Based in Leslieville with ongoing projects around the GTA, Julie Reinhart Design is a small, client-focused interior design agency with a passion for sustainability and locally sourced products and craftspeople. From full-scale renovations to smaller decorating projects, the goal of the shop is to help clients create spaces that reflect their lifestyle and personality while having a fun time in the process.
What do you like about living in Leslieville and having your agency based in the neighbourhood?
I love living in Leslieville because it’s an incredible community that is exciting to be a part of with all the emerging new businesses, restaurants and shops. I love to bring business to the community and refer clients to local shops and sources that I frequent.
Do you draw design inspiration from the area?
I love to check out new spots that open in the area to support the businesses, but also to get inspired by a colour palette, a cool locally sourced furniture element or fixture. I think there is design inspiration everywhere. It just depends on how to look at it.
It seems Torontonians are obsessed with doing renos, including here in the east end. Why is that?
I think, to an extent, renovation and real estate media and TV shows have made a huge impact on the interests of people to improve their living spaces, but I also think that with the high costs of real estate in Toronto, people are choosing to update or renovate their homes instead of moving out of a location that they love. This is an important driving force and Leslieville is a perfect example. We love the area and would rather work to update and add value to these great older homes than move elsewhere. Clients of mine in these east side neighbourhoods love the community, the walkability, the amenities. They just need their spaces to be more functional for their family or reflect their personal style.
Why should someone use an interior designer on a project rather than tackling the job themselves?
It’s true people are very knowledgable about renovations, but my clients always tell me that they do not want to make decisions they will regret. They do not want potential costly mistakes on a project that could've been avoided with a properly thought-out design plan and an expert to help narrow down the overwhelming amount of choices and decisions. We strive to help our clients by using trusted industry professionals, a solid functional and aesthetic plan and then a project management component that is so crucial. We also try to make design accessible to a wide range of budgets and sizes of projects. Sometimes even small jobs can seem daunting and having the guidance of a professional can make the experience so much more successful.
Describe the current trends taking place in interior design — what's hot and what's not?
The best way to approach trends are to be true to yourself and what you are naturally drawn to instead of the hot must-have item of the year. Bring in some trendier accessory items that you are OK to part with but stick to what you love for permanent or fixed elements. Hot trends I’m loving are patterned floor tiles, black window frames, rustic mixed with modern looks. The key here is that although these are popular and current design elements, they can have lasting appeal if executed well and especially if you love them.
What sets Julie Reinhart Design apart from other design agencies?
Design is very personal. It’s an expression of who you are in your space and what makes you feel excited and comfortable at home. I think the main reason we work so well with our clients is because we listen carefully and offer creative solutions and ideas that will work within the given space, budget, timeline. We offer a level of customer service and personalization that sets us apart.