An Introduction to Design Majeur

Design Majeur — a name pulled from family history and folklore. Drawn from what Kathy believes her grandmother's maiden name once was, but like so many things, has been lost in translation over generations. Blended between details that are unknowable and composed of fleeting memories, she can't be truly certain. But it’s pronounced ‘major’ and partially borrowed from Ruby Majeur. 

Kathy is trying to explain her family lineage, long and complex, while carefully arranging fresh floral bouquets for Maven & Grace. “I’m clearly drawn to things a little untamed,” she says, trimming a eucalyptus bough. “I think a house becomes a home when it’s comfortable. It feels like somewhat of a nest, and there’s a reason to use that word — birds tend their nests and I do the same, changing, replacing and refining the details. Then light a candle, read a magazine and feel like it’s a space for sharing. A home shouldn’t feel precious. Especially in my house, it just wouldn’t last long with teenagers, friends and dogs.”

That sense of the unkempt, but well loved can easily be found in both shops she owns, Mill Creek Picture Framing and Maven & Grace. The vintage horseshoe hung above the doorframe for luck. The leftover paper lanterns from a past window display tucked into a corner in MCPF. And the details from the newly renovated M&G — the raw stone edge of the sink backsplash, the soft whirring hum of the paper-decorated flower cooler. “I think life has imperfections so for me it’s a reflection of that. There are always exceptions and things thrown at you and if you learn to let go you can make something beautiful out of the unexpected. There is beauty in the undone.”

For Kathy, her relationship with vintage has been a lifelong love, passionate yet unfaithful to one specific aesthetic, style or era. “Though there are constants there is always inspiration. It comes from the next generation and even though there’s nothing completely new, it doesn’t mean that ownership is lost to history. There’s always a conversation going on between eras, disciplines and generations.”

And Design Majeur is here to join in that conversation, to inspire and compel, to showcase and reflect design in Edmonton. We’re tired of being overlooked and underrepresented and we’re eager to share our community with you. Turn to us for a place to see local talent displayed, as an ever expanding resource list, and get to know this northern city.  See how people live, what they enjoy and how it all fits together. It’s time to nest: this is Design Majeur.