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Design Savvy

Who is Jeannette Wisby of Design Savvy?

Jeannette Wisby of Design Savvy is a Certified Interior Decorator and an accredited member of CDECA (Canadian Decorators Association). She currently sits on the national CDECA board as the director of ‘l’ Design Shows & Events. She is also Vice-President of the local GTA West Chapter of CDECA and an Ambassador to Sheridan College.

After a long career of working in the public sector, specifically Human Resources, Jeannette decided it was time to pursue her lifelong interest and passion of interior decorating & design by returning to school to obtain the specialized training and technical knowledge required of interior decorators.

Jeannette is an honors graduate from the Sheridan College Interior Decorating program and is not only knowledgeable about trends, materials and finishes, but also has the education and expertise to manage projects from inception through to installation.  Jeannette is constantly attending seminars within the industry in order to keep informed and current, so that she is able to offer the very best advice and services to her clients.

What is Design Savvy?

Design Savvy opened in March 2006, and provides a wide range of customized services, from basic consultations to full-scale renovations and everything in between. This includes all of the details related to interior decorating – furniture selection & placement, window coverings, soft furnishings, flooring, color consultation, space planning, and home staging for resale.

It is a firm belief of Jeannette’s that the relationship between the client and the decorator be built on trust and respect.  “I feel this can be accomplished by listening and acting on what information and feedback a client provides, so that an interior reflects their needs and desires.”   This kind of relationship involves excellent communication and project management skills. It is important to meet deadlines & budgets, and to offer pleasing, functional and comfortable interiors that maximize the quality of living and value found within a client’s home.  After all, the client is the basis of the business.

The Design Savvy’s mandate is to maximize a home’s potential while creating an innovative and dynamic interior unique to the client’s personality. The space will be the client’s special haven, and it needs to be tailored to their individual & specific needs, interests, lifestyles and tastes.

What does Design Savvy specialize in?

Design Savvy specializes in all aspects of interior decorating & design –  kitchen & bath, online design, and staging/re-styling, but Jeannette’s main skill is in creating the luxe look at an economic price.  She especially likes to be able to re-use  the existing furnishings by mixing in new purchases to create a fabulous look.

What do you love about your work?

Jeannette enjoys meeting and talking with people and decorating their homes.  She loves creating a space for her clients that they can be proud of and happy to call their own.

Showcase Project:

Jeannette was contacted to ‘warm up’ a basement family/media room, which had already been constructed and painted. It had laminate flooring and a huge black leather sectional sofa.  The room had been laid out in such a way that the sectional sofa could only go in one place – facing the giant TV, which was situated in an alcove created just for it on one of the larger walls.  Unfortunately, this TV alcove was also under a window which was off centre.  There were two doorways leading into this room as well.  With all of the appropriate wiring completed for the TV, the homeowner’s were not interested in changing the TV’s location or the placement of the sectional.

The owners wanted an inviting place to watch TV, a place to entertain and also an area for their toddler grandchildren to play.  Design Savvy had to plan and create practical storage solutions and devise how to create a warm space without adding too much to the current layout.

The basement was not terribly inviting, however Jeannette knew it could become a great space.  She worked with the client and they purchased a great area rug, a custom upholstered ottoman with storage, another long slender ottoman with storage for additional seating and a console cabinet which was placed behind the sofa.

The console cabinet offered a nice welcome into the room.  The cabinet also had closed storage and was long enough to hold two lamps.  Due to the location and size of the sofa, side tables with lamps were not an option.  The addition of colourful cushions, throws and some personal artwork added some personality to the space.

In addition to those items, Jeannette was able to source and match the wood finish from the new bar and purchase bar stools which appear as if they were from the same place as the custom bar.

She had a painter create a wall of 2’x2’ squares on the wall behind the bar in a tone on tone of the current taupe paint colour.  They then added a large round clock on to this feature wall.

The large back wall of the basement was so large it would have required a great amount of artwork, so Jeannette decided to add further softness by creating three large upholstered panels in a taupe and cream tweed, approximately 4’ x 6’ and hung them on the wall.  In addition to filling space, creating warmth and texture, they also worked wonders on the acoustics of the room.

The same tweed was used on a custom window treatment over the TV.  Jeannette created a frame which covered the window, so that it would look like the window was centered.  Any light coming through the window could be masked and thus not show that the window panel was partly over a wall. She used blackout fabric and the tweed fabric to create the panel.  The window is not used or opened; however, as an optional feature the window covering is held on by velcro and can be removed whenever necessary.


TV Alcove in basement

Before image basement


Renovated basement

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