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An Interior Designer’s View: Meet Jessica MacDonald Co-Founder of Studio Roslyn

“Design should be fearless, provocative, and highly intelligent.”

It has been five years since Studio Roslyn first appeared in Vancouver. Co-founded by besties and business partners Jessica MacDonald and Kate Snyder, this full-service women-led creative design studio offers bespoke solutions for environments across the milieu of commercial, institutional, and residential spaces.

Studio Roslyn's name comes from the muse who personified the qualities of fearlessness, allure, and intelligence. It may be a touch of divine inspiration that has allowed West Vancouver native Jessica to seamlessly create spaces that are at times unapologetically bold, sumptuously elegant, or charming and playful. Guided by an underlying philosophy that design should not be bound by the divisions between art, design, fashion, or architecture, Jessica opened up about the inspiration driving the studio and the spaces they are shaping in 2022.

How would you describe yourself in 2 to 3 lines? 

“I grew up on the North Shore of Vancouver and spent lots of time in the woods and modernist post and beam homes owned by family friends. In 2006, I headed off to the University of Manitoba and completed my Bachelor of Environmental Design, majoring in architecture. That is also where I met my business partner, Kate.”

Tell us about Studio Roslyn? How is your brand different from other interior design firms? 

“What drives us is our desire to push the status quo in Vancouver, experiment and collaborate with other incredible builders and makers. Like our muse Roslyn, our design aims to be fearless, provocative, and highly intelligent.”

What do you love most about your brand and your work?

“I love the passion and excitement we bring to every project, and I love our little team that I am so lucky to work with every day.” 

What inspires your work?

“I am inspired by fashion, music, dance, and theatre. Our studio is currently working with a dance choreographer and the most talented dancers on the set design for a very conceptual independent piece. This is a first for us, but something we would love to explore more. Dabbling in different areas of the arts truly inspires our interior design work.”

What is the toughest business decision you or you and Kate have made to date?

“The toughest decision was during the first six months of the pandemic. I took time off to be home with my daughter, Isa when a few of our projects were put on hold. Childcare had simultaneously evaporated. That feels like forever ago now.”

Tell us about the Roslyn Shop—what does it offer? What can people expect to find there?

“The Roslyn Shop is our curated collection of antiques, oddities, and surplus project materials. We wanted to present antiques to a wider and overall younger audience that is probably used to seeing mostly mid-century and art deco antique pieces in Vancouver. “

How does Studio Roslyn celebrate and pay forward the feeling of love?

“We are an extremely human-focused studio. We care deeply about our team and strive to create a safe and positive workplace every day.”

You and Kate posed in a bed for your bio image on your website—where did this brilliant idea come from?

“These photos speak to our very close relationship. We have been best friends for 14 years. When Kate was also a roommate and we lived in the Rosyln apartments, she would often crash in my bed for sleepovers. We never take ourselves too seriously, so an atypical portrait shot just feels very us.”

What do you enjoy the most about bedroom design and why?

“For most people, their bedroom is their sanctuary, the quiet at the end of the day. For me, it was also my canvas to express myself while growing up. I plastered my walls with fashion editorial photos when I was 13, and I painted gold oak trees on my wall at 16. I love seeing the combination of these two notions come through in the design of a bedroom—sanctuary and self-expression.” 

Do you have any tips on styling linen bedding for the home?

“I love mixing linen colour tones. They also look great when slightly crumpled, which serves you well when you have a three-year-old constantly jumping on your bed.”

What projects are you currently working on?

“We have such a mix of projects right now: retail, restaurant, multi-residential, private residential etc. We are very excited for La Bomba’s new space that opened last month in May."

Is there anything you anticipate in the coming months?

“I just moved into my new home with my family after renovating for seven months. I am looking forward to resting and recharging with some travel sprinkled into Mexico City and a few more local spots.”

What is one note or piece of advice you wish to share with everyone? 

"Sleep in--you deserve it ;)"


Thank you, Jessica! Your work is like a breath of fresh air. We look forward to seeing more of the creative power being unleashed from Studio Roslyn.

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