View Jane’s Bio (PDF: 57 KB)
While some kids grow up playing with dollhouses, Jane grew up designing, building, and refurnishing hers. No wonder she’s an award-winning interior designer today.
She’s also a popular television personality, author, spokesperson, and one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour.
Jane is immediately recognized from the TV series, Colour Confidential, as a guest speaker at many home and design shows, and on daily talk shows CTV’s The Marilyn Dennis Show and City TV’s, Cityline. Jane’s broad knowledge and straightforward approach as an authority on personal style in the home has inspired viewers for over two decades.
Since graduating as an award-winning student at Ryerson University’s interior design program (Bachelor of Applied Arts Interior Design), Jane has never stopped building her brand. She launched Jane Lockhart Design in 1997 and it continues to grow today.
Her design firm specializes in interior design and renovation for retail, hospitality, home building and residential clients. Designed by Jane for the design and architectural trades, the Jane Lockhart Platinum Series, a Canadian-built, eco-conscious luxury furniture collection was launched in early 2011. It was soon followed by Jane’s latest Canadian-built collection, Jane by Jane Lockhart. This collection is available at a growing number of major and independent retailers across Canada.
Jane’s design work is regularly featured in publications in Canada and United States and the firm has been recognized with many awards from several national associations.
Jane’s written articles appear regularly in the Toronto Sun, New Home and Condo Guide, Active Life, and Home Front.
Jane travels coast to coast in Canada and the US appearing as a keynote speaker at major home and design shows.
Jane’s best-selling book, Room Recipes: Cooking Up Style With Colour demonstrates how anyone can create a personal style from the fabric of their lives. She also wrote Paint: A Great Impression which has sold more than 350,000 copies in Canada.
I always knew I wanted to design and build right from childhood. I built my own furniture from anything around, decorated doll houses from top to bottom, drew floor plans, etc. I always loved art and design. My younger brother got a work bench for his seventh birthday from our retired next door neighbor but it was me who used it. It wasn’t until after I went to U Of T for history and economics that I realized that I had to follow my passion for design and creative thinking and I enrolled at Ryerson University’s School of Interior Design.
I began by sweeping the floors in the basement of Benjamin Moore Paints head office in Toronto. Unfortunately it was during the late 1980’s recession and there were not many jobs around for designers. I went to see a million design and architectural firms and all of them said no. Then I stumbled on a woman who put me in touch with the senior designer at Benjamin Moore (I vaguely had heard of them) and was hired for free for the first two weeks then was paid $6 an hour. Eventually I went from sweeping floors to drafting and planning their retail stores across Canada.
After working days with Benjamin Moore Paints and working nights as a waitress (to make ends meet) I was asked by the marketing manager to assist my boss in making and designing items for a television show they had agreed to sponsor on CBC. That show was the Lynette Jennings Show, the forerunner to Martha Stewart! So I styled, created, and painted for the senior designer who appeared on the show with Lynette. Once, when she couldn’t go on air, I was told that I had to replace her! I have to be honest, I had no interest in television as I wanted to design, not do craft projects! But as it turned out, Lynette was a good host, we got along, and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I also met a lot of future employers there!
I have been very fortunate to have had a lot of unique experiences in television over the last twenty years. I worked for two years on a CBC show called What on Earth, shot in Regina. I then went on to work at CityTV’s Cityline with Marilyn Dennis for four years and landed on HGTV when it was first licensed in Canada on the show One House, Two Looks. It lasted for six seasons. Of course, there is now Colour Confidential which is in its sixth season on W Network in Canada and HGTV in the US!
History and nature inspire me the most. Political history is such a key factor in the resulting architecture, art and design of that time. By understanding the politics of the period it puts the pieces created in that era into perspective. And this knowledge creates an amazing foundation for design for the future. All aspects of nature are beautiful in their own way. It’s remarkable the colours and forms that nature continues to produce.
I love to read historical fiction, current politics, paint, draw, and walk my Beagle, Baxter!
My family. And integrity.
I would have to say orange but I can’t live in it. For living in, I love charcoal gray and always have.
Colour knowledge was a detour I took when I first started apprenticing in interior design. The beginning of my career at Benjamin Moore, was during the recession in the late 80s. They were a company that was good to their employees and didn’t lay people off despite the poor economy. So when there was no more retail design work, they put me into the paint and development lab (which was in Toronto at the time).
For several years I worked closely with lab technicians and learned not only what made paint and pigment, but what made colour. Later, I got to teach this to other designers through a CEU that Benjamin Moore offered both in Canada and the US. In addition I wrote several research papers for the company once I had gone on my own, to explore the physiological aspects of colour and how we see. It has been an amazing journey.
Like they always say: “the shoe maker’s son has no shoes!” It’s always a work in progress.
Really busy! But very rewarding. Some of my clients act as a sounding board and I consider them partners in the creation of their space. I’ve had some of my clients for over 15 years, when I first opened my business. They teach me and have given me a lot of ideas. I’m a designer first and business owner second. My strength is in the creative side. That’s where my clients are great as they remind me to always stay on top of the business stuff. And the television side allows me to do what I do best – talk about design!
There is a lot of debate about this but I think that good design is complex. It has to definitely answer the needs of the client but it is my responsibility to show the client the best options available in terms of layout, materials, concept, colour, etc. And of course, good design is healthy, safe and sustainable. And in all of that, there still needs to be beauty.