Lenore Brooks

“We want to find out what kinds of spaces make you happy and then help you create them.”

Good design creates spaces that are functional and beautiful, spaces that bring pleasure to the people who use them.

A well designed space can be an attention grabber, but its design can also fade into the background as the activities it supports take centre stage.

A good designer listens to you and finds the right balance of form and function to suit your needs. That is our goal: to find out what kinds of spaces make you happy and then help you create them.

How we do it

Making your home function and feel better involves three steps:

  1. Analysis
  2. Options
  3. Review

No matter how big or small the job, we begin by learning about your likes, your goals, and what works or doesn’t work in your current space. We then analyze your space, and consider what constraints and what opportunities it presents given your goals, budget, and taste.

Next, we present you with a few options that will work with your style and your space.

Finally, we always review your choices with you, making sure that everything fits into a cohesive whole and that the steps forward are clear. Even our shortest, 1 hour consultations include email or phone follow-ups to answer questions and help you troubleshoot as the project progresses.

Our Story

Two young children play with a hammer toy under a Christmas tree

Carmen and Lenore begin honing their building skills

Lenore Brooks Design is owned and operated by Lenore Brooks and Carmen Nave. Our father was an artist, and our parents were avid DIYers who bought and renovated several houses during our childhood.

We went in different directions for a time, but ended up back together, excited to share our love of design and build a company based on the idea that design is for everyone.

The Designer: Lenore

A young woman holds a paint roller in front of a wall.

Lenore preparing to paint our first apartment.

Lenore once told Carmen about a three-story, 20 room doll house she made and then furnished entirely out of construction paper. She had designed the house and all its furnishings lay flat when not in use.

She estimated she put 300 hours into it between the ages of 9 and 12. “Perhaps we should have known that I wanted to be an interior designer!”

That insight came later, though, in her 20s. She got a job at a paint store, and eventually decided to take the 3-year, intensive interior design course at Humber. After graduating in 2004, she began a decade of work in Toronto architecture and interior design firms.

Working in Toronto was an education in itself: the projects were worth millions and she was held to exacting standards. It was during this period especially that she learned about design analysis, the process through which a designer integrates function and form.

After starting a family, Lenore’s priorities shifted. She wanted to be closer to her sister Carmen and she wanted to do design that focused more on helping people than on creating showcase homes.

So, she moved back to Kitchener and founded Lenore Brooks Design.

The anthropologist: Carmen

Young white women happily eats fufu and light soup in Ghana

Fufu was Carmen’s favourite food in Ghana. Sadly not available in Kitchener!

Carmen has always loved art and design, but her fascination with people and desire to do research took her in a different direction: anthropology. Carmen did research in Ghana, looking at families and shared property.

One thing she learned is that the design of our homes has a big impact on our quality of life.

After helping Lenore get her blog started and redesign her website in 2016, Carmen realized that she wanted to bring her anthropological perspective to the question of how to use design to improve quality of life.

So, as of January 2018, Carmen and Lenore decided to create a partnership.

In addition to researching and writing for the general design topics on the blog, Carmen has created The Structured Space, a blog series which explores the relationship between environmental support for ADHD and design.

Learn with us

We don’t want you to feel unsure about whether hiring a designer is right for your project, and so we share a lot of our knowledge on our blog.

We write a lot about design– a good place to start is our post on analyzing your rooms. If you’re selling your home, we have a series on the Fundamentals of Staging.

We update every other Thursday, so check back regularly! If you want to be notified of special events or new services, plus the occasional general update, we also have a mailing list.

Work with us

Excited to get started? Let us know about your project, and we’ll find the right package for you!