Getting Comfortable with Your Design Choices

Cambria Style-featured designer Kathryn Pilon shares her philosophy for creating supportive environments.

Written by:Diane Conrad
A clean, white kitchen with Colton quartz countertops, vaulted ceiling with wooden beams, white tile backsplash, and black accents throughout the space

Cambria design shown: Colton™

It’s easy to think that interior design is basically a matter of arranging the things inside a space. But designer Kathryn Pilon of Index Design Studio in Chatham, Ontario—who spearheaded the family-focused renovation, featured in Cambria Style, would beg to differ. “Good design isn’t really about things, but about support,” she says. “When we’re supported by our surroundings, we can let our guard down and be there for the people in our lives and focus on the things that are important to us, to growth, and passion.” Creating supportive environments means listening closely to her clients to find their unique wants and needs. “The design process is very collaborative for me. I have a lot of experience, but they bring huge value to the table,” she says. Here are a few client lessons that Pilon carries forward in every project she undertakes.

Design for Comfort

“A lot of times people can’t quite figure out why their space doesn’t feel right,” says Pilon. That “not quite right” feeling often comes down to simple comfort: The layout doesn’t flow well, the furniture arrangement doesn’t encourage connection, the materials require too much maintenance. “That last one is a big deal. We use a lot of high-end finishes in our designs, but we always go for durability—like Cambria. Because no matter how beautiful something is, if you’re constantly worried about harming it, you won’t be comfortable,” she says.

A kitchen with open wood shelving, vaulted ceilings with wooden beams, white cabinets and gorgeous center island with wooden barstools topped with Colton quartz countertops

Cambria design shown: Colton

Keep Your Design Simple

Pilon’s style is all about clean lines, balanced spaces, and simple beauty, she says—and it’s a look that draws clients to her. “The restful approach really resonates,” she says. Today’s families rely on their homes to provide a respite from all the distractions and pressures of the outside world, and a quiet style can be the perfect antidote.

Incorporate Sustainable Design Elements

The owners of this home had their own strong directive to choose environmentally friendly products for their remodel, but it’s a value Pilon shares. “On that project, we sourced every element very carefully to make sure the materials were responsibly sourced, and all North American made. It’s just one more thing that creates a strong connection between the owners and their home—they can feel comfortable in it, and with their choices—it’s a great guide for any project.”


[Updated on 12/05/2023]

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