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About Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc.

Toronto, ON

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Gillian Gillies, Founder & Principal Designer of Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc. is an award-winning British residential designer who has called Toronto, Ontario home since 2003 and has recently been named The One to Watch in 2019 by House & Home magazine. Gillian’s own Toronto home kitchen renovation project was also named as Kitchen of the Month in the magazine’s February edition, a testament to the consistent quality of design that underpins Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc.

Originally from Edinburgh, Gillian’s tastes and desires grew from being immersed in the beautiful, neo-classical and Georgian architecture that the city is founded on. Symmetry, spatial awareness and grounding are consistent elements in her design schemes along with a happy dose of eclectic playfulness. Gillian’s designs are centred around a timeless aesthetic, grounded in natural materials and paired with a smattering of heritage and vintage finds. At heart, she is a lover of texture and all things fabric. She believes that there is nothing that a strong cup of tea and a great fabric can’t fix!

Gillian understands that she can greatly improve her client’s quality of life by providing them with a tailor-made design that fits them like a made-to-measure suit. Nothing is left to chance or luck. Gillian and her team are skilled at listening to and interpreting their clients’ needs. Life is busy, time is short; her firm’s ethos is to deliver a high standard of services whilst designing immersive spaces to be enjoyed for many years to come. She likens her career to being a modern fairy godmother; making her clients’ wishes and dreams come true.

Gillian’s upholstered furniture line Essence, a capsule collection manufactured by Whittington & Co., is built in Ontario, Canada and ships worldwide. The Harper daybed and Charlotte sofa are her favourite pieces and like the entire collection are feminine yet tailored, the perfect yin and yang.

Gillian is also one of the co-founders of DesignDocs Inc., a cloud-based, project, workflow and financial management software for interior design professionals. Launched five years ago, it now has clients all over the world and empowers its users to run profitable businesses through a clear understanding of their firm’s financials.

In her free time, Gillian can be found at her local yoga studio, puttering in her garden or travelling with her husband. Her case is always packed ready for her next adventure. Travel feeds her soul and her design schemes.

Ten Questions

What’s your go-to classic color choice?
It would have to olive green with warm mixed metal accents. Divine!!
Is there a hotel that’s most inspired your work while traveling?
Suites at The Witchery, Edinburgh. Truth be told – hotels with flawless customer service inspire my work more than those with a flawless interior. What you see is only part of the inspiration, what you feel stays with you longer (in my opinion). This to me is inspiration, this makes me strive to do better every day.
Which pieces of technology do you use to document design inspiration?
I’m old school, I always have a notepad and a pencil and a camera in my handbag.
Where do you go to spot new style?
Anywhere, you just have to be observant and keep your eyes and ears open to your surroundings and not just to your cell phone.
Do you have a favorite restaurant (for the design and the food, of course)?
The Secret Garden, Edinburgh – it’s truly magical.
What’s your favorite small museum in the world?
I love Glessner House and Clarke House Museums in Chicago.
How do you usually start your weekend?
Saturday mornings start slow, a leisurely breakfast with an endless supply of tea and the day’s newspapers. This is followed with a class or two at my yoga studio and then the afternoon can begin.
Who or what is your biggest design influence?
Kelly Hoppen. She is my icon. It’s because of her that I now do what I do. One day I hope to meet her.
How do you keep it all together?
DesignDocs Inc. the Project Management and Software Company that I co-founded with my husband. It keeps my office running smoothly and ensures that my client’s projects run on time and to budget!
Design a garden: groomed or freestyle?
A bit of both - boxwood hedge borders for definition filled with hydrangeas, peonies and ornamental grasses for colour, smell & texture.
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