Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Share the Love Wednesdays: Cottage Shades

Welcome to the first weekly Share the Love Wednesdays post!  Each and every week we will feature an interview with an Etsy shop located in Ontario, Canada.  This weeks interview is with Karina Clark from Cottage Shades!  You can find her Etsy shop here:

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A. My name is Karina Clark and my shop is Cottage Shades. I make quality handcrafted lamps, lampshades, and pillows in Newmarket, Ontario. 

Q. Can you describe cottage style decorating and how you started incorporating it into your designs?

A. I have always had a keen interest in decorating, with a particular fondness for “Cottage Style,” where the English countryside blooms in beautiful floral patterns, overstuffed chairs, and casual elegance—and,most often, pretty lamps adorned with lovely fabric lampshades!  Beyond aesthetic appeal and practicality, Cottage Style boasts diversity: it isn't bound to any specific setting, and this flexibility allows it to be adopted by any home, anywhere. Cottage Style’s practical roots are often overlooked in lieu of its more romantic qualities—the floral prints, the pastel palettes, the painted furniture.

Q. How long have you been making home decor items?

A. Several years ago my husband and I purchased a small 1950’s bungalow in a beautiful mature area of our great Town. While undergoing extensive renovations, I had some furniture reupholstered, and with the leftover fabric, I had a lampshade recovered. Instantly I knew I wanted to learn how! For me, switching a plain white shade for one with beautiful fabric on it just warms the room, gives it personality. After my son was born, I left my full-time job and Cottage Shades was formed. This is my sixth year in business. Much of my business comes through custom work, and I also love creating my own designs, which reflect my love of Cottage Style.

Q. I love the Ralph Lauren 12" x 18" Muskoka pillows.  Which design is your favourite?

A. My Mason jar lamps are my original design, and the first thing I began selling. They are especially unique when topped with a Muskoka or Georgian Bay lampshade, made with fabric designed by my sister-in-law and recognized throughout Ontario’s Cottage Country. I make them in different sizes and my clients love to fill them with their own personal collections: shells, rocks, pine cones...

Q. What time of day do you do most of your creating?

A. I design and have a professional wood turner make, and my unique paint colors which I mix myself. I am always creating; lovely things in our day-to-day lives inspire my creativity even when I’m not in my studio. This past year, I began making decorative pillows to complement or coordinate with my lampshades. Each one of my pillows, as with my lampshades, is a one-of-a-kind creation.

There is nothing easier or more emotionally satisfying than creating the Cottage Style look; there is nothing pretentious about it, rather, it is the embodiment of everything casual, comfortable, calm, and soothing. After all, your physical environment is an integral part to your happiness.

Q. Do you have a work space that you do your work at?

A. When I’m not being a wife or mother, I am in my studio. One of the other perks of working from home is having time for my other passion, which is triathlon. I am honoured to have represented Canada at the World Championships four times!

Q. I see from your Etsy shop that you have an upcoming show on April 12th! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

I will be at the Made By Hand Show on April 12th, at the International Centre in Toronto. Etsy is a wonderful tool for getting exposure and meeting people that share the same passions and style. My shop is During the summer months I can be found in Muskoka, at the Port Carling Farmers Market and the Bala Farmers Market. This year I will also be a guest vendor at the Rosseau Market. I love being part of these markets, meeting and speaking with my customers, and helping them create beautifully personalized spaces of their own. I am also on Facebook, at, and on Pinterest, hope you stop by for a visit.

Thank you so much Karina for taking the time for this interview and I hope everyone has a chance to make it over to her shop.  She really does have some really lovely items for sale!

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