April 25, 2017

Expecting the Unexpected

As a rule, I always tell clients to expect the unexpected. Be prepared for delays, anticipate an occurrence which could either delay or set your project back and never rule out the inevitable budget increase. I know, this sounds harsh but I would much rather scare my clients at the beginning of this process than promise a seamless endeavor. What could that “unexpected” issue be – I don’t know, if I was expecting it, it wouldn’t be “unexpected”. Based on experience I like to plant the seed so my clients have something to look out for.


Which takes us to #TheBeech. Back in February of last year my clients closed on a beautiful property in the Toronto Beach neighborhood. This 3000 sq/ft home was old and outdated yet the bones were perfect for our new vision. Despite the odd layout – we’re talking a bathroom in the kitchen kind of strange and I’m not saying a two-piece wash-your-hands-and-go kind of lavatory I’m referring to the shower and all. The front door was disastrous. You could literally touch the first step of the stairs upon opening the front door, a relocation was beyond necessary.


Our plan was to blow up the entire main floor and create an open concept. The original kitchen was at the back of the house, which is pretty typical however, I saw the back as an opportunity to flood the space with an abundance of much needed light. I proposed relocating the kitchen to the middle of the main floor and opening up the back wall to a set of four floor to ceilings windows & doors. The idea was triumphant and we could continue to plan the upper levels which included adding a kid’s bathroom and closing off the master suite. Then we brought in our engineer and had him draw up with proposed plans which went off to the city, which required a bit of waiting time. We were off to a pretty good start, until the “unexpected” hit us. Turns out the house which underwent an extension about 30 years ago was built around the original brick structure, so that ten foot wall I had dreamt of bringing down was in fact a pretty important structural element of this house. The kitchen had to be flipped over and a whole new set of drawings had to be created which meant another post & beam calculation was in the works. Back to the city and back to the waiting game we went. At this point, no other work could happen on-site so the construction portion of this project went on a brief “pause” until this all got sorted out.




August 9, 2016


Beige. Truly, there is no better way to describe our #MountPleasant project’s “before” scenery. It was as beige as you can get – no colour, no life, no personality.

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The irony in all that is our client’s are full of character. They’re unquestionably witty mixed with a little kooky and topped off with lots of sassy.  The problem with this mix is that their home – a 1200 sq/ft luxury Toronto condo did not reflect who they were nor did it  showcase their lifestyle. Needless to say, this all changed when we walked in turned their condo around (literally and figuratively).

Naturally, my first instinct is to get a sense of how the homeowners use the space and then we pull out their personal character traits in order to solidify a preliminary design plan. Understanding the way a client uses their home is equally as important as how “pretty” it all looks. Luckily – these were the parents of one of our incredible past clients and they had seen what we had created over at #King and said – THAT, we want that. And although I never re-create the same thing twice I did use King’s project as a platform and design inspiration but with a whole new colour palette. We also stepped it up a notch and sourced some incredible vintage finds…… VOILA


To see more of this space, check it out on our Pinterest page. Stayed tuned for the progress pics and how this all came to be!


Erica Gelman Design is a full service interior design + decor firm specializing in residential design in. We would love the opportunity to meet with protect clients and discuss your specific project requirements.

Please email us at info@ericagelman.com

July 20, 2016

Big News. Big Changes

Are you a creative soul with an organization obsession? Does micro managing a project excite you more than… say… chocolate? Are you  passionate about residential design and love the idea of a great collaboration yet are superstar self motivator. You’ve got to have experience (2 years would be great) and be a graduate of an accredited interior design / decorating program.

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Here is exactly what we are looking for….

The Essentials:
-Meticulous attention to detail and organization skills
-Proficiency in the use of computers as well as advanced knowledge of AutoCad, Microsoft & Apple Software
-Strong communicator, verbally & written
-Ability to work on their own but also in a team setting

The Tasks (but not limited to below list):
-Assembling of design specification packages related to finishes, fabric and furnishings as well as specification spreadsheets
-Generating price requests, client estimates and related invoices, purchase orders, delivery schedules in order to facilitate the furnishings and custom design fabrication process
-Project manage, coordinate design process from start to installation, liaising with vendors, trades, construction, accounting departments, Principal Designer and clients

-Experience designing millwork and electrical plans is a must.

-Design & source along side Principal Designer, and produce plan, elevations and detail drawings for clients and trades

-Inspect all product at critical stage of fabrication & coordinate and manage all detailing
-Relationship management with high-end clientele
-Manage entire scope of project and be flexible to problem solve with issues that arise

Send along your resume & if we think you’re the perfect fit someone will contact you for an interview.

Email. erica@ericagelman.com 

June 29, 2016


After almost a decade in business I can finally say Erica Gelman Design inc. works exclusively on full service projects. But again, what does that mean? I get asked that question all the time – it’s probably the second most popular inquiry after “what’s a good grey to paint my walls” to which I always reply… What is a “good” grey? Is there a bad grey. But… that’s a whole other topic and a whole other post.
Back to FULL SERVICE. We have a very specific process we follow which takes our clients from initial concept to final execution. We design, manage, design-manage, project manage, order, follow-up (a lot) coordinate & deliver the final product all without the clients having to do very much except approve our ideas (and sign cheques, ofcourse). This gives us the ability to work our magic yet control the back end of the project to ultimately alleviate the clients stress level as much as possible. We follow the same steps with all our projects regardless of its size. Be it a simple decorating task, a midsize kitchen or bathroom renovation or a large scale new build – we manage but more importantly micro manage all the moving pieces in-house. Currently we are working on some aaaamazing full service projects.

#THEBEECH – a total gut job in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. We have taken the hundred year old home back to the studs and are turning it into the ultimate Beach house. We are not only redesigning the layout but we’re also choosing every last finishing detail.


#KLEINBURG – a 4500 sq/ft new build which we are decorating for 3 super stylish young ladies and their equally fab parents. These rooms have been taken to all sorts of new levels of design. A true designer’s dream project!


#DAYLILY – a home in the suburbs just outside of Toronto. We are
transforming this ‘suburban builders home’ into a designer jewel box. One step at a time. This project is phased out into smaller undertakings so can complete one room at a time as appose to tackling the entire house at once.


#COOKSMILL – another home being spilt into phases. We begun by renovating the main floor and taking this builder’s basic home and
transforming it into a modem oasis. We are currently working on a home office inspired by the idea of a gentleman’s smoking lounge. To.die.for


#DIREZZE – a ‘not your typical basement’ renovation. This home was an empty canvas when we started yet, once we’re complete it will be a real showstopper. We’re designing and project managing this total re-build for clients who aren’t afraid to push the limits and allow us to take them out of their comfort zone.

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More on each project to come. Also, For additional progress pictures don’t forget to follow us on Instagram with these hostages AND our Pinterest boards for our inspiration and concepts behind each project.

January 21, 2015

Design life, meet motherhood…

Design life, meet motherhood…

I’ve had our new site up for a few months now and since launch date I’ve been planning/ scheduling/hoping to get the blog up and running yet, somehow everything else just got in the way. It could been because the site launched during one of the busiest seasons HOD has had in, well ever (not complaining, just saying) or could have been the fact that life just gets busier and busier with days  turning into weeks and weeks all of a sudden turning into MONTHS. Speaking of which, about 9.5 months ago my life became a hell of a lot more rewarding & a little more challenging. March 30th 2014 my little lady-baby came into this world and graced us with her unbelievable presence – my best creation by far. Luckily she was born on a Sunday so I was still able to finish off my work week the Friday before hand – I’m half joking with that comment I did meet with clients the Friday evening before going into labour but it wasn’t planned, Sasha just knew how much I would have hatted cancelling my appointment so she thoughtfully arrived over the weekend. It was a nice 8 day “rest” and back to work I went the following Monday. YES, this is a true story no half joking there – it’s like I was one of the seven dwarfs and went hi, ho, hi, ho…..back to work I go. But you see, my “work” is just as much a part of my life as anything else that’s meaningful. And so I began my new journey of learning how to blend my new title of Mama with my existing title(s) of designer, project manager,  entrepreneur, creative director…. apparently, I wear ALOT of hats. In  there somewhere is also wife, mom to my furry baby, daughter &  friend- I don’t think I can handle anymore.

It hasn’t been easy (thank gd for THE best support system ever) but it’s definitely been worth it. We have had some amazing projects come through our doors. I’m beyond excited to share our projects on the blog along with inspiration, concepts, progress reports… anything that’s happening at House of Design I will be sharing, I may even throw in a few mom-moments here and there- just to keep it interesting.

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