About Karen Sealy

Karen Sealy

Award-winning Designer Karen Sealy is equally at ease in a hardhat or heels – and her passion and deep-rooted knowledge of the two distinct sides of design set her apart in her field. Karen was lucky enough to grow up with a father in the trades, giving her first-hand experience of the more technical aspects of renovation and construction, and introducing her to a world she would come to love and pursue. Her years of unique experiences, from working side-by-side with trades on the tools, to formal education in interior design, business and psychology to an unequalled talent for space planning and a genuine love for listening and nurturing people position Sealy Design to create the most fabulous spaces for the people lucky enough to enjoy them.

Karen, owner and lead designer of Sealy Design Inc., is a regular design expert on the national TV show, Cityline and host & designer of HGTV’s "Summer Home", (s.1). Sealy Design's work has been featured in the New York Times, Elle Décor, Style at Home, and all of Canada's national newspapers. Sealy Design is the winner of the Best of Houzz 2013 Awards, for Design and Customer Satisfaction.

Karen loves to share her enthusiasm for good design – just spend a few minutes with her and you'll either hire her, or consider a career change.

The Sealy Team

The team at Sealy Design is comprised of individuals with a broad and diverse range of experience and education. Our Business Manager manages the financial aspect of the company, including budgeting, ordering, and billing. We have an Office Manager who manages schedules and keeps the project teams organized. Our Project Manager leads our larger projects and is a liaison between the project team, the client, and the trades. We have a full complement of Interior Designers with a wide range of skill sets and experience, as well as a professional Stylist. Because of this diversity, we are able to offer our clients practical and economical service by assigning tasks to the Designer with the appropriate level of experience – and we bill accordingly. Our Senior Designers always oversee all projects, and they direct the work given to the project team, ensuring a successful project.

We are always looking for motivated and passionate designers to join our team.

Our Services

Sealy Design offers a one-stop service which includes everything from one-time design consultations, preparing permit/construction drawings to choosing and ordering finishes and furnishings, or even designing your own custom furnishing or built-ins – and everything in between. Our large sample room is stocked with the latest and greatest selections to save our clients time and refine the search for quality finishes at fair prices. Many of these products are not available locally or at a retail level, allowing us to offer our clients truly special finds.

We are happy to offer any of the following services to suit your needs:

  • space planning, square footage optimization
  • color analysis
  • theme/concept development
  • professional project management
  • construction and permit drawings
  • engineering and architectural services
  • furnishings (custom design or a wide selection of ready-made)
  • budget development
  • textile selection
  • pre-inspection and real estate evaluation

The Studio

When Sealy Design outgrew their previous premises, Karen purchased an east-end bungalow with a separate garage. The garage was old and in poor condition, but Karen saw the potential to turn it into a beautiful, light-filled working studio space. The Sealy team now has a fabulous and functional workspace that feels like an airy, leafy retreat in the city.

After photos (6) | 

How do we work?

Studio (after)

Our first point of contact with all our clients is to arrange an initial consultation with Karen. This meeting can be a one-time meeting to answer all your design questions, or the ideal way to kick-start your design project with our team. You can call us at 416.694.8588 or email for further information on rates and process, and to book your appointment.

We offer two consultation options:

In-Home consultation

The ideal solution for client’s who live in the Toronto area is to have an in-home consultation. Karen will visit your home for a full consultation meeting. The advantage of this option is that Karen will get a better sense of your space, your style of living and your existing furnishings. Karen will be able to walk through your home and discuss any current projects or future wish list items, which enables you to develop a long term plan for your renovation needs. This is the best way to kick-start a project with us.

In-Studio consultation

We have a fabulous Design Studio located in the east end of Toronto. If it is inconvenient to meet at your house (perhaps you live out of town) you could come to our Design Studio for a consultation with Karen. Just bring your pictures, floor plans and inspiration pictures and we’ll be able to answer your design questions and guide you in the right direction to create your dream space.

See what our great clients have to say about the Sealy team:

"Your advice prior to building was extremely valuable. After I left your office, I looked over the plans and tried to see it through your eyes and realized that it wasn't so good. So I started all over again, believe it or not, implemented all your suggestions and came up with a brand new plan. We have been enjoying and loving living here for almost 5 years. Thank you once again for all your constructive and professional advice. Well worth the visit!!"

"Well now I’m excited! That was fun this morning - I’m glad I went. I was a little daunted by the choices I thought I would have to make but it turned out to be exciting rather than a chore. Thank you."

"We are still in the planning stage but so far quite impressed with our consultations and Karen's recommendations. Looking forward to the process."

"The entire team at Sealy Design Inc. is amazing. They are so knowledgeable and friendly! We (Value Wood Floors Inc.) have been working with Karen and her team for a number of years now and honestly feel like we are a part of the extended design family. We truly believe that Sealy Design Inc. always puts their best foot forward and strives to create the best possible designs for their clients. Keep up the GREAT work!"

"We have had the privilege of forging a great working relationship with Sealy Design over the past several years. Woodcraft was contracted, on several occasions, to build some custom pieces for Sealy Design's clients. Karen Sealy and her team have an in-depth understanding of design, exceptionally professional and are great with there clients. Thanks again for all your help!"

"Karen Sealy came into my space and immediately saw the potential and made interesting and functional suggestions from the very beginning, noting how to take advantage of what was already there, and what absolutely needed changing. My foremost focus was making the space (a loft unit in a converted building in the Queen West area of Toronto) more usable, as i felt there was a lot of wasted space and disorganization.

Karen and her team understood what i was looking for, and executed in short order. every room is better. The layout makes better use of space. the furniture choices are spot on. And it's beautiful. From the moment people walk in, they are struck by the space, and it's not even near done on the decoration front. That sense of 'WOW!" is a testament to Karen's keen eye. As just one example, the entrance area and laundry room areas were basically huge unused space wasters. I had an idea for how we might redo that space. Karen's ideas were far better, and took better account of how I liked to live than I, myself, was considering. I wish I had good photos to demonstrate! And when I do, I'll post them. or Karen will. They will be posted.

Timing-wise, I was quite ambitious in terms of speed. I had to have my expectations rejiggered (this was my first renovation). It's quite remarkable actually — almost all the renovation and furniture delivery and setup was done by August 2013, and I only first met Karen at the beginning of February, 2013.

Budget: it was not cheap! But you're paying for basically a first class turn-key solution, that is as pleasant as it probably can be. I think it was worth it.

That's not to say there weren't bumps in the road, as there always are for complicated projects. but Karen is a fantastic problem solver, and such a great people person. She's smart, creative, and fun. It was a pleasure to work with her and the Sealy team. I'm sitting in my space right now, and i'm sooooo happy."

"I needed to have my kitchen renovated. Sealy Design Inc were able to make it happen. They turned a old kitchen into a new modern space that had better function and form. The kitchen was gutted and had new life. The colours, appliances, countertops etc were all quality pieces that made the kitchen look so spectactular. I could not have dreamed this up myself and I am truly happy with Sealy Design Inc."

"I had my first consultation with Karen Sealy for redoing the main floor of my house. It was the most awesome experience I have had for a long time!! I am not very design savvy and Karen had great, practical ideas for my taste and budget and quickly understood what I was trying to tell her about my "style". She is very professional and very easy to be with. She explained the entire renovation process to me and made sure any questions I had were answered. I was totally satisfied with my first encounter and plan to continue the renovations with Sealy Design Inc."

"Our kitchen renovation has been in limbo for 3 years now. I had been completely stressed about taking the next step in the renovation process for fear of making a mistake. So, we decided to hire Sealy Design to help us finalize our space plan, once and for all. From our initial contact with the very helpful and friendly Diane, to our consultation with Karen, we are truly glad we made this decision!

Karen was awesome to work with. From the moment she stepped into our home she was offering ideas and suggestions; I could see her wheels spinning. She listened to our needs and concerns and then offered many "crazy ideas" to help us think outside of the box. As well she guided us in understanding the most functional way our open floor plan should be laid out. By the end our meeting we had a kitchen floor plan, furniture layout, curtain ideas, lots of built-in storage and she had saved us money by offering some simple solutions that we never would have come to on our own!

Our consultation was so productive that the moment Karen left we started moving furniture and taking out cabinets! We look forward to meeting with Karen in the near future to embark on another project!!

You are welcome back anytime, Karen!"

"Great experience working with, loved the design had fun! Great end product and a very happy client overall. Karen is very professional and knows her stuff!"

"Karen and her team designed our kitchen, bathroom and dining room and I would give them the highest possible recommendation. Karen is so warm and friendly and always takes the budget into consideration while not compromising the quality of the finishes she chooses. The whole Sealy team is so friendly and accommodating - they will go above and beyond to ensure you get the best possible experience in your dealings with them. Most importantly, the finished product is outstanding. We couldn't be happier."

"Karen designed our kitchen and has provided other design and decorating advice for a few smaller projects as well. Every penny spent for her services was well worth it since in some cases she saved us from making costly mistakes that I think we would have grown tired of quickly. The spaces she designed for us are clean and uncluttered, but warm and personal at the same time. She is a lot of fun to work with and even just hiring her for a one- time consultation will give you lots of food for thought and projects to work on slowly as your time and budget allow. As a person who had never hired a designer before, or came from the type of family who had money for such a thing, I felt somewhat strange about it, but as I stated, I think she saved us money in the long run and the spaces she designed for us still take my breath away ever time I enter."

"Hi Andrea,

John and I want to say thank you very much to you and Karen for reworking the new sketch. We really appreciate it. Both John and I think that it will work out great and are very excited. It's amazing how Option 1 of your original sketch looks even better with a little bit of tweaking that you've both done in incorporating our revised ideas. What great teamwork and team we all are, if I must say so myself!

Love the bookcases behind the sectional idea. As a matter of fact, I was just on the Sealy Website yesterday and was looking at those same pictures that were posted on the site that showed the Waverly Den with those bookcases and I said to John that I should mention to you both that I really liked the idea of those shelves above the sectional when we were to speak again and whether we could incorporate something like that in our reno. Also love the idea of the ledge at sofa table height for a place for a drink as well, (I can envision us all drinking wine together and celebrating our new basement reno as we are seated on that sectional/ledge combination) . I love some of our thinking alike, it's crazy.

If no one told you today, we're telling you both that you are both awesome!!!

Thanks to both you and Karen again. Can you tell, we're just so so excited."

"WOW!! The Summer Home program featuring my Snug was truly fantastic. Not only did it feature a great cottage make-over but it really captured the essence of my family - who we are and how we live, love and laugh together (including Simon's generosity of time and building efforts - I really think he could have a future in TV). Thank you for making the process so easy for us. I can't remember when I met a team that was so positive and enthusiastic about their work. That positivity and enthusiasm certainly rubbed off on us making the filming easy and fun. And, Karen's talent and personality was the icing on the cake.

I like to think of life as an opportunity to collect a series of "memory moments". The Summer Home experience certainly comes close to the top of my list.

On behalf of the McKenzie Clan I offer my heartfelt gratitude and praise for the very fine work you do. If you are ever in Bracebridge know there will always be a Muskoka chair waiting for you on the dock."

"Well, I just watched my episode in the conference room with my colleagues - they're all amazed with your creativity. Thank you for a wonderful job done for us, not to mention, you've included my two fur balls.

Let me know if you want to have a glass of wine or two when you are in the neighborhood - you know you have an open invitation."

"We loved the our episode and had a good laugh at ourselves. So glad that some of the filming was not made part of the episode thanks to the editors. The makeover experience was great the cottage is so absolutely perfect for us now. We would like to thank Andrew, John, Atilla, Brad, Dee-Dee, Allison, Karen, Kim, Stephan, Matt, Shannon, Marco, Alan and his crew, Pat and his crew and everyone else that we did not necessarily get to meet. Thanks to all RTR Media Folks. I was so delighted to meet each and everyone of you. You obviously all love what you do. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with us. Thank you for the encouragement and professionalism.

Many thanks to Karen Sealy and her suppliers, all products used are better than we could have imagined sourcing ourselves and are of the best quality. Thank you to Alan Heron and his contractors the workmanship is A1. Thank you to Andrew Richardson for the beautiful furniture and for letting us keep the 2 lounges – we are making good use of them). Thanks to Greenbank Nurseries everything has survived nicely. The BBQ or should we call it MANQ is great - thanks Napoleon.

I think a re-union would be in good order – more food and great music on the fabulous deck and an 'Andrew show tune'! We have been busy siding the bunkie to match the cottage – we may even attempt a mini deck and arbour just so they match. What a wonderful experience. Many many thanks."

"Working with the Sealy Design team was a fantastic experience. From early on, it was clear that they understood what we were looking for and always managed to come in with suggestions and recommendations that were innovative, exciting and within budget! The team could always be counted on to bring a high level of professionalism and energy to the experience. The end result is a perfect reflection of our style and personality - thanks to everyone at Sealy!"

"We had a great holiday in our new space. Everyone loved the design. I lived in my kitchen the entire time. It is the best kitchen I have had ever!!!!! We are still entertaining and our friends love it. Last night we had a dinner party and they loved our 'chic' but warm new space."

"Sealy Design Inc. made our dreams come true!! Karen understood our budget, interpreted our wishes into realities and gave us more than we dreamed possible."
"Thank you for all your design ideas to transform our space. We just love our main floor. It is beyond what we expected..."
"We wanted to let you know that we are extremely pleased with the way everything turned out. Now that we have been in the completed home for a couple of months, it is truly remarkable that you could design a project on paper that functions so well in a living setting. Every room has this extravagant feel to it and what a pleasure it is to show our friends and family this home."
"As far as the kitchen is concerned we are in heaven. Can't believe it has been a year already. But everyday I look around and can't believe it is my space. We all love it and the boys are learning to I have entertained a lot and have had up to 15 people sitting down and eating. We love it and are so glad we did not move. I get a lot of compliments from everyone and I am sure to tell them it was your design that made the difference."
"After using our main floor for nine months there is NOTHING I would change. The space is amazing and I can't believe it's all perfect."