Country livingPublished on August 8, 2014

  • Photo by: Simon Burn

  • Photo by: Simon Burn

  • Ceiling fixtures are by Tom Dixon for Klaus, the dining table is a custom design from the Kimberley Seldon Design Group.

  • The library connects the garage to the house and is full of collections from Kimberley’s travels.

Kimberley Seldon is known for her classic style with a modern twist. The personality-filled interior designer is passionate about her work and is constantly on the go keeping up with client requests throughout North America. 

The Los Angeles-born, Toronto-based designer started her television career with ABC on Ripley's Believe It or Not! program. When the show was cancelled, she flew to Cancun for a Club Med vacation, where she met her future husband Bob. Looking for a fresh start, she moved to his home city of Toronto and was hired as a CTV journalist. She later enrolled at the International Academy of Design & Technology, and there a star was born!

After hosting and producing three television design series, including HGTV's Design for Living with Kimberley Seldon, she became a sought-after television personality, a keynote speaker, an expert design guest on Toronto's Cityline and editor-in-chief of Dabble Magazine. Kimberley has also been a design editor for Style at Home and Chatelaine, as well as being the author of three design books. Designers, decorators, stagers and stylists subscribe to her online interior design courses Business of Design interior design courses. 

Not a follower of trends, Kimberley is always looking for new ideas and enjoys leading groups through the streets of Europe to discover inspiring architecture, design, food and culture. More than a decade ago, she discovered her own inspiring place while filming a Christmas special in the Creemore Hills, northwest of Toronto. She fell in love with the rolling hills and landscape, which reminded her of Tuscany, and built a meticulously planned country house on a magnificent two-acre property with stunning views, ponds and gardens.

The 6,400-square-foot interior space is open, yet intimate enough for large or small gatherings. Its tranquil setting, surrounded by lush gardens with a large lily-framed pond stocked with bass and trout, allows Kimberley to decompress with her family of two grown children, Raleigh, 24, and Cooper, 22. They love the slower-paced community and start to unwind as they drive up for a relaxing weekend.

Ottawa At Home sat down with Kimberley, who came to town to help celebrate the magazine's 10th anniversary, to discuss her personal style and how she implemented it into her country home. 

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL DESIGN STYLE? I'm a cerebral designer. I make selections for a purpose - the architecture, the setting and the appropriate period. Nothing I do is random. It makes the work challenging and rewarding. I put original thought into every project and I don't do anything twice. We guarantee projects finish on time and on budget. That's unique!

WHAT WAS YOUR COLOUR PALETTE FOR CREEMORE? I fell for some gorgeous local stone. We used it on the floors throughout. That was it in terms of colours - buff, grey and oyster.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROOM? I love my Zen-like powder room. It has a wooden carving I bought years ago from Thailand. We actually built the room around it.

HOW DO YOU ENTERTAIN THERE? We cook and entertain frequently. All my friends are great cooks and I am learning new skills all the time.  

DO THE RULES OF DÉCOR CHANGE FOR DECORATING A SECOND HOME AS OPPOSED TO A PRIMARY RESIDENCE? The principles of good design don't change from one house to another. However, there are different parameters involved when you are decorating a second home. For one thing, the setting is different. Most often a second home is a cottage or cabin, so it's less formal than a city house. The mood or atmosphere you are trying to create in a second home is usually more relaxed and casual. In addition, most clients save money for years in order to buy the second home, so often the budgets are healthier than they are for the primary house.

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