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Meet the Designer: Katie Zeidler

HG Design

Katie Zeidler

Meet the Designer

We asked Toronto-based designer Kate Zeidler Interior Design what fuels her work. The designer — who has a gift for creating serene, harmonious and inviting spaces — has worked on projects in Toronto and internationally over the past 25 years. Whether it's a heritage restoration, lakeside refuge or an urban oasis, Zeidler uses her encyclopedic knowledge of furniture, fabrics, rugs, art and artifacts to deliver sensational results. Her unique aesthetic — she studied at the International Academy of Design and Techology and is deeply influenced by her father, the award-winning architect Eberhard Zeidler — has resulted in a powerful design knowledge. Combined with an instinctive sense of what her clients need, Zeidler has amassed a fan base of devoted clients and a reputation as one of the best in the business.

HG: How would you define your style?


KZ: I personally like a design that is clean-lined, elegant and sophisticated. Liveability is also key. I create spaces that are soothing and functional, where people want to spend their time. One of my greatest joys is when clients tell me they love living in the homes I've designed for them.

HG: When did you first become interested in design?


KZ: Design is in my blood. My father Eberhard Zeidler is a well-regarded architect. Some of my earliest memories are of spending time with him on construction sites. He was passionate about architecture, and I keenly observed. A small part of his office was dedicated to interior design, and it was my dream to work there. My mother is an art consultant. She took me to art galleries and loved to teach. I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a focus in art history. I was constantly drawing the slides. When I came back to Toronto to start my career, I decided to get a degree in interior design.  

HG: Who or what inspires you?


KZ: I think what inspires me is having to solve a problem. When I’m faced with a client who needs me to design a room, I often look at precedents of similar rooms, listen to their needs, and respond with solutions.  I'm constantly observing, reading and learning. My inspiration comes from a multitude of places. Recently I had to select a colour for a front door. I've spent a lot of time in this environment, so it seemed natural to me to use nature as a reference. I took a twig from a tree. The colour was beautiful: I matched it to a paint colour.

HG: What's your favourite part of the design process?


KZ: I love everything about design. I love drawing and designing rooms. I love working with textiles. I'm inspired and love going to well-designed showrooms like Hopson Grace. I love going to the workrooms and seeing our designs go from an imagined idea to reality. I love going to construction sites and seeing all the hard work come together. I love working with teams and bouncing ideas around. I'm working on a project right now where the architect, the builder and the interior design team are all in sync.

HG: Styling tip?


KZ: When planning a room, every item should be well-scaled. Make sure to take the time to measure and plan the furnishings you want to use. Edit out all the things you don't love. It's better for the environment to buy good, well-designed items. If they are affordable, it's nice to have at least one good piece of art in every room.


HG: Favourite room in the house?


KZ: I don't have a favourite room to design, but the most complicated and challenging rooms are kitchens and bathrooms because there are so many needs and elements coming together and they are the most used rooms.

HG: Best entertaining tip?


KZ: I think a good invitation sets the tone for a wonderful evening: it provides good communication on what to expect. Place cards are always nice, making everyone feel like they are really welcome and comfortable. I prefer family style entertaining, having lots of dishes for people to choose from. Choosing from what's in season is a good inspiration.

HG: Your happy place?


KZ: I have many happy places. I love being in the woods in Collingwood. I love the beach in Maine. I love Stony Lake. And I love the Rosedale ravine. At the end of the day though, I'm most happy when I'm with my family and friends.