen, Partner in crime 1: Amanda Minuk, Senior Designer: Melanie Dupuis, Partner in crime 2: Debbie Golub #teamawesome #thelittlefirmthatcould #girlsgonewile

The Design Shop Girls

Shepping Nachas - yes, we brag :) !!

Design Shop likes to 'shepp nachas'.
But, only dish it out when deserved - and this is one of those moments !!

One of our favorite local contracting companies deserves a special 'toot, toot' !!
Tractus Projects, principal, owner and clearly brain child (man), Jaret Horbatiuk shows Winnipeg exactly what it means to think outside the box, be inventive + problem solve like a mofo !! Frozen pipes, thaw water, no problem. Tractus Projects is on it - good luck guys, it's going to be a fun spring ride !!

Proud to work with Tractus Projects...

** Design Shop principals / girls, Debbie Golub + Amanda Minuk have both worked with the Tractus team on a handful of restaurant + commercial interior design projects and have a couple new goodies currently on the go...

The Design Shop Girls




It's so early in our blogging career and already we feel like product pushers - buuut, we guess that's better than the "other" sort of pusher. Nonetheless, when you see a good thing, you can't help but want to share, gush and pray that a client is on board and invites you to experiment with a finish as provocative as Jamie Beckwith's flooring line. It's that faboo - we swear !!

Design shop often specifies wood in our projects because it brings a natural, warm element to our interior spaces.  However, we are often limited by more traditional formats, like planks, albeit differing in thicknesses, lengths, texture, et.  Don't get us wrong, we constantly work with our vendors and reps to challenge install applications to be "revolutionary" and uber original, but sometimes you need that little something extra special to communicate a stronger design statement.

Beckwith has created The Enigma® flooring collection that redefines hardwood flooring. The collection offers consumers and designers custom wood flooring designs that are like no other. There are 16 patterns that can be installed both on walls and as a flooring surface. You can mix and match colours and patterns, or even use it as an insert detail within a field, more traditional plank floor application.

Quite frankly, we at Design Shop would use it on almost any surface given the opportunity to do so. A bar front, a head board detail, a bulkhead, an "rug" insert, create a ceiling to floor, to wall waterfall detail - you get the picture !!  Check out Jamie's site and you will immediately know why our minds are going wild with ideas...

Also, it is exclusively available here in Winnipeg at the Floor Show on Waverly !!

The Design Shop Girls




Bathrooms on budget with colossal personalities !!

We all have been told repeatedly that the most involved, expensive and pay it forward renovations for the home are the kitchen and bathroom spaces. But what is rarely spoken of, is that if planned creatively and proactively (wink, wink.. hire a seasoned INTERIOR designer), your renovation can stay on track and you can avoid bankruptcy, foreclosure and emptying your wallets !!

So, with the above statement said, How the h*ll do you update said spaces while still infusing massive personality and innovative design moves into your new and improved space !! Brilliant question you / we ask ...

Here are a few steps in the process that will keep you and your designer on track with budget vision and timeline...

1. BUDGET -  TALK ABOUT IT! Don't be afraid to communicate this integral baseline to the entire project. Do your homework. Think hard about your needs (and wishes) for the space. What are your expectations? What's your vision? What is your timeline (are you securing an interior designer at the 11th hour and rushing everything)? Are you satisfied with your current floor plan and layout? Is there anything in the existing space you are open to salvaging? And, on and on.... Don't worry, it's not that daunting of a task and your designer will help facilitate this dialogue... But the end result will help your designer know if your expectations are indeed in line with the budget, or if you are completely out to lunch... Design Shop will say this politely of course .

2. Keep as many mechanical, plumbing and electrical locations in place. Every move of said system can add dollar bills to the final construction costs. Wee moves or slight adjustments are typically not the biggest deal, but a complete reconfigure of the plan WILL add up.

3. Concept - the design story!!  Yeah, yeah... the perceived "hooey hooey" part of the design process, but this is where and when the magic happens with the overall vision of the design (please don't use the word theme - a decorator may be ok with this "term", but an Interior Designer will throw up in their mouth.. Just a heads up!).

The concept behaves like a thesis statement when writing a paper. It filters ideas, decisions and the body, ensuring the overall "story" is consistent and uniquely yours!
When it comes to staying on budget it allows you and your designer to choose the appropriate finishes and materials, fixtures, etc., that are congruent but most importantly we can make decisions about when,  where and how much you can splurge with your selections! There is always a way, you just need to have the right brain power to put this creativity to work.

4. Form should always follow function, specifically in a bathroom space, and one should allow for a variety of tasks to be performed in this multifunctional space. Your designer may ask you seemingly odd questions... ie: (sorry Ben Hopper), do you shave your legs in the shower? Show us how? These question may lead to your designer to suggesting a bench detail or an elongated or segmented alcove in your shower wall. Maybe one alcove storage opening is intended for shampoo and whatnot storage and maybe another segment is perfectly placed for you to prop your foot up to shave your legs!! If you are going custom - truly make it yours.

Enough Design Shop verbage for today... Now it's your turn, let us know what you think of our blog entry. Share, comment or hit the cute little red heart !!

The Design Shop Girls 



How serendipitous to be introducing our blog today, which is Valentines Day!

Why? Because we at Design Shop Inc. absolutely LOVE what we do.  And how many people can actually say that? And, like, really mean it when they say it?

In case you didn’t already know, we’re Amanda Minuk and Debbie Golub, two precocious, ambitious, and sometimes (if you catch us on a bad day) facetious Winnipeg women with an eye for design, and a vision all our own.

We’ve built this business on one core belief, and that’s the importance of balancing accessibility with aesthetic.  Yup, we believe that great design should be available to everyone, at every budget, in every space, every day.

When you think of an interior designer, what comes to mind? Remember “Franck” (played by Martin Short) in Father of The Bride II? With his hoity-toity accent that bared no resemblance to any nationality whatsoever? And his ridiculous outfits? Flamboyant demeanor? Condescending manner?  Well, that’s the opposite of who we are.

Gone are the days of pretentiousness in the industry. Gone are the days of technical speak, and down-talk to clients. We believe that every project should be a true collaboration between designer and client. We believe in an open dialogue at all times. We believe in a healthy combination of tradition and innovation. But most of all, we believe in ourselves. And we believe that every space, no matter the size or scope, deserves to be beautiful.

The name of our blog is Gin + Diamonds. You might be thinking “What? I thought you just said you’re the opposite of pretentious! How much more pretentious can you get!?” Well STOP RIGHT THERE! We said we’re not pretentious, we didn’t say we weren’t fancy. And, see that’s the point, no one said high end always means high cost, and, friends, we’re as high end as they come. Think a Lamborghini for the price of a Camry. A Rolex for the price of a Swatch. Agent Provocateur for the price of Fruit of The Loom. We believe that what we offer is more than just a facelift for your space, what we offer is an upgrade for your lifestyle.

Join us as we embark on this journey through a commercial, residential, and branding wonderland, and visit weekly for tips on quick fixes, complete overhauls, and everything in between.


Until next time,

Debs + Mandy