Gillian Segal: Interior Designer & Style Maven

Gillian Segal: Interior Designer & Style Maven

1. What part of the world inspires you the most creatively and why?

Honestly - it’s constantly changing. As a creative, my style and influences are constantly evolving - and it often depends where I most recently travelled, or a movie I have just watched, or a recent season of fashion that has just launched. That being said, I am constantly drawn to inspiration from Europe. The juxtaposition between the old world and architecture or finishes with age, gravitas and patina married with contemporary and modern design always speaks to me on such a basic, instinctual level. 

 

2. Walk us through your typical morning routine. What time are you up? Do you read? Exercise? What do you eat? Any odd habits or superstitions?

I love this question because I LOVE talking about morning routines. I am not actually a morning person by nature, but having two kids under 5, I don’t have much of a choice. Given life circumstances (ahem, children) - my morning routine is subject to constant change and need for flexibility but on an ‘ideal’ morning, my morning routine is as follows:

- Wake up @ 630

- Have 45-60 minutes of family time with my two daughters (usually this involves snuggle time/playtime and breakfast).  They eat, and I drink coffee (a LOT of coffee with a splash of cream)

- Movement - either heavy lifting with my trainer or a peloton workout at home

- A shower followed by a smoothie or healthy breakfast (I like to workout ‘fasted’ when possible)

- On a really good day, I will write in my 5 minute journal about goals an intentions for the day but to be honest, mornings in our family can be chaotic and it’s rare that there is space for this

- I generally don’t read in the morning and try to stay off my phone and email as much as possible - I like to tackle this in the office when I feel ready for the day and try to enjoy family time as much as I can while we’re at home

 

 

4. Favorite artist, musician, and author? Why do they resonate with you?

 Kelly Wearstler.  She is a mom, an interior designer, an incredible entrepreneur and overall style icon. I love her for her fearless style and bold design, constant evolution and originality.  I have so much admiration for the career she has built while juggling life as a mother and wife. I am fortunate enough to be attending a dinner with her next week and I have about 3838101 questions to ask her.

 

5. What do you do to combat stress and the never-ending to-do list? Any self-care routines?

Does wine count? Because there is a lot of that! Aside from this - I find exercise is crucial for my mental health, focus and overall discipline in my life. Also trying to carve out “me time” as much as possible, even if it’s briefer than I would like is KEY  My husband and I frequently meet for a 430 cocktail on Wendesay's before heading home to the kids. He also runs a business, and even if we are just sitting tackling emails side by side - or debriefing on business struggles this has become a highlight of my week.  Seeing friends and family, also even if it’s just for 45 minutes always helps me to relax and feel grounded. Lastly, I always make time for skin care in my self-care routine.  I’m obsessed with taking care of my skin and find that no matter how busy I am, it’s easy to find 5 minutes in the morning and at night to apply my many lotions and potions. 

 

 

6. Your work has a beautiful vintage glamor with a touch of rock and roll. Tell us what inspires your style and taste?

I think I have a pretty eclectic taste in most things. In my wardrobe I can go from dressing in a 90’s grunge inspired outfit, to something feminine and flirty to something very edgy and fashion forward in the span of a week depending on my mood.  My music taste is the same - some days I want to listen to disco, other days its 90’s hip hop or trap music and other days it could be Adele, jazz or rock and roll. I love variety and being able to explore difference genres based on my mood, and interiors is no exception to this.  While I love contemporary design, I also love all things “retro”.  I love old/classic movies (anything by Hitchcock is a go-to), I collect vintage magazines and coffee table books and I love all things fashion - so my inspiration is really informed from so many different disciplines. It all comes together and amalgamates with whatever is inspiring members of my team and creates what I think is our studio aesthetic or language.

 

7. What's your idea of the perfect summer day?

The beach (+warm sunshine), loved ones, some movement and always rosé.

 

 

8. What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

I don’t think there is one moment that defines the biggest challenge - my experience as an entrepreneur is the hardest part is having grit and resilience.  It’s the ability to push through when things feel daunting or impossible and tackling the issue with a problem solving mentally.  The highs are high and the lows can be lows.  I don’t have a business partner - so when there are challenges (and there are challenges each and every day) it can feel lonely.  As a mother, when things are difficult at work I find myself questioning if I am doing, “the right thing”, by taking away time away from my family for work — only to be left feeling stressed and depleted at times. My support group is everything to me and this is the only way to get through it. My husband, who is my most ardent supporter and sounding board, my family and friends, and last but certainly not least - my team. While I may not have a traditional business partner, I am proud to have built a team of incredible women who I know have my back and always offer incredible advice, guidance and support. 

 

9. You've been doing more projects in Miami and LA. How have those projects differed from the interiors you've designed in Vancouver?

Working abroad has been the most incredible experience.  It has brought new challenges (one example : how to manage projects abroad during covid where we could don’t travel at all), however has also brought endless inspiration.  As a creative, having the opportunity to work in different places with their own cultural references and aesthetic preferences as been incredibly inspiring.  Working simultaneously on a ski chalet in Whistler (neutral, textural and rough) and a beach house in Palm Beach (sexy, full of saturated colours and whimsy) is a dream come true. People often ask me what the best part of a project is and my truthful answer is the clients. Working with people who have a unique point of view, their own perusal style and who want to collaborate makes every day and every project different and exciting - our clients are constantly our muse.  We learn from each project, and those learnings find there way in small and larger ways into every future project.

 

10. What's your favourite hotel you've stayed at? What made it so special?

Probably the Santa Monica Proper. The design is unparalleled and it is perfectly casual, approachable and aspirational all at one time. 

 

 

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