‘Tis the Season


I love writing the final newsletter of the year, it allows me the opportunity to look back as well as look forward, and it ties everything up nicely (rather like a beautifully packaged gift) and draws work in 2023 to a close for me and the team.

I love writing the final newsletter of the year, it allows me the opportunity to look back as well as look forward, and it ties everything up nicely (rather like a beautifully packaged gift) and draws work in 2023 to a close for me and the team.

2023 certainly had a lot of forward momentum, my travel itinerary for both work and personal ramped back to up to pre 2020 levels. It was so good to connect with everyone again and to meet new people with shared values and see so many beautiful things and places. 

I’m ending the year with my creativity feeling at an all time high and I am so looking forward to sharing with you some new things in the new year.

Our workrooms lead times stabilized, and overall, I felt that there was more consistency in everyone’s teams, all felt more unified.

 During covid there was so much flux in the workplace, and it felt like every week someone key that we relied on – whether a trade or vendor – was leaving, going elsewhere, moving, or changing careers. 

So often it’s the people who have you coming back from more and no matter how lovely someone’s products are, if they can’t maintain a good team, it becomes a barrier to doing business.

2023 was a year of ironing out kinks, of setting new standards and honing our deliverables. During the past two and a half years work felt and was more frantic, more pushing than flowing, managing orders and client expectations was tough. 

But this year more seemed to crystalize, and we have been working internally on finessing and tweaking all that we do to ensure that nothing is left to chance or assumed.

As I’ve mentioned before in previous newsletters every day provides a learning curve, a takeaway.  Sometimes these are moments that make your stomach lurch as you thump back down to reality and sometimes your stomach does a giddy leap of joy. 

Both feelings can be interchanged multiple times a day. It is the reality of this business, and you must love and learn from all if you are going to be able to weather all that is happening around you.

Towards the end of this year, we have found certain vendors / products getting a little snarly again with lead times – Sub Zero (again) as well as some of our hardware vendors. 

We are going to be keeping a close eye on all. We always order our products many months in advance, and I was disheartened to see a white plastic fridge as a temporary loaner in a client project this past week.  The fridge that was ordered by the contractor is now due in April – a whopping 15 months from when it was originally ordered. I am hoping that this is just a blip.

This year we were asked for our opinion, our point of view from multiple publications ranging from Architectural Digest, Homes & Gardens, Frederic Magazine, House & Home, AD France, Veranda, Living Etc. to name just a few. 

I did my first podcast and Instagram live interview. We are active in industry, we attend events, give feedback and are visible on social media. 

It is lovely to be recognized by our peers and these incredible publications. Our selected press clippings can be found on our website.

We’ve also doubled our newsletter readership, which is lovely, one day I will write a book, I’ve made some scribbles and have a title but need to really commit to it and make it an actual living thing, sometime this decade it will happen.  Our journal posts are posted to our website a week after our subscribers have been sent them and if you ever want to reread something or are new to our platform you can delve in deep on our Journal section.

We were often asked to talk to the latest trends, this year I made a firm stance against trends. When we filmed the videos for our website back in 2022 one of the questions my team asked was how I feel about trends, and I said the word trend has a very negative impact on me. 

So many trends end up in landfill, costing people so much money and time and disappointment. Sometimes we can feel if we have the latest then we will have found what is missing or perceived missing in our lives. 

Trends by nature are something passing, something temporary and the design industry can make many people feel their home is less than if they don’t have the latest thing.

For me nothing is more enticing more desirable than someone who is totally comfortable in their own skin, and I feel the same way about people in their homes. 

Your home should fit you like your most favourite pair of jeans, it should support you and make you feel good and glad to be there on great and not so great days. 

Your home should be your shelter and your shelter should feed your soul. If you want to be surrounded in a riot of colours – do it, if you prefer to be immersed in a blank canvas of similar, but subtle tones and textures then do this. 

Do what you love, and it won’t date, nothing is more attractive than authenticity. I have in my closet a green wool coat that I bought one summer in Italy when I was twenty-eight years old. It’s a very simple classic design and has a beautiful green leather pleated belt. I will wear this coat until it disintegrates. It makes me feel good.

I also have pieces that are vintage, some were made before I was born and could never be considered on trend, yet when I wear them, I always get positive comments as they look different, curated. 

If you do anything to your home this year, and I hope you do with us by your side as your trusted advisor, make choices that make you happy.  Just do you – if you are happy it will radiate from every surface!

Thank you to all our wonderful clients, for letting us into their homes and lives and for trusting us with their spaces.

Thank you to all our trades, workrooms, makers, and vendors who collaborate and navigate all with us.

And a final but huge thanks to my team who make me want to do better and be better for them, to Monique, Silvia, Christina, Bonnie, Tricia, and Cris, you are my winning combination.

Reba gets a mention for all the joy and cuddles she brings, she is our therapy.

However, you choose to spend this season, I wish you peace, joy, and good health.

This year Gillian Gillies Interiors has donated to the North York Harvest Food Bank as part of our annual client gifting, and we have donated the profits from sales on our Studio Collection cushions to Covenant House.

Thank you all for your continued support and readership. Our boxing week Studio Collection sale goes live on December 27th, however you can all gain access today using code GGIINSIDER15

We’ll be back at our desks on January 4th and look forward to being of service in what will be our 20th year in business. A massive milestone and one that I plan to celebrate well, we will keep you posted on all.


Credits and Other Misc Musings

I love white wool clothing in the winter. Image from our Seasonal Board on Pinterest, fashion house, photographer source unknown despite multiple google searches.I have a small oil painting in my home by my father-in-law of birch trees and they and it remind me so much of him. This image is from our Seasonal Board on Pinterest, source again unknown. This is how I like gifts wrapped, simple kraft paper and ribbon! No source for this one either, from our Seasonal Board on Pinterest. Meeting the makers of the most gorgeous candles in Oaxaca, Mexico. These tiny ivory and ebony pieces are made of beeswax and when joined together make the most beautiful flowers. Photograph Gillian Gillies, sneakers from Ewanika – each year brings a new colour, in 2022 it was olive green, and I love these shoes so much and take extra special care of them. Our process from inspiration, to scaled drawings, samples and renders. See the finished project here and download the guide here. Photography by Virginia Macdonald. Our press, read all about us on our press section on our website. Me in one of my favourite Smythe shirt and Stella McCartney trousers. My necklace is from Hermes and was a treat to me, an internal recognition gift when I was accepted as a member of the Design Leadership Network back in 2016. I wear this necklace multiple times a week. A note of thanks, this image is from our Seasonal Board on Pinterest, source again unknown. I adore letter press printing, so this image really resonated with me.

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