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The one thing nobody likes in their interior design project is something that looks generic. You do want to put your personal stamp on your home – but then again, it is possible to go overboard. How best to put your personal history, memories and personality and into your project?

We discussed these questions with Vancouver-based Interior Designer Heather Ross, who has a keen eye as a photographer, designer & painter and who knows how to put the personal into a project.

Highlight from the interview with Heather, conducted by Jonathon Narvey:

I love gardens. I love nature. I have a lot of antique elements combined on my patio like old floral containers, old urns… I have a birdbath that I have filled with seashells. My family and grandmother used to live on English Bay where they used to roll up.

I collect things like pine cones and have them in baskets in little areas of the patio that’s covered. You could bring in candles or lanterns — I think it’s interesting if you use something that’s a floral container that might not necessarily have been used that way.

It’s bringing the choice of flowers, the colors and textures. If someone is more minimalistic, they might like architectural forms in general and might like a garden that is very sculptural and have succulents in it. If someone is romantic or feminine, they might want lots of really soft, lush florals and pastel colors. For me, it’s always about authenticity and what people find beautiful.

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Listen to the whole interview with interior design expert Heather Ross

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Heather Ross is a regular contributor to publications such as House & Home & Western Living Magazine. In 2001, Heather Ross opened the doors to Heather Ross [in house], an eclectic gallery/boutique, which showcases her evocative design sense.

In 2005, she returned to her love of painting. Heathers works are in numerous private and public collections including the Olympic Village. She blogs at Heather Ross: The Natural Eclectic and is writing a book, The Natural Eclectic.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.