As a confirmed deco-nut, there are some designers whose opinions I seek out, either via the magazines or TV shows they front or by visiting their websites once in a while to see what’s new. They keep me up to date on the latest trends and help me decide what’s right for me and my own home.
If you share my interest in home decor and room coordination, you may want to find a style icon of your own via introductions or re-introductions to five of the most successful people and teams on the style scene today. They all love their work and they’re eager to share their ideas, but what sets them apart is their approach to solving some of life’s decor dilemmas. You may find that one of them “speaks” to your inner designer.
If you covet the luxe look of a top-drawer hotel but with more soul and warmth, Brian Gluckstein is for you. His collection of crisp linens, furniture, tableware and more is sold through the Bay and Home Outfitters. Choose from items in categories including Hamptons, Suede and Pinstripe. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Interior Design Program, Gluckstein truly is a local success story. His style is unfussy, his designs look effortless and his furnishings are to drool over. Brian even personally answers design questions through a form on his website — glucksteinhome.com — so ask away. Sarah Richardson’s style watchword seems to be “awareness.” She uses the personality of a room, a home and its inhabitants to its full potential when making decorating decisions. A former prop designer for television, Richardson now has three shows of her own and her own line of home furnishings sold in select shops across the country. Sarah is your style icon if you want to surround yourself in pretty patterns and elegant furnishings that reflect your taste and are tailored to each room. See sarahrichardsondesign.com.
Debbie Travis’s design sense is all about moods. Her extensive line of wares that includes paint, furniture and home accessories is sold at Canadian Tire and classified by atmosphere: dramatic, nostalgic, cheerful or calm. Debbie’s no-nonsense approach has been well-chronicled on several TV shows and in more than a dozen books. Choose Debbie as your style icon to put some feeling into your decorating (visit debbietravis.com.) Steven and Chris (the original Designer Guys) have expanded their fan base well beyond their design roots by branching into the TV talk realm. Their own line of durable, fashionable furnishings and area rugs is in selected retailers (check stevenandchris.com). They don’t always agree, and that’s what makes them double the fun. If you enjoy mixing styles and pulling together a fabulous but livable look, Steven and Chris are your style icons.
Kimberley Seldon is another woman of many talents. She’s design editor of Style At Home magazine as well as a TV, print and book-writing veteran whose annual Designer Market in Toronto’s Distillery District is a must-attend event for deco-nuts and professional designers alike. She has created her own lines of furniture and home decor products, and her dos and don’ts in Style At Home are a must-read for the design-minded. If you like to work within the rules and break them from time to time, Kimberley is the design icon for you (kimberleyseldon.com). I’ve attended the Designer Market and elbowed my way to some sweet deals, and one day I’d like to be able to spare several thousand dollars for Kimberley’s Design Express to Tuscany. But for now I’m content to watch the latest trends through her eyes and those of the other designers whose work I respect. You may decide, as I have, that there’s something to be learned from every one of these experts, but the ultimate designer for you is you.