Ann Squires Ferguson is a true cross-pollinator, raised off the grid in Northern BC on the banks of the Stikine River. She spent her childhood homeschooled in a log cabin, transiting the winter snows by homemade dog sled. She has twin degrees in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and Interior Design, coming to the design industry via the Canadian Navy, where she specialized in shipboard weapons and the audio engineering field, with a focus on the Asian Karaoke market.
As CEO and owner of Western Design+Build, and a LEED Accredited Professional, Ann relishes both the creative and the technical.
Ann is an ovarian cancer survivor who has raised thousands of dollars to donate towards early detection and research, and who, as a passionate advocate for women in construction, also mentors her female led team to advance the industry.
She is past Chair of the Vancouver Island Society of Interior Designers, has twice been elected to the Board of Directors for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and sits on both the Ambassador Committee and the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement Committee.
Ann is also a proud military spouse, supporting her husband of 24 years in his Naval career, and the adoring mother of musical theatre obsessed twin teenagers Daring and Danger.
“I care about relationships – deep, long term, blisteringly honest and punctuated with many bouts of laughter. I care about lifting each other up, making space for each other at the table, making time for fun, and making a mess in the kitchen and the studio. I care about being outside with the people I love, preferably with the ocean on one side and a beach fire on the other. I care about treating each other with kindness and petting every puppy.”
Sara was born in Newfoundland and spent her childhood living throughout Canada. She attended Mount Royal University in Calgary for a Bachelor of Applied Interior Design; after graduating decided that she couldn’t be without the ocean, so she moved to Victoria in 2012 and has never looked back. Sara loves working in the design and construction industry, breaking barriers as a female project manager. Sara is passionate about dancing and is a member of a local rhythmical contemporary company called Broken Rhythms. When not in the office, you can find her at the dance studio, camping in the forest with her partner, or out on the water with her paddle board.
“I care about connection: to my friends and family, to nature, and to myself. I care about moving my body and expressing myself through dance and art. I care about inspiring the people around me and continuously working toward becoming a better human. I care about making people laugh and spending time with my cat, chickens, and partner. I love wandering through the dense old growth forest in the rain and listening to the crash of waves on a grey day. I am so grateful to live on this beautiful island, and to have a wonderful community of people and creatures surrounding me.”
Laura comes to Western Interior Design Group with 4 years of intense experience in interior design with experience in Government office tenant improvements, office move management, Recreation Centre renovations, Cannabis Retailer Rezoning, restaurant and multi-storey senior facilities. Laura has a BA in Interior Design and is presently working on her obtaining her Pilot’s licence.
Laura’s strengths include strong technical abilities with proficiencies in drafting and 3D modelling, She actively participates in continuing education opportunities, and has obtained her LEED Green Associate designation and is working to complete her designation of LEED AP ID+C within this coming year.
Laura is an adventuresome woman, with a passion for fitness and the outdoors, who can be found Paddle boarding on a lake in the moonlight on her time off.
Rebecca O’Keefe crossed the pond from Aberdaugleddau, Wales, UK at age 10. Missing home, her designer dreams took hold while sketching space plans for castles. She graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 1988 with a degree in Interior Design and hasn’t stopped learning since, always excited to discover creative new solutions for her clients. Rebecca has bestowed her award-winning creativity in a wide variety of sectors across Canada and London, England. She values authenticity in people and in design, working hard to protect the character and history of Victoria’s neighbourhoods. Rebecca loves getting outdoors and being near the ocean, a passion she has passed onto her two children, now in university.
“I care about protecting our natural environment. I ride my bike often, use reclaimed materials and upcycle second hand furniture as much as possible. I love having time to indulge in creative efforts, like painting with acrylic, drawing with pen and ink, and playing with lino cuts and block printing. I am always learning. When I’m not dancing my heart out at Hermann’s, you can find me exploring new recipes and of course, eating! I value empathy and kindness, no matter what.”
Sarah was born with a foot in two worlds – Colombia and Canada. Born in Bogota, Colombia, to parents from two continents, she learned to bridge two cultures and live in a multi- generational family from day one. After an early childhood in the East Kootenays in the shadow of the Rockies, her family moved to Victoria in 2003 and she has been a Vancouver Island resident since. She tried her hand at Carpentry with Camosun College in 2016, completing her Level 1 without nailing her boots to the floor. She is now a recent graduate of Vancouver Island University’s CIDA-accredited Interior Design Bachelor Program and has been a Junior Designer for Western Design Build since May of 2021.
“I care about my long-term friendships which go back to elementary school, and deepening these friendships through regular walks, great food, movies, and laughter. I love to sleep late (when I can on weekends), drink too much coffee, get lost in books, and share time with my beautifully chaotic family. I love fall and winter seasons (except for the rain), and miss real snow that stays and stays. I can’t imagine living far from the ocean, whose vastness, salty breezes and soothing tides would be dearly missed if I was inland. I care deeply about the current state of the planet, and want to see more of the world as soon as I can travel again.
Born and raised in Victoria, Rachel is a true “West Coast girl” enjoying all the outdoor adventures the island has to offer from sea to ski. Since she was young, Rachel has always been drawn to the world of design, history, and the protection of our planet, making her decision to enrol in the Azrieli School of Architectures, Conservation and Sustainability program inevitable.
After graduating from Carleton University, Rachel decided it was time to head back to Victoria and start establishing herself within the community. Rachel’s goal is to create a well-balanced portfolio of projects that marry her knowledge of sustainable architectural practices with her love for interior design while sourcing local and environmentally friendly products.
“I am moved by music and nature, and if I can combine the two, even better. On the weekends you can find me skiing or surfing, although I do love my down time, spent painting canvas or watching a movie. I enjoy podcasts and take my health and fitness seriously. I am always looking to make new lifelong connections.”
Thuy was born and raised in Ontario alongside her sister and two brothers. In 2003, she moved to BC and never looked back! Upon earning her business diploma, Thuy realized her cup was only half full. After some soul searching, Thuy discovered that she had a passion for design, as she has always strived to improve her surroundings by moving furniture around her room.
With this epiphany, Thuy’s ambitions leapt forward onto the path of interior design. Thuy has an eye for what feels comfortable, cozy and elevated. She loves working with talented designers and being submerged in an industry that is always presenting exciting reasons to be engaged.
“I am passionate about the projects I work on, sharing a vision with my clients for an overall look and feel. When I’m not working, I love creating special memories with my two children, James and fur baby Maggie. I also care about personal wellness and enjoy going for hikes and walks. If I’m not out on the trails, you might find me baking up something delicious in the kitchen.”
Makenna was born & raised in Sooke, BC, alongside her twin brother and older sister. With a lifelong love for home décor and interior design, in December 2020, Makenna decided to make her childhood dream a reality and completed the introduction to interior design course at Pacific Design Academy.
Wanting to get a true taste for the industry, Makenna landed an administrative role working for Design District where she gets to explore her passion. In her free time, Makenna often finds herself lost in a good book, baking, or spending time with friends and family. A lover of the arts, she grew up playing the violin and is now teaching herself piano.
“I care about self-wellness, whatever form that may take. Reading a book, going for a run, spending time with my loved ones, taking care of my mental health, etc. I believe that before you can invest your energy and time into something, you must first invest time and energy in yourself.”
Dhanya Gigi was born in Kerala, India, a stunning state known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters. While she loved the diversity of her country with its different religious and cultural celebrations, tropical variety, and climatic changes, Dhanya eventually decided that she needed to experience more and so she moved on.
Realizing that she had passion for numbers, Dhanya pursued a career in accounting. Dhanya is passionate about what she does, organized in her work, and builds healthy work relationships with care. When not working, Dhanya loves spending time with adorable studio pets Maggie, Georgie, and Boba.
“I care about building new life experiences, enjoying all the ups and downs at every stage, knowing that they make you stronger. I always believe that “this too shall pass”. Nothing, good or bad, lasts forever. All circumstances are temporary.”
Clode Theriault was born in Montreal and spent most of his childhood in Rouyn Noranda in northern Quebec. The oldest of four, Clode often helped out his mom, as his stepdad frequently worked out of town. Clode entered the workforce at age 12, working at some small construction sites. From there, he pursued numerous other opportunities including working as a projectionist, a prospector, and a logger, until he eventually found his way to Victoria.
After completing an apprenticeship in cabinet making, Clode took a 12-year detour to work in retail, before returning to handyman work. Clode began contracting for Western in 2010, eventually becoming a special part of our permanent team.
“When I’m not working, you’ll most often find me at the rink. Hockey is my passion, most especially goaltending. In another life, I’d probably have gone professional :).”
Tara was called to the accredited Interior design program at VIU – BID (Bachelor of Interior Design designation) as a mature student. A prairie girl at heart, but unable to resist the temperate coastal weather, mountains and ocean, Tara left Small Town, Saskatchewan for BC in 2008.
She says she thoroughly enjoys being able to use her technical creativity in her work while still learning each and every day. “No project or client is the same, and styles and standards are changing constantly.”
Tara thrives on travelling. The food, lifestyle and unique atmosphere gets her creative juices flowing! She also believes in being mindful, leaning into life to experience all moments– whether it’s learning a new recipe, participating in sports, surrounding herself in nature, or curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book and cozy blanket.
“I care about making memories with family and friends, near and far. When you think of the heart of the home being the kitchen (which it is, in my opinion!), then family and friends are the heart of the individual community.”