As Dee Dee Hannah recalls her childhood, it’s easy to understand how she became both an architect and an interior designer. “I loved math and science and I loved fashion. I had this dichotomy in terms of interests, but also that’s sort of the way my mind works: very linear, logical thinker. But then I loved design!” Her stunning creations, bright smile, long golden locks and engaging personality have become famous, courtesy of three appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, a hosting gig on the HGTV series Love By Design and a column in the National Post.
Graceful lines and proportions that radiate timelessness and sophistication are present throughout Hannah’s architectural creations. Her refined interior designs, equally as inspired, are opulent and ornate yet never dabble in ostentatious. Each alluring design detail is calculated and fitted for the space it resides in. Hannah’s work oozes extreme elegance from the inside out. “Every home has to have beauty. And in addition to beauty, it needs to flow and it needs to suit the purposes of those who live there,” says Hannah.
Hannah founded the Taylor Hannah Architect group of companies, which boasts a staff of 40, in 1992, after graduating with honours from the University of Toronto with a degree in architecture. Stylish and unique, high-end residential and commercial architecture and interior design is the focus of her firm. “I think what I am trying to do is to pull out from you, as the client, what is inside of you, what you are really looking for. And some people have no idea. As a professional, that’s my job to find out.” Dreamy, distinctive homes that are imagined free of stifling moulds or design templates are the result. High, dramatic ceilings, clean, modern lines and polished décor are commonly featured in Hannah’s work. Her fresh designs cater to the needs, desires and styles of clientele with superlative tastes. “A part of my job is to give people that feeling that what they’re doing in their world is extravagant!”
The coveted penthouse of 155 Cumberland, a swanky orthodontic clinic in Yorkville and a renovation of the celebrated Harbour Sixty Steakhouse in downtown Toronto, are just a few sites that Hannah is currently infusing with her talents and motto of “timeless elegance.”
She also applies a classic design aesthetic to her own look, as her closet houses covetable garments that mirror her chic designs. “I love Valentino. I love Chanel. I love Prada. I love throwing my jeans on with a great pair of Louboutin’s and a white T-shirt.” She’ll be seated amongst the well-heeled and comely this October, when she attends Paris Fashion Week. Frequent visits to sensual European cities act as a source of enrichment and inspiration for Hannah.
While most find it difficult to command one’s business, Hannah acts as a partner in two others: Ellis Fine Cabinetry and Montclair Construction. When not immersed in the world of business and blueprints, Hannah devotes time to her family. “My sweet life is being with my husband and my children.” As a successful professional, Hannah is constantly faced with the classic challenge of balancing a career and a family. She manages to do so with organization, a strict schedule and a vacation every July. “I love what I do. I love that I look to the past and that I reinterpret for the future. I love something that’s modern and has got proportion and scale.” Without a doubt, her clients love it, too.