Shedding the Layers


It’s officially warmish here in Toronto, I am writing this on a day with blue skies and sunshine and I was able to leave my coat at home. A few days ago, I wore gloves and a fall jacket to walk Reba, but today it has been quite glorious.

The Victoria Day long weekend is in our rear-view mirror and so now it feels like it’s officially summer. Last weekend always seems to be the most anticipated in the diary, it’s the start of gardening with gusto, trips to the cottage, and the heady scent of bug spray combined with sunscreen. 

It’s also the weekend I have, for the last six years, travelled to New York for my favourite design show. This trip is always crammed to the brim, a little like me and my travelling design partner’s suitcases. 

We try every year to pack light but what’s a girl to do, I hate being caught short and I love to dress well. I hope I did not over post on Instagram, we wanted our followers to come along for the ride.

We posted stories on our social feeds every day to show you what we were seeing, the highlights of these will be in one juicy reel (I only just recently learned what a reel was!) soon . Please do let me know if there was anything you saw or see that particularly resonates with you.  I adore New York and it was a great opportunity to do a bit of scouting for my return visit in July with my niece and nephew who are coming for a long-awaited visit from Edinburgh. The last time they were here, they were little, preschoolers to be exact, so this trip will be a great opportunity to let them see both Toronto and New York. 

Summer Stripes

4-Striped Tops, source unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Stripes.&5-Horizontal ticking striped settee. source unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Stripes.

As I ploughed through my clothes for my trip to New York I had to giggle as I deliberated over which shirts to pack, I should rephrase this, over which striped shirts to pack as this seems to be my spring/summer wardrobe staple. 

I cannot pass a striped shirt by and several GGI team members also seem to share the same addiction. From striped trousers, tops, socks, and scarves it’s an official summer look. 


Smythe has the best striped shirts in my humble opinion, I have several of theirs, and I’ve also struck lucky at Ewanika and T.Line (stocked at The Lobby so you can try them on before you buy).  

6-Coco Chanel 1917. Sourced online.

I am not sure why we are all drawn to stripes as soon as the sun comes out, maybe it’s the crispness or maybe it feels European in styling, and who doesn’t want to feel like a Parisian with a simple black and white t-shirt in the sunshine, a look that was made iconic by Coco Chanel in 1917 with her Breton tops or maybe we are more in the Audrey Hepburn camp, whatever the reason I adore stripes in fashion and in our projects.

11-Striped powder room, source sadly unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Wallpaper

A simple ticking stripe can look wonderful on a headboard and bed skirt, or on a window seat with a chunky jumbo cord. Wallpapering with stripes takes plumb corners and an installer with a steady hand. 

If things are a bit wobbly in your home, I’d keep my stripes on my curtains and my furniture or go with painted stripes on the walls where wobbles can be disguised a little easier in the corners where all meets and the truth of how floors and walls align or not, is always revealed. 


De Gournay

We were honoured to have a visit from de Gournay‘s New York director to our studio earlier in the month. De Gournay is a British company that takes wallpaper and fabrics to a whole other level.

 Their wallpapers are truly works of art, they are hand painted and can be embroidered and beaded. If you can imagine it, it can be turned into wallpaper. 

From flying monkeys, to parrots, palm trees and beautiful botanicals, they become the art on your walls. There was a design that I loved that featured a dog in the foreground and yes it could be painted to look like Reba, or any four-legged friend………………! 

I do love how the paneled piece above was used in a kitchen. I love the juxtaposition of the more traditional design paired with modern clean lined furniture. It makes for an eclectic and inviting space. 


The kitchen above is from designer Beata Heuman‘s collection and this kitchen is her own in her family’s Swedish house. The wallpaper ground is on India Tea Paper which is jointed due to overlapping pieces to give a beautiful vintage and gently time worn and loved feel.

13-de Gournay Magazine, photography by GGI.

Hopson Grace


A lovely thank you to Hopson Grace for featuring me (in my favourite striped jacket no less standing in front of a striped print, honestly the struggle is real!) on their recent Meet The Designer newsletter. 

I am not known for my cooking skills, but I do love to entertain, and love gorgeous things for mine and my client’s kitchens which is where Hopson Grace really excel, read the article and see my picks from their gorgeous store here.

Currently Reading

Summer has my book collection by the side of bed now taking over part of our dresser top. So many books to read, and this is just books, not the magazines that I get monthly through subscription. I am trying to keep track of all that I read this year so I share my list at the end of the year. 

Easier to digest and for sure prettier to look than simply text, a not so new to me, but new to general publication is Frederic magazine by Schumacher which is now available on newsstands. 

It’s a weighty good-looking magazine perfect for your coffee table at home or at the cottage. Volume VIII just launched, and it is called Easy Does It. There is a lovely article on textile designer Neisha Crosland‘s home. I love her effortless style and the mix of pieces she has in her home. 

There is also a gorgeous home by designer Thomas O’Brian, I do love his kitchen designs and adore his store Aero in New York. You can always find something beautiful there to bring home in your suitcase.

Talking of reading – thank you for your continued reading and support, please do let us know if you would like to read anything in particular in a month. We are working on a downloadable series of articles to help homeowners prepare and understand the process of undertaking a renovation in their home and how and where we can come in and be of assistance. 

A renovation or building new is a complex process and those who know me, know I love my processes, these guides will help inform and hopefully educate homeowners on what to ask their design professionals and how to begin the process with the best foot forward. 


Giving credit & thanks and some more musings while I am at it!

The bucket hat of my dreams – Jill Sander SS16. GGI Pinterest Board Fashion, Beautiful ochre and black bedroom – Soho House. GGI Pinterest Board Bedrooms, Raw salted caramel vegan crème brulee! Recipe by Rawberry Fields, sourced Domino. GGI Pinterest Board Recipes, Striped Tops, source unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Stripes, Horizontal ticking striped settee. source unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Stripes, Coco Chanel 1917. Sourced online; Japanese Garden wallpaper, de Gournay, interior design Studio DB, photography Matthew Williams; Me! Photography Virginia Macdonald, My current favourite striped shirt by Smyth, de Gournay X Beta Heuman wallpaper. Divine, Striped powder room, source sadly unknown. GGI Pinterest Board Wallpaper, Frederic Magazine, photography GGI, de Gournay Magazine, photography by GGI.

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