Designs on CanadaPublished on October 13, 2017

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  • Kimberley Seldon
    Photo by: Lori Andrews

  • Client project
    Photo by: Ted Yarwood

Kimberley Seldon is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected designers. She exudes warmth along with a welcoming style and charismatic personality. Her relatable approach to decorating combines elements of her Canadian and American personality traits in an engaging persona.

Kimberley is a native from Los Angeles who met her future husband, a Canadian, while vacationing in Mexico. It was an initial encounter given that they lived in separate countries. Before she met her would-be-husband, she didn’t even know where Canada was. After returning to California, she was promptly offered a job working on a movie in Toronto. She calls this fate, as she went on to marry “Bob from Canada” and the couple has two children, Raleigh and Cooper. They live in Toronto, while Kimberley continues to work with clients in both Canada and the US.

She started her television career in LA and transitioned to interior design when she moved to Toronto.  You can catch her on the talk show Cityline as a regular décor expert sharing tips, ideas and bits of herself. Her Business of Design coaching program works with designers to honour their craft of interior design with the same respect as any other highly-regarded profession and reflects Kimberley’s earnest approach to the business.

While both her children were born in Canada, where she has lived and worked for over 25 years, Kimberley has never felt the need to become a Canadian citizen. However, she explains how that changed recently.

“Historically, Canada and the US have been such good friends and neighbours, I never really thought I needed my Canadian citizenship. Then, the November 8, 2016 US election changed my thinking - let’s just leave it at that!” She surprised herself with the depth of pride she now feels after becoming a Canadian citizen and says, “Suddenly, it’s a more permanent commitment.  I feel national pride now in a way that was previously once removed.”

Kimberley is eager to give back to Canada in an authentic way and recently travelled to Edmonton with her husband to work on a Habitat for Humanity build. It is part of the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project Program’s contribution to Canada’s 150th celebrations, which is building 150 homes across Canada. Kimberley marveled at the work ethic of the Carters, both in their 90s, who attended the build and challenged participants to keep up to them. The experience left Kimberley feeling humbled and proud.

“It’s an amazing experience to work with your hands and know your efforts will put a roof over someone’s head,” she says. “Having a safe roof over your head is fundamental to well-being."

The new Canadian is cognizant of the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the two countries and recalls an interview she did for a CTV talk show with an author. His book was titled, How To Cope With Back Pain, although during the interview he revealed that in the US his book was called How To Conquer Your Back Pain. Suddenly she felt more aware of each country’s general mindset and different approach to life.

Kimberley also notes similarities when working with clients on both sides of the border. “Of course, you can speak in generalities, but that never works. All Americans don’t think one way, any more than all Canadians do. I’m from Los Angeles and I can say that Angelinos are not terribly different from Torontonians in many ways,” she states, and wonders if this can be attributed to the nature of the clientele she works with.

She believes that her approach attracts the type of people with whom she prefers to work, whether they live in Toronto or LA. “I think I find the right clients for me by being transparent about how I work and open about my business philosophy. I believe in total transparency and honouring my word. This attracts a type of person that’s awesome to work with.” 

Kimberley does acknowledge that Canadian consumers have a thoughtful approach to spending money and will make compromises to meet a designated budget. “They tend to be two-feet-on-the-ground types which I admire. I’m pragmatic, so that works for me,” says the no-nonsense designer.

Musing about her dream job, she thinks that it might be to renovate 24 Sussex Drive where she can work her magic to create a home for Canada’s Prime Minister, delivered on time and budget!


Mary Taggart

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