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Sometimes when I sit down to start writing my monthly newsletter, it can seem daunting to be faced with a blank white page of paper. But then I remember that having a blank canvas to design from can be the most rewarding; and then the blank page in front of me no longer seems like such a chasm.

It’s a bright blue fall sky day, temps are chilly, but the sun is shining and the leaves outside my window are slowly changing colour. I am warm and I have some great music playing to keep me company and to keep me motived – The Wilderness of Manitoba – to be precise.

I heard them play many years ago at The Glen Gould Studio, they were the warmup band for Amelia Curran. They have changed band members throughout the years (a little like any business) but their sound has remained consistent.

To me, they are the perfect accompaniment to fall. Don’t you find that just like food and clothing, what you listen to changes seasonally?

I like to be fully immersed in a season, and for fall I love to be bundled up to stay warm and to drink hot and warming teas.

I have also changed up our diffuser oils in the studio to give us a more fall-inspired aroma.
Saje Diffuser - Gillian Gillies Interiors - October Newsletter
All visitors to our studio comment on the inviting blend that we diffuse each and every day. We have three diffusers in our 1000 sq.ft. studio space. 

This fall I have selected a winning combination of the following four oils –

Cedarwood – this not only smells delicious, but it encourages community and keeps us emotionally connected to each other.

Clary Sage – for clarity and vision. It also helps us remain open to new possibilities.
Artist unknown, GGI Pinterest Board Green - Gillian Gillies Interiors - October Newsletter
Cypress – again smells gorgeous, but it also brings forward momentum and flow. It creates flexibility and to have trust in the bigger picture.

Juniper Berry – encourages us to face our irrational fears and feel protected.

We buy our oils from doTERRA, Living Libations and our good-looking and very functional diffusers from Saje

With our supply chains still being stretched to capacity and beyond, and us constantly having to think of new ways of doing and getting things done, I think this blend will set us up just right!

Do you have a favourite fall blend? We’d love to know!
Interior, designers Las 2 Mercedes, GGI Pinterest Board Millwork - Gillian Gillies Interiors - October Newsletter
We used to have a cut-off date for pre-Christmas deliveries in September, sometimes even in early October if we were able to make it happen. This year we didn’t so much as set a date but realized in late June that lead times were getting even stickier than they had been the previous year (our first year of living with Covid) and so, in all likelihood, pre-Christmas orders were done.  

That’s not to say that this is a hard and fast line, but to order furniture and furnishings in the summer probably meant receiving around 60% of it this year with the balance arriving in 2022.

Some of our clients have been willing to take partial deliveries/installs while others have asked us to store locally and only deliver to their home once everything is to hand.

We are always guided by what our clients need and what is going to make them the most comfortable. For some, having a partially decorated space can feel like progress (it is!), and for others, it can be really hard to live with something half-done.

A colour may appear really bossy on a wall when you don’t have the context of the draperies and the upholstered pieces and art. Likewise, without a carpet, furniture can feel like it's not tethered to the room.

We prefer to install over a series of days instead of weeks and months, but also want our clients to have furniture to sit on; so this year has been more drip feed with the final pieces making everything look and feel cohesive instead of one great reveal.

It takes patience and a huge amount of trust on our client’s part to keep the faith and hold the vision. I want to thank them all, as well as Monique and Bonnie from my team, who are navigating all with grace and getting things to where they need to be. 
New York Mag, VCG via Getty Images, Frederic J. Brown - Gillian Gillies Interiors - October Newsletter
This month it came as no surprise when Joe Biden announced that the Port of Los Angeles will operate around the clock, similar to what is already happening in major ports around the world.

All I can say is that it's never too early to place your orders. I don’t see things improving in 2022 (I’m generally a very optimistic person but I am also a realistic one, my clients depend on me to be so) and lead times of six months+ might just simply become the new normal.

If things are creaking or you think an appliance might need to be replaced sometime soon, order it well in advance of needing it if you can!
Holding the vision as I noted above is all well and good if you can easily read floor plans and elevations and can visualize things coming together from smaller samples.

We are incorporating 3-D renderings more and more into our presentations to help our clients and trades see our vision. I thought I’d share a recent one of a kitchen that we are currently working on...

This is a lovely 20-year-old townhome in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto. At the moment, the main floor is quite traditional in its layout with a formal living and dining room taking up about 60% of the main floor. The kitchen and a compact breakfast/family room take up the remaining 40%.

The kitchen is closed off from the rest of the main floor and it feels and looks tight, and the family room is cramped. My clients don’t need two sitting areas as well as two areas with dining tables, so we are transforming it all. 

The kitchen will move to the middle of the main floor and there will be a dining area on one side with a large living room on the other. All will be open to each other and so the design and finishes in the kitchen are the bosses of all. 

Our colour palette is a mix of blacks, ivories, salmon, and nickel. We are currently honing the backsplash choices, but this is what we have designed to date. 
8 - Flat Lay, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc. - October Newsletter
We always start with a presentation of the AutoCAD scaled drawings as well as a sample tray to show colour and possible material selections.

This allows our clients to select a layout they prefer and to see and touch the materials we are proposing to use in their home. 
9 - Flat Lay, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc. - October Newsletter
Once the first round of AutoCAD drawings has been approved, the sample selections are finalized and at this point, we can produce renderings.

Renderings are only going to make sense if you have all of your selections finalized and so leaving them till this point in the process ensures that our clients get to really see their finished space.
3-D Rendering, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc. - October Newsletter
It took many years for me to feel comfortable using 3-D renderings to convey our designs.

When they first became available for use, they looked so clunky and hard. We design cocooning and immersive spaces with tactile materials and so it's critically important to me that on a rendering they look like this too.

I want our clients to almost be able to touch the cabinet doors and feel the wood grain and the cool quartz counters. With this rendering, they almost can!
Well, that is all from me this month - thank you for taking the time to read. 

November brings more installs, which will bring some projects to a close and open space for new ones to begin. I am so excited with the scope and diversity our projects have – it keeps us all growing and moving forward. 

Thank you to all my clients for their continued support. I truly cherish what I get to do every day. 

Thank you to my fantastic team – Monique, Silvia, Rashmi, Bonnie, Lisa, Jessica, and Jenn - you are my shelter. 
Gillian Gillies
Header Image 1 - Hotel Vernet Paris, interior decorator Francois Champsaur, GGI Pinterest Board Bedrooms
Header Image 2 - Pears, the perfect fall fruit, Ful-Filled Blog, GGI Pinterest Board Recipes
Header Image 3 -, Ermanno Scervino, GGI Pinterest Board Fashion
Aroma Mosaic Diffuser, Saje
Green foliage art, artist unknown, GGI Pinterest Board Green
Interior, designers Las 2 Mercedes, GGI Pinterest Board Millwork
Surfer & container ship, New York Magazine
Flat lay, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc.
Flat lay, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc.
3-D rendering, Gillian Gillies Interiors Inc.
Derring Hall
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