Work Week Recap 2

It’s been a few weeks since my last Work Week Recap because well, life happened. When I tell you this has been the busiest Summer of my life I am not lying. Here is a breakdown of all of my doings and findings for the month of August! Enjoy!

ELIZABETH MONTILLA DESIGNOn a complete whim, I popped into my local Pier 1 a few weeks ago because I had recently registered for their Trade Program. To my surprise, I found the rug I have been searching for, for the past year or so. I had been drooling over THIS one from Wayfair, but I just couldn’t swallow the price. Not only is this rug basically the exact same as the one from Wayfair, it was about half of the price. It was on sale and I got my Designer discount. It was a total ‘start the car’ moment and I am OB-SESSED. It’s soft under foot, the perfect silvery gray and adds the perfect touch of luxe to our condo. Next on the list is a custom sofa, but one step at a time 😉

I’ve had to pop into Elte several times this month for various clients, and have nearly drooled over every piece. The variety of styles offered here is truly unbelievable. Here are just a few pieces that caught my eye!

JESSICA KELLY DESIGNAlthough our #MertonSt project is now completed, here’s a little sneak peek of the transformation just before the hardware went in. Stay tuned to see what we selected from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware! The details all came together on this project and within record time. I’m so excited to show you the rest of the space!

I stopped into CB2 to pick up some accessories for a client and was absolutely smitten by this tufted round ottoman. It’s so good to see ready-made pieces that are generally in stock that look custom designed. And at 36″ in diameter. this ottoman makes for a very spacious coffee table. Shop the link HERE.

August has been one of the busiest months to date this year. It was non-stop go go go every single week and I’m pretty proud of myself that I came out on the other side. I’m looking forward to what September will bring, the cooler weather & exciting new projects! Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!




Work Week Recap 1

Can someone please tell me where Summer has gone? As far as I’m concerned, July just didn’t happen. The past few weeks have been such a blur – work has been extremely busy but that’s just the way it goes in this industry!

With such a busy Summer full of exciting projects & upcoming personal activities, my blog content has been a little scarce, to say the least.

This is why I thought I’d do a weekly round up of my findings, show a little behind-the-scenes of some projects I’m working on & other general inspiration I see throughout my work weeks. So follow along as I recap the last 2 weeks of this extremely busy Summer!

JESSICA KELLY DESIGN: Our #MertonSt project is quickly starting to take shape. We’re bringing this once dark & dated Kitchen back to life with some white high-gloss Ikea cabinetry & brushed brass accents. Countertop templating was done this week and after much deliberation, we went with Frosty Carina by Caesarstone!

 JESSICA KELLY DESIGNOur #Hillsdale project is finally a wrap after a year of planning, designing & anticipating this massive addition/renovation. These clients were absolute rock stars, living through it all with their young children. Little touches like this llama in their girls’ bathroom make me smile – it complements the perfectly pastel colour palette!


ALLAN & CHANDON DESIGN: To say that my phone has been inundated with tile photos would be a huge understatement. That’s just the price you pay when looking for the perfect Powder Room floor for our #Beresford project. This Powder Room will be impactful, elegant but with a bit of a modern twist. JUST WAIT until you see what we have planned for the ceiling! #AllTheHeartEyes

ELIZABETH MONTILLA DESIGN: Recently someone asked how I manage working for multiple designers, and if I ever get their projects mixed up. While it can often be difficult for scheduling, I say it’s all about organization. I plan my week on Monday and go from there. You can find me pounding the pavement in the Castlefield Design District at least 1 to 2 days, and then I’m either on site with clients or doing pickups/drop offs of samples around the city. How do I get through it all? Caffeine.

Thanks so much for reading my first Work Week Recap! I’m excited to show you more behind the scenes of my daily grind.




Ah, Canada – how I love thee! I am so unbelievably grateful my parents immigrated to Canada back in the 70’s to call this beautiful country home. The inclusion of all people, multiculturalism & our undeniable ability to apologize for everything – Canada is truly THE best! And with the country’s 150th Birthday this weekend, I wanted to gather some of my favourite items which showcase the beauty & artistry of some very talented Canadians.

Heading to a #Canada150 party this weekend and still need a hostess gift? Check out my top picks below!

1. Justin T-Shirt – Province of Canada
Whether you’re paying homage to our extremely good looking, forward-thinking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or you’re a fangirl of the Biebs – this ‘Justin’ t-shirt is a perfect way to show your love for two Canadian gems.

2. Canadian Pins – FairGoods
I recently discovered Fairgoods after reading THIS Canadian Living article, and immediately placed an order on their Etsy page. They are a small, dedicated duo from Calgary who create everything from witty eye masks to hilarious ‘jerk balloons’ and these adorable pins which are a nod to some very Canadian staples. I purchased the poutine, the Double Double & the ‘Sorry‘ pins. They are the perfect accessory to your Canadian tuxedo!

3. Grosse & Petite Poutine Bowls – Hugo Didier
I have seen Hugo Didier at several One Of A Kind shows here in Toronto and have always admired his work. He is a Montreal-based ceramic artist who creates beautiful, everyday pieces such as mugs & dishware which inhabit our everyday lives. His ‘Not Made In China’ & ‘Cé Faitte Icitte’ collections can be seen at exclusive specialty shops across the country.  His pieces are made of Canadian porcelain – baked at high temperatures making them both dishwasher & microwave safe!

4. Terrazzo Necklace – DConstruct Jewelry
I am always on the hunt for lovely, unique jewelry that comes with an interesting story. So when I recently discovered DConstruct, a company based out of Manitoba – I was instantly intrigued. Each piece contains a minimum of 40% pre-consumer recycled material. Their jewelry can range anywhere from pieces of terrazzo, concrete & even resin. I want to order a necklace – but I’m having such a hard time deciding which one to choose!

5. Provincial Pennants – Drake General Store
How fun are these provincial pennants? Purchase as a box set or single, they are a perfect way to represent your country and brighten up any space!

6. Drip Maple Syrup – AGO Store
Ah, Maple syrup – a Canadian’s nectar of the Gods. Is there anything better than pure maple syrup drizzled over a stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning? Yeah, didn’t think so either. While there are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada, 91% of the sweet stuff is actually produced in Quebec. There’s a fun fact you can bring to a party! I absolutely love Drip Maple Syrup – as it’s as pure as it can possibly get and comes in 3 different blends. I would drink this stuff if it was socially acceptable!

7. Canadian Mountie Mug – Indigo
How adorable is this Canadian Mountie mug? Such a whimsical way of honoring our men and women in uniform. Add this to my #IndigoFaves!

8. Province of Canada Pillow Cover – Province of Canada
Why not introduce a little Canadiana into your home? These soft gray pillows from Province of Canada are a perfect addition to any cool living area that needs an extra touch of Canada.

9. Terry Fox: His Story – Indigo
Everyone has their favourite Canadian. Terry Fox is mine. I have always been fascinated by his story & have always admired his strength and perseverance. I just love going back and reading about his journey across the country, and all of the lives he touched along the way. I think we can all learn a thing or two from Terry Fox! Who is your favourite Canadian?

10. Point Multistripe Blanket– Hudson Bay Company
Did you really think I wouldn’t include the classic striped blanket from The Hudson Bay Company? This iconic piece is truly a staple in our Canadian heritage. This blanket is 100% wool – which means it’s the perfect addition to those chilly nights at the cottage!

Tell me – how will you be celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and share your plans!

Thanks so much for reading!




Perfectly Pastel

Hello, beautiful people! We are officially in full-blown Spring mode over here! I blinked and it was suddenly May. How is 2017 just whizzing by? This is not OK.

As the temps are rising, I’m finding myself gravitating towards lighter, more feminine tones in both my wardrobe & home decor. There’s something to be said when you can finally put away all of your black sweaters & cozy blankets that you’ve been using all Winter long. Enter: Pastels. I absolutely love the brightness of pastels – they instantly put you in a better mood, no matter what the shade.

Here are a few of my current favorite pastel items in Home Decor and some very inspiring spaces that rocked these soft, subtle hues!

1. Leda Peony Fabric    2. Bubbles Fabric    3. Corkcicle Tumbler    4. Hand-knotted Wool Rug    5. Mid-Century Sofa
6. Retro Style Fridge

Can we all just have a moment for this gorgeous custom lavender vanity? Tara Fingold is one of my favorite local Designers and this space really sparked my attention when I first saw it in Style At Home.  This lovely shade pairs so beautifully with the white marble counters & brass hardware.

 I can always depend on Benjamin Moore to have on-trend, cheerful colours that add vibrancy to any space. Colours such as Lemon Twist, Spring Lilac, Scenic View & Pink Pansy all lend themselves to the perfect pastel palette that is sure to please the eye.


In my personal opinion, no one does pastels quite like the lovely Sarah Gunn. Her design aesthetic is very bright & cheerful, yet still remains incredibly stylish. As the former Canadian Living magazine Home & Garden Director, Sarah understands pretty. She is currently one of many Designers partaking in the One Room Challenge and I have so been enjoying her updates on her Dining Room makeover. You can see more pastel goodness HERE!

I have been a huge fan-girl of Jillian Harris for as long as I can remember. Most recently, I’ve been following her adventures as a new mom and her latest challenges as she and her family embark on a massive home reno. I am absolutely loving everything she’s selecting so far! From the soft, subtle hues in the Foyer (this blue = all the heart eyes 😍), her choices in lighting, to the fun graphic patterns in her son’s Bedroom…I just can’t get enough. This home is going to be stunning! The colour she chose for her Front Entry door is ‘Athabasca’ by Benjamin Moore and I’m pretty sure it’s what dreams are made of!

Are you a fan of pastels? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!


Podcasts I Can’t Live Without

Anyone else completely obsessed with podcasts these days? I don’t know about you, but I listen to podcasts in the car, while I’m cooking, on the treadmill, while I’m working and even just before bed when I’m winding down. It’s becoming a little bit of an issue 🤔 I just cannot get enough! I absolutely love listening to peoples’ stories, learning new things and often having a good laugh throughout my day. It’s an easy way to keep my mind occupied, especially when I’m stuck in crawling traffic.

Listed below are my top 3 podcasts that are on high rotation these days!

A Well Designed Business with LuAnn Nigara
If you work in the Design industry, this podcast is for you. LuAnn Nigara interviews the most successful Design professionals where they share their best Interior Design business practices. LuAnn & guests speak of their business successes and even failures to ensure that you have a profitable business. They provide tips on how to deal with complicated clients, marketing your business through Social Media & so much more.

Business Of Design with Kimberley Seldon
This is another great podcast for all of my fellow Design colleagues. Kimberley Seldon has now expanded her infamous Business of Design coaching community into podcast form. She covers everything that we didn’t learn in Design school. Everything from billing systems to styling tips – Kimberley discusses good, the bad and the often ugly sides of this industry. A must listen if you are an independant business owner who wants to flourish both financially and creatively! Catch up on all of the episodes HERE.

How I Built This (NPR) with Guy Raz
How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists – and their stories behind the empires they’ve built. Guy Raz has interviewed everyone from Spanx creator Sara Blakely, to the brains behind Crate & Barrel, Gordon Segal. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs & failures told by the founders and creators of some of the world’s largest most profitable companies. This podcast is sure to inspire you whatever your goals may be!

Tell me, are you a fan of podcasts? Which ones are your favourite? Tweet me @EMontillaDesign and join the conversation!

Thanks for reading!