Read the Planet S article on Tamara Bowman

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Name: Tamara Bowman
Occupation: Interior Design Consultant & owner of Metric Design Centre

1. Tell me a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Saskatoon. I have taken a few reprieves from living in Saskatchewan, once for a life change/ design school and once for my husbands job. I am happy be here and be a part of the city, and in the lives of my family and friends. I have an amazing family with 2 children who are so lucky to be loved and cared for by everyone around them. Plus, I have run a successful Interior Design business for over 11 years, and have now opened up a retail location called Metric Design Centre.

2. How would you describe your personal style?
“outside the box”- I try to think what is normal and then step beyond that. In both my fashion and my Design I love to create both interest and drama by mixing together prints, colours, mediums, layers and textures.

3. Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
I know its really cliche but I have to say that I am am a huge “Sex and the City”  fan and I adore “Carrie’s” fashion sense (or lack there of). So really when it comes to fashion the thoughts really do enter my mind – “would Carrie wear this?” and if the answer is yes, then I am good to go!

4. Where are your favourite places to shop in Saskatoon?
Sadly my life is incredibly busy with my business & family life, so shopping here doesn’t happen often. In that case, I usually just stick to my favourites and then do the rest when I am away and actually have some leisure time. In any case, my absolute fav is Tonic, but I do stop in at Winners & Mexx from time to time. I know that Saskatoon has so much more to offer me and I hope to explore all of our fabulous little shops one day soon!

5. What do you think is the worst or best fashion trend right now?

Ok… I think that this wearing socks over tights thing is genius! How great is it that we actually have fashion trends going on right now that support our climate…finally the people in California can look silly for a change wearing their Uggs in the hot weather!

6. What’s your favourite piece of clothing or accessory from your closet?
Hands down it is my brown 3” wide punched leather belt that I picked up in Greece last year. It is so unique and versatile, I can wear it with anything!

7. What’s the last thing you bought?
The better question is “what didn’t I buy”. I just got back from a 5 day excursion to San Francisco and well I bought everything.
This is how I shop- twice a year, I GET IT DONE. Usually I find a super hot seat sale so I can head away somewhere for the weekend, study up for a few days prior by perusing magazines for the latest in fashion trends, when I am there I have a couple days of marathon shopping, and then I am done until the next round- quick and painless and kind of fun!

8. Any pet peeves?
Well…. there is a bunch I am sure, but the thing that agonizes me the most every day has to be slow drivers. To me driving is fun and I am always timing my minutes and routes accordingly, and it is not that I am driving fast but just quick and efficiently to not waste time in my day, so it can really make me crazy when someone is not quite on board with my plan!

9. What do you like to do in your free time?
Eat, drink, and travel. I love to be out- out on the town, out of the city, out of the country…whatever!

10. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Well I think the most surprising thing about my personality is that I am quite a shy person, and that I really need to push myself every day to forget about this and do what I need/ want to do in life.

11. Can you tell me a little about Metric Design Centre?
Metric is all about good design. We offer one stop shopping for everything for the interior. Kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, you name it, plus the design services to put it all together.

12. What sort of products or services do you offer?
Well we offer full interior Design services from a 15 minute consult to a complete home build or reno package.
We also have our own products that we order from all over the world including world class NEFF kitchens and Porcelanosa tile & plumbing, plus we support local retailers and suppliers, so we really do have (or can get) everything!

13. What made you want to open up Metric Design Centre?
I wanted to open the Design Centre for a few different reasons. Most importantly I want good design to be a part of everyone’s lives and I felt that even though people were interested in having good design in their surroundings, they were just unsure as to where to get it, find it, or who to trust to do this for them.

So my number one purpose was to make design accessible and not intimidating. People can come into the store just for the experience or they can make the decision to go further with Metric, but the point is that they were exposed to great design in so many forms. I wanted to show people that good design can be achieved in so many ways, shapes and forms as long as it is done right, and people can get a sense of our style before committing to work with us.

Secondly, it was to simplify the process. Designing your new space should be thrilling. After years of dragging Clients from shop to shop all around the city, or having them to come to me after great frustration and exhaustion, I knew it was time for a better option. At Metric we support local retailers and suppliers, plus bring in a lot of our hand picked unique options from all over the world. Here, Clients can do it all- pick your furniture, lighting, cabinetry, flooring & fixtures all under one roof.

Finally it is about expanding people’s minds as to what is actually available in Design from all over the world for all different budgets, All that we need to do is look beyond our doorsteps.

14. What inspired your love for interior design?

I’d have to say my Parents. When I was young we travelled a lot and my parents were not totally Design savvy, but they had great taste and they were always interested and inspired by unique design. My mom was a fashion queen and my dad an Architect (both at heart of course) so they have inspired me to push the limits in Interior Design.

15. Best piece of decorating advice?

MIX IT UP! Don’t be afraid to mix and match woods, metals, fabrics, etc. Go after items that you are drawn to that you love, and bring them together all in one space (carefully mind you) as that is not only what makes a space interesting, it makes the space about you. This is where a good Designer can help you to make these fav’s work!

16. Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in the spaces and objects around me. I like to spend time thinking about shapes and objects and try to imagine how I can use them differently to create some unique interest.

17. Favorite color combination?

Dark charcoal or brown mixed wit navy, teal & mustard- pretty much any colour that you can find in a peacock feather!

18. What mistake do people often make when decorating?

They try to follow a style too truly. Design is about interpretation and you absolutely need to bring yourself into that space to make it comfortable and to make it yours.
19. Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Be bold, make it personal! 
When it comes to the space around you don’t settle for average, let the areas that surround you inspire you everyday by reminding you of you & of what inspires you to be great.  Put some time into a space so that it can represent your unique qualities and needs and let that come through in every way that you can. Life is about us, not the generic representations that are laid out easily before us.

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