Mon | Dec 6, 2021

Iconic living Creating the perfect space

Published:Sunday | March 10, 2019 | 12:00 AM

In this episode of ICONIC LIVING, marketing consultant, commentator and our host, Natalia Oh, sat with two distinguished designers and creators, Spaces’ Creative Director Janelle Pantry & Mara Made Designs founder, Tamara Harding. Both share their creativity, knowledge, expertise and advice for all types of homeowners to help them transform their home and make it spectacular.

Attention to Detail

Most persons have a goal to be a homeowner, but when it comes to decorating or interior design they are not sure where to begin. We asked Pantry for her best advice on how to outfit a whole new space as a new homeowner. She shared:

“Take stock of how you live. Each home is individual to that specific person. Your space won’t look like your neighbour’s home even if you live in the same complex. You have to imagine how you’re going to be living in that space (whether it’s with family or not) in order to determine the type of furnishings you’re going to have.”


Harding’s (Mara Made Designs) brand is built on taking trees that are slated to be disposed of or burned by breathing new life into them with her exquisite designs. She describes the reality of the hard labour that goes into her craft:

“I’ve been able to take these trees and repurpose them. People say I’m lucky because they think ‘wow, you get your raw material for free’, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m tackling a massive tree which can require cranes, flatbeds, backhoes and excavators. It’s a process. I carve a tree based on how I can see how it will look in its final form; whether it’s a coffee table or sideboard.”

As creative director of Spaces, a company that is all about home, and is the place for persons who love to decorate or have an affinity with furniture, Pantry’s perspective and passion for design and décor is rooted in the belief that furniture is an investment in your home, not an expense. She profoundly stated:

“Furniture isn’t an expense, it’s an investment. An investment in you, an investment in your home. You should invest in key pieces that are quality and reflect your personal style.”


Matching the Old with the New

Every piece of furniture should have a story behind it; some have sentimental value and we don’t want to let go. Pantry was happy to share her tips on cost-effective ways to repurpose an old dining table to extend its life. She expressed:

“You may have an heirloom piece that’s passed down, you could change one aspect of it and give it a whole other personality. Not everything has to be new when you’ve moved into a new space, you can mix and match the new with the old to create a very cohesive look in the space.”


2019 Home Décor Dos & Don’ts for your Real Estate

Pantry and Harding shared with us their insights on what’s going to pick up speed this year in home décor. Both have noticed a trend in persons moving away from the accent wall with bold colours but instead we now see more of accented walls with tiles, wood or wallpaper. Pantry delves further into this year’s trends when she said:

“Wallpaper is going to be huge in 2019. In terms of furnishing, we’re seeing a lot of mixed metal. It’s going to be wood and mixing with metals.”

Harding agreed with Pantry’s insights and further added:

“It’s all personalised, what people are doing is going out with their high-res cameras, shooting a really cool scene and then getting one of our fabricators to print their wallpaper for them.”

5 Cool Decor Tips:

1. Mix It Up! don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new as well as patterns and textures. Improving your home increases the value of your real estate.

2. Small Space? Use lighter paint colours to make the space feel larger.

3. Old Couch … Who Dis? Give an old couch or chair a new feel and look by reupholstering it or repainting/staining the chairs.

4. No Boundaries! Don’t be afraid to use what you already have. Get creative; those colanders can become light fixtures in the kitchen. Grandma’s plates can be wall art.

5. Colour Your Life! Add a pop of colour in simple places like the side of your door, drawers or even a lampshade. Surprising and delightful all at once.


We hope this provides great insight and perspective to new and prospective homeowners who want their setting to reflect their personal style. Stay tuned to for a new PROVEN REIT’s Iconic Living episode the last Wednesday of each month for your guide to an iconic lifestyle!

ICONIC LIVING is a web-based series powered by PROVEN REIT that focuses on all things real estate and more.