Gillian Gillies Interiors | Logo
TRIO HEADER IMAGE - Gillian Gillian Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
It's officially summer – hurrah!!

I hope you all had a great month, from where I sit, things are certainly ramping back up again in the city. Traffic is getting a lot heavier as more people seem to be either back at work or just getting out of their homes. For once I am happy to have a little road congestion, don’t get me wrong, I loved being able to get to the studio in under 10 minutes from home, but when you live and work in a crowded, bustling city, it feels wrong to have deserted roads and streets for weeks on end.

The studio is busier with foot traffic (which makes me very happy) and we are working on some lovely projects stretching from here to Vancouver. It feels so good to be back in our client’s homes doing what we love to do, albeit with a mask and gloves and armed with sanitizer. I disliked masks at first but now I have amassed quite the colourful collection and I chose to view them as an accent instead of a hindrance. 
MOJi Masks - Gillian Gillies Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
As a designer, we have the privilege, and I really consider it as such, to assist our clients through many life changes. Some are planned for and are joyous occasions such as buying your dream home and working with us to make it truly your own. It can mean bringing new life into the world and creating a cocooning space for that little person to live in and grow. It can mean at long last having the budget to design and decorate like you have always wanted to.

Life changes can also be unplanned and unsettling and can result in modifications needing to be made in a home or unexpectedly having to move and start afresh.

As a population, we are all (hopefully) getting older and that can mean getting wobblier and needing aids to assist us in living comfortably in our homes. Sometimes illness, temporary or permanent can also make us unstable on our feet.

Designing accessible or visit-able spaces is rarely spoken about and truth be told I have never seen one in a glossy magazine. I feel as an industry we do an extremely poor job of showcasing homes and spaces that are truly available to all. I feel like this newsletter is heading in the direction of a rant and maybe it is, well maybe just a little rant, but I think it is time.

When I purchased my new studio, it came with a barrier-free washroom – it had to, to meet Ontario building code, seeing as my studio is a commercial space and it's on a main floor. The room was grim and an assault on the senses, but this is how sadly many people see accessible spaces. To give you an idea the room is 7’-8” x 8’-7’’.
Before Powder Room - Gillian Gillian Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
The grab bars were the only ‘’features’’ in the room……………….. it made me so sad.

This is what we did to the room –
After Powder Room - Gillian Gillian Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter - Photography Virginia Macdonald
So much better!! 

•    Firstly because we have such a generous floor space we added a gorgeous herringbone floor to add some interest, the floor drain (just viewable if you really stare at the floor) was custom cut in the same wood so that it blended but is still easily found and most importantly is flush with the floor height.

•    The vanity has plenty of space for a wheelchair and the faucet has a lever handle for ease of use. The only variance between this and a vanity I would usually install in someone’s home is the height – this one is 33’’ high, we generally install vanities at 36’’ which is kitchen countertop height and is more comfortable for a taller person standing.

•    The black leather stool allows a resting spot for a handbag – always a must-have in a powder room.

•    The toilet had to have a lever handle and we had ours supplied with an antique brass one to match the other fixtures!
Nina Campbell Peony Place Wallpaper - Gillian Gillies Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
•    The grab bars were custom made as I needed the large L shaped one in this room and they STILL only come in commercial hospital stainless finish. So, not one to be deterred, we had the two bars made and finished in a black powder-coated finish. Truthfully, the bars are seen, as they should be, but due to the gorgeous busy wallpaper, they are not the statements in the room as they were originally.

•    The paper holder has a cover that also meets code.

•    We had the automatic door header concealed within the wall cavity so that it does not loom into the room and we also had the push controls changed from green neon to black and white to coordinate with the room.

This space could easily be in someone’s home and it really would not feel like a barrier-free washroom. I feel so many people hold off making changes to their spaces because they are uncomfortable at all the modifications when truly with a little care and attention to detail you can still design a beautiful space for the whole family.
Farrow & Ball Bumble Bee Wallpaper - Gillian Gillies Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
The bumblebee wallpaper on the ceiling was a fun accent - nothing to do with building code, in fact, the inspector looked very perplexed by it. We chose to add it seeing as we did not have a window in the room, we opted to add something quirky to look at on the ceiling – why not – everything is possible!!

It just takes care and attention and a clear vision from start to finish. 
We recently watched the entire series of Modern Love (Amazon Prime), it consists of 8 modern love stories. Each episode is around 30 mins in length, all feature different actors and it also features some incredible New York Brownstone interiors that had my designer eye captivated from start to finish.

Oh, those as well as Anne Hathaway’s pleated skirt which has its own search term on Google! It is divine and very fabulous also. 
I have been a huge fan of Anne Tyler for decades and I just finished The Redhead by The Side of the Road. I loved this quirky heartfelt tale of love and finding your person. She writes in a way that makes the characters come so alive, right of the page. A perfect read for the upcoming Canada Day holiday.
Anne Tyler - Redhead By the Side of the Road - Gillian Gillian Interiors - June 2020 Newsletter
For those not in the know, Canada Day is a little like Christmas Day in that it falls on the same date every year – July first – regardless of the day of the week. This year it is a Wednesday so I think we will shift it to the Friday so we can enjoy a long weekend here at GGI. 

Wherever you end up and let’s be honest, it’s going to be as far as you are willing to drive or not, I wish you all a wonderful Canada Day. I am so proud and lucky to have become a Canadian citizen, I’m 18 months in and love waving the flag at every opportunity!!
Trio Header Image 1 - Domino Magazine, Photography by Sarah Elliott for Elizabeth Roberts Architects, Pinterest Board Entrance Foyer Style
Trio Header Image 2 - Vogue Paris, photography by Antonio Marras Croisière, Pinterest Board Fashion
Trio Header Image 3 - Colin King Photography & Styling, Pinterest Board Styling
MOJi Masks - MOJi Mask
Nina Campbell Peony Place Wallpaper - Nina Campbell
Farrow & Ball Bumblebee Wallpaper - Farrow & Ball
GGI Studio Powder Room Before Photos Gillian Gillian Interiors
GGI Studio Powder Room After Photos - Virginia Macdonald
Anne Tyler, Redhead By the Side of the Road - Vintage Publishing
Copyright © 2020 Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc., All rights reserved.