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In addition to my somewhat never-ending addiction for baskets and boxes, I also love a good notebook or three.

I have two on the go at work, one is my hardworking everyday moleskin in an easy to find shade of hunter green and the other is a long-term planning/goal setting refillable notebook from Hermes. I have another notebook for home and personal things and I even have a small one that I (used to) take on my travels to jot down where we have been.
Gillian Gillies Notebooks - Gillian Gillies Interiors
At GGI we LOVE our notebooks. We go through quite a few in a year and rarely get rid of them as they contain a plethora of useful information.

We understand the efficiency that comes with digital note-taking and for our client projects, everything is logged and filed in one of our cloud-based systems. However, there is something about the handwritten note that resonates with us.

As a design firm we are constantly sketching our thoughts and ideas onto paper, and having a journal or notebook is ideal for keeping everything in one place.

I personally find that I can write and still hold a conversation but I cannot type and talk. So, when meeting with clients, I find a notebook is still the best way to jot everything down, and still maintain a good connection. 

I’ve also read that writing things down helps you process the information better. At a design firm, there are 1,000,000 moving pieces and it is essential nothing gets left behind!

What is your favourite method of note-taking? A certain app? The note pad on your phone? Or your leather-bound notebook?

A recent trip down the black hole that is the internet provided some gorgeous insight into the notebooks and journals of some architects, designers, and artists.

Here are a few of our favourites, truthfully far prettier than ours. 
Paul Gaugin’s Portfolio
Paul Gaugin The Artist’s Portfolio, The Met Museum
Frida Kahlo's Art Journal 
Frida Kahlo’s Art Journal – The Art of Creativity - images taken from her book
Vintage Fabric Scraps, V+A Museum
Fabric Samples, V&A Archives
If you have a blank notebook and don’t know what to use it for – how about one of the following –

Dream Home Journal – Planning a move, a renovation or building a new home, a journal is a great way to keep track of all your wants and wishes. I have a secret Pinterest board with some ideas for our next home, but I can see working on a more tactile journal version. 

Personal Diary – It's been decades since I had one of these….

Sketchbook – A must-have for me, all my notebooks are sketchbooks. 

Write a Novel – I have something in the works! 

To-Do List – Nothing is more satisfying than ticking something off your list!!
Travel by Design, The Design Leadership Network, Assouline
Travel is something that we are all missing and I’m longing for the day when we can be carefree and jump on a plane and travel to distant shores.

The Design Leadership Network that I am a member of has published a new book Travel by Design by Assouline, featuring its selected member's favourite places to travel to. It contains lots of insight and shared secrets on destinations, hotels, and favourite restaurants. Us designers are a fussy bunch so when I can next travel, I will be sure to seek out some tips from this book.

I contributed my most loved places in Edinburgh. It's lovely to see my photos that I took with my phone now in print in a huge glossy travel book. One of the images is of a narrow cobbled lane with mews cottages that my first flat overlooked. Never did I imagine that this little street would end up in a big fancy design book when I think back to the dreams I had then about starting my own business………
Travel by Design, The Design Leadership Network, Assouline, photography Gillian Gillies
Talking of travel and boxes, baskets and notebooks…………. all my clients know how much I love the final phase in their design project; well I love all the phases but I especially enjoy seeing all the elements come together in the final few weeks.

It's only when all the selections are seen, in their full scale – not just small sample pieces and scraps of fabric – do many clients really get to see why some of the selections were suggested.

But even then, we are not really finished – styling connects the dots. Whether it is a blanket, box, book or multiple baskets, these seemingly inconsequential pieces really are the icing on the cake. It can be a $100 piece that makes an entire kitchen pop! 
GGI Studio, photography Virginia Macdonald
At the start of COVID lockdowns in the very bleak month of April, I needed to source items to complete a project and found that the choice and selection was incredibly limited. I had to order items, nothing unique and different could be found in Toronto.

I have felt this way since my favourite store on Dupont closed a couple of years ago leaving a massive void in the market. I got talking with a girlfriend, another designer, and we decided to look at starting our own little online venture for gorgeous home accessories.  At the core of the business, we wanted to be able to provide unique, small-batch, ethically made gorgeous things from here and afar.

Now trying to do this during COVID with many countries in lockdown has not been the easiest but we both had, and found, great connections, sourcing beautiful things from Canada, Scotland, Ghana, India and Brazil.

Much of what will be on offer is unique to us and other items are one-offs or produced in very small quantities. 
Ssssssh! Top Secret, photography Gillian Gillies
At GGI we often get enquiries from people who have seen our work in print or on one of our digital/social media platforms. The pieces we create for our clients are created for our clients. They invest the time to have these pieces made and they are not items we want to reproduce. Plus, we are not set up for that type of business model.

Having the online site will allow anyone (in Canada and the US) to purchase something we have either created or selected. The site will be a perfect place to get a unique gift or three and if your sofa needs a pickup in time for the holidays, we will have beautiful cushions. And of course, my Heritage Throws all the way from Scotland! 

I’m keeping the new company name under wraps for now, until we get our website and Instagram accounts looking more polished, but please keep an eye on your inbox as we will be launching the site during the third week of November. New items will be posted on Instagram.

Crickey, now we have to launch as I’ve committed us to on paper. Woo Hoo. 

Happy Halloween & wishing you all a fabulous November! 
Trio Header Image 1 - Photographer unknown, GGI Pinterest Board Styling
Trio Header Image 2 - Loewe Autumn / Winter 2019, GGI Pinterest Board Fashion
Trio Header Image 3 - Bookcase Styling, Lewe Décor, GGI Pinterest Board Styling
Gillian Gillies Notebooks - Gillian Gillies Interiors
Paul Gaugin The Artist’s Portfolio - The Met Museum
Frida Kahlo’s Art Journal: The Art of Creativity (images are taken from her book)
Fabric Samples - V&A Archives 
Travel by Design, The Design Leadership Network - Assouline
Travel by Design, The Design Leadership Network, Assouline - Photography Gillian Gillies
GGI Studio - Photography Virginia Macdonald
Ssssssh! Top Secret - Gillian Gillies
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