40th Anniversary Gala

This year, Jostar Interiors celebrated 40 years in business! It’s definitely a huge accomplishment, and one that Jostar Interiors’ Founder and President, Joanna Starko, has decided to celebrate and share.

To mark the 40th Anniversary, Jostar Interiors hosted a gala at the Art Gallery of Alberta on September 18th, 2015 and invited clients, trades, suppliers, and business partners. The event was MC’d by none other than Ryan Jespersen. Jostar Interiors loves to give back to the community, and at the gala we gave back to the University Hospital Foundation’s Brain Center Campaign.

We worked out every detail of the event as a team, each of us tackling our own area, whether it was collecting donations or organizing center pieces. We wanted to make sure that it was special for Joanna.

The event went off without a hitch! The venue was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the turnout was fabulous!

We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who attended and made the 40th Anniversary Gala the special event that it was. We also want to thank everyone who is going to be donating to the University Hospital Foundation’s Brain Center Campaign.

The Gala was catered by Zinc Restaurant, and sponsored by a number of suppliers, trades, and associates.

Platinum Sponsors: ATB, Consumer Choice Awards, Hunter Douglas, and Iconic Cabinets.

Gold Sponsors: JF Fabrics.

Silver Sponsors: Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co. and Zana Construction.

Bronze Sponsors: LED Lights Canada and Triple M Home Renovations.

Our Favourite Things Sponsors: BA Robinson, EMCO, FloForm Countertops, Maxwell Fabrics, Renwil, Starbucks on Calgary Trail, SunGlow Window Coverings, Tierra Sol, Urban Granite, and Zinc Restaurant.

Corsages & Flower Arrangements: Fabloomosity.                 



St. Albert Kitchen Renovation

This year, I finished a renovation for a client’s kitchen in St. Albert. At the initial consultation, my clients made it very clear that they were not happy with the oak that was present throughout their home.

We decided to remedy that by painting the oak trim throughout the home, replacing the oak kitchen cabinets, and removing the oak sunshine ceiling.

We started with some product & finish selections. The clients wanted something more modern and updated than their traditional oak. We decided to go with a high contrast kitchen and mixed media tile. The cabinets would be dark, almost black, with a plain shaker front. The countertop would be white quartz. The backsplash tile would be brushed metal and glass. After choosing the exact finishes, we chose the lighting – LED panel lights. We also picked new paint colours, trim colours, and furniture fabrics.

Once we finalized the finishes, we began the construction stage. We had quite a few trades on this job, including our tile setter, painter, ceiling scraper, and electrician. The construction went smoothly, even with the additional work and changes that came up.

The finished product turned out stunning! It was a dramatic change from the oak. The clients were very happy with the final product. It met all of their needs and had a high end feel without the high end price tag. The kitchen was not only made for my clients, but for their children as well. It is very easy to clean, functional, and modern.

Lighting 101

Lighting is often an aspect of interior design that is overlooked and under-appreciated.

In my opinion, lighting has the power to make or break the space. There are four main types of lighting to consider when designing a space: ambient, accent, task, or decorative. Ambient lighting is the general lighting that usually illuminates an entire space. Accent lighting is used to highlight an area or particular object. Task lighting is installed in areas that will require additional light, such as a work or reading area. Decorative lighting is just that, to add interest or decoration to a space.

To begin choosing lights, you must consider the function of the space. Is it a space that is primarily for entertaining? Or is it a more functional space that is used for reading or cooking? I begin by placing task lighting within the space to illuminate the work areas. I then move to installing ambient lighting to the rest of the space. Lastly, I consider accent and decorative lighting.

On the more technical side:

What is the best lighting for a hallway?


There should be a fixture every 6-8 feet and depending on the ceiling height, a flush mount or semi flush mount can be used. If you have wide hallways, you can consider adding wall sconces for added light and design. A general rule for wall scones is that they are placed 5 feet above the ground, and also 6-8 feet apart.

What is the best lighting for a dining room?


A chandelier or bowl over the dining room table can provide excellent ambient lighting, and with the addition of a dimmer, can emit diffused light to create an inviting atmosphere for dinner guests. Accent lighting can be used to highlight any art or accessories in the room without overpowering the focal point of the chandelier and dining table.

What is the best lighting for a bathroom?


If possible, the best lighting in the bathroom is a vanity light on or above the mirror and two wall sconces on either side. This prevents shadowing on the face while using the mirror. The vanity light should be ½ to 1/3 the width of the countertop, and installed 75”-80” above the floor. If you have a high ceiling, it is recommended to face vanity lights down. Otherwise, face vanity lights up so the light can reflect off the ceiling. In addition to this lighting, general ambient lighting might be required to illuminate the rest of the space.

What is the best lighting for a kitchen?


Layering lighting is especially important in the kitchen. General ambient lighting can be achieved through the use of potlights to highlight the walkways of the kitchen. Undercabinet lighting can be used for ambient lighting and is great for task lighting when working on the perimeter counters. Pendant lights above the island are a nice highlight to the space. Additional task lighting above the kitchen sink and other task areas may be required.

Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co.

We recently visited Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co.
for a breakfast & learn!

My first impression when I walked in was “That dog is so cute!”. Yes, they have their very own adorable boxer dog that greets you when you enter. And her name is Munch! If the dog isn’t enough to warm your heart, when you look up you can see beautiful reclaimed and re-purposed wood everywhere. The brick wall adds to the feel-good vibe of the building. And the staff is incredibly friendly. The entire atmosphere makes you feel right at home.

The staff walked us through the showroom, explaining what kind of products they had that they could offer our clients. We started with furniture: wood tables, metalwork, and expert craftsmanship. There were some custom-built pieces in the showroom that really wowed us!

Then they showed us Timber Tiles in various patterns. There were wall tiles made from reclaimed barn wood, hardwood flooring, and wood boats. There were herringbone patterns, mosaic square patterns, and linear patterns. The herringbone was my favourite! And as a bonus, they are sealed so that you can use them in a kitchen as a backsplash! There were also a variety of colours available.

Next, we looked at some of their beautiful options for hardwood flooring. You can see from the pictures that reclaimed wood flooring is definitely a feature piece that will have everyone talking! It is as durable as it is unique. The flooring is also low maintenance, and easy to finish yourself! It is available in different species of wood and different finishes, plank widths, as well as textures.

So why reclaimed wood? What is so special about it that we can’t stop talking about it? For starters, it is a natural wood product. Mother nature has a way of making natural products beautiful and unique. Secondly, It is a great way to re-purpose a great natural resource. It is also a great alternative solution for old barns. Rather than burning them down, you can have them re-made into something incredible! We are so excited to be working with these fabulous people and their incredible product!