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The Impact of Surrounding Space

An Interview with Christine Dovey, a Published Stylist & Designer

— March 13, 2019 — Business
Christine Dovey paved herself an incredible journey when she started blogging her creative works in 2010. It garnered the attention of many readers and professionals, leading way for her interior design career to take flight. She now runs ‘Christine Dovey Style,’ a design studio based in Toronto, helping others curate a memorable space that speaks to them.

In addition to design, Christine discovered an adoration of natural wellness -- this initiated her new page ‘Iris & Ophelia,’ exploring skincare, essential oils, and beauty. Driven by her passion for creation, Christine recently launched a product line in collaboration with Hudson’s Bay. It features beautiful home goods such as cushions, coverlets, duvet cover sets, throws, towels sets, chairs, shower curtains, and more.

The Christine Dovey x Hudson’s Bay collection is now available to shop online and in-store at Hudson’s Bay

Can you tell us a little bit about the transition from teaching to design and what led you to it?

It’s kind of a long organic story -- I was home with my second baby and both of my kids were in daycare at that time. It was basically my entire paycheck for daycare expenses so I decided to stay home. I was in my house all the time because I was nursing the baby and sitting in the same spot, then I had realized very quickly that I kind of hated everything in my house. We had gotten married and kinda spliced together -- things of his, things of mine, bought a few things, amidst the rush of having a new house. After spending so much time sitting there, I realized I really didn’t like it, so I sold everything we owned in two weeks. In that time, we had no dining room table, nothing before I started putting things back together. It was 2010 and we were in the heyday of blogs, so I started reading them for inspiration and my daughter suggested I start writing one and talk about my own home project, so I did. I started posting pictures and a woman I bought pillows from actually used my picture on her blog and it got picked up by a bigger blog and back in the day when a big blog picked up on something, it just kind of went crazy. All of a sudden, within eight months of doing this, people were asking if I offered services and it just kind of happened. I was like “sure, I can consult” -- I started doing e-designs and mood boards and a year after that, people locally asked if I do renovations. It just snowballed into a business and I incorporated three years after this until I took my first client. Now with social media, its gotten into other things that led me to do styling work, this new product line, media projects, essentially it just happened over the course of trying new things and posting about it.

You clearly have a passion for creativity and have worked on many projects, do you have specific rituals for resetting to be creative?

Yes! I am a lover of baths, I have to have a bath every day for me to be centered and realize it's my time to be by myself. I’ve also recently discovered exercise in the last year, which is something I never did much before but I feel like its really good for me because its the only time that my brain turns off. I definitely need that time in order to focus on whatever creative thing I’m doing. I love to travel to get inspiration for different designs. I love to be visually stimulated, so I love art galleries I enjoy anything where I can look at things that in some way inspire me, so I try to do that as much as possible. I’m also a person who really needs quiet time as well -- I feel like my brain, like many creative people, go off in tangents. We’re always thinking about something so I feel like if you don't settle that, the creativity can be hindered.

How would you describe your recognizable 'bijou' style, and how did you come up with it?

I think from the very beginning, it's feminine, it just is. Right from the beginning, my blog took off because I did so many things in pink and at the time, pink wasn't really a thing like it is now -- “millennial pink” wasn’t a thing. From there, that kind of became a thing -- when people thought of me, they thought of pink. I believe I was one of the first ones to blog about painting their entire house pink. My style very quickly became known as very feminine and a mix between French antiques and modern sculptural pieces. That’s kind of my signature aesthetic, mixing frilly things with like hard edges. It’s always been that way and I stayed true to that the whole time -- I've evolved but I haven't really veered very far away from the original core, it's just what I love.

What inspired the launch of 'Iris & Ophelia'?

When I was getting into exercise and a friend of mine asked if I ever tried oils and I thought it was kind of hogwash at first. But everybody kept talking about it, and I say she “friend-bullied” me into it, but I very quickly discovered that they help with everything! I’ve never felt more energetic, more centered -- I felt like I had something that helps me with all the issues I have as a mom, including sleep with my kids, when they get sick, my energy, my mood, all of that. They’ve just been a really amazing tool and support system, which have helped me work-wise because I have so much more energy. When I fell in love with them, like anything you love, you talk to about it, but I had a design Instagram and I didn't want all my design followers to be bashed over the head with all this oil stuff all of a sudden. So, it led me to start Iris & Ophelia -- I also really love the idea that wellness and design can all be under the same umbrella of making your life beautiful in different ways. I hope down the road, there will be more integration and I have visions of making products that speak to both those things at the same time so that's in the pipeline of things I'm working on.

What do you think your industries (design and natural wellness) will look like in the next 5-10 years?

I hate to say that its “trendy” right now but people are really discovering the importance of supporting our health naturally and realizing how much our environment affects how we feel and that's true for design as well. If we really begin recognizing that the space we live in greatly impacts how we feel every day, understanding that if our space doesn't feel like it speaks to us, it hinders our ability to create and be successful in life. I think when you take those few things and intertwine them together, you really see how much they integrate and overlap. If you can get the wellness part incorporated into your home in terms of things like cleaning products, shampoos, and perfumes -- if you’re using all those things in a natural way and making your house feel the most like ‘you’ as you can, together you can be the best version of yourself. I think as people discover the impact of surrounding space and wellness, it's just going to continue to be a bigger and bigger “trend,” if you will, across the board in both industries and that we will see them more intertwined.

Image Credit: Kieran Darcy