All about the Toronto –based architect and interior designer!
Today, HOLR had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Taylor Hannah Architect’s Dee Dee Taylor Eustace to discuss how she got into the business, all things design-related, and her inspiring philanthropic efforts. Keep reading to learn all about Dee Dee!
Can you share some background information on how you got into architecture and interior design?
I’ve always loved fashion, maths, and physics, so my idea is that the combination of the two worlds is architecture. The details of a blouse vs the structure of a bridge and how to topstitch a garment made me want to learn it all. Architectural design is the craft of the big picture and truly the master builder. For me, development, and interior design were natural areas of interest as I wanted to shape the project from the purchase of the land to the design of the lampshade. My father is a lawyer and he loves interiors which I participated in at an early age, from yellow silk balloon drapes in our living room to a grey, black, white, and pink kitchen, I designed during architectural school. I truly lived the talk. I read Architectural Digest at age 8, maybe earlier.
You have contributed greatly to the architecture and design community and you also have a global portfolio – how have your experiences shaped who you are as a designer?
Every day, everything and everyone gives me more depth as a designer. Even the bad ones…true bad taste/style makes you appreciate the fantastic designs. I have traveled extensively and had experiences around the globe from carpet shopping in Kathmandu to desert dune bugging in Dubai picnicking on Persian carpets. I look through my lens and devour all the experiences and their hues of colour creating my files of life. I pull on all of them often; I say yes most of the time and love life finding beauty in the most unexpected places.
What are some of your favourite styles and designs you’ve worked on over the years? Where do you get your inspiration?
I love them all at that moment. I love working on my projects. For instance, my Toronto Brownstone is a piece of art I laboured over all the details, and living in your own creation is a dream. My inspiration came from my magical year of living in New York City while I wrote a book from our UES brownstone. Just walking breathing in the cities you soak in the vernacular. This style is a reinterpretation of classicism in today’s material. Style is a great dress and great design has great style, iconic design is timeless. I have designed jewelry, love, the interior of planes and yachts, incredible new parameters, restaurant Harbour 60, yummy, Friday Harbour resort development, and so on….my point is that you can design them all and draw the style from that period; I strive for timeless elegant iconic.
Inspiration can be as simple as a piece of fabric from the shape of the land to the stone on the ground…I always start from the ground up trying to create my own language, to be original.
Charity has always been a large part of your life. Can you talk to us about your philanthropic efforts and the impact they have made?
I learned from my family it is generational, my grandfather created the Southdown Foundation for addiction, my aunt Sister Susan Moran created Out of The Cold to feed the homeless, and was given The Order of Canada. In the early days of creating St Mary’s Home a shelter for women, I felt I was making the streets safer and giving women a safe restart. Botanical Gardens, Gala in the Garden raised $400,000 for kids without green space, helped children flourish. Curating Gardiner Museum and bringing artists together for programming for youth. The impact is across the board to help raise everyone’s bar and give opportunities where there are none. I usually combine a creative bent to the initiative or I work with my profession of architecture to help build projects. My latest is The Jacket of Hope a fashion initiative for Superheros to outfit with the armor of today and I donating to Artscape for programming and affordable housing for artists.
Check out the jacket of hope here for more information.