Candice Olson is a respected Canadian interior designer and host of two hit cable home make-over shows Candice Tells All and Divine Design. She is also the owner of several home décor lines and the author of two popular books on the subject of interior decorating.
The Beginning of Her Career
After graduating from Ryerson Unversity with a Bachelor’s degree of Science and Interior Design, Candice began working as a commercial designer for one of Canada’s most prestigious design firms.
When asked about her first job out of college by Jennifer Powell of Kravet she answered,
They used and abused me, overworked and underpaid me. It was the best background. I gradually went into residential design. The people whose stores and nightclubs I was doing lived in houses, so I would do stuff on the side. When I felt the confidence and business clout behind me I went out on my own.
A Local Television Show Propels Her To National Stardom
By 1994, after having worked for several design firm, she ventured out and started her own company called Candice Olson Design. In a relatively short time period Candice’s work become recognized enough to attract the attention of the producers for CityLine, a popular locally produced morning show in Toronto. Although television was never her initial aim, Candice was a natural, and the next nine years she become regular guest appearances on the program. A combination of good looks, an award winning smile, quick wit and design intuition very quickly won her a large following as people tuned in to watch her bring old designs back from the dead.
Two Cable Networks Come Knocking
Her local success propelled her to even greater stardom and in the fall of 2001, her first episode of Divine Design aired on Canada’s W Network. Within a very short period of time, Divine Design has established itself as most important shows on the network. In 2003, just two years later, HGTV had acquired the rights to air the show in the United States, increasing her fan base to all of North America. In early 2011, HGTV green-lighted an new series with her as the host called Candice Tells All.
While most people know her her hit television shows, few people realize how busy Candice stays when she is away from the studio. One has to wonder if she ever has a chance to take a breath. She is is a regular contributor for a newspaper column, a contributing editor to a popular magazine and the author of two books, Candice Olson: Inspiration and Ideas for Your Home and Candice Olson: Kitchen & Bathrooms. It seems that the demand for her presence grows exponentially through not only her own shows but guest appearances on numerous other television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Regis and Kelly, The View and The Today Show.
Interestingly enough Candice is still an active interior designer getting paid by actual private clients, with some projects costing over $100,000 (Source: Hooked On Houses).
Olson is married with two young children, Piper and Beckett. Her husband, Jurji Sennecke, is a successful home builder in Toronto. (Read:Candice on Family Life)
Her Shows Manage To “Keep It Real”
Candice reluctantly assumes the name of “television designer” and strives to make all of her shows down to earth. Most middle class homeowners do not have a budget of $100,000 to play around with and one of the primary reasons all her shows and guest appearances are popular is because of her realistic renovations that most people can duplicate. READ ALSO: 10 Questions For Candice Olson
Candice Olson’s Name Becomes An Established Brand
Candice has become a designer whose advice is sought out by homeowners and decorators alike all over Canada and the United States . Her ability to add contemporary elements to traditional designs is highly respected by her contemporaries and has led her to establish her own product line in several home decor markets.
Each line represents a piece of her design philosophy she has developed over the past two decades of owning her own business. Her line includes area rugs, appliances, bed & bath, countertops, fabrics, fireplaces, upholstered furniture, lighting, paint and wallpaper.
Like Ronald Redding, Candice’s philosophy for all her lines include reinterpreting class design with a new and modern feel. All of her collections reflect this spirit. There are few people more adapt at blending traditional home decor with contemporary elements that feel fresh and familiar.
Candice Olson York Designer Series
As one of North America’s most accomplished designers it was only fitting that she have her own wallpaper lines. In 2008 she entered into a partnership with York Wallcovering to distributed her very own designer series. This wallcovering line now includes six collections that are some of the most popular within the wallcovering industry.
Candice Olson Kids
This collection includes patterns that were inspired by Olson’s childhood. The book includes butterflies, colorful stripes, dinosaur, flower, marine, music, pink harlequin and sports themed designs for your son or daughter. Parents love this collection because the patterns are fun, exciting and classy at the same time.
This book is all about textures, from suede cork to glass beads. Most of the papers in this collection feature some sort of external element that makes it unique. It is also one of her more abstract wallcovering lines featuring mostly geometric shapes in neutral color combinations.
If you are looking for contemporary background textures then this book is for you. The embossed faux patterns featured here are sophisticated and complement many different types of modern and traditional rooms.
This was Olson’s first wallpaper book to ever been distributed by York. Its a classic and features everything you would expect from her, including a mix of faux textures, stripes, flocked florals, deep scrolls, contemporary damasks and vertical trees.
Her newest collection also happens to be her most popular! After having designed five previous books, she finally brought everything together in one setting that delights your senses and leaves you without words in astonishment. The designs are traditional in their nature with a distinct modern feel like you have never seen before. The Diva, Aristocrat Blue, Metallic Stardust, and Grey and Blue Modern Petals are legendary in their popularity among homeowners all over North America.
This is her second most popular collection and is much like Inspired Elegance but with a more traditional feeling. It features a lot of medallions, traditional damasks, grasscloths and geometric designs. (See Duo Blue and Silver Velocity)
Further Reading (The following are some interesting your might like):
The Photographer That Makes Her Look Good
The Cultured Kitchen, A Conversation With Candice Olson
Candice Olson Guest Judge At Purina Design Challenge
How She Renders Her Plans
Olson’s Favorite Neutrals
Cork Floors and Green Design
Lauren Daigneau is a writer for Total Wallcovering and Blinds Update. You can follow her work on Google+.