One of Canada’s premiere names in home decor and design, Yanic Simard is a true creative entrepreneur. The driving force behind the multi – award winning boutique firm Toronto Interior Design Group (TIDG) he founded 15 years ago, Yanic has made his mark in the design industry across Canada and internationally.
Yanic credits his strong work ethic and business regime to his family of industry professionals that based their successes on the fact that good design, attention to detail and quality workmanship are the cornerstones to the art of living.
His extensive knowledge, talent and captivating charm made him the perfect fit as a regular expert on Canada’s top lifestyle show Cityline as well as a contributor to an expansive network of print and social media outlets including; Huffington Post, Style at Home, Home and Décor, Toronto Sun, New Condo Guide and Houzz.
To start, tell us more about the birth of Toronto Interior Design Group.
"Fifteen years ago, I took a leap of faith and moved from my motherland of Montreal to start my own boutique design firm in Toronto, the Toronto Interior Design Group (TIDG).
Ever since that day, the business has continued to grow immensely, making TIDG one of the top firms in the country, being presented several notable awards, and now having countless beautiful projects under our belt with many highly valued clients who helped get us there.
Nothing came easy however– a lot of hard work and determination is behind it all, but with my clear vision and a precise focus on where I was going, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But, the road shouldn’t be easy – which it wasn’t, and it still isn’t. There has to be challenges to overcome, that’s how you grow and become – and stay - successful.
My company has blossomed incredibly, and I work with such amazing talented passionate individuals who support me tremendously and I have to thank them for that."
What inspired you to work in interior design?
"My family background is in the construction industry, and real estate too (my grandmother was the very first female real estate broker in Quebec!)
So I grew up in a world revolving around houses and buildings. But I always had a love for interiors, it’s my one love and true passion.
Even when I was a young boy, when my family and I would go on trips and I would move the furniture around in the hotel room to maximize the layout. I mean, who puts a sofa in front of a window when you’ve got a crystal clear view of the CN tower!?"
Talk us through your creative process, how do you approach each project?
"Every project starts with inspiration. It could be a fabric swatch, a furniture piece, artwork, or even something derived from the great outdoors. I actually often find my inspiration when travelling at 35,000 feet in the sky throughout my various work travels.
From there the project blooms, with a lot of client input, of course, to ensure that we tailor the design directly to the homeowners wants and needs making beautiful – and just as functional -timeless living spaces.
At TIDG, we really get to know the homeowners and people living in the space. It’s all about digging deep and getting inside their brains – finding out their habits, lifestyle, likes, dislikes, and so on.
We pride ourselves on creating interiors with a decor aesthetic of richly layered rooms that blend serious style and playful individualism, achieving the ultimate in sophisticated comfort. And to get to that point, there are many steps along the way.
My firm follows a strict creative design process for every project in order to achieve the most successful end results, our secret recipe!"
Name three projects you're most proud of to date.
"I am proud of all of our projects here at TIDG, it’s so hard to choose, they are all so unique and different. But, if I had to pick, I would choose the 3 that are most dear to me and close to my heart..the ones where I’ve watched the families grow & evolve, from having kids, to grand kids..and then designing for one generation to the next…
The first one would be this 1989 Victorian home. The goal was to keep the integrity and history of the home but modernize it through pops of colour and up to date pieces mixed with one-of-a-kind finds.
Mixing old & new is one thing we do best at TIDG, it’s all about the balance, and it was accomplished so well in this space.
Second is this penthouse in the sky: hovering above the city on the 48th floor, this space is cool, sophisticated-chic.
A monochromatic colour scheme dances throughout the residence, with low trendy pieces like the creamy sectional sofa combined with never fail mid-century classics like the white leather Eames lounger and Barcelona bench.
Mid-century is my favourite period because of its timelessness; I always inject one item from this era in every space I get my hands on no matter what, they work in every style setting. Ahh, what a beautiful, easy on the eyes design.
Lastly is this eclectic, multifunctional space. The client’s narrow main floor had to be used for everything – relaxing, tv watching, dining, working, entertaining…you name it, it was going to happen in this space!
We loved working on this project because it was a challenge, fitting all of the key pieces of furniture was like a puzzle, exciting to put together.
The space works so well because has many layers that connect each zone to one another – layers of texture, material, lighting, traditional, modern, and custom. Doesn’t this space look like it took many years to curate?
That’s the beauty of what we do at TIDG, and always the end goal. Even though it happened all at once, it looks lived in, and like many memories have already been made here."
What are your expected design trends for Spring 2016?
"We will be seeing a lot of trends I am happy to support in 2016! I’m usually not a trends-kind-of-guy, but the hot trends for this year are great.
The first thing we will be seeing a lot of metals, especially the use of copper. You can also be ready to see a ton of colour in lighting, and I love lighting (my idea of comfort after all is a good lamp to read by!) – so bright hued shades, coloured glass pendants, it’s the new way to inject saturation in your space.
Those are the two I’m most excited for and have already applied them in my media life by showing them on #1 Canadian longest running daytime show Cityline for the viewers!
Other trends include powder coated pieces, one of the most durable and long lasting finishes for furniture on the planet – think dining table legs, bed frames, and bar stools (delicious!).
And lastly, we always get a hint of Europe in our Canadian trends, which I’m grateful for because I always love what they are doing oversees.
This year it’s through encaustic tile, the beautiful handmade or handmade looking colourful patterned tile. Usually rustique in finish, it’s like installing century old art that will instantly liven up your backsplash or shine bright as your new floor."
Tell us about what you're working on right now, anything exciting to come for the coming 2016?
Every year is always so different for us at TIDG. We are always starting up new projects, and wrapping existing ones up. Each day is exciting.
Interior design is such a fascinating industry because it’s always ever changing, so every day I wake up, I can’t wait to see what’s thrown at me and what new challenges we will face.
Right now we are working on a super minimalist, 4000 sq foot loft space. Think exposed ductwork ceilings, milk washed hardwood herringbone floor, and crisp white clean-lined furnishings throughout. It’s a very particular look and we can’t wait for it to come together!
Keep up with me on social media via Instagram and Twitter to see what we’re up to 24/7, 365!
Keep up to date with our latest Interior Designers Q&A by subscribing to our email list below, along with news and updates on our products.