July 13, 2024


‘Incredulous’: Oak Bay home owner will get anonymous letter criticizing house’s style – BC

An Oak Bay, B.C., home-owner is sharing a considerably awful letter he received in the mail this month criticizing the exterior style and design of his dwelling.

Walter van de Rijst informed World-wide News that the anonymous card study, “Shame, disgrace, shame on you for constructing this kind of a revolting house in Oak Bay, how did it ever get accepted?”

He was “incredulous” on reading it, he mentioned in a Friday interview.

“It took me aback for a 2nd, just wow. Then I imagined, this is seriously funny. Why would somebody go to this much difficulty?” van de Rijst asked, including that the card price $4.99, according to its label.

Click to play video: 'Housing holdout Oak Bay approves condo project'

Housing holdout Oak Bay approves condominium task

He explained he decided to share the card’s material on social media, just to see how the online would react. To day, he explained about 250 men and women have reacted to his Facebook article — 99 per cent of whom have offered him a “thumbs up.”

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“People have been remarkable,” he reported, “It’s pleasant that persons have been so supportive … a large amount of persons were shocked at the gall that anyone had — that they would go through this considerably problems.”

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Van de Rijst and his wife purchased the residence in October 2020, but their hopes of renovating the house — crafted in 1914 — were being dashed. They tore it down in December 2021 and concluded the rebuild in February past year.

“And here we are nowadays, really content,” he reported.

Click to play video: 'Open House: Kitsilano heritage home transformation'

Open up House: Kitsilano heritage home transformation

The residence displays their eyesight, he additional. van de Rijst designed the kitchen himself, his spouse did all the bogs, and the pair designed other aspects collectively, with assist from a regional structure company.

Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch explained the card was “kind of silly.”

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“We all have our residences, proper? And we want our houses to represent what we adore,” he reported. “I wouldn’t want any one to not feel welcome, I’m really glad this home-owner is taking it with a feeling of humour, which I imagine is what it warrants.”

— with files from Richard Zussman

&copy 2024 Worldwide News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Interior design student helps plant shop owner grow new business | WMU News

Contact: Erin Flynn
June 10, 2022
Interior design student helps plant shop owner grow new business | WMU News

Matt Collins, an interior design student from Mendon, Michigan, was lead designer for the new MJ Home store in downtown Kalamazoo.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A new business has sprouted up in downtown Kalamazoo, and a Western Michigan University student helped to cultivate its aesthetic.

"We want people to come in and feel peaceful and take a moment to breathe and relax, and to just really… feel warm and cozy," says Dianna Nance, owner of the new boutique home store MJ Home—sister store to Mason Jar Plant Shop. She tapped Matt Collins, a first-year interior design student, to help her make that vision a reality.

The seeds of the partnership were planted on social media. Collins worked in a restaurant next door to the plant shop and would often wander over on his breaks.

A display in a home furnishings store.

Collins designed displays to make shoppers feel at home.

"It was my little escape to go in there and be surrounded by all the plants," he says. One day he bought a plant and posted a picture of it on Instagram. "Dianna noticed it and said, 'I really like your living space, your style, how you stage things. I'm looking to open up a furniture and home decor shop, and I noticed you're an interior design student. I was wondering if you could help me design a concept for it.'"

Collins cracked open his textbooks and got to work, inspired by bohemian style. He also tapped into some of his connections from class and contacted two designers in Sweden to go over his ideas. Everything from color schemes to customer circulation and customer movement played a part in his design.

"He's brought a lot to the store," says Nance. "He's been great to work with, and he actually helped from the beginning with installing flooring and painting, all of that."

Collins had the chance to see his work pay off at the shop's grand opening June 1.

"When I see the reactions and how people interact with the space, something I created and helped create as a team, I love that. I feed off of that."

Nance even gave Collins space around the shop to show off his design sketches during Art Hop, a monthly event where downtown businesses display local artwork.

Design sketches laid out on a table.

Nance displayed some of Collins' sketches throughout the shop.

"I think (Western's program) is amazing, and I'm hopeful that this really is beneficial to not only him but the whole organization," Nance says. "I was in health care for 25 years, and I would hire people and say, 'I want you to build your resume here. I want you to do what it's going to take to get you to that next level. I hope that this is something that helps him along that journey and maybe will help others as well."


Collins is a creative at heart.

"Growing up, interior design is something I was always involved in. In high school I would doodle in my notebook floor plans for my dream house, and I didn't know at the time that was a schematic design and part of the design process," he says. "My brother and my dad are very hands-on, mechanically and building. I was always in the background observing."

He wasn't sure how that passion might translate into a career, however, and initially enrolled at Western as an education major. It was a logical fit—Collins had done some substitute teaching—but as he took classes, he still felt something was missing. A conversation with Dr. Suzan Smith-Ayers, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, illuminated a new path forward.

"We were talking about commitments in class, and it didn't seem fair to my future students that I'm not 100% into it," Collins says. Smith-Ayers mentioned the interior design program, which was also part of her department. "I always had that 'what if.' What if I never pursued (this passion)? And I decided to take a leap of faith, saying, 'I've got to do this.' And I have not looked back since. It never feels like a chore to study or anything. I would do it all day long if I could. I just love it."

The opportunity to design for MJ Home has only solidified his chosen path.

"To be in my first year in a design program and then have this project, it really did open my eyes. These are real experiences, real opportunities that are going to have a tremendous impact when it comes time to find career options," says Collins.

"I'm so appreciative of my professors—Mary Beth Janssen, Kim Buchholz, Dr. Ayers—for being extremely supportive, as well as some of the talented students in the design program who I've gotten to know. They all add to this journey of growth with my career path and education. And I'm especially appreciative of Dianna for allowing me to do this, because it really feels like I can feel, think and see clearly what's ahead."

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.