The Colorful Story of Gabriele Pizzale

Gabriele Pizzale’s design style doesn’t fall far from her personal style: A signature blend of never-boring neutrals is so often set off by a pop—of texture, of color, of wonderful detail. Exhibit A: Gabriele’s pop of red hair. The Toronto-based owner of Gabriele Pizzale Design hails from the fashion industry and was a fashion design major in college. In fact, it was her intuition about the latest trends that led her to a 12-year stint as a design expert on “Cityline,” the longest running and most successful daytime show for women in Canadian history. Gabriele ultimately realized that her true love is dressing houses rather than people, and she has now led her residential and commercial design firm for more than 20 years, creating high-end flare in homes and offices across the greater Toronto area.

NT: Your projects are mesmerizing. We particularly love your Stratford Powder Room, one of the first designs to feature our recently introduced NativeStone® Montecito sink. We can’t quite get over all the lovely details! Tell us a little bit about that project.
GP: The client is originally from Mexico City; their aesthetic was very different from most others, and this made it a great project in that we could utilize products in a new way. Also, natural elements were very important to them.

NT: Powder rooms are so small – how did you overcome that challenge to create such an interesting space?
GP: The client was very adventurous, so we had great freedom to use interesting textures and finishes. We wanted to use very natural products and finishes with patina and depth. The rough texture of the grasscloth wallpaper was a great foil to the smooth finish of the herringbone marble tile. Since the sink was a drop-in and quite visible, it was important that it contributed to the overall look. In a small space, you do not have a lot of opportunities to make an impact: Every detail must be right.

NT: What led you to choose a concrete sink?
GP: We loved the natural feel of the Native Trails concrete; it was a great addition to the barn board vanity. The fact that the sink was also very light and durable was an added bonus.
Bathroom Space

NT: Tell us more about the barn wood vanity.
GP: The vanity was custom made for us from reclaimed barn board. The legs were made from the loft ladder sides, with the holes filled in.

NT: OK. Time for rapid-fire Q&A. What’s your favorite color for the kitchen?
GP: Off-white cabinetry with a painted island or accent cabinetry or hood.

NT: Favorite color for the bath?
GP: Soft grays, blues, and green – relaxing colors.

NT: Favorite décor piece?
GP: I love to add the unexpected: Each room should have a surprise!

NT: Favorite kitchen accessory?
GP: Great lighting.

NT: Favorite bathroom accessory?
GP: Interesting sinks.

NT: Any other favorites?
GP: We love color. It is usually the start of every design plan.
Home Design
See more Designers We Love or read about using sustainable materials in design.