Marcus Iafrate – on becoming a residential designer and his love for clients
Greening Homes is delighted to add Marcus Iafrate to our team. Marcus brings his expertise and exceptional client relations savvy to Greening Homes as Director of Design and Development.
We asked Marcus to tell us a little bit about himself and what got him interested in residential design. Here’s what he had to say:
GH – First, the basics: Where are you from? Where did you train? Who did you work for previously?
MI – I grew up in Guelph, Ontario, spending my summers at our family home in Madeira Beach Florida.
I obtained my bachelor’s in interior design from Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario.
I began my career working for a prestigious designer in Kitchener/Waterloo. Moving to Toronto I began working for a custom home builder and started a freelance design company on the side. I began receiving contracts to work for developers designing and managing projects up to $12 million.
GH – What inspired you to become a designer for homes? Did you always know or was there a specific moment?
MI – I began my degree focusing on hospitality and corporate design, winning multiple awards for excellence in those areas of design.
When I took a co-op opportunity in my third year, I fell into the residential design world and fell in love with working with clients on their homes. It is much more personal, and I love that.
GH – What do you love most about design?
MI – I love being able to create something and watch the process. Going from lines on paper to a built environment is an amazing thing to watch!
GH – What is your personal design aesthetic?
MI – When I am asked about my aesthetic, I always look at my personal home. My house has seen everything! The best place for a designer to experiment is in their own home so I am always trying new things.
Currently, I am taking a minimalist approach, very neutral with small pops of pattern and colour. I also live in an older home and love to reinstate some of the original character removed during renovations by previous owners. I guess you can call my aesthetic transitional!
GH – What is your proudest project up to now?
MI – I have worked on so many amazing projects, but I always remember the first home I was ever entirely responsible for. At the time, it was an intimidating task, but it was a spectacular project with an amazing client relationship which I maintain to this day!
GH – What has been your greatest work challenge?
MI – I always love a challenge, but the biggest to date was taking over a development project that had been abandoned by the previous builder/designer. I worked with the developer and financers to put the project back on track and finish the project leaving the owners extremely happy with the result.
GH – What do you love most about working with our clients?
MI – Working directly with clients is the reason I pursued residential design. I love getting to know a client and their unique lives and reflecting those qualities in design. Residential design is very personal and understanding how the client(s) will live and use the home helps in creating spaces that are individual, functional and beautiful.
GH – What projects are you currently working on and what do you find compelling about them?
MI – We are currently developing 10+ projects and each is individual and unique. On one project we are working with a client who has health sensitivities to items used in traditional building practice. We are working to source new materials and products that will help to reduce the impact the built environment has on our client. This has been an exciting process knowing that we will be able to implement this research on future projects to improve our building and design standard.
GH – What do you love to do when you are not working?
MI – Not working? I am always working…. I love what I do! On the off chance I have a free minute, I have always enjoyed art and crafting. You can always find me with a sketch book, canvas or clay covered hands. I love working and exploring different art mediums.
I also love being outside and near any body of water! Lake, ocean or puddle, I am in!
GH – Is there one thing about you that few people know about?
MI – There are extremely random topics that I know way too much about. For example, I have a secret obsession with historical shipwrecks that I can only attribute to watching the Titanic movie too young. I can speak to many infamous and some unknown wrecks around the world. Weird, right?
GH – What is your top bucket list item?
MI – As I said above, I have a random obsession with shipwrecks. A dream would be to submarine down to the Titanic and explore!