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Interior designer returns after career in Toronto to open design firm – Welland Tribune

Interior designer Melissa Walsh is photographed inside a clients home in St. Catharines on Thursday,

Interior designer Melissa Walsh is photographed inside a clients home in St. Catharines on Thursday,

Melissa Walsh, a St. Catharines native has returned to the area after 20 years in Toronto to start her own design firm and to raise her little family

By Matthew P. BarkerStandard Reporter

Thu., Jan. 26, 20233 min. read

After a long interior design career in Toronto, a St. Catharines native has returned to offer people her take on the profession that she has honed over most of her working life.

For more than 20 years Melissa Walsh enjoyed a career of working with some of the best interior designers Toronto had to offer until she called it quits and moved back to the Niagara region to enjoy family life — and opened her own interior design firm.

“I always knew I would come back here and share my expertise of what I’ve learned and bring that to Niagara, because I knew there was so much potential,” said Walsh, owner of Melissa Walsh Interiors.

The love of interior design started early in her life and from an early age she knew she wanted to do something in the field long before finding out it was a career option.

Walsh recalls she would spend much of her time fixing up living spaces for family members by rearranging furniture, belongings and making the room more esthetically pleasing.

“Interior design has been a passion of mine since I was a young girl, I loved it even before I knew it was a career I could have,” she said.

“As a young girl I would re-arrange all of my family members accessories and (that’s when) I started to know the profession of interior design.”

She said through a high school co-op program she was able to work with McNamara and Reynolds, a design company in St. Catharines which allowed her to “really fall in love with the idea of decorating and design.”

Walsh fondly remembers her early consultations where she required her parents to drive her to client’s homes.

“I would do colour consultations before I even had my driver’s license,” she said.

“I laugh looking back at the story, thinking how I would go to clients houses and how my parents dropped me off around the corner.”

After attending college, Walsh started working for some of the most renowned interior designers in the city, who she said, helped to nurture her style and allowed her to grow as an interior designer.

“I was lucky enough to work for a very well-known interior designer named Anne Swain of Annabelle’s Interior Design Inc, and I worked in Rosedale in Toronto in beautiful mansions and got a taste of what high end design was in my early 20s,” she said.

She then had the opportunity to work for Kimberly Selden, designer for TV show Cityline.

“I was able to travel with her to Europe and do these wonderful design experiences,” said Walsh.

Walsh said even though she enjoyed herself during her career in Toronto, she always wanted to return to Niagara — this was home, her family was here and she wanted to raise her daughter like she was raised.

“I am very close with my family, and I have a young daughter and I wanted her to be around family and friends to experience the childhood that I had,” she said.

“She goes to the same elementary school I went to, and I just wanted her to experience that.”

Walsh said now that she heads up her own design firm, she is excited to help people design their own living spaces their way.

“My personal style, I don’t let that invade what a client is wanting. I’ve always been taught to do what the client wants,” she said.

“Even though my style may be a little bit more feminine, I can do ultra masculine or ultra modern, whatever the client likes.”

She said people wanting a space designed should do research and provide inspiration to interior designers so they can best craft the look people are hoping for.

“I always ask (clients) to provide inspiration pictures, so I can get a sense of what they’re looking for so that I can create the home of their dreams,” she said.