“Theatre, dining, travel and family occasions are all important aspects of a life well lived”. For Judith, an afternoon listening to opera or soulful jazz are as likely as an evening of spirited Zydeco, or a favourite of hers, Ottmar Liebert’s unique style of Nouveau Flamenco. But, to quote Liebert, “categories are for accountants”. When it comes to defining her style, Judith quite agrees.
Imagine for a moment, an orchestra without a conductor. Mindful of your aesthetics, a designer can navigate and filter the myriad selections available to you while dodging transient trends in style, to achieve a result that is uniquely yours.
Surrounded since childhood by classical art and fine furniture, Toronto born designer Judith Taylor looks to the past for her forward-thinking design ideas. The result? Timeless.
Judith is the founder and principal designer of her award-winning firm. She is a contributor at Houzz, and you may have seen her winning furniture entry in Crate and Barrel’s first designer Challenge.
Armed with an education in fine arts and formal training in Interior Design in Toronto where she received high honours, her work is inspired by broadly reaching disciplines. A love of painting and drawing as well as architecture brings a fresh sparkle to her work. She often starts a project with the client’s artwork and creates the room around it.
Her heritage includes an illustrious, century-run, multi-generational furniture manufacturing business. Her grandfather's firm (ran together with two of his cousins) was formative in the furniture industry in Ontario, setting the standards for manufacturing practices, planful reforestation and responsible tree harvesting. A scan through the book published about their history reads like sections from a design history page-book spanning the time-period from 1886 to 1987, from late Victorian Era to mid-century modern and later. You may have come across the family name – Krug Bros. Even today their pieces can be found around the globe. Childhood memories of the sawmill, visiting the factory, and annual trips to the furniture show crystalised Judith's appreciation for quality craftsmanship. (She will actually show you the underside of a sofa in a showroom and tell you why it is going to last 30 years … or why it isn’t.)
Early influences include her grandmother who was born in Tokyo in 1900. Judith’s eye was drawn to elements of design from an early age. Japanese brush painting, ikebana, shibori, and origami taught early lessons about line, form, colour, composition and geometry. It is not too surprising, with strong family influences, that she found her way into design, and her sister into architecture.
Judith has an eclectic background to say the least. She has been an artist since she sharpened her first 24-pack of pencil crayons. Yet she started her career in IT, which may seem an odd fit but that is where she honed her skills in project management and developed a deep understanding of process and an orientation to details. Function is everything in information technology. It also comes in handy when you are trying to design a living space so that eight people can play a board game in front of the fireplace.
Today she lives in Toronto’s Beaches neighborhood with her family, and travels whenever project schedules permit to stay at her place in Cape Cod.
Custom furniture is an in-house specialty. Throughout her journey in design, Judith hopes to never wander too far from her family heritage in the furniture industry. A well designed piece should offer comfort, support, and stand the test of time.
As previously sold through Crate and Barrel.
Contact our studio if you are interested in the 'Judith chair'
Interior Design Society: “Designer of the Year” award, 2012
Crate + Barrel Designer Challenge: the “Judith chair”
Canadian Broadcasting Centre: Barbara Frum Atrium
Teknion showroom gallery of small canvases