I met interior designer Keren Blankrot (Upstage Montreal) several years ago as she was trekking throught the snow with an adorable purple coat. Not one to shy away from talking to strangers, I walked over and said something profound like “cute coat”. How I ended up visiting her apartment, meeting up for dessert and wine, discussing interior design, I cannot remember. But since, I’ve turned to Keren for any interior design or home staging question.
Check out the Upstage Montreal website for more information
What’s great about your job as an interior designer?
I love bringing out the best in a client’s space – making it as comfortable and as beautiful as possible. Clients trust me to create a space that will reflect their taste and personality. The entire process is satisfying for me; from meeting with the client, interpreting their desires for their space and creating a unique vision, to putting together all the pieces of the puzzle and then, finally, leaving the client with a space that is uplifting, where they can live elegantly and graciously.
What would you say influences your style?
Do you have a go-to designer you turn to for inspiration?
I think Karl Lagerfeld is brilliant. One of my favourite interior designers is Kelly Wearstler. She weaves glamour and colour seamlessly, creating spaces that are modern and minimalistic, but with a touch of vintage and nostalgia.
Fashion-wise, what is your most cherished possession?
My sister got me this perfect buttery brown leather purse from Italy. It looks like a mini piece of luggage and has a removable strap so you can wear it across your body. I wouldn’t dream of parting with it.
You know I’m a big music fan. What are your top three songs?
At the moment, my number one song is Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Nigg*s in Paris. The beat is addictive. It’s a party song and makes me want to lose myself in the music, and perhaps… be a bit debaucherous! I also love Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw. This song pulls at my heart strings. And finally, I’d say Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) by Florence and The Machine – their music is dreamy. I love running to it at the gym.
What new and upcoming trend for interior design are you the most excited about?
Using things in a different way. For example, I turned a silk scarf and a wall hanging into pillow cases. Repurposing and DIY seem to be very de rigueur. It’s good for the planet too!