Designer Spotlight

Jillian Harris shares the inspiration behind her designs and how a farmhouse project became a labour of love

Jillian Harris

At Elmira, we have the great privilege of crossing paths with some of the most creative minds and talented interior designers in the industry. When Jillian Harris, television personality and designer extraordinaire, expressed interest in using Elmira Stove Works appliances for several of her projects, we knew our products would perfectly complement her classic yet feminine design aesthetic.

Jillian has become known for transforming her clients’ homes, but this time the project was personal, as she was looking to outfit her 1900s farmhouse and corporate headquarters with an extra touch of vintage charm.

With an illustrious career in front of the camera, Founder of Jillian Harris Design and The Jilly Academy and Co-Founder of The Jilly Box, and helping others in need, to say Jillian wears many hats is an understatement. The multi-hyphenate entrepreneur shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Jillian has created a lifestyle brand that reflects a deep commitment to her team, customers, and community by championing diversity, transparency, and a drive never to stop learning. Though Jillian takes great pride in her work, her family consisting of her son, daughter, fiancé, and two boxers, is her biggest passion.

Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Jillian about her farmhouse renovation, her love of pink, and her take on interior design.

Q. Can you share a little about yourself and how/when you got into design?

I’m the founder of Jillian Harris Design and The Jilly Academy, Co-Author of Fraiche Food Full Hearts, and co-founder of The Jilly Box. I’d say I’m most well-known from my Bachelor/Bachelorette days and being the Co-Host of HGTV’s Love It or List It, Vancouver. 

I attended the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), which ultimately led me down the path of restaurant design. In fact, before my TV days, I worked at Browns Restaurant Group and Cactus Club, where I not only helped to design the restaurants but also oversaw project management of new restaurants, along with many other things. If we go way back, I was passionate about interior design for as long as I can remember, whether it was redecorating my bedroom or selling my parent’s outdated furniture without their permission! LOL!

Q. How would you describe your overall approach to interior design and your aesthetic? What inspires you?

My overarching approach to interior design is a mix of traditional, timeless, light and airy with a touch of femininity. If you’ve seen photos of our current house, you know I like to add little pops of colour (hello pink chairs and headboard), but not too much!

On the other hand, the farmhouse renovation we just completed is VERY different. I wanted to pay homage to the 1900 build by keeping the overall design vintage-inspired, and we totally nailed that in the kitchen with Elmira’s 1950 – 30” Bottom Mount Northstar Fridge and the 1954P – All Electric 30” Northstar Range! As we begin designing our forever home on our farm, I’ve been really inspired by what I would call “European-esque” design. Picture woods, stone, darker tones, lots of texture, less stark white and more beige.

Q. How do you approach kitchen design, in particular?

That really depends on the project. For example, in our farmhouse – with a limited budget and wanting to just do a facelift – I pretty much kept everything that was already existing in the space. We painted the cupboards and ceiling, added a vintage cherry wallpaper, and the cherry on top (pardon the pun, ha ha) was our state-of-the-art Elmira Stove Works appliances, which really tied together the entire space to give it that vintage, yet elevated feel! 

Q. Design trends that look to the past are becoming more popular now. What do you think makes trends such as nostalgia and cottagecore so appealing for interior design?

For our new build, I’m really gravitating to a style that is fairly similar to “cottagecore” and brings in rich texture and warmth. I personally love the character involved in the design and think it’s so appealing because it truly is timeless while still providing a welcoming, homey feel. 

Q. You used Northstar appliances in your farmhouse project. Why did you choose Elmira products? Why did you select Bisque appliances?

When we took possession of the farm, I didn’t see the potential in upgrading the farmhouse. I only ever envisioned building a new home here and camping on the property in the meantime. But, after a few glasses of wine with my mom and cousins, they saw potential in the space and convinced me that I needed to give it a quick and dirty reno, which instantly got my wheels turning! 

I really took to the project, and it got my creative juices flowing. I wanted to redesign it without making it feel like it was a totally new interior.  I also wanted to be able to use the space to host and cook, and I was on the hunt for retro appliances to match the rest of the interior. When I discovered Northstar appliances, I knew I had to have them. I went with the Bisque colour because the kitchen is tiny, and it was already very busy with the yellow cupboards and vintage cherry wallpaper. I knew I didn’t want stark white because I wanted the space to feel more “vintage.”

Q. We noticed you use lots of beautiful pink hues in your designs. What is it about pink that you love so much?​ 

I always joke that if I could have a full pink house I would, but I have to compromise because I don’t think  Justin would love it! When it comes to pink, there is a very particular soft blush colour that I gravitate towards; I like how it adds a little bit of a feminine flair, without being too much colour. I would say that, in general, I am moving away from pink. But I do love how it acts as an accent colour but is also a neutral that goes with almost everything. 

Q. Speaking of pink, we understand you purchased a pink microwave. How did you incorporate it into your design? Was it for your primary residence or the farmhouse?

Because I couldn’t have a fully pink house, I made sure that our Team Jilly HQ had as much pink as my heart desired! From the pink wallpaper to the pink kitchen and even a pink feature wall upstairs, we sure added a lot of pink in such a small space. In fact, the pink kitchen just wasn’t complete without a pink microwave from Northstar.

Q. What do you like most about Elmira Stove Works appliances?

Where do I even begin? First and foremost, I love the vintage design of all of the Elmira Stove Works appliances. They fit perfectly at our farmhouse and even at our Team Jilly HQ. Secondly, I love that all of the appliances are made in CANADA! I don’t know of another appliance company that is designing their products in Canada but manufacturing them here too. Finally, I just love the Elmira team – every conversation I’ve had, every phone call, every email, the team goes above and beyond for their customers! 

Q. Your brand vision and values emphasize the importance of giving back and community. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Growing up in Peace River, Alberta, my parents were always so passionate about their community and giving back, and reinvesting in various local organizations. I’ve carried that with me throughout my life and always want to give back as much as I can. From Cameos to partnerships, our 12 Days of Giveaways Campaign, and even a new initiative, “Jilly’s Closet,” we’re always brainstorming ways in which we can reinvest into our local and surrounding communities! 

We’d like to thank Jillian Harris for taking the time to chat with us. It is always a treat to speak with those who have a passion for design who also love working with our products. They help us keep our finger on the pulse of the industry and inspire us to continue pushing the limits of our designs. You can stay up to date on Jillian’s latest projects at

Make sure to follow Jillian on Instagram at @jillian.harris.

Designer Spotlight

Brittany Hutt shares her thoughts on kitchen design and why there’s always room for a touch of nostalgia

Brittany Hutt

There are times in life that, no matter how far away you may venture, something brings you back to where you began. The same is true for kitchen and bath designer Brittany Hutt, born and raised in Ontario, Canada, just ninety minutes from Elmira Stove Works’ headquarters. As a child, Brittany enjoyed visiting her family’s now-demolished country cottage that just so happened to include an original Elmira stove. Little did she know that Elmira would be a part of her life in the years to come.

In 2009, Brittany moved to Florida to pursue her education in design at the International Academy of Design & Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. While in school, she discovered a passion for designing kitchens and bathrooms. Fast forward to 2018, when she won the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards in the Elmira Stove Works category – bringing her experience with the brand full circle.  

Today, Brittany’s design business in Tampa, Florida is flourishing, as she expands her reach as a virtual designer – allowing her to work with clients throughout the country.

We sat down with Brittany to discuss kitchen design, her experience working with Elmira appliances, and her love of all things vintage.

Q: Can you share a little about yourself and how you got into design?

While attending design school, I interned for a local interior design firm and started a part-time job in kitchen design. I began attending seminars and online classes to learn cabinetry basics, as I found kitchen and bath design was my true interest. After a few years of kitchen design, I started in-home consultations for kitchen and bath remodels and became involved in the installation and production process. I was soon able to manage projects and work one-on-one with clients and installers onsite – from project start to finish.

Q: How would you describe your approach to kitchen design? What inspires you?

I think it’s really important to gather information from the client. It helps me to create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional for everyday use. At the start of the design process, I ask my clients to share inspirational photos of designs they are drawn to and request that they create a list of goals for the space. Whether it’s a kitchen with plenty of seating for entertaining, or a kitchen with ample countertop space that caters to large appliances for plenty of cooking, I always want to make sure the result is well-suited for the client. I follow many design companies on social media to gain insight into the latest trends and styles.

Q: What attracts you to mid-century modern style?

I like to bring nostalgic style into my designs, so adding the Elmira NorthStar appliance series is a great way to achieve this. Mid-century to me is clean lines, a mix of paint and wood grains, and most likely a pop of pattern or color. It all leads to a fun and exciting design!

Q: What do you like most about farmhouse style?

I relate most to the farmhouse style. I appreciate the mix of rustic design accents with a modern functioning kitchen. I like the idea of architectural salvage by bringing in an old rustic door and installing it in a new kitchen. It not only brings in that rustic, reclaimed feel but also creates a conversational piece.

Q: What do you think makes retro-style and farmhouse kitchens so appealing?

Both the retro and farmhouse styles lead to giving something old a new meaning in a new space. As styles evolve, I believe we will always want to incorporate something old with something new – it just adds character!

Q: Can you share one of your favorite mid-century modern projects featuring Northstar appliances?

I love this design because it exemplifies the mid-century design style by using a mix of bright white paint and wood grain, and the slab door style leans toward uncluttered clean lines. I also added a mix of geometric patterns with the flooring and backsplash materials. The Northstar appliances add a bright pop of color in Robin’s Egg Blue and become the focal point of a gorgeous mid-century style kitchen.

Q: What’s your favorite farmhouse kitchen design project featuring Elmira’s Antique appliances?

This farmhouse-style kitchen is the perfect way to feature Elmira’s Antique appliances, as it ties the color and vintage/rustic design accents together. I used a high-contrast black and white palette to accentuate the black Antique style appliances. Additionally, I added a reclaimed wood hood around the range to keep the range as the main focal point of the design. The black, white and warm rustic accents in this design create an inviting and cozy space.

Q: What first drew you to include Elmira Stove Works appliances in your designs? ​

I began designing with Elmira appliances in 2018 when I entered a 2020 Design contest. One of the categories was for kitchen designs featuring Elmira Stove Works. I created a farmhouse-style design, which ended up being the winner.

Q: Do you think kitchens with character / a touch of nostalgia are here to stay?

I do think kitchen design with hints of character and nostalgia will remain popular. While design trends tend to revolve, I believe the idea of recycling and giving items new meaning is always going to be important in the world of design. 

Q: Where’s your favorite place to find vintage items?

I love finding items with history and incorporating them into my designs. When I have a client who wants me to design around something antique or rustic, I am very excited! You can find great reclaimed items at thrift stores, antique shops, or online. If you have a home with some character and are looking to remodel, you should find a piece of furniture or material that interests you and add it to the new design. Whether it’s an old bar stool or a few bricks, it’s a great way to add one-of-a-kind character to your new space and give it a nod to the past.

We love speaking with industry professionals to stay on top of the latest trends in kitchen design. A big thank you to Brittany Hutt for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts and a few of her favorite projects featuring our products.

Make sure to follow Brittany on Instagram at @brithuttdesign.