meet our happy home designers
Danny Chan, M.F.A.
For more than twenty years, he operated his own optical store with his father in downtown Vancouver. Then in 2011, Sandra was hired to decorate a three bedroom townhouse for a family of five within a short time frame. Danny came onboard to help her with many design matters. It was clear that the synergy was there and Danny was smitten with interior design bug.
Danny went back to school and received his master degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art University. For a little while, he also took on the role of a student mentor at his Alma Mater to nurture the next generation of young designers. He would encourage other students not to be afraid to pursue their passion, no matter how difficult it may seem at times.
Danny is not just passionate about creating beautiful homes, but also homes that people are happy to live in. This can be especially challenging when they are living in smaller spaces. In 2019, he was interviewed by the Globe and Mail and the article was entitled "Smaller homes may make you happier."
His eyes for design has allowed him to create beautiful and functional spaces for clients in Vancouver as well as overseas through e-design. After working three years alongside his wife, they co-founded Chan+Dee Designs together in 2014. At the end of 2017, they decided to re-brand and created Happy Home Design, with the tagline of "lets make home your happy place."
Sandra Dee, B.A.
Interior Decorator and Organizer
From a young age, Sandra has always displayed exceptional organization skills. As a child, she would rearrange her grandma's medicine cabinet whenever she went to visit her. Having graduated from Simon Fraser University with an Accounting degree, she worked for BC Hydro for several years, but eventually, she realized that her passion lied somewhere else. In 2006, she completed a diploma course with the Vancouver School Board on Interior decorating and immediately realized that this was her calling. It is not often to find a person to possess both organizational and aesthetic skills, but Sandra's instructor said that she was such a person and would be a waste not to pursue her dream to become a decorator. In 2007, she registered her business and named it Sprout Interiors.
In 2009, she gave birth to her first child, and it was difficult to run a business while being a full time mom. In 2011, while she was expecting her second child, a friend wanted to hire her to decorate their new townhouse since they were just immigrating to Canada from Asia and didn't have any clue where to shop for furniture. Sandra said yes, but because she was four months pregnant at the time, her parents in-laws told Danny to help her. Well, you already read the rest if you read through Danny's story.
their design philosophy
Can our homes make us happier? Can our home be a place where we not only live but thrive? Can we design for better living? These are questions that we have been asking when we establish Happy Home Design. As Dorothy famously said in The Wizard of Oz, "There is no place like home." Your home should be your happy place. But this doesn't happen spontaneously. It is achieved through good design, which include thoughtful space planning, careful selections of furniture, art works, wall coverings, window treatments, the right colour scheme, and so on. Design by its very definition is a plan to show the function or workings of a place or an object, before it is made. It is to imagine how a place, or a thing, could be better (or different) that could have a positive impact in our lives. Good design is all about making where we live the best possible environment for our health and overall wellbeing. When your home is both functional and beautiful, you'll be happier.
Their passion for design has allowed the couple to create beautiful and functional spaces for clients in Nanaimo and in Vancouver. At the end of 2017, the couple founded Happy Home Design to inspire people to make their home, no matter if it's big or small, their happy place.
*Danny and Sandra were interviewed in 2019 about why smaller homes may make you happier. You may read the article in the Globe and Mail by clicking here.