Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 2:06 PM EDT
Listen to my luck! You know how we decor enthusiasts are obsessed with Home Tours? Well by our account, you can't get enough of them, which is why I am forever searching for new and exciting interiors to expose here on HGTV.ca.
Well, one such interior was the GORGEous Toronto home of Rana and Richard Florida (yes, the author), and after chatting with the couple about the fabulousness of their lives, Rana and I conceived of Creative Spaces: an exclusive look inside some of North America's most remarkable homes.
Bluntly put, I couldn't very well go knocking on such rarefied doors as Michael Budman's (Roots Canada) without an 'in', and that would be the graciously obliging Rana Florida! (Basically, Rana saw the pathetic longing for home tours in my eyes, picked up the phone and called her fabulous friends.)
Fast forward to today, as I proudly present to you Missus Florida's Circle! Published columnist, business news contributor, philanthropist and CEO of Creative Class Group, Rana Florida brings us eight of some of the most creative interiors we've ever seen. We'll be drawing the curtain on the creative class beginning with the Washington home of former Canadian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Paul Frazer and his wife, world-renowned surgeon Dr. Tina Alster, on Tuesday, March 15th!
The Floridas' dining room
Meet Rana Florida
Rana Florida and designer Sasha Josipovicz
HGTV: What is your experience with and interest in design?
Rana: I have been educating myself about style and space throughout my whole life—by reading, observing, traveling, and jumping into my own renovation projects. I believe the study of design is still in its infancy. There is so much more room for experimentation; every home is an untapped canvas.
HGTV: Why did you choose the homes you featured in Creative Spaces?
Rana: All of the homes were chosen for their originality in architecture, design and/or style. From irregular spaces in urban areas to environmentally-sustainable green lots on a ravine, to art deco condos and historic revitalization in the heart of old neighborhoods, I am always so inspired by how creativity and an unorthodox sensibility translate into residential design. All these homes shine with originality and a passion for enhancement. With imagination and a willingness to push boundaries, any space can be transformed into something remarkable.
The home of Dennis Keefe and John Jordan
HGTV: What does creative space mean to you?
Rana: Environments that captivate with their uniqueness; that dare to be different! I love a space that shows off the individual; a space that's stamped with one’s personal preferences. A creative space uses old and new world artifacts, textiles and curious objects to transform a space into a home, and most importantly lots and lots of art!
HGTV: What is your philosophy on material living – on living with ‘things’?
Rana: The idea that design is expensive is a fallacy. Interesting things don’t have to be rare, exclusive or pricey. Your home is where you spend most of your time, so your environment has a profound impact on your happiness and overall well being. Finding meaning in the things you choose to surround yourself with is very important. Whether it’s an object you picked up in a foreign land, a piece of furniture, lambent lighting, or eccentric art, each piece should tell a meaningful story about you.
The home of Kate and David Daniels
HGTV: What can we learn from these creative spaces?
Rana: There is no cookie cutter recipe for design; creative spaces come together through a series of collaborations and serendipity. I don’t think you need to be a trained designer to make a home interesting; anyone can form a space that is innovative and beautiful.
HGTV: Where do you draw your inspiration?
Rana: Ultimately inspiration has to come from within. But it’s easy to find inspiration in books, museums, music, art, magazines, blogs, city streets, and architecture. Good design is everywhere; just look around.
HGTV: What is your best decorating secret?
Rana: My secret is simple: buy what you like. If you surround yourself with objects that are visual narratives, that are meaningful and compelling, then you too can create the ultimate retreat.
HGTV: What would you say your home says about you?
Rana: I hope it says I’m an adventure-seeker who enjoys learning and discovering.
How do you like that? I've gotten us front row seats to some of the most incredible interiors! Among the eight, Rana will be featuring the homes of Kate and David Daniels, Diane Bald and Michael Budman and Kimberley Newport Mimran and Joe Mimran!
UPDATE: Click HERE to see all of Rana's Creative Spaces Home Tours so far!