Designers of the Year Photo Credit: T.J. Constable Taylor/Lizbell (Styling)

Interior Designer of the Year 2008 (tie): Juli Hodgson Design/Build

This designer brings the hallmarks of her playful and glamorous restaurant and retail designs home to residential interiors.

We can forgive Juli Hodgson for not heading into 2008 with great expectations, when her 15 years of work on quirky store designs for the Aritzia clothing chain came to an end. But Hodgson has found herself busier than ever, with projects that include a place on Vancouver’s exclusive Belmont Drive (a collaboration with husband David’s IBI architectural group), a boathouse conversion for a seaside residence near Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island and the Crosse-Girard home in Vancouver (shown on these pages), which expertly mixes traditional and contemporary elements. All are examples of what judge Paul Lavoie calls Hodgson’s “command of hip and logical” and what judge Kelly Deck says is her “outstanding courage with materials and colour—West Coast glam.”

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Off the wall: Hodgson used wallpaper to great effect in the Crosse-Girard residence.

Equally pivotal was the opening of Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, featuring Hodgson’s signature design, in Vancouver’s Yaletown. The spot had housed unsuccessful eateries, the kind of “curse” that can be hard to beat. To help restore the location to psychic health, owner Bud Kanke hired a feng shui master, whose stipulations regarding fire, water, wind and steel complicated Hodgson’s job considerably. She met the challenge, from the dragon on the wall to the Canada Blue marble slab behind the bar to the shifting LED lighting. Projects that followed included Vancouver restaurant Chow and Joeys locations in Seattle and downtown Vancouver.

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Judge Raymond Girard says, “I have no facts to base this on, but I bet Juli has a lot of fun with her projects.” For confirmation of this, allow us to describe a poster beside the crammed office in which Hodgson’s practice is located. Beneath a photocopied snapshot of the boss, month after month has been written down and crossed out in succession. Above it the caption reads: “Employee of the Month.” -WL

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