Genevieve Ghaleb, principal of XY Contemporary once told us that her design goal is for design enthusiasts to see a space and immediately identify it with her, to have a signature style. We think that she’s well on her way to accomplishing that. Her Montreal based company is still very new but her carefully edited, modern yet warm personal style translates into her work at every turn leaving no doubt that modern minimalism, elegance and warmth can easily coexist in a space.
Gen has created a space for the DXV Design Panel that is as contemporary and minimalist as it is warm and inviting, yet again, proving her point and establishing her company’s vision. You can see her project for DXV here and you can continue following the buzz on social media at #DXVTopSecret and #DXVDesignPanel
Below, Gen talks about her work and her inspiration and shares favorite products for that perfect contemporary space.
Each piece should be very carefully chosen or designed.
Where, when and why did you start your design business?
I graduated from design school almost a decade ago. However, it wasn’t until recently that I took a giant leap into running my own firm out of Montreal, Canada. You realize quickly that a little hard work can go a long way. I started by helping family members, then friends of family members. Their referrals eventually turned this from a part time gig into a business that takes up all my time and I'm loving every minute of it. It has been quite a journey.
What does design mean to you?
Design is deeply rooted within me. It’s less about the idea of decorating and styling and more about the idea of creating a warm, simplistic, welcoming environment for my clients. May they be families, young or old couples, or hip singles. My mother has to be mentioned here: As children, my brothers and I moved homes quite often. This was always dreadful for us, as it is for most children. My mother always found ways to make us excited about it. For me, she proposed the thrilling idea of creating an entirely new space for my family. With each new move came new creative challenges. Re-purposing existing furniture, new layouts, new color schemes - I always made sure my room was the nicest, though. ;)
Each piece should also highlight the meticulously designed interior that was built around them.
What are the goals you want to achieve in any design you create?
My goals are to redefine how people feel about minimalism and contemporary design as well as tailor living environments to help improve the everyday lives of my clients.
What challenges do you face in your design process?
The design process can come with challenges - be it budget or space constraints (or both!). The biggest challenge I face is dealing with supplier lead times. Often, the success of our design process is dependent on the work of others. It can be quite challenging when promised lead times aren't delivered.
It should stand very beautifully on its own but more so, when paired with others, create a very personalized living environment for the homeowner.
What do you think your design brings to the industry?
Life is busy, stressful, and can often feel cluttered and overwhelming. I have always loved the feeling of clearing out clutter from personal spaces and how sparse, simplistic environments make me feel relaxed and at ease.
I bring the same approach to all my interiors, including the environment I designed for DXV: A serene, simplistic and warm personal space to help you feel relaxed when both, starting your day and ending it. My hope is that others appreciate that simplicity does not mean boring, contemporary does not mean cold and that unobtrusive lines does not mean unfinished. We are redefining minimalism. It’s all about helping people unwind!
What would you like to see change or evolve in the design industry?
Minimalism and Contemporary design is not cold and rigid. It can very much be warm as well as layered, elegant and sophisticated. Tailored, simplistic lines and monochromatic palettes have reputations for being unlivable. I want my designs to convince people otherwise. I want them to see just how luxurious and "cozy" these environments are.
My “Coup de Coeur”
Simple, Timeless and Contemporary; Beautiful pieces that help create extraordinary homes.
What is your favorite kind of design project?
I love designing all interiors, as each come with creative challenges. Admittedly, bathrooms are a personal favourite. It amazes me just how far technology has pushed the boundaries to improve everyday living and how design and technology marry so well in projects.