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Meet the Designer: Colleen McGill

HG Design

Colleen McGill

Meet the Designer

We recently sat down with Colleen McGill, Principal at McGill Design Group, to better understand what fuels the spaces she creates. The designer, whose company McGill Design Group specializes in luxury residential design-build projects, is know for combining architecture, design and decoration into her process. With her recently launched line of furniture called Plum, she continues to underscore her philosophy of blending old world classical detailing with modern simplicity to create spaces that are both gracious and effortless.

HG: How would you define your style?


CM: My approach has always been about understanding the architecture of a space and really getting to know the client before crafting a narrative for the project. It’s important to me that the work is a response to the context in which we're working. I'm drawn to rooms that are beautifully put together with art, great textiles, a good mix of old and new, and focused on comfort and how people live in a space.

HG: Why did you choose your profession?

CM: From a very young age I was fascinated by all the different ways that people lived, and I remember trying to make sense of their personalities based on their homes.  I would obsessively study magazine interiors at a young age, and try to imagine living in those spaces.  I ended up studying architecture at university, and was always drawn to the human centric elements of design. There's nothing I'd rather be doing.

HG: Who and what inspires you?


CM: I find myself drawn to designers who work on multiple levels, balancing out an intellectual approach to design with elements that resonate on an emotional level.  My favourite interiors are those of collectors - interiors that are deeply personal and meaningful to the people that inhabit them.


HG: Your happy place?


CM: Any place with sun and water.

HG: What are the benefits of working with a designer?


CM: I think a good designer is able to offer you a different perspective on your space or life, and is able to look at the entire project at every level - both macro and micro - to ensure it results in a cohesive whole. The best compliment I got from a client was when they walked into a space and said “This is more me than me!”

HG: Any tips for tabletop styling?


CM: Don’t be afraid to change tabletop vignettes often as it helps you see the room with fresh eyes and keeps it interesting. Fresh flowers and greenery make a world of a difference.  A couple of broad leaves in a beautiful vase next to a stack of new inspiring books always looks great on a coffee table. For dining table settings, I think its interesting to break up sets of dishes and re-combine them with accent pieces to create a different experience.

Coveted by Colleen