Designers of the Year Photo Credit: Elaine Markaj

Robert Ledingham Memorial Award 2014: Atmosphere Interior Design

Saskatoon’s “Kings of Style” celebrate 10 years of glamour in the Prairies.

Atmosphere Interior Design
Portrait by Carey Shaw.

It’s fitting that Trevor Ciona and Curtis Elmy, co-founders of Atmosphere Interior Design, are the recipients of the second annual Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an emerging designer: Ledingham himself was an early inspiration for the duo. “He taught us that design is about learning who you are instead of trying too hard to pull from someone else,” recalls Elmy.

A kitchen decked out in opulent marble is softened by playful tone-on-tone paisley print stools and curtains. Photo by Elaine Markaj.

They took his words to heart, it seems. Ciona and Elmy’s trademark style is instantly recognizable: a cozy, casual glamour, anchored with bold patterns and luxe textures. Judge Paul Lavoie, principal of Paul Lavoie Home, loved their “striking [design work], full of fashion, texture and fabulous layering of detail.”

Ciona was born and raised in Saskatoon; Elmy grew up in the small town of Saltcoats, four hours away. The two met as Ciona was applying to interior design schools, and once he’d graduated, it didn’t take long for the pair to take a leap of faith and start their own design firm in 2004.

Saskatoon is traditionally a city with a more conservative aesthetic, but over the past decade, Atmosphere has been a force for change in the region. “We’re both very much interested in classic design,” says Elmy, “but we mix that with fashion-forward design with a modern sensibility.” Their blend of traditional and contemporary accents has garnered plenty of attention and made the duo de facto ambassadors for Saskatoon’s growing design scene—Style at Home named them Saskatoon’s “Kings of Style” and Ivanka Trump even tagged one of their rooms for her Pinterest inspiration board.

Elmy (left in portrait) and Ciona blend classic pieces with modern touches. An art deco-inspired credenza is paired here with pop art hues. Photo by Patricio Del Rio.

For years, they’ve designed the Saskatoon Hospital Home Lottery show home, which may be the purest expression of their signature look, with no client expectations to accommodate. It’s a chance for Elmy and Ciona to experiment, and the results are at once luxurious and homey: think studded velvet headboards, richly textured grasscloth wallpaper and art deco-inspired millwork.

In 2013, they opened Atmosphere Design Lounge to showcase furniture and decor. (The space includes an impressive array of Jonathan Adler pieces). In 2014, they started work on a bespoke furniture line, and have been tapped to outfit a new condo development, a huge new challenge for the duo and their team. But, hopefully, amid all the happy, busy days, they’ll find time to finish up designing their own dream home, a Broadway Avenue penthouse overlooking the downtown skyline. “It’s taken a lot longer than we thought,” says Elmy. “It’s a labour of love, and much different than what we would’ve done ten years ago. Experience brings you confidence that you just can’t get otherwise.”

A soothing blue-and-white living room gets a touch of glam from an all-mirror coffee table. Photo by Patricio Del Rio.





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