KALLI GEORGE, LEAD DESIGNER

I was born and raised in Montreal in Park Extension, when the neighbourhood was a collection of Greek and Italian mothers yelling in the back alleys for their kids to come in for supper. No matter how modest these women looked, their homes all had the requisite china hutch laden with crystal, formal living and dining rooms, and custom made window treatments.

My parents had two passions. One was their children’s education; the other was real estate. They started early on both counts. No expense spared on a private multilingual education – French, English and Greek everyday throughout grade school. As a teenager, Spanish classes pretty much replaced the summer holidays.    

As far back as I can remember, I helped write leases, collected rents and on the odd occasion asked a tenant to leave. The aforementioned multilingual education was becoming handy right about now. There was a third passion, but that was mostly my mother’s. She loved the beautiful things in life: crystal, to be exact. The finer the cut, the better.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations from McGill University and spent 20 years working in business management mostly for Petro Canada. In 2009, I enrolled as an International Design & Decorating Professional with QC School of Design. About a year later, I received a request to join their roster of design tutors. 

For me, a home has never been a collection of individual rooms. Instead, I like to view it as a collective. Their function may be different, but the overall feeling should be the same: Interconnected.

This can be with a fabric pattern, a general colour or a similar accessory placed in every room. New builds and large scale renovations are close to my heart because they provide the flexibility to do just that. It is the perfect opportunity to create a new design concept with the client’s story in mind.

From time to time, I volunteer with the Furniture Bank in Toronto. Other times, I have them pick up the contents of a house or a storage locker. However, my all-time favourite event is their Chair Affair. As an accredited member of the Canadian Decorators' Association, I have participated both as a judge and a decorator in their annual competition. I was also honoured with Home Staging awards in 2013 and 2015 and have won Best Of Houzz Awards for services in 2015, 2016 and 2017.