Top Canadian Interior Design Firms

Happy Canada Day 2010!

As an ode to my great country I would love to share with you some of the raw design talent that this country produces.

Design Giants & Greats:

  1. YabuPushelberg is a global design icon out of Toronto which specialize in luxury Commercial, Residential, Retail  and Hospitality Interiors on a global scale with great projects such as the W hotel in New York, Fin Restaurant Las Vegas, One Restaurant Toronto, Louis Vuitton Hong Kong, Tiffany New York and Trump Residences Hollywood.

    Yabu Pushelberg Canadian Interior Design

    Yabu Pushelberg

  2. Andres Escobar & Associates out of Montreal does luxury Commercial, Multi tenant residential and Hospitality on a global scale from Montreal, New York, New Delhi and Abu Dhabi to Las Vegas. Some of his prestigious projects include Chelsea Club Residences in New York, The Clock Tower Hotel in New York, Siddharth Hotel in New Delhi, Guess Flagship Store Toronto and the Point Zero Head Office Montreal. I had the pleasure of working with Escobar for 3 great years including a 4 month internship.

    Escobar Design

    Andres Escobar

  3. Cecconi Simone from Toronto also do Luxury Residential, Hospitality, Corporate,  Exhibit and Retail. Most of their work is in Canada and includes XIS Stratford Hotel, Indigo Retail, Alfred Sung, Club Monaco, Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom. They are also well known for their TV show and have been featured in many magazines.

    Cecconi Simone Interior Design

    Cecconi Simone

  4. Patricia Gray focuses on living and working environments and has had great success in Canada, the US, Japan, Singapore and Africa. She has designed celebrity homes and has a very impressive educational background in all aspects of Interior Design. She is also very well known for her blog.

    Patricia Gray Interior Design

    Patricia Gray

  5. Jerilyn Wright is an Interior Designer in Calgary. Her firm has been around for 25 years and she has successfully taken over the higher end market with gorgeous projects such as Astoria on 10th and La Caille on 4th.

    Jerilyn Wright Interior Design

    Jerilyn Wright

  6. Kasian is a well know Canadian Interiors, Architecture and Urban Planning Giant. Originally started up in Edmonton they now have offices around the world. They specialize in academic, civic, interiors, healthcare, transportation, urban development, facilities planning and master planning. Some of my favorite Kasian projects include the Calgary Children’s Hospital, Edmonton Federal Building, Bennett Jones Edmonton, Vancouver International Airport station and Epcor Tower Edmonton. I have has the pleasure of working with Kasian since February 2009.

    Kasian Architecture, Interior Design & Urban Planning


  7. Stantec with its headquarters in Edmonton now has offices across Canada and the US. They specialize in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying and environmental sciences. Some of their best known projects are the Confederation Bridge, Ottawa and Vancouver International Airport, Whistler Sliding Center, Harley Davidson Edmonton, Westin Times Square New York, RCMP Forensics Laboratory and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
    Stantec Interior Design


    Please feel free to comment and let me know of any other Notable Canadian Design Firms!

Holt Renfrew Calgary

Holt Renfrew Calgary menswear department

Holt Renfrew Calgary menswear department

The new Holt Renfrew flagship store opened its doors last month captivating the attention of the luxury brand crowd but also of the Interior Design and Architecture crowd. Designed by Janson Goldstein ( out of New York who in 2007 unveiled the Vancouver Holt Renfrew department store. The 40 foot tall facade of glass, marble and steel is a captivating entry to the sleek white interior within. Already making headlines across the news world design magazines have also been capturing the fuss such as Design Quarterly magazine, an Alberta based publication dedicated to Architects and Designers in the province. At first I was disappointed that a Canadian firm was not chosen to carry the new design direction for the distinctly Canadian couture giant but with a firm like Janson Goldstein at the helm I knew only good things could come. I am glad that the design brings a distinctly New York touch with zebra wood, marble, white back painted glass and chrome. The great thing about hiring a designer from another country and culture is the ability to give a city a new outlook on the style and approach they could take. In a city like Calgary that is trying to push itself to a global scale it is time that they step away from the heavily warm tones, granite and slate to explore the potential of new materials, sleeker style and international flavor. At 151,000 square feet this 3 story shopping paradise will house brands like Gucci, Prada, Jil Sander, Fendi, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Cavalli, Tiffany & Co. and Dolce & Gabbana, to name  a few.

Holt Renfrew Calgary Exterior Architecture and Entryway

Holt Renfrew Calgary Exterior Architecture and Entryway

“We are very proud to invite Calgarians into Holt Renfrew’s new store in this great city”, said Caryn Lerner, President and CEO of Holt Renfrew. “Our gorgeous new flagship has a rich selection of the world’s best fashions. We are excited to introduce over 60 new brands to the market.” This project will truly revitalize a raise the bar for downtown Calgary’s Core shopping center.

Holt Renfrew Calgary Louis Vuitton

Holt Renfrew Calgary Louis Vuitton

Holt Renfrew Calgary Shoe Department

Holt Renfrew Calgary Shoe Department

I had the priviledge at Andres Escobar and Associates to work on the interior design renovation of Saks 5th Avenue in New York which opened up my eyes to the world of department store design, politics and couture style. Both luxury goods giants are playing with the likes of other big boys like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Bloomingdales and finding that it takes big money, sharp design and a lot of bold move to pull off a stunning showpiece that provides the perfect museum quality backdrop for some of the worlds leaders in fashion.

I hope this massive new store sparks Edmonton’s Holt Renfrew to step up to the plate and update its sadly aged appearance and small scale. I would hope that it is on the top of Holt Renfrew Canada’s “To Do” list. Holts Montreal is aging but it at the very least has its size and location up to par. Holts Edmonton could do with a new facade, larger space and entirely new interior.

Holt Renfrew Edmonton - In need of some TLC

Holt Renfrew Edmonton - In need of some TLC

Another Canadian Luxury brand store the one and only Oglivys in Montreal is also in need of a well deserved facelift. Any Interior Designer would gasp with delight to have their hands in transforming that delight of a department store that dates back all the way to 1866 as a linen shop.

The famous Ogilvy's Christmas window display

The famous Ogilvy's Christmas window display

Ogilvy's Montreal

Ogilvy’s Montreal

Have you been to the new Calgary Holt Renfrew yet? Tell me about your experience! How did the space make you feel? Do you think it has made a big impact on the downtown core? Do you think it will inspire a more International design flavor? Will New York ever be envious of Calgary?

Habitat for Humanity

By day I work in the Kasian office designing the offices, restaurants, hotels, schools and airports that you walk through, interact with and enjoy.  By day I use AutoCAD, SketchUp, Revit, the internet and Photoshop to sketch and create spaces for you to explore. But, by night I am just like almost everyone else, snuggled up at home tight in my bed with heat, electricity, food and a roof. On weekends I can now explore sharing the journey to finish putting a roof over a familys head so they too can enjoy the schools, hospitals, stores and exciting projects that I spent all week working on.

Food or Hunger

Habitat for Humanity provides addresses to Canadians

Habitat for Humanity provides addresses to Canadians

With Habitat for Humanity I get a hands on approach to being an Interior Designer. It may not be as glamorous as the office job but it is fulfilling to be able to meet and work with the families who need a little help. Working with a team of professionals who are all in it for the right reasons can be the best start to a new work week. The last 2 weekends have been a great opportunity helping Edmonton’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity complete one more home for one more family.

Kasian Habitat Team Week 1

Kasian Habitat Team Week 1

Kasian Habitat Team Week 2

Kasian Habitat Team Week 2

Maya Lin Architect and Sculptor

Both artist and Architect Chinese-American Maya Lin is fluidly in line with the beauty and serenity of her surroundings.  When only 21 and still studying architecture at Yale University she entered a competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial against some of the largest and best known Architects of the time and won.  Her concept was to create a severe open wound in the earth to symbolize the loss of so many soldiers.  Despite the controversy of her being of Chinese heritage the memorial was built and stands as on of the strongest war memorials in the US today.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Maya Lin

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin Civil Rights Memorial

Continue reading