We’ve Moved Our Blog Home.


Just a little note to say that we’ve updated our website and have moved our blog to a new (permanent) home. The new template is really lovely and I am so looking forward to starting to blog again. For all my lovely followers & subscribers – you don’t need to do anything as your info has been transferred to the new blog along with all the old posts.

The blog can be found on our website

Here’s to a wonderful fall of design.



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House Plants…

Miniature Olive Tree, Gardenista

I don’t know if its my latest addiction to Gardenista or just an attempt to get through this never-ending winter of ours but I have become increasingly obsessed with houseplants.

Now, when I say house plants, I don’t mean those half-dead looking things that should have been thrown on the compost many months ago. I mean fresh, vibrant, gorgeous looking plants that will encourage you to believe that one day spring will arrive. In my mind there is nothing lovelier that a good-looking plant in an equally good-looking plant pot. When we are devoid of any greenery out of our windows I believe it’s really nice (& healthy) to have some indoors.

I am tired of trying to get my orchids to re-flower, a client once referred to her home looking like an orchid hospital and it has stuck with me ever since. I am fed up looking at these limp leaves and constantly mistaking their roots for new shoots……….. I think that an orchid is a really inexpensive way to add ‘fresh flowers’ to your home for 3 or 4 months. The return on investment is fabulous – but once they have flowered, I gladly put them in my garden compost and move on. Anyhow I digress, here are some gorgeous looking plants that are inspiring me at moment, all are green and there isn’t an orchid in sight!

I just purchased this very plant from Sheridan Nurseries yesterday – it looks so gorgeous on my staircase at home. It’s really quite sculptural and looks beautiful with the dappled light on it from the skylight above (dappled because it’s currently nearly all covered in snow).

FiddleLeafFig Gardenista

How simple is this – the terracotta pot just adds a little bit of texture. This would look great in a kitchen or breakfast room.

a pileas-by-mieke vergijlen l Gardenista

You can purchase air plants quite inexpensively, add a cloche and pop them on a bookshelf, coffee table or tabletop display. Needs very little maintenance. Perfect if you tend to forget to water your plants!

air plants tillandsias under cloche l Gardenista

Just stunning – if you have nosy neighbours or a street view you don’t particularly like – stick a pot on your window! Its simple and very effective.

citrus tree indoors l Gardenista

Treat yourself to some green this weekend and don’t forget to add a gorgeous looking pot. I am favouring fiberglass at the moment – they are so light and they won’t leak. There are lots of great designs and colours on the market. I cover the bottom of mine with felt pads so it makes the pot very easy to slide over hardwood floors (I tend to move things around a lot and so everything in my home is slide-able). Wicker and woven baskets can look amazing, but just be sure that the pot inside is 100% watertight and on a tray.

All images are from Gardenista.

Best, Gillian

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Essence Launch

Phew! What a busy weekend the Essence Showroom had at the Toronto Furniture Show. I promised you some images so here they are. We divided the collection into 3 room settings, although each piece could be used in multiple settings.

Essence Signage

This is the Essence take on the Family Room –

Essence Collection - Kate Sectional

This is the gorgeous KATE sectional. I designed sectionals similar to this for clients last year – we actually did a pair in their living room. They looked so gorgeous that this became the jumping of point for this design. The KATE has curved lines and slim stiletto legs, the legs can be finished in an array of finishes from brass to oil rubbed bronze, the showroom model has a gorgeous pale gold that picks up the colour in the toss pillow fabric. What I love about this style is the fact that it looks weightless in the space, it literally floats. I hate it when furniture sucks the air out of a room – a sectional can look very heavy and cumbersome, not so with the KATE.

Essence - Kate

The ottoman / coffee table is the EMMA. It has a painted frame and can be finished in any colour of your choice. The lower shelf offers great storage for magazines, books and those pesky remote controls! We added nail heads in the same finish as the legs on the KATE to the outer corners.


The chair is the ANNABEL. I love this chair, it has William Birch styled arms and its very comfortable, the skirt is edged in grosgrain ribbon and this piece could easily have a swivel base. The back cushion can easily be changed for something else when you fancy a change of decor in your room. The little stool is the LUCY, great for kids or for additional seating.

Now the Living Room –

Essence - Charlotte & Georgia

The CHARLOTTE sofa received a lot of attention over the weekend. It’s such a detailed piece yet its very understated. From the gentle curve on the front, to the channel stitching, the show wood arm and legs,the grosgrain ribbon and polished nickel bullets. It’s such an elegant piece and so very comfortable. Maybe this was why Jamie Alexander & Glen Peloso gave it their vote of approval! Thank You.

Essence, Charlotte

The EMILY ottoman (upholstered in the charcoal IKAT) is a great piece to anchor a room setting.

The GEORGIA chair is one of my favourites, it’s a gorgeous curvy wing chair that is feather filled and super comfortable. We upholstered it in a lux herringbone and added a toss pillow in a contrast fabric to add a little interest. The ebony stained legs are capped with polished nickel ferrule. I am toying between this or the ANNABEL for my own home, it’s a very close race!


The KELLY ottoman has a semi-attached cushion and to add a little interest here we upholstered in two fabrics and added nail heads!

Finally the bedroom – here’s where my poor photography skills come to the fore. My pictures of this room set are rubbish, so I’ll focus on the individual pieces instead.

We have the HARPER daybed – available in 4 sizes from twin to king. It’s a truly perfect piece for the bedroom, entrance foyer, as a room divider in an open concept home or as a bench in the dining room….I adore this little bench.


Essence - Harper

The GRACE chair and OLIVIA ottoman are really cheeky, very feminine with killer legs! Perfect for the bedroom, compact living room or entrance foyer. This pieces had a lot of people ooh-ing and aah-ing. The OLIVIA would work really well at a vanity.

Grace & Olivia

Essence Grace

The HONOUR headboard – I had such fun naming these pieces – is a lovely curvy headboard, I went bold with the fabric choice and kept all the linens plain and neutral! It comes with a painted bedframe and footboard (the foot-board you can see in the picture of the daybed). You can see it in the distance in this shot! Better images will follow, taken by a professional and not me….

Essence - Honour Headboard

My sincere thanks to Ashli & Kaitlynn, owners of Whittington & Co for entrusting me with this collection, it was a real honor and lots of fun!

Here’s to a great week of design.


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Essence Furniture Collection!


Last year I was asked if I would like to design a small capsule collection of upholstered furniture for Whittington & Co – I of course was thrilled, as I have worked with the fabulous people at W&Co for 7 years, they are my go to firm when I require upholstered furniture for my clients. I love the fact that the furniture is made right here in Ontario and that myself and my clients can see the pieces as they are being constructed. Sometimes buying a chair can be a little like purchasing a bespoke suit, it can sometimes require a mid-way check with the client to ensure the pitch is exactly as they want. Nothing worse than having something that looks gorgeous but isn’t at all comfortable.

The staff at W&Co are a really talented crew, I adore collaborating with Dan who has somehow taken my garbled and very sketchy drawings – I had an ottoman that looked like a haggis on paper – and turned them into beautiful elegant pieces. The collection is designed to give you upholstered pieces for every room in your home with out making you feel like you have purchased a matching set – every piece is an individual piece in its own right and that is why it works. When combined they look made for each other without being made for each other.

Essence 2

The collection is called Essence and it launches this week its it own satellite showroom at SOFA. I have designed 12 pieces that I know I am constantly on the hunt for in my design schemes.

Here’s a few of my favourites -photos to come at the end of the week!

We have the HARPER daybed – its gorgeous and comes in 4 lengths (twin to king) and would look not only fabulous at the foot of your bed but also in an entrance way or in a living or dining room. Its edged with grosgrain and we’ve added tiny nailheads studs just to the corners of the frame. Its sketched on the postcard. It really is lovely – can’t wait to see it upholstered.

The GEORGIA armchair is named after my god-daughter and the inspiration came after an afternoon spent with my gorgeous friend Sonia, aka Georgia’s mum at Archerfield Spa in Scotland. Its a curvy wing chair with tight upholstery and an over-sized feather toss pillow back cushion. Perfect proportions. Here’s what it looks like prior to upholstery.


The KATE sectional is for every woman / designer who knows that a sectional is required in the space but doesn’t want something that’s going to suck up all the floor space. The KATE has slim, stiletto legs that come in a variety of metallic finishes, its a huge piece but it looks weightless. We’ve layered it with back pillows and bolsters to enable you to easily have 3 fabrics on the frame.

Then there is GRACE, she’s the perfect compact chair for a bedroom or really anywhere you want a small comfortable seat. The legs were all down to Dan on this one! Mine were rather plain so he upped the style quota a little and added a gorgeous detail. Its wonderful when you can work with someone that you can totally trust- its when the magic in the design process happens, its the same on job sites.


The ANNABEL armchair is named after my niece (the one who gives the best hugs) its a lovely chair with a modern take on the William Birch Arm, its skirted and we’re upholstering it in a lovely herringbone linen with a gorgeous linen and metallic toss pillow.

We have ottomans and sofas…………..the CHARLOTTE sofa has beautiful channels on the inside back of the frame. There is grosgrain and nail-heads, brass and silver, stain and paint.

Roll on Friday’s photo-shoot!!


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Wrapping Up Warm.


Happy New Year – I know it’s already the 6th but I’ve been away and am only now getting caught up with my blog.

I had a gorgeous Christmas break in Edinburgh with my friends and family, it’s always to good to go and see everyone – a hug is one of those things you can still only give and receive in person and although I’ve been fighting a cold for 12+ days, I wouldn’t swap those hugs for anything. My 7-year-old niece is a spectacularly good hugger, her brother now being 10 and too cool for such a thing gladly lets his sister shower you with enough hugs and love for them both.

I don’t know whether it’s the lack of these hugs or the weather here in Toronto – today I wore two scarves instead of just my usual one – that has me feeling chilly. I keep swooning over layered images of way to dress on pinterest and thought I’d share a few with you. They all contain a little bit of plaid, a little touch of leather and some brass – sounds like a gorgeous starting point for a library or a den………

Here’s a few of my favourite looks that could easily be used as a jumping of point for a design scheme.


Living_Casamidi Showroom_Remodelista

via Rue




Stay cozy and if in doubt layer – whether its your body or your room!


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Another Gorgeous Bathroom!

Following all the lovely hits and feedback last Monday’s blog post received I thought I’d brighten up your morning with another stunning bathroom renovation.

This en-suite is in the same lakefront condominium building as last week’s post – it’s actually the same size and layout of suite, the room is just the mirror opposite. So all the plumbing fixtures are located on the right hand side instead of the left hand side.

This renovation was part of a far larger project, but more about that on later posts.

This room was dated, seriously lacked storage and the tub position was awkward to say the least.

En-Suite Before

Here’s what we did to make my client’s want to jump out of bed in the morning! As you can see we rotated the tub so that it now runs parallel with the entrance wall. A custom maple vanity provides ample storage and the mirrors that wrap around the three vanity walls really open up the space.

Gillian Gillies Interiors. En-suite After.

We were able to steal some space from the master bedroom closet to form this gorgeous lux linen closet.

Gillian Gillies Interiors. En-Suite Storage

Little close up detail on the vanity – flowers are a must to make you smile in the morning!

Gillian Gillies Interiors. En-Suite Vanity.

Ah, now don’t you want to renovate!?

Have a fabulous week.


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Luxe Bathroom Renovation.

I truly believe that a well designed bathroom can change your life! Sounds a little far-fetched or over dramatic but I know it to be true. How can the one room that you use to start your day – EVERY DAY – not affect you as a person? If your room is cold and your shower weak and you don’t have enough of the right storage in the right place you are bound to be a bit grumpy. On the other hand if your toes are welcomed into the space with warm stone floors and your shower has enough power to lift your spirits on a grey Monday morning – I think you’re going to be a happier, nicer person for the rest of the day!

My firm does a lot of bathroom renovations – we currently have 11 on the go. Some of these are stand alone projects, others are part of larger renovations. Each space has its own challenges and each client has their own wish list. We get to be Santa 12 months of the year here!

Today I thought I’d feature a gorgeous bathroom we did for a very lovely client in the Spring. It’s a long narrow space with no natural day-light. Before it looked like this

It’s a fairly standard bathroom –

en-suite before

en-suite before

Now it looks like this –


I know! Even I sometimes can’t believe what we did there!!


It feels so luxurious – it all comes down to the materials used. The marble countertop had me at hello. Sometimes searching for slabs can be a little disappointing but this piece was made for this bathroom.


We added a HUGE amount of storage – in addition to the custom vanity there is also a linen closet.


The pale blue walls and the marble make me feel like I am in Paris.

More renovation images coming in the next few weeks, if you can’t wait that long please check out my Houzz Page We’ve been busy bees and have added to our existing portfolio on here, updates to our website coming soon.

Have a great week and if you are feeling grumpy maybe its time for a new bathroom!


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